Dead Boy Detectives episode 4 recap: Charles deals with his trauma in a lackluster episode

The fourth episode pushes the show's central plot forward as the detectives investigate deaths near a lighthouse.
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki and Kassius Nelson as Crystal Palace in episode 4 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki and Kassius Nelson as Crystal Palace in episode 4 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Dead Boy Detectives episode 4, "The Case of the Lighthouse Leapers," is an emotionally cathartic installment of the season, particularly for Charles, who takes center stage here. In the aftermath of the Devlin family haunting, Charles is struggling to deal with the recovered trauma of his childhood, when his father brutally abused him.

Spoilers ahead for Dead Boy Detectives episode 4

It doesn't help when the Night Nurse forces him to relive some of his most horrific memories, questioning why on earth he would rather stay here than move on to an afterlife? Wouldn't anything be better than this? This episode also pushes the plot forward by finally forcing a confrontation between the Night Nurse and the boys, though I felt the conflicts in this episode were too easily resolved.

We're recapping every episode of Dead Boy Detectives, so feel free to use the following table of contents to jump to the appropriate episode.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne, Kassius Nelson as Crystal Palace, Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki, and Jayden Revri as Charles Rowland in episode 4 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

The disgruntled ghost of a lighthouse keeper named Dagfinn pays Edwin and Charles a visit to demand they purge his lighthouse of ghosts. Apparently, people have been committing suicide from the widow's walk, with their bodies falling into the water and disappearing. Leaving their ghosts to crowd Dagfinn's resting place.

Unsuspecting visitors have been hearing a mysterious voice call out to them from the water, causing them to lunge toward it. Whatever it is mimics the voice of loved ones. Even Crystal almost falls prey to the the unknown being when she hears what she believes is her mother. She comes close to becoming the latest victim until Charles pulls her back from the ledge.

Visiting the lighthouse gift shop, Edwin and Niko meet a woman local to the area who tells them about some of the area's lore, such as the "washer woman." A riddle suggests using a piece of seaglass will allow a user to contact the washer woman, who offers hints and clues to the future. By using a piece of red seaglass, Niko contacts the washer woman who provides some foreshadowing for the remainder of the season through her riddles.

With the oracle's insight, the gang returns to Tragic Mick's magic shop for some assistance. Mick believes the being in the water is a massive angler fish he affectionately dubs "Angie." Normally she sticks to the depths of the sea, but lately she's been hungry. He suggests they put Angie back to sleep instead of killing her, which fits with the washer woman's intel, just in time for Charles to find an old maritime device in the shop that plays a lullaby. They concoct a plan to feed it to Angie to ease her back to sleep.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Michael Beach as Tragik Mick in episode 4 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Meanwhile, the Night Nurse has arrived in Port Townsend thanks to the intel provided by the Devlin family in the previous episode. She interrogates poor Jenny with some magic (before swiftly removing her memories) and follows the boys to the lighthouse where they intend to confront Angie.

Charles and Edwin aren't keen to depart with the Night Nurse for their supposed "better" afterlives, even after she torments Charles by showing him the memories of his death. He was tormented by a group of bullies throwing rocks at him in the water.

With all the rage he's been keeping at bay, this walk down memory lane triggers Charles in ways we haven't seen before. He starts beating the Night Nurse with the musical device before ultimately shoving it into her stomach and punting her off the cliff where she plummets right into Angie's waiting mouth! That's two problems solved. At least for now. Angie is put back to sleep and the Night Nurse is out of the picture.

Another case solved. Dagfinn pays the group with saltwater taffy and a Magic 8 ball that foretells when the user will die. Alarmingly, it tells Niko her "outlook isn't looking good."

Back at Crystal's apartment, she and Charles share an angsty moment and finally give into their shared attraction with a steamy make out session.

Dead Boy Detectives episode 4. Dead Boy Detectives episode 4. C+. The Case of the Lighthouse Leapers. Jayden Revri perfectly encompasses quiet rage and trauma as Charles grapples with his past in an otherwise lackluster episode.

Odds & Ends

  • Jenny has a secret admirer! She's been receiving affectionate letters as of late and Niko and Crystal take an interest in setting them up on a date.
  • Mick takes a keen interest in the washer woman when Niko mentions her. He believes the washer woman will be able to point him in the right direction for undoing his curse. Niko tells him he'll need to find the right piece of sea glass to open a portal to her.
  • The love triangle between Monty, the Cat King, and Edwin rages on, with Edwin taking a more obvious interest in Monty as he pursues their friendship further. I don't care much for Monty as a character, in all honesty. I find the Cat King far more compelling and would rather Esther play the larger villainous role than using Monty as her proxy.

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