Deadloch (Season 1), Episodes 1, 2 & 3: Recap & Ending Explained – What crucial clue about the serial killer do the detectives discover? 

Deadloch Season 1 Episode 1 2 3

Deadloch (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2 & 3 Recap & Ending Explained: Welcome to Deadloch, a picturesque Tasmanian town that was once known for its tranquil beaches and laid-back atmosphere. However, all that serenity is shattered when a shocking crime sends shockwaves through the community. In the eight-part crime comedy series “Deadloch,” created by the brilliantly witty duo Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, we find ourselves immersed in a captivating tale of murder, mayhem, and unexpected partnerships.

The story unfolds with the discovery of a lifeless body washed ashore on the beach, leaving the residents of Deadloch in a state of disbelief. Mostly dealing with Senior Sergeant Dulcie Collins, who is joined by a rough-around-the-edges detective hailing from Darwin named Senior Investigator Eddie Redcliffe, the first three episodes do a good job of establishing the mystery, the local characters that can all be suspects and the chemistry between its leads. 

Deadloch (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2 & 3 Recap:

Episode 1

How does Trent Latham Die?

The episode opens in an apparent ‘whodunnit’ style after two friends stumble upon a dead body on the beach. Once the local police secure the parameter, the body is soon identified as Trent Latham. Senior Sergeant Dulcie receives a call from her assistant about the body and takes charge of the case for the time being until her immediate boss informs her that an official detective is on the way.

As Dulcie investigates, she questions Trent’s girlfriend, Vanessa, and suspects he may have been involved in illegal activities. Dulcie and her assistant, Abby visit Trent’s brother Gavin to deliver the news of his brother’s death. Gavin reacts with shock and grief, eventually accepting the reality of Trent’s untimely death.

When Detective Eddie Redcliffe arrives, her strange, quirky methods do not sit well with Dulcie. The detective quickly takes over the case and targets Gavin as the prime suspect. Despite Dulcie’s hunch, Detective Redcliffe orders Dulcie to bring Gavin in for questioning.

Soon we are introduced to a seal named Kevin, who happens to block a bridge, creating a commotion among the town’s people. Dulcie reaches the scene and learns from the locals that the seal has consumed the face of another body found in the sea. In the meantime, Detective Redcliffe tries to interview Cath, however, she is unconscious because of the prescription drugs and questions Cath’s son about her relationship with Gavin, to which he responds that his mother and Gavin had a ‘good relationship.’

In the next scene, during the autopsy, when the medical examiner is about to reveal the cause of death, Detective Redcliffe claims it was due to strangulation. However, Dulcie receives a text from Abby about “Lingua amputo,” meaning Nathan’s tongue was cut out. Dulcie suspects a connection to a previous case where the town’s previous mayor, Rob Dixon, also washed up dead on the same beach with his tongue missing.

Fed up with how Detective Redcliffe is constantly playing with fire while dealing with the case, Dulcie calls her boss and requests to be reinstated on the case. Detective Redcliffe, on the other hand, is obviously pissed about this fact and constantly opposes everything Dulcie has to do with the ongoing investigation.

In the meantime, Abby finds CCTV footage of Gavin and Nathan arguing near the harbor, however, unfortunately, to their luck, two Pelican mating blurs the crucial moments. Dulcie and Redcliffe feel Gavin is guilty, so they immediately set out to find him. Later in the night, while checking her bridal dress, Abby spots Vanessa from the shop’s window during a city event and quickly alerts Dulcie and Redcliffe. They rush to take her in, but in the meantime, Cath confronts Dulcie about her involvement in the case without telling her about it.

As Dulcie and Redcliffe approach Vanessa, they learn that she is on the beach to honor her dead husband, but in a chaotic scene, we see Kevin, the seal, blocking the bridge again. Cath shoots the seal with a tranquilizer dart, and Vanessa screams her lungs out upon seeing yet another dead body, and the episode ends on that note.

Episode 2

Who is Sam O’Dwyer, and how is he related to the Latham brothers deaths?

The second episode shows someone on a boat cutting up tongues, feeding some of it to the fish, and storing the rest in an ice chest. Next, we see Cath confronting Dulcie about hiding the fact that she was involved in the case. Even though Dulcie apologizes, it turns out that her wife had more to say about the issue through long-form text. 

