Dead Boy Detectives ending explained: Is [SPOILER] really dead?

The first season of Dead Boy Detectives left things in a very interesting place. Let's dive into all of the major plot points and what they mean for the show going forward.
DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Jayden Revri as Charles Rowland and George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 8 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 8 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023 /

Once upon a time there were plenty of TV shows focusing on DC Comics characters, but after a change in direction at Warner Bros. Discovery and DC Studios, they are pretty scarce these days. One that survived the cancellation spree was Dead Boy Detectives. The show was originally planned to be a spinoff of Max's Doom Patrol but Neil Gaiman's involvement with the source material allowed Netflix - the streaming service that hosted Gaiman's own The Sandman - to intervene.

The first season has arrived on Netflix and it certainly made an impression on audiences. Viewers who have met Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland have fallen in love with the quirky Dead Boy Detectives, as well as their companions Crystal Palace and Niko Sasaki. Watching them solve their episodic mysteries as well as unravelling their own complex backstories has made for a compelling first season.

If you've watched it already, you will know that. But you'll also have some questions, too. And that's what we're here for, so allow us to help you make sense of some of the major plot points and figure out where the story could go next if the show is renewed for a second season.

Is Niko really dead in Dead Boy Detectives season 1?

The most shocking moment from Dead Boy Detectives' season 1 finale came when Niko was seemingly killed by Esther the witch. The lovable friend stepped in front of a supernatural blast aimed at Crystal, taking the force of it head-on and collapsing onto the floor as Edwin and Crystal screamed in agony. After Esther was defeated, the gang told Jenny that her body would be sent home for her funeral and they all then moved back to Charles and Edwin's home in London.

However, the shocks kept coming because, after all was said and done in the finale, we cut to an igloo in an arctic location. Inside of that igloo, three people were huddling around a fire. Two of those people were the fully grown dandelion spores that lived inside a jar in Niko's apartment. Though we didn't see who the third figure was, they were holding the soapstone bear that Tragic Mike had given Niko for good luck. Yes, it seems that Niko actually survived after all.

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 /

This is something that actress Yuyu Kitamura confirmed during a Netflix interview, revealing that it was indeed Niko in the season's closing moments, adding that even though she doesn't know where the character has ended up at this point in the show, she knows that she's not dead.

But the where of it all remains the biggest mystery that Dead Boy Detectives season 1 left us all with, so should the show return for a second season, you can bet fans will be eager to see where Niko has ended up (and how long it will be before her reunion with Crystal, Jenny, and the boys).

The Dead Boy Detectives are no longer on the run from Death

Charles and Edwin have been operating their Dead Boy Detectives agency for some time but they have had to do so in secret, escaping Death every time they help a ghost solve their unfinished business. Charles was afraid to move on to the Afterlife because he valued his time with Edwin, and Edwin himself was terrified of returning to Hell after escaping it. However, the season finale of Dead Boy Detectives freed them of that fear once and for all.

The pair's time in Port Townsend had launched their agency into the stratosphere, making them incredibly in-demand, but even after they packed up and moved back to their base of operations in London, they were still looking over their shoulders. That is, until Night Nurse and her superior showed up in the season finale with a new proposition.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne and Jayden Revri as Charles Rowland in episode 101 in DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Night Nurse was ready to take the boys to the Afterlife but her superior overruled her after taking a look around their office. It turns out that the Dead Boy Detectives Agency was doing the same job as The Lost And Found Department of the Afterlife, closing cases that even they haven't been able to. She was very impressed by this and agreed to allow Charles and Edwin to continue closing cases instead of making their way to the Afterlife. There was one condition, and that was that Night Nurse remain on Earth as their supervisor. It would make for a unique change in a potential second season, but it's a change that Charles and Edwin were more than okay with.

The duo were overwhelmed and hugged each other; after trying to outrun Death, Hell, and the Afterlife for so long, they were free to carry on their work without having to fear that they would one day be caught. In death, they found a life worth living, and they were finally allowed to live it.

Edwin is free to be himself

It was Edwin Payne who went on the biggest character journey in Dead Boy Detectives season 1. He may have been outrunning Hell, but her was also fighting a more personal battle. Edwin, having lived for just 16 years through a very different time, was struggling with his sexuality. But, as he was reminded by multiple people, it's a very different time now... even for a ghost.

Throughout the course of the season, Edwin came to terms with his feelings; feelings that he now understood were valid and could be spoken about. The thing that really made him want to open up was the fact that he was secretly in love with his best friend Charles. And in the season's penultimate episode, he finally told Charles how he felt; a moment of honesty that was brought on by the fact that his best friend had voluntarily ventured into Hell to rescue him.

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

Charles warmly told him that this changes nothing between them and that they have literally forever to figure out whatever comes next for them. He admits that he can't say he's "in love" back but that he does love him as there is no one else he would go to Hell for. It's very open ended so we wouldn't rule out the two getting together in a future season, but the good thing is that Charles' acceptance of his friend's confession just highlighted how the two will always be the best of friends.

From his first kiss with Monty to his eye-opening conversations with the Cat King, Edwin opened himself up to the beauty of the potential of queer love in the first season of Dead Boy Detectives and he was much more at home with who he was by the end of the first season. That much was clear after his heartfelt conversations with Charles and the kiss on the cheek he gave to the Cat King.

Here's hoping that the show can continue to explore his story in season 2.

Port Townsend is free from Esther's reign of terror

There was a lot happening in the first season of Dead Boy Detectives, but if we had to pick its biggest villain, it was undoubtedly Esther. An ancient witch in Port Townsend who sought to be worshipped by the town, she had made a pact with Lilith years ago that allowed her to be immortal. The one issue with that immortality is that she would continue to age without ever dying, and thus she figured out a way to prevent that: Stealing children and feeding them (and their youth) to her giant, supernatural snake.

Charles, Edwin and Crystal's first task as a team was to track down the missing girl in Port Townsend. They did that successfully but it put them in Esther's crosshairs, and the witch made it her mission to take them down. Thankfully, our heroes managed to defeat her in the season finale, as Crystal called out to Lilith in a vision she had of the day Esther asked for eternal life, revealing to her what she had done. As a result, Lilith came for Esther, undoing the spell and dragging her away.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Jayden Revri as Charles Rowland, Kassius Nelson as Crystal Palace, Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki, and George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 7 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023 /

Even though Charles and Edwin did not want to be shackled to Port Townsend, the pair (along with Crystal and Niko) did a lot of good while they were there. They solved multiple cases, saved multiple people, got justice for a lot of ghosts, and even defeated the big bad herself. To say that they made the most of their time there would be an understatement.

With the Dead Boy Detectives Agency moving operations back to London, they can all rest easier knowing that they did a lot of good on their unexpectedly extended stay in Port Townsend, leaving the town better than they found it.

Dead Boy Detectives season 1 was an emotional rollercoaster and a vivid introduction to this quirky, oddly nightmarish world that Charles, Edwin, Crystal, and Niko inhabit. Its season finale left things in a very interesting place and we're excited to see where all the stories go if Netflix decides to pick it up for a second season. Come on Netflix, do the right thing!

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