Netflix’s Fatal Seduction explores forbidden romance with a whole lot of thrills. The series is more than just a student-teacher affair; there is a past connection, evil intentions, and one mysterious death at the center of it. Nandi Mahlati, a professor of law, starts to doubt her husband, Leonard, when she comes across his text messages with his assistant, Ameera. Their marriage started to fall apart when Nandi suffered a miscarriage. Leonard blamed her for the loss of their child, and it took her a year to recover from the trauma. Her best friend, Brenda, advises her to leave Leonard already, but Nandi is not sure about it. Things started to go astray when Brenda and Nandi spent the weekend together.
Plot Summary: What Happens In Volume 1?
While taking a dip in the swimming pool, Nandi and Brenda noticed a handsome young man. Brenda encouraged Nandi to let loose, but it was all too much and all too sudden for Nandi. That evening, the two friends attended a party, and Nandi came across the same guy she saw passing by their villa. When a stranger was harassing Nandi, the guy stepped in and helped her escape the situation. Nandi was grateful to him and, at the same time, impressed by his interest in law. Brenda, Nandi, and Jacob ended up partying together, and Nandi could not ignore the chemistry between her and Jacob. She returned to the villa with Jacob, and even though she did not intend to spend the night with him, she could not resist her temptation. The next morning, when Nandi woke up, she suffered from guilt. She blamed Brenda for insisting on her letting loose, but deep down, she knew that she was the one in control of her life. Confused and ashamed, Nandi left the villa that morning.
While Nandi felt guilty about spending a night with a young stranger, she could not keep Jacob out of her mind. The next day in class, she was shocked to see Jacob seated with other students. Nandi had no idea that he was her student, and it further complicated their situation. After class, Nandi requested that Jacob treat her like any other professor and forget about the time they had spent together. When Nandi faced some mechanical issues with her car, Jacob stepped in to help. Nandi tried to maintain a professional relationship with him, but she struggled to keep herself in control.
Meanwhile, when Brenda’s housekeeper entered her apartment, she found Brenda lying dead in the bathtub. Police entered the scene, and they deduced that her body had no marks other than the slit in her wrist, which can be assumed to be self-inflicted. The scene also had a broken vase, Jacob’s belt, and protection from the time Nandi and Jacob spent together. Nandi texted Brenda, and the police read her message that stated that the stranger she met the previous night was her student. With Brenda’s death, Nandi’s secret was at risk of getting revealed, especially considering the many obvious pieces of evidence that point to her affair.
How Was Brenda Linked To The Jiba Case?
The police officer who was assigned Brenda’s case had also worked on the Jiba case with Vuyo. Leonard’s brother, Vuyo, was a police officer, but while investigating the case, he was shot in the leg and lost his position. After that case, he worked as a private investigator and shared an intimate relationship with Brenda. Brenda was a school teacher and a key witness in the rape and murder case of her student. She made an initial statement to the police, but it was not recorded. After months, she made another concrete statement, accusing Benjamin Jiba, the mechanic, of the crime. She explained that she initially convinced herself that Jiba was just spending time with the students, but later she realized that he was responsible for the crime.
Benjamin Jiba was arrested, but he consistently claimed that he was innocent. When his wife and son started to doubt him, he shot himself in prison. Brenda was deeply affected by the entire outcome, and she left her teaching job. Even though she absolutely loved her job, she could not find the courage to start again, and she ended up spending most of her time getting drunk at parties. It seemed Brenda shared an intimate relationship with Leonard at the time. He was a prosecutor then, and he consoled Brenda when she blamed herself for lying about something she had not truly seen. Brenda, due to Leonard’s pressure, made a statement accusing the mechanic because he was known to be a strange man. Leonard wanted to wrap up the case, and Brenda’s statement was the perfect concrete evidence to charge the man. But after all these years, why was Brenda murdered? And was it related to the Jiba case?
What Was Jacob’s Ultimate Motivation?
When Vuyo learned from the police officer about Nandi’s text and all the evidence that pointed to her having an affair, he decided to dig deeper to find out who Jacob was. Nandi was already too involved with him, and she did not doubt him at all. She was upset about Brenda’s death, and the fact that her husband was cheating made her want to escape to somewhere comforting. Jacob was her secret, and she was gradually getting emotionally attached to him. Meanwhile, Vuyo searched the internet and found out that Jacob was Benjamin Jiba’s son. He was, therefore, a possible suspect in Brenda’s murder. Since Brenda was the only witness in the case, Vuyo assumed that Jacob murdered her to avenge the death of his father. He was messing around with Nandi and Leonard because he was envious of their fulfilling lives and wanted to wreak havoc. Nandi did not believe a word Vuyo said. She and Vuyo were once involved, but Nandi settled for Leonard. Nandi believed Vuyo was still jealous and wanted to find a way to shame her. Nonetheless, Vuyo handed her Jiba’s case file and asked her to look into it. According to the legal documents, Jiba had a son named Jacob, but Nandi had a tough time convincing herself that the man with whom she was having an affair killed her best friend and that he had entered her life with an ill motive.
Meanwhile, Jacob had created a fake profile, “Pokeboi,” and used it to text Nandi’s daughter, Zinhle. Zinhle felt an instant connection with the stranger, and even after knowing how dangerous it was to entertain an unknown profile, she decided to give them a chance. Jacob tried to know more about her and her family, and Zinhle was too naive to realize that she was being used. One day, with the help of her friends, Zinhle found out the location of Pokeboi,” and she reached Jacob’s garage. Jacob denied being “Pokeboi” and stated that it must have been one of his customers. Zinhle showed interest in Jacob, and he reciprocated it.
After realizing that her husband was not cheating on her but was planning their anniversary with the help of his assistant, Nandi suffered from immense guilt. With the case file in hand, Nandi wondered if she had made a mistake after all. That day at the university, she left her briefcase, which consisted of the Jiba file. Jacob brought the briefcase to his garage and, with the help of Zinhle, guessed the password. He now knew that Nandi had found out who he really was.
On the other hand, Vuyo got access to the CCTV footage of Brenda’s villa. He noticed that Jacob and Nandi had left that morning. But the moment he saw Jacob re-entering the villa, he knew something was wrong. When he left the villa, his belt was missing, further indicating that he was involved in the murder. Vuyo believed that Jacob drugged Brenda senselessly and placed her in the bathtub. Jacob tied his belt around her arms and slit her wrist to make it look like a suicide. Vuyo knew of a similar case, and he was confident about the unfolding of the events. When he discussed it with Nandi, she refused to believe him. There was no hard evidence, and Vuyo was building a theory based on brief CCTV footage. But after returning home and realizing that she perhaps denied her best friend justice by protecting her lover, she called Vuyo and expressed her support.
Ending Explained: Did Jacob Murder Brenda?
Jacob had a clear motive to murder Brenda, and every piece of evidence pointed at him, but was he truly the culprit? Upon realizing that Nandi had found out his true identity, Jacob begged her to meet him so that he could explain the truth. Vuyo advised Nandi to agree to his request, and he would take care of the rest. When Jacob entered the apartment, Vuyo attacked him from behind and knocked him unconscious. He carried Jacob’s body to a secret location and tied him to force the truth out of him. We do not get to know what Jacob disclosed; all that is revealed in episode 7 of Fatal Seduction is that Vuyo left Jacob’s body in a bag in the woods. Though surprisingly, it turns out that Jacob had survived. But did Vuyo intend to leave Jacob alive, or was it a mistake? We are left to guess.
Meanwhile, Leonard was confident that Nandi was having an affair with his brother. Since they both shared history, he doubted them. He was at Vuyo’s apartment when Nandi entered to find Vuyo, and Leonard assumed that they had some other plans. Leonard was furious; he wanted to teach Vuyo a lesson, and he pulled his pistol out of the drawer. Ten years ago, when the Jabi case was still open, Vuyo doubted if Benjamin Jabi was truly the man they were after. In the absence of any concrete evidence, Vuyo considered it hearsay. Perhaps that was the reason Leonard introduced Brenda’s statement, which we now know was false. But what motivated Leonard to build a false case against a supposedly innocent man?
Leonard confronted Vuyo at the bar he regularly visited. He confessed that ten years ago (during the case), he did something that made him guilty, but now that Vuyo was sleeping with his wife, he believed his crime would be justified. He pointed his pistol at Vuyo, but all Vuyo cared about was knowing the mistake Leonard was talking about. We were once again transported to the past (ten years ago), where Vuyo expressed his interest in investigating the minister’s driver since he was responsible for collecting the victim. There were witnesses against him, and he was one of the potential perpetrators, but Leonard refused to listen to Vuyo. Since the minister vouched for his driver, Leonard was not interested in getting further involved. Leonard also confessed during the scuffle that he was involved in shooting Vuyo. We can assume that Leonard was bribed by the minister to not pursue the case; he was also promoted from being a prosecutor to a judge, further indicating that he had helped an influential person who returned the favor. Since Vuyo was persistent about investigating the minister’s driver, Leonard made the decision to shoot him. But why was the minister protecting the person who had potentially murdered his daughter? What was the minister hiding? The Jiba case is a lot more complicated than it seemed to be.
During Fatal Seduction‘s ending, Nandi unexpectedly runs into Jacob. He stopped her to explain the truth. He could not believe that Nandi would doubt him for killing Brenda. Jacob knew that Brenda made a false statement in court, and that was the reason why his father committed suicide, but instead of going after the ones who destroyed his life, he decided to become a lawyer to fight for justice. But the more Jacob studied, the more he realized how complicated it was to clear his father’s name. When he came across Nandi, he took an interest in her because Leonard was the prosecutor in his father’s case. He closely followed her and her family. He was attracted to her, but he was all the more impressed by her idea of justice. He initially planned on murdering Leonard, but he found it impossible the moment he fell in love with Nandi. Revenge took the backseat, and all Jacob wanted was Nandi’s love.
Nandi realized how obsessed Jacob was with her and how she had indeed risked her family by getting involved with a creep. When Nandi left, Jacob promised to destroy everyone around her because he believed no one else deserved to be in her life but him. Clearly, Jacob is far from a sane-minded individual. He is obsessed with Nandi, and since he is friends with Zinhle, he will try to harm her. Leonard and Vuyo’s relationship will change forever; whether or not Vuyo will take a step against his brother remains questionable. Reopening the Jabi case will be extremely difficult, considering the involvement of influential people.
Going back to the opening scene of Fatal Seduction, we saw Nandi being arrested by the police while Leonard was treated by a medical team. There was a gun and a sword on the floor, and the swimming pool was bloody. Did Jacob truly destroy Nandi’s family for love? And the most important question—who killed Brenda? Probably Nandi and Zinhle are the only ones who do not seem to be involved in the murder. It is possible that Brenda wanted to confess the truth, and Leonard murdered her to keep her silent. Even though Vuyo seems to be the ideal lover, we cannot completely leave the investigator out of the investigation. Also, going by thriller logic, a perfect lover can, at times, have the worst of intentions. Jacob says that he was not involved, but he had a clear motive. At this moment, only Vuyo knows whether or not Jacob is guilty. We hope that the case will be solved in season 1, volume 2, of Fatal Seduction, but until then, it is safe to assume that things will only go downhill after the ending of volume 1.