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Why This First 48 Episode Chain Of Death Is So Compelling For Audiences To Watch

A&E's crime series "The First 48" is a genuinely real reality show, a genre of TV that has perhaps fallen out of fashion in favor of its more sensationalistic counterpart. That said, the series began in 2004 and continues to this day, amounting to a formidable run of more than 450 episodes across 21 seasons and counting, proving that it's a standout within its genre.

A typical episode of "The First 48" will follow at least one team of homicide detectives attempting to identify and apprehend the perpetrator or perpetrators of a murder. Its title refers to the fact that the first 48 hours of a murder investigation are oftentimes of the utmost importance to its resolution. Each time an investigation is showcased, therefore, its first 48 hours are typically the series' focus.

Of course, given its subject matter, episodes of "The First 48" oftentimes expose viewers to grisly stories made all the more gripping by the fact that their content is happening in real life. Accordingly, viewers have reported that a Season 19 episode, titled "Chain of Death," makes for particularly compelling viewing because of the case it features for the entirety of its runtime.

Chain of Death is numerous First 48 fans' favorite episode

"The First 48" episode "Chain of Death" follows Tulsa, Oklahoma's Homicide Unit as they look into the murder of two women, spurring a winding and complex investigation. A&E allotted "Chain of Death" an extended, two-hour runtime, and in the estimation of a number of viewers online, deservedly so. For example, Reddit user maroonhamster wrote, "'Chain of Death' is probably my overall favorite because it was gripping for the whole two hours. Even though it was obvious who did it, just the intensity of the investigation and the sheer savagery of the crime."

Meanwhile, user Hfhghnfdsfg, who also listed it as among the series' best, said of "Chain of Death" that, "it's a rollercoaster of suspects and leads in other states." Similarly, in a discussion about its follow-up episode on spinoff series "After the First 48," user nettielove44 recounted how the brutality of the murder made for difficult viewing, but praised the skill of the Tulsa Homicide Unit in solving the case.

On Twitter, meanwhile, user @SewPetty wrote, "Chain of Death is Thee most amazing episode Ever of @aetv The first 48!! This episode could be a box office hit of a movie," concurring with the numerous Reddit commenters who had good things to say about it.

While the real-life details of "Chain of Death" are tragic, these and other viewers have cited both the case's intensity and its complexity as making for particularly compelling viewing.