Murphy Mason is a surly, alcoholic, blind woman who lives in Chicago and works for her parents' school for guide dogs. She lost her sight at fourteen and pretty much dislikes everyone except for her vet roommate, Jess, and Tyson, a teenage drug dealer who once saved Murphy from a mugger.
When Murphy goes to meet Tyson one night and finds his dead body, however, she becomes determined to discover who killed him and why. The police aren't much of a help, since the body disappears before they even find it and they only have the word of a drunk, blind woman to go with, but Murphy is determined to solve the case and find out what happened to one of her only friends. With her guide dog Pretzel and a stubborn attitude, she sets out to figure things out.
Not to be confused with Into The Dark (a series of horror films on Hulu), the podcast In The Dark, or a previous TV series from 2017 with the same name.
Tropes included in In the Dark:
- The Alcoholic: Murphy. "You'd think blacking out would be easier when you're blind."
- Alliterative Name: Murphy Mason.
- Bi the Way: Jess's girlfriend, Vanessa, it turns out is bisexual. This causes some tension between them as Jess begins worrying Vanessa won't be as attracted to her as a woman.
- Canine Companion: For Murphy, it's Pretzel, her guide dog, especially after she loses her cane.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Murphy starts masturbating while Max is in the shower, which he comes out to find her doing. They have sex, and when it's over she claims to have been "masturbating with your body".
- Deadpan Snarker: This is pretty much Murphy's default mode of speech. Murphy's frenemy/co-worker Felix is also pretty snarky and both engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat on a daily basis.
- Dirty Cop: Dean turns out to be one, having accepted bribes from Nia in return for tips on police efforts against her, and killed Tyson so this wouldn't come out.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Murphy can get away with a lot given her blindness, and she knows it. Overall she's not a jerk, but at times she does take advantage of it.
- Disability Superpower: Subverted. When the police are interviewing her, Murphy mentions that Tyson's dead body smelled different and one of the detectives says that her senses must be heightened due to being blind. Murphy tells her "I'm not Daredevil" and tells the detective that the reason she knew he smelled different was because she specifically smelled him. It's shown throughout the rest of the episode that her blindness really is a disability and without her cane or guide dog, she can't go anywhere.
- Disabled Means Helpless: Murphy chides Detective Dean for thinking this about his daughter. She tells him that the best he can do is treat her exactly the same as before she was blinded.
- Disabled Snarker: Murphy is a nutshell.
- Driving Question: Who killed Tyson and why? Why did they move his body and make people believe he's still alive?
- Drowning My Sorrows: Murphy loves to drink, especially after she finds her best friend Tyson dead.
- Engineered Public Confession: Murphy records Dean covertly with her phone when she gets him to confess that he'd murdered Tyson. He finds out and wipes the recording from her phone. It turns out to have already gotten saved on the cloud though.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: The only time Pretzel growls is when Murphy finds Tyson's dead body.
- Frame-Up: Darnell is framed for murdering Tyson using planted DNA evidence.
- Gay Best Friend: Jess, who's a lesbian, is Murphy's, along with her housemate.
- Happily Adopted: It's clear that even though Murphy has trouble with her parents, they still love her very much and don't regret adopting her.
- Nepotism: Murphy's parents run a school for guide dogs and employ her, even though she doesn't really do anything. Eventually, once the receptionist quits (to be an actor in Hollywood), she's promoted to being the receptionist, even though she really hasn't shown the people skills required. Subverted in that she ends up being quite good at it.
- Parents as People: It's clear that even though Murphy's parents are trying their best, they have their own flaws, too.
- Really Gets Around: Murphy, before her relationship with Max, appears to have men over for casual sex with a very high frequency.
- The Reveal: Dean murdered Tyson to cover up the fact he was working for Nia.
- Sex for Solace: Murphy likes having sex, but not romance. Tyson tells her that it's because when she's having sex, she feels just like everyone else "because we all do it with our eyes closed." She doesn't disagree.
- Your Cheating Heart:
- Murphy ends up having an affair with the husband of a woman who donated $10,000 to her parent's guide dog school. When the wife finds out, she puts a stop payment on the check. Later she also cheats on Max.
- Jess has a one-night stand while going through trouble with her girlfriend Vanessa. She clearly regrets it the next day, but admits the sex was "amazing". After she confesses the fact to Vanessa, they break up.