As it reaches a midpoint, The Twelve continues to utilize the same formula in “Stefaan”, raising another potential suspect and weaving the courtroom drama with increasingly melodramatic subplots among the jury.
This recap of The Twelve season 1, episode 5, “Stefaan”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
As ever, The Twelve episode 5 uses snippets of the past – this time from New Year’s Eve, 1999 again – to raise questions in the future, as the rapidly fracturing relationship between Frie and Britt, and the involvement of the titular Stefaan, complicate the fact that in the present day Stefaan is about to take the stand and seems nervous about doing so.
Individual subplots, meanwhile, continue to percolate, especially with Delphine and the jealous, abusive Mike. But no time for that now, since Stefaan takes the stand. The matter of him not wanting children is raised again and The Twelve episode 5 pulls its usual trick of drawing a direct parallel between on-going events in the case and the jurors’ personal lives, in this case, Delphine seeing and recognizing the same kind of relationship toxicity that she herself is experiencing.
Like Marc, Stefaan isn’t great on the stand, though Frie’s own pettiness is brought to the forefront also. This kind of childish tit-for-tat seems integral to such a case, though, one which involves the specific dates on which an ill-advised relationship began, and on that level, and also as a dramatic red herring, these little details help to paint a picture. Stefaan’s flaky, though, and that’s putting it mildly – with medical experience of a sort that would allow a surgical precision used in the crime, Stefaan is, again like Marc, repositioned as a suspect. This is solidified by the episode’s closer, which calls his alibi into question.
While we see a little of Holly and Yuri and also Arnold and Carl, The Twelve season 1, episode 5 continues its growing trend of matching up two major figures in the case and jury and relating their separate stories. In this case its Stefaan and his various relationships with Delphine and Mike, with the latter using underhanded tactics with the kids in order to score childish points.
I find most of these parallels to be neat and effective, but the more melodramatic they get the more they run the risk of overshadowing the court proceedings, though I can’t say that has happened yet. I also appreciate the show’s determined efforts to cast a disparaging light on everyone, ensuring that everyone’s a potential suspect and nobody seems best positioned to make a fair and unbiased determination of the events – not yet, anyway. This is, of course, the show’s underlying point, and it makes it well, even if it is tending to belabour some others.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.