Dead Boy Detectives episode 7 recap: Charles descends into Hell in the best and darkest episode yet

Charles is willing to do whatever it takes to save Edwin from Hell and Crystal confronts her ex.
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Jayden Revri as Charles Rowland and George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 7 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Jayden Revri as Charles Rowland and George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 7 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023 /

In the aftermath of Edwin getting yanked back into Hell by a giant spider-like monstrosity, Charles makes a dangerous deal with the Night Nurse in exchange for opening a portal to the dimension so he can rescue his best friend.

Spoilers ahead for Dead Boy Detectives episode 7

I thought this episode was the strongest of the season and one of the darkest. Hell certainly pulls no punches. There's also a lot of great development between Charles and Edwin, as Edwin finally admits his true feelings to his best friend and the pair face Hell's many terrifying entities together.

We're recapping the entire season, jump to a specific episode below:

"The Case of the Very Long Stairway" begins with Esther crawling out of the forest floor, having escaped her inter-dimensional captivity. She visits the Cat King to gather intel on Edwin and Charles. To the Cat King's credit, he and Esther have a long-standing feud. He doesn't want to throw Edwin under the bus. But Esther beats him to death, removing one of his remaining nine lives.

With Edwin now in Hell, Charles pleads with the Night Nurse to open a door so he can go retrieve Edwin. In exchange, he promises that when they return, they will both go with her to the afterlife. No more games. But how can she trust that Charles will stick to his promise? She ventures into his mind and we finally get to see exactly how Charles and Edwin met. What the Night Nurse sees in his memories convinces her that Charles genuinely cares for Edwin and will do whatever he can to save him, including abiding by a deal.

Hell is just as horrific as one might imagine. Luckily, Charles has Edwin's map and notes on the place to guide him. He even runs into Jenny's stalker Maxine on his way down the spiral staircase. As for Edwin, we learn that the monster made of baby doll parts intentionally captures him, tears him to pieces, and then captures him again. Over and over. That's what he's destined to face for eternity if he and Charles cannot escape.

While Charles is trying to rescue Edwin, Crystal decides to confront David the Demon and get rid of him once and for all. Believing Crystal going to confront an abusive ex on her own is probably not the best idea, Jenny tags alone. That ends up being a mistake, as David takes possession of Jenny's body, forcing Crystal to jump into her mind to pull him out.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. David Iacono as David the Demon in episode 7 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023 /

But she does finally succeed in taking David to the magical tree surrounded by her ancestors deep within her head. Crystal buries David there, though her ancestor reminds her this is only a temporary solution. She can't leave David buried there forever. It's bad for the tree. She also manages to get memories back from him.

Tragic Mick gets another visit from Esther who intends to concoct a horrific torture device for Edwin. Having learned he went to Hell from the Cat King, Esther believes Edwin will be able to sustain prolonged suffering and she can feed off of the essence she gets from his pain to keep her young forever. Mick doesn't want to help her build this machine, but Esther is really good at threatening people, as we know.

Edwin and Charles do succeed in escaping from Hell, after running through terrifying rooms of people suffering in the throes of the deadly sins like lust and gluttony. Just before they leave, Edwin decides to tell Charles the truth. That he loves him, romantically. Charles takes the confession in stride, reassuring Edwin that while he doesn't feel that way, he still loves his best friend and this won't change anything about their relationship. It's all very sweet.

But when they return to Earth, the Night Nurse is prepared to collect them, as part of the deal she and Charles made. At least, until Niko reveals something she learned while reading through the afterlife handbook. There's paperwork to be filed when a clerical error like this one occurs, meaning the Night Nurse cannot take the boys just yet. She vows to return.

In the final moments of the episode, Crystal eats the gum ball-like items containing her memories to finally recall who she really is.

The Case of the Very Long Staircase. A dark and mature hour provides emotional catharsis for Edwin and Charles, cementing their relationship as the show's primary anchor.. Dead Boy Detectives episode 7. Dead Boy Detectives episode 7. A

Odds & Ends

  • The Sandman fans will recognize Despair, one of The Endless, in the Grey Realm where Edwin ends up temporarily.

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