Dead Boy Detectives episode 8 recap: The trio faces the formidable Esther Finch in a devastating finale

It all comes to a head in the final confrontation with Esther during the climactic season finale.
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki and George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 8 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki and George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 8 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023 /

A season-long feud between the Dead Boy Detectives and evil witch Esther Finch comes to a head in the climactic finale of the show's first season.

Spoilers ahead for Dead Boy Detectives episode 8

While it doesn't quite reach the heights of the previous episode, Dead Boy Detectives episode 8, "The Case of the Hungry Snake," is still a strong installment for the show and does a decent job of wrapping up all of the primary storylines while introducing elements that could make a second season really interesting if the show gets renewed.

Jump to a specific episode recap below:

The eighth episode of the season begins with Crystal accessing her memories and she's in for a rude awakening. Past Crystal was not a good person. Scheming, lying, manipulating, etc. Pretty much everything David hinted at was true.

And she realizes her parents are kind of lame, too. With her memories restored, she's able to contact her mom and dad, who haven't even noticed she's been missing the past few weeks. They chastise her for being "dramatic" and then hang up before their conversation is finished. So much for that.

But recovering her memories does make Crystal realize she should return to London and reckon with her past, confronting who she was and what she did. She says goodbye to all of her friends in a touching farewell scene. The departure doesn't last long because Esthern then blows up Jenny's butcher shop and kidnaps Charles and Edwin.

At this point, Jenny is fully aware of all the supernatural happenings and she can see ghosts now thanks to David's possession (and probably her near-death experience with Maxine, too, I'd imagine). She's not thrilled with the discovery, but supports Jenny and Crystal by offering them meat cleavers as they prepare to confront Esther and save the boys.

Esther has strapped Edwin into her freaky torture device so she can harness his essence gleaned from his suffering. She eats it and feels herself becoming more beautiful and powerful.

Going after Esther won't be easy. Tragic Mick advises Crystal and Niko against it, but they're determined to save their friends. He gives them black salt, which the Cat King recommended they use against her, and he also offers Niko a lucky charm, as a thank you to her for trying to help him find the Washer Woman in a previous episode.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki and Kassius Nelson as Crystal Palace in episode 8 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023 /

Speaking of the Cat King, when Jenny and Niko visit him to get more intel on her and their decades-long feud, he reveals Esther's past, which we get to see in a stunning animated sequence that looks straight out of a storybook. The animated sequence details how Esther started her reign of terror by killing her husband and his mistress.

She became stronger and fiended for more power, so she went to Lilith and asked for immortality. Unfortunately for Esther, immortality doesn't necessarily mean you stay looking the same forever. Finding wrinkles untenable, Esther begins capturing and devouring little girls by feeding them to her snake and taking their life force to keep herself looking young and beautiful.

Beauty isn't enough for Esther anymore. She wants more power and to bring the entire town of Port Townsend under her thumb. She wants to be worshipped.

When Crystal and Niko get to Esther's house, Crystal gives Charles a meat cleaver and tasks him with killing the giant snake. He gets a little assistance from Monty, who kinda hates Esther now that he's back in his crow form. Meanwhile, Crystal tries distracting Esther so Niko can free Edwin from the torture contraption. It doesn't work. Esther is too powerful and poor Niko gets killed in the crosshairs when she throws a powerful spell toward Crystal.

Unable to do anything else to defeat the witch, Crystal tries entering her mind again and praying on her emotions, revealing things from her past. Then she cries out to Lilith through Esther's mind, a goddess who is supposed to protect wronged women. Well, what about all the girls that Esther has killed? Esther has perverted Lilith's gift.

Lilith comes to collect Esther in penance for everything she's done at the same time that Charles successfully kills the snake, causing Esther to age rapidly in front of them. She's Lilith's problem now. But that doesn't bring Niko back from the dead unfortunately.

After everything that happened, Crystal decides to stick around with Edwin and Charles. Why shouldn't she move on with her life? Together they intend to return to London and run the agency like before and they even offer Jenny a place with them since her butcher shop was destroyed.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 8 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023 /

There's just one more little hitch to deal with: the Night Nurse. She returns to the boys' agency in London with her supervisor in tow, intending to take them to their afterlives. Except her supervisor sees their board of completed cases and realizes that Charles and Edwin have helped the afterlife department find more missing ghosts than the Night Nurse has.

The cases they've solved were all ghosts unable to pass on and by solving their cases, such as the Devlin family, they "found" those missing ghosts. The Night Nurse's supervisor thinks they should be allowed to continue what they're doing and demotes the Night Nurse, assigning her to stick around with them on Earth and oversee their work.

And just before the episode ends, we see a figure inside of an igloo somewhere unknown, heavily implied to be Niko as the person is fiddling with the lucky charm gifted by Tragic Mick and has two companions with them: the dandelion sprites, Kitty and Lingham. Is Niko still alive somewhere after all?

Odds & Ends

  • I loved the friendship between Niko and Edwin so much, it was one of my favorite parts of the season. His reaction to her death was absolutely heartbreaking.
  • I will be very sad if Netflix cancels this darling, quirky show!

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