Charles and Edwin look at each other in Dead Boy Detectives.

‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Has Something Much More Interesting Than a Love Triangle

Dead Boy Detectives, the new supernatural mystery series on Netflix, has plenty of romance. However, one showrunner says the show isn’t a love triangle.

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Dead Boy Detectives, part of Netflix’s Sandman universe and inspired by the characters originally co-created by Neil Gaiman, follows Edwin Paine (George Rexstrew) and Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri) as they solve mysteries for both the living and the dead. Murdered boarding school students with a decades-long friendship, Edwin and Charles team up with psychic medium Crystal Palace (Kassius Nelson) and Japanese high school student Niko Sasaki (Yuyu Kitamura).

At a virtual screening and panel the day before the show’s premiere, showrunner Beth Schwartz told viewers that the series doesn’t exactly have a love triangle. It’s actually more of a “love rhombus.”

When you think about it, it makes sense!

Inside the Dead Boy Detectives love rhombus

Warning: this section contains massive spoilers for Dead Boy Detectives season 1!

The most obvious romantic plot in Dead Boy Detectives is the tension between Edwin and Charles. Are these besties more than just friends? Well, yes and no.

Throughout season 1, Edwin slowly comes to terms with the fact that he’s gay. By the end of the season, he’s finally ready to tell Charles that he has feelings for him.

However, Charles doesn’t feel the same way, and he lets Edwin down gently. However, he doesn’t let Edwin think that he’s not important to him. In fact, he makes sure Edwin knows that Edwin is the only person he’d be willing to follow into Hell. The two boys love each other deeply, even if only one of them has romantic feelings.

Meanwhile, Charles and Crystal start to fall for each other as the season goes on, and by the final episode, they’re kissing. The first episode seems to set up a romance between Crystal and Niko, with Niko glowing as Crystal watches her, but it turns out that’s just the dandelion sprites inside of Niko feeding off of Crystal’s attention. These things happen.

Edwin, Charles, and Crystal make up three points of the rhombus. Where’s the fourth?

That’s where the Cat King comes in. Played by Lukas Gage, the Cat King finds Edwin attractive, and offers to free him from his binding spell if Edwin sleeps with him. However, Edwin refuses, and the Cat King reluctantly accepts his boundaries.

There’s also a fourth romantic plot in the show: Jenny the Butcher (Briana Cuoco) and her secret admirer. But that romance gets really complicated really fast, and ends up involving more butchery tools than one would hope.

Dead Boy Detectives season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.

(featured image: Netflix)

jenny and secret admirer


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>