FANDOM


Dahlia
Genre Supernatural Drama
Created by Shonda Rhimes & J.J. Abrams
Starring Alexandra Daddario

Frances Conroy

J.K. Simmons

Sophie Turner

Jamie Campbell Bower

Opening Theme Black Dahlia (Instrumental) - Hollywood Undead
Location Los Angeles
Country Of Origin United States
Number Of Episodes 22
Running Time 60 Minutes
Original Channel: ABC
Original Air Date September 18th 2017 - October 31st 2019
Produced by J.J. Abrams

Shonda Rhimes

Selma Blair

Eli Roth

Directed by J.J. Abrams

Dahlia is an American supernatural drama series created by Shonda Rhimes and J.J. Abrams.

It stars Alexandra Daddario as Elizabeth 'Dahlia' Short, a young actress who is murdered in 1947 who haunts the Baltimore Hotel in Los Angeles (Loosely based on the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles).

The show follows a group of ghost hunters (J.K. Simmons, Cole Sprouse, Bridgit Mendler) in 2017 attempting to find who killed her in order to help her pass over, using the evidence gathered by a couple who previously investigated it 30 years earlier (Selma Blair, Mat Bomer). Frances Conroy also stars as Regina Black, the long-time manager of the hotel.

The show is inspired by the real life murder of Elizabeth Short and the sightings of her spirit in the Biltmore Hotel.

Background

Shonda Rhimes and J.J. Abrams initially met at the 2016 Emmy Awards and discussed the prospect of working together. Later that month, Rhimes approached Abrams with a script based on the Black Dahlia murders. The pair developed the script and it was the first pilot to be greenlit for the 2017/18 season.

The first season was initially ordered 6 episodes but this was more than doubled shortly before production began to 13 episodes.

Alexandra Daddario was cast as Elizabeth Short in January 2017 alongside J.K. Simmons as Professor Harold Shane, her nephew, Cole Sprouse and Bridgit Mendler were then cast as his two students Alex and Marie.

It was confirmed at the ABC Upfronts that the show would be set in 3 different time periods, 1947, 1987 and 2017. The only cast member who would feature in all three time periods woud be Daddario confirmed Rhimes, while Frances Conroy had been cast as Regina Black and would appear in both 1987 and 2017 scenes. Selma Blair and Mat Bomer would portray cold case detectives Angela and Marvin in the 1987 scenes.

Filming started in March 2017 and concluded in June, the series premiered on ABC on September 18th 2017 to a positive reception and high ratings.

Cast

Alexandra Daddario as Elizabeth Short, the Dahlia, a young actress who was mysteriously murdered in 1947. She was known for her tight black dresses and wide smile.

Frances Conroy as Regina Black, a former actress turned hotelier, she has worked at the hotel sine the early 70s.

J.K. Simmons as Harold Shane, the son of Elizabeth's sister Virginia and a professor of paranormal investigation.

Cole Sprouse as Alex Walters, a college student with a particular interest in the paranormal, he also harbours feelings for Marie. (Season 1 and 2)

Bridgit Mendler as Marie Schmidt, a college student in Harold's class, she conceals her feelings towards Alex. (Season 1 and 2)

Selma Blair as Angela Mills, a cold case detective who begins investigating the Dahlia murder at the Baltimore Hotel. (Season 1 and 2)

Mat Bomer as Marvin Arches, Angela's partner with a painful connection to both Dahlia and the hotel. (Season 1 and 2)

Sophie Turner as Regina Black (Young), a rival of Dahlia.

Jamie Campbell Bower as The Bellboy, a former criminal and employee of the Baltimore.

Donald Sutherland as Norman Wall, the owner of the hotel for over 70 years. (Season 2)

Alex Pettyfer as Norman Wall (Young), a young entrepreneur who had acquired the Baltimore Hotel in 1945 who returns to the hotel in 1947 after a lengthy vacation in Florida. (Season 2)

Recurring

Eric Roberts as Coleman Short, Dahlia's father who hates Hollywood and its employees.

Armie Hammer as Robert Floss, Dahlia's ex-fiancé.

Colin Farrell as George Hodel, a physician and an admirer/stalker of Dahlia.

Lara Pulver as Virginia Shane (Young), the widowed sister of Dahlia and mother of Harold.

Tippi Hedren as Virginia Shane, the widowed sister of Dahlia and Harold's mother, she asks him to investigate her sister's death but soon takes it into her own hands.

Richard Dreyfuss as Stephen Hodel, George's son who suspects his father murdered Dahlia.

Jessica Chastain as Fortune Black, the daughter of Regina who holds psychic abilities thanks to her paternal origins.

Episodes

Season 1

Dahlia premiered on September 18th 2017 to a positive reception. Jamie Campbell Bower, Sophie Turner and Eric Roberts joined the cast in recurring capacity this season. Bower and Turner were promoted to regulars halfway through the season.

Episode 1

1947

Elizabeth 'Dahlia' Short completes her latest role before checking into the infamous Baltimore hotel, the last place she was ever seen.

1987

Angela Mills and Marvin Arches are assigned their most peculiar case yet, the murder of Dahlia Short. They set up a base in the world renowned Baltimore Hotel and get more than they bargain for in the form of the disgruntled manager of the hotel, Regina.

2017

Harold Short is finally granted funding to explore the paranormal goings on in the crumbling downtown hotel the Baltimore, he assigns two of his most prestigious students to accompany him and he is left delighted with an unexpected reunion.

Episode 2

1947

Dahlia falls for the hotel's bellboy, but he's hiding something - or someone - in his room. A curious Dahlia pursues his secret.

