Murderville season 1, episode 1 recap – will Conan O’Brien solve a murder?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: February 3, 2022
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Netflix Murderville season 1, episode 1 - The Magicians Assistant


Episode 1 is by far the weakest episode of the series.

This recap of Netflix’s Murderville season 1, episode 1, “The Magician’s Assistant” contains spoilers.

Read the season 1 review.

Murderville season 1, episode 1 recap

The first episode of Murderville begins with Senior Homicide Detective Terry Seattle. Before long his first guest, Conan O’Brien arrives. But there’s a catch! There is no script; and as Conan has no idea what is about to happen, he will have to improvise his way throughout the case/episode. 

As for Terry, life isn’t the greatest. He is currently in the midst of divorcing Rhonda, which gets made difficult as they work together, and he still mourns the death of his best partner Lori Griffin, who got murdered 15 years ago. Regardless, Terry doesn’t have time to feel sorry for himself as there’s been a murder. 

Murder victim: Sarah. Murder location: the public library. Terry and Conan visit the crime scene, and it’s soon clear that Sarah has been sawn in half during a magic act. After spotting pet hair on the body, they quiz their first suspect, Deb. Deb believes that she was fired as an assistant as she became too old. As a result, she had been replaced by Sarah. Therefore, Terry and Conan speculate whether Deb has a grudge big enough to kill.

The second suspect, Magic Melvin, gets brought into the station for questioning. However, he appears to have far less motive. Whilst Sarah did steal his magic act, Magic Melvin believes it brought him out of his comfort zone and, therefore, allowed him to improve his act.

The third and final suspect is Kathy, the leader of M.A.M.A (Mothers Against Magic Association). To speak to Kathy without suspicion, Conan goes undercover as “Todd Caringtonbergensonfield” whilst Terry listens in from an earpiece. It turns out that Kathy not only has a strong hatred for all things magic, but she believes that Sarah’s death will be worth it if it derails people from entering into a life of magic.

The ending

After Terry and Conan lure the suspects into one room, under the pretense that they will perform a magic act, Terry presents Conan with a hat that has each of the suspects’ names inside. And now it’s time for Conan to make his choice! He declares that Magic Melvin is the murderer. His motive? Conan believes that Kathy is Magic Melvin’s mother, and as he hates her, he attempted to frame her because she had turned her back on magic. 

Rhonda reveals that Conan is 100% correct! Almost. Magic Melvin is the killer, although Conan’s logic is wrong. Rhonda explains that Deb was allergic to animals; and, therefore, couldn’t be the killer. And whilst Kathy had the most motive, she didn’t know how to pick a lock, something that the killer had to know how to do. Meanwhile, Magic Melvin, who could pick a lock and wasn’t allergic to pets, says, “I only murdered her cause I wanted her dead”. 

In the end, Conan solves the case even if his logic in doing so was completely stupid.

What did you think about Netflix’s Murderville season 1, episode 1? Did you guess the killer? Comment below. 

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix. 

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