We then learn that the second body found on the beach was of Gavin Latham, brother of Nathan. It turns out that Gavin was also killed by strangulation, and his tongue was also removed. In the following scene, we see Dulcie and Detective Redcliffe heading to the Sawmill to investigate further. They meet Phil McGangus, who runs the mill but is adamant about providing little information. 

The two then head to Vanessa, who is still under the influence of ‘prescribed drugs,’ and while questioning her, they discover that Gavin and Nathan were co-owners of the mill, making Phil a potential suspect. In the meantime, Dulcie visits Margaret, the widow of Rod, and inquires about his body. Margaret doesn’t offer much except to mention that Claire discovered the body. Dulcie then speaks to Claire, who weirdly has a drawing of finding Rod’s body hanging on her wall.

Later, during a stakeout, Abby notices Phil loading cardboard boxes into his truck. Abby informs about this to Detective Redcliffe, and the two decide to follow the vehicle. The next morning, Dulcie persuades Redcliffe to dig up Rod’s body, but she refuses. However, Dulcie calls James, the medical examiner, to carry out the task.

Vanessa sings a song at the funeral, and Abby provides Redcliffe with information about the attendees. Funnily enough, Ted’s attempt to dig up Rod’s body disrupts the funeral, leading to an argument with Phil, who criticizes Dulcie’s competence. 

Kate Box as Dulcie Collins & Nina Oyama as Abby Matsuda in Deadloch.
Kate Box as Dulcie Collins & Nina Oyama as Abby Matsuda in Deadloch.

At the local bar memorial for the Latham brothers, Redcliffe sees a picture and recognizes Sam O’Dwyer. She visits his wife, Victoria, at the bakery, interrogating her until Dulcie arrives to apologize. Dulcie informs Redcliffe that Sam is gone and how her interrogation almost reignited Victoria’s grief. The two argue; however, Dulcie asserts her authority in the town.

Later, while at the bar, Redcliffe notices a boat in the background of a photo, reminding her of footage she had seen earlier. Back at the station, Redcliffe and Dulcie find that the boat matches the one seen in Nathan and Gavin’s fight video. Watching the video, Dulcie realizes that Sam went missing five days after Rod’s body was found and that Rod’s face bore similar markings to Nathan and Gavin’s. It turns out now both the officers suspect Sam as the murderer.

We then see Abby buying different kinds of knives and using them to slit through a pumpkin to understand the murderer’s way of killing people. She then contacts her boyfriend, James, the local medical examiner, informing him that she believes the killer used a single knife with two blades. In the following scene, we see James using the same theory (after learning from Abbyy) to Dulcie in order to impress her.

When Redcliffe shifts from the hotel to a local’s shack, while going through things inside the house, she realizes she is staying in Sam O’Dwyer’s apartment. Just then, a masked person flees from the back of the apartment, driving her to chase after the man. Meanwhile, everyone at the bar gathers at the marina, where suddenly, everyone notices Sam’s boat on fire. Dulcie calls Redcliffe to share the information, but the detective loses her phone while chasing the masked man. The episode ends with Redcliffe falling inside a pothole on the ground.

Episode 3

The third episode begins with Cath discovering a dead body by the lake while participating in an artwork. On the other hand, Tammy and Miranda find Redcliffe inside a pit that is dug inside the ground. We then see Dulcie visiting the site where earlier in the morning, her wife Cath found the dead body. When James enters the crime scene, Dulcie immediately asks him to examine the body, who then informs her that the body has been “Sapnofied,” which means bacteria slowly consume the body due to being in a moist place. While looking at the body, Dulcie checks the tag on the jacket and finds out the body is Sam O’Dwyer’s. Just then, Redcliffe comes in and explains what happened to her, but Dulcie shares the ‘new body’ news with her, and both completely disagree.

Back at the police station, Redcliffe recognizes Jimmy, who she thinks was the one she was chasing after the other night. She immediately pounces after him, only to find Phil waiting outside for Jimmy. While Redcliffe shares her intuition about how Phil is also one of her prime suspects, he, on the other hand, expresses his dissatisfaction with the town’s handling of the murders to the local news.

At the dock, the workers take the wreckage of Sam O’Dwyer’s boat out, and Abbie notices a blood spot on it. Her instant reaction is to bring that back to the station and ask the detectives to look into it and get its DNA checked. While Dulcie is not too eager about it, saying how it will be difficult to check the DNA and match it with 500+ possible suspected Men in the town, Redcliffe, who is on her heals to close the case and go back to Darwin, instantly leaves the station to find traces of Phil’s DNA at the pub. Meanwhile, Dulcie breaks the news to Sam O’Dwayer’s family about his death. 

Redcliffe gets into the pub and steals a glass that could possibly have Phil’s DNA print on it, and Dulcie, who is at the beach thinking about the possibilities of the case, has a discussion with Ted. Upon discovering that the suspect and the case are bigger than she can imagine, she texts Hannah (possibly her ex) about giving her the contact of a criminal profiler. 

At the forensic department, James tells Dulcie and Redcliffe that Sam’s body also had its tongue cut out, leading Duclie to the conclusion that all the murders are connected and that they need to take a different approach to handle the case. However, Redcliffe, who is more interested in pinning the case on her latest suspect, Phil, is still not paying any heed to Duclie’s instincts. The DNA report about Phil being the suspect comes inconclusive, but Redcliffe is still not interested in taking Duclie’s word for it and orders a mass DNA test of the entire town the next day. 

Duclie then leaves a voice note for the criminal profiler that Hannah has referred but gets a call back that tells her that the profiler is on vacation and is, in fact, in Deadloch for the ‘feastival.’ Dr. Daniela Kehlman is who Dulcie is looking for, and upon investigating with the organizers, she is able to track her down. Even though Daniela is initially not interested, she listens to what Dulcie has to say after knowing that it’s a quadruple homicide that has taken place over a period of time. 

Even though Redcliffe intervenes, she tries to tell Daniela all the possible clues about the murders, such as strangulation three hours before the tongues are cut off, taking the bodies away on a sloop (a kind of sailing boat), all of which points to a serial killer. Redcliffe is really disappointed to hear that the case will become bigger and she has to stay in order to solve it. Just then, she receives a call from her supervisor Scotty, and from the looks of it, their conversation doesn’t lead to good results for her. 

Dejected after the call, Redcliffe heads to the local pub and gets drunk. Stephenie, the local journalist, is there for a nightcap and, seeing Redcliffe’s condition, sits down to get more details of the case out of her. Dulcie, on the other hand, tries to talk to Daniela more about the murders but is blown off by her. 

Deadloch (Season 1), Episode 3 Ending Explained: 

Why can’t Redcliffe go back to Darwin? 

Meanwhile, Duclie receives a call from Mike, who tells her that Redcliffe has blurted everything about the case to the press. She then rushes to the pub, but Redcliffe has gone away with Phil McGangus to his boat. Duclie drives to the shore and reaches Phil’s boat just in time. Redcliffe is royally drunk and also in a state of distress. 

Duclie then confronts her about not dealing with the case seriously and blames her for talking to the press when she was pretty upfront about her being the one responsible for the leaks happening about the case. 

This is where Duclie also tells her that she has had it with her obnoxious attitude, and if she is not interested in the case, she can go back to Darwin. Redcliffe, for the first time in the series, shows some kind of semblance of sanity and tells her that even the office at Darwin doesn’t want her. The reason is that she killed her work partner Bushy. She tells her that she was supposed to be there when Bushy was eaten by a croc, and this inability to not help him has left a hole in her heart, leaving everyone around her beliving that she is a fuck up.  

What crucial clue about the serial killer do the detectives discover? 

Listening to her side of the story, Duclie apologizes for confronting her like this but also tells her that there’s a serial killer on the loose and they need to be alert and on their toe to deal with it soon.

Just when they are discussing it, Abby arrives, and she poses a very important question about the victims not having any kind of defensive marks when they were put into the sloop, especially when the sloop is way lower than the deck.

Her theory proposes that the victims, before being taken into the ocean on the sloop, were drugged. She says that the new toxicology report also tells them that there were drugs in the system of all the victims. And the drug was pentobarbital – a tranquilizer that was put into their bloodstream in a good amount. 

This new key information makes Duclie come to a new deduction. Since Men don’t poison in most serial killing cases, the new clue points towards the killer being a woman and not a man as they had initially thought. 

The episode ends with Redcliffe, for the first time agreeing to be supportive of Dulcie’s investigation tactics. 

Also, Read: Everything Coming to Prime Video in June 2023

Deadloch (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2 & 3 Show Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Deadloch (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2 & 3 Show Cast – Kate Box, Madeleine Sami, Alicia Gardiner, Nina Oyama
Where to watch Deadloch
Deepshikha Deb

Quit my job to watch movies with my husband and occasionally write about it. I am also a social media and momo tasting expert, who loves Masala Dosa and Tilda Swinton.