1987

Angela and Marvin refuse to confide in one another about their encounter with the hotel's spirits, elsewhere Regina is on the hunt for Dahlia's belongings.

2017

Marie learns the truth about Regina, while Alex has his first encounter with Dahlia, Harold grows weary of the hotel's past and learns of it's two most recent deaths.

Episode 3

1947

Dahlia threatens to tell the police about the bellboy's dangerous activity, but a man from her bleak past stops her in her path.

1987

Marvin makes a horrific discovery in the hotel's basement, which was formerly the staff quarters, while Angela confronts Regina about her past encounters with Dahlia when she was alive.

2017

Regina refuses to tell Alex and Marie the truth, while Harold ends up in hot water with the police.

Episode 4

1947

Dahlia's rival checks into the Baltimore, but that's the least of her worries when her father arrives.

1987

Regina blackmails Marvin, while Angela attempts to contact Dahlia from the basement.

2017

Marie and Alex grow closer, but a deadly threat buts their relationship in the balance. Harold sits down with Dahlia alone for the first time, Regina bargains with an old friend.

Episode 5

1947

Regina plots against Dahlia, the bellboy plots his next crime.

1987

Angela and Dahlia discover they had similar lives in their youth and bond, while Marvin uncovers further details about her death.

2017

Regina angers the spirits of the hotel, while Harold plans something major. Alex and Marie grow tempted to explore the locked roof.

Episode 6

1947

Regina complains of a bad smell in her room, but the bellboy refuses to acknowledge it. Dahlia lands a role in a film, but her father is reluctant.

1987

Angela and Marvin reunite but their partnership hangs in the balance as a mysterious bellboy inflicts fear into the hotel. Regina is reunited with Dahlia for the first time since her death and receives a frosty reception.

2017

Alex and Marie discover the secrets of the hidden room on the roof, Harold deals with a suspicious colleague and Dahlia is determined to recover her final memories.

Episode 7

1947

Regina is mortified when she finds the bellboy's body rotting in the vents above her room, but is horrified further when she witnesses him working as normal in the corridor outside. Coleman confesses to Dahlia about murdering her mother.

1987

Marvin falls into an uncontrollable depression after Angela dies at the hands of the bellboy, Regina torments the spirits of the hotel. Dahlia finds her possessions in Regina's office.

2017

Alex and Marie literally find skeletons in the closet. Harold grows closer to Regina. Dahlia discovers records of her other ancestors.

Episode 8

1947

Dahlia contacts her sister after Coleman is arrested for their mother's murder. Regina discovers more spirits in the hotel, and one catches her eye.

1987

Marvin is mortified when Angela arrives at his hotel door, his suspicions of spirits are confirmed. Regina and Dahlia's feud comes to boiling point.

2017

Dahlia plots against Harold. Regina refuses to address Alex and Marie's worries, the bellboy grows fond of the duo.

Episode 9

1947

Dahlia's sister Virginia arrives with her new born son Harold in tow, mortified at Dahlia's dire living conditions. Regina forms an attachment with the bellboy.

1987

Regina is eager to reignite her affair with bellboy. Dahlia comforts Angela and tells her she will eventually achieve the afterlife. Marvin grows reckless.

2017

Harold gets his comeuppance for misleading Alex and Marie. Dahlia is eager to contact her now elderly sister.

Episode 10

1947

Dahlia is mortified when George Hodel checks into the Baltimore for a physician convention, the bellboy gives into Regina's advances despite his spiritual nature and the dire consequences it might have. Coleman breaks out of prison with Virginia's help, but it puts Harold's safety at risk.

1987

Angela adjusts to spiritual life, while Dahlia discovers the remains of an old friend in the top floor penthouse suite. Marvin confronts Regina.

2017

A fragile Harold is contacted by the son of George Hodel, claiming that his father killed Dahlia. Marie is seduced by the bellboy, much to Regina's annoyance and Alex's fears.

Episode 11

1947

As George attempts to grow closer to Dahlia, her fear resorts to her contacting her ex-fiancé Robert, much to the upset of Coleman, who's laying low in the hotel. Virginia confides in Regina about the death of her husband and how she suspects her father might also be behind it.

1987

Angela confesses her love to Marvin, who is spooked by the idea of loving a dead woman. Regina receives an unexpected phone call from her estranged daughter. Dahlia makes a daring proposition to the bellboy.

2017

Virginia returns to the Baltimore for the first time in 70 years and is distraught to find Harold in a terrible condition, but she is left mortified when Stephen Hodel recounts his encounter with his father. Alex and Regina attempt to find Marie, but Dahlia refuses to assist.

Episode 12

1947

Dahlia is visited by a psychic who tells her that her last days are upon her. George extends his stay at the Baltimore beyond the convention. Regina discovers she's pregnant. Robert arrives and becomes Dahlia's confidante. Virginia grows suspicious of her morals after observing her father's behaviour.

1987

Marvin believes there is only one way he can be comfortable with his relationship with Angela. Dahlia grows angrier with Regina. The bellboy unknowingly meets his daughter for the first time.

2017

Regina and Alex find Marie just in time, but not before they uncover some shocking truths. Dahlia is reunited with Virginia. Harold and Stephen research George Hodel's history with the hotel.

Episode 13

1947

Dahlia prepares to evade the hotel, and she's kidnapped by a hooded assailant. Dahlia's kidnapper carves a crooked smile into her face and tortures her. Virginia and Coleman are distraught when they learn of her disappearance, Regