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“Death and Other Details ”creators break down finale, Viktor Sams reveal

Plus, Imogene's potential future if they get a season 2.

Warning: This article contains spoilers about the two-part finale of Death and Other Details.

Forget Rufus Cotesworth (Mandy Patinkin), Imogene (Violett Beane) is on the case.

The two-part finale of Hulu's Death and Other Details (which should theoretically be retitled Faking Your Own Death and Other Details) found Imogene doing all the dirty work to bring the case of her mother's death and the manipulations of Viktor Sams to a close. Rufus, meanwhile, is just here to narrate it (for the next book he's writing, naturally).

Agent Hilde Eriksen (Linda Emond) doesn't work for INTERPOL, but is actually Imogene's long-lost mother Kira, who faked her own death after attempting to blow the whistle on the Collier family and their use of deadly chemicals in Chinese factories. But Kira is also Viktor Sams, the shadowy entity who has been pulling the strings of the Collier and Chun families for years. As Imogene unmasks her mother, the S.S. Varuna goes down in a fiery blaze.

<p>James Dittiger/Hulu</p> Mandy Patinkin on 'Death and Other Details'

James Dittiger/Hulu

Mandy Patinkin on 'Death and Other Details'

But don't worry, everyone escapes alive — including Imogene and Kira, seemingly off to make up for lost time. Until Imogene ensnares her mother in a trap, ensuring she will pay for her crimes. Meanwhile, the Colliers fall to pieces, as we learn that Kira has been secretly poisoning Lawrence Collier (David Marshall Grant) for years. We also discover that Anna (Lauren Patten) murdered her mother and is now in thrall to Viktor Sams' agency, continuing to do their dirty work under threat of exposure.

While Sunil awaits a trial, Imogene brings Jules (Hugo Diego Garcia), Leila (Pardis Saremi), and Teddy (Angela Zhou) into her inner circle to help bring down Kira — and potentially continue solving crimes. We called up creators Heidi Cole McAdams and Mike Weiss to get all the details on the season finale, as well as their ideas for season 2 (if it gets greenlit).

<p>James Dittiger/Hulu</p> Violett Beane on 'Death and Other Details'

James Dittiger/Hulu

Violett Beane on 'Death and Other Details'

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let me start by asking, how was Kira able to rig the explosion on the ship to ensure they all survived?

MIKE WEISS: Careful planning. No, I mean, she had a list of people who needed to be punished when she came on the ship. And then after that, you can choose to believe every single word that she says or not, but she wanted to scare the rest of the people and send a message to them that there are consequences when you trample the unseen masses. She's not a mass murderer. She was killing people who had wronged her and who, to her morality, had to pay a price.

HEIDI COLE MCADAMS: She also owns the boat, knows the schematics, and planted the bombs. She knew that it would take a certain amount of time for the boat to sink. She had Andreas (Christian Svensson), who works for her, herding cats. He put them in a certain location and that is not the location where the explosion would hit.

We learn how Kira faked her own death and why. For her, at least at the start, was it for noble reasons?

MCADAMS: Noble is a questionable term. She felt like she was trapped and she didn't think she had another option. I think she meant it when she wanted to bring her daughter with her. The reality is, to go on the run with the child is cruel and not fair. She felt like she was sacrificing in leaving Imogen behind and taking herself out of the picture so that she could survive. But basically, she rationalized it to herself as she was protecting her daughter. Whether or not that's a fully salient argument is meant to be open.

<p>James Dittiger/Hulu</p> Violett Beane and the cast of 'Death and Other Details'

James Dittiger/Hulu

Violett Beane and the cast of 'Death and Other Details'

In the intervening years, what corrupts her to reach the point we see her at now as Viktor Sams?

MCADAMS: She is one of those people that thinks she's doing the right thing. She really does. Victor Sams is an entity who goes after corrupt individuals and corporations. If people die along the way, she's decided that that cost analysis is worth it. That is a villain that we would potentially be interested in telling more stories about — somebody who is a zealot, but a zealot with a very specific morality.

Did Rufus ever suspect the truth? Imogene unmasks her, but he is the world's greatest detective.

WEISS: He is, but he's also, as we try really hard to show over the course of the season, human and flawed. He's not a superhero. He is a very perceptive manipulator of human behavior. She fooled him. One little Easter egg that is that if you go all the way back to the pilot, about three minutes into the pilot, when Imogen is walking up on the pool deck in that yellow bathing suit, and we see Derek (Sincere Wilbert) filming what will ultimately be the clue that unlocks everything, you can actually see Hilde Erickson in the background of those shots.

She is the protagonist of her own movie. She really does believe in what she's doing and would say that all of her bad actions could be traced back to the evil actions that she was trying to blow the whistle on. Her road started because of their bad behavior. We also wanted her to be really formidable, specifically in the genre that we're in, which is a murder-mystery genre. We wanted a little bit Holmes and Moriarty. So, the fact that she was so capable and so clever and that she had planned everything out, it just makes her a more fun, formidable villain to go up against. Hopefully, we get to go up against her in future seasons.

<p>James Dittiger/Hulu</p> Angela Zhou and Hugo Diego Garcia on 'Death and Other Details'

James Dittiger/Hulu

Angela Zhou and Hugo Diego Garcia on 'Death and Other Details'

Imogene arranged for the servers to make it off the ship. But was there ever a flicker of, "Maybe I should just disappear with my mom," or was she always intending to trap her?

MCADAMS: She walked into that room to confront her mother knowing she was going to trap her. Is it complicated for her? Has she wanted her mom back all of these years? Yes, but the moment that she realizes that her mom has been alive for 18 years and not told her, and that her mom has been responsible for killing Danny along with all these other people, from that moment, Imogen has come to a place at this point where she is ready to put her mom away, even though it's hard for her.

A lot of crimes were committed. Why is Sunil the only one potentially going to jail?

WEISS:  Sunil has to do his penance for getting in bed with bad people. Hopefully, for the audience, the fact that he essentially gives himself up shows how noble and how deserving of Imogene's affection he might be once he's been released from prison.

<p>James Dittiger/Hulu</p> Angela Zhou and Rahul Kohli on 'Death and Other Details'

James Dittiger/Hulu

Angela Zhou and Rahul Kohli on 'Death and Other Details'

Okay, but we saw her seemingly choose Jules. Why? And will this be a love triangle going forward if we get more?

MCADAMS: Her and Jules's connection is consistent. They connect the first time they meet, and they're pulled apart because he's literally imprisoned. The idea [is] that he starts out as a guy that's used to working alone and because of his relationship with Imogene, learns to trust and learns to work as a team. There's a small love story that I wish we had had more screen time to explore between the two of them. Maybe we will be allowed to do as we keep moving forward. As far as love triangles go, one of the things we love the most about this new detective character in Imogene is that unlike other detectives in the genre, we do give her time to fall in love and to have friendships and to have a life outside of her job. We're going to keep doing that if we get to tell more stories.

Can you elaborate on the twist with Anna — is she working for Kira? Andreas? What does her blackmail entail?

WEISS: We loved the idea of telling a season-long coming-of-age story for Imogen, where she steps onto the path toward becoming the next world's greatest detective. We love the idea that it's also the story of a lifelong friendship that meets its demise. Because we're in a genre, we can be more specific about the type of demise that friendship meets, which is that we're setting up Anna as a foil for her former best friend. Anna has been blackmailed into service, working for Victor Sams, Imogen's mom, who's going to continue to figure out how to pull strings from prison. Anna is at the very beginning of her own Victor Sams vigilante journey, and hopefully we get to take her into places that'll surprise the audience, but also surprise the character in terms of what she's capable of now that she's been given this very different path to walk.

<p>James Dittiger/Hulu</p> Pardis Saremi on 'Death and Other Details'

James Dittiger/Hulu

Pardis Saremi on 'Death and Other Details'

Is Kira silenced for good?

MCADAMS: Kira is in prison, but her organization is not gone.

In the final scene, we see Kira with Jules, Teddy, and Leila. Is this going to be her Scooby gang going forward?

MCADAMS: I love that you said that, because we certainly said the words "Scooby gang" in the writer's room. Yes, these four are going to continue [together]. If you started the first episode and I asked you to pick the three people Imogen's going to be working with at the end of the season, I hope that it would be a pretty long shot to choose Teddy and Jules. That was fun for us to pull these four unusual people together. There's friendships starting, but each of them is on a path that has brought them to this place where they found some purpose in solving puzzles.

Can you tease whether this dead, mutilated skier might be someone we've already met?

MCADAMS: It's possible.

WEISS: It's dangerous to fall in love with a character.

Rufus took a bit of a backseat in the finale. How far in the future is he writing this book?

WEISS: He's writing the story as we take down Kira at the end of the finale. It's all happening at the same time. He's still going to have to submit it to a publisher and go through an editing process, but maybe a year in the future, his next book, which will be much more honest than his first book, will be out on bookshelves.

<p>James Dittiger/Hulu</p> Violett Beane on 'Death and Other Deatils'

James Dittiger/Hulu

Violett Beane on 'Death and Other Deatils'

Is he going to continue to be part of Imogene's life?

MCADAMS: That feels like a big question that may or may not be related to the case of next year, so we don't want to send out any spoilers.

You established this world that takes place now, but has this old-world glamour to it. What would a season 2 look like? Would it stay in the Alps?

WEISS: We like the idea of the show taking place in a different location where you get to tell a story about class dynamics that we find interesting, but it's also fun and romantic. We're inviting the audience into a world that's a little bit more glamorous and exciting than the one that any of us get to inhabit every day, whether we stay in the Alps or go someplace else. It'll be a reinvention, but we'll be telling a story that hopefully aligns with season 1 in some fun, thematic ways.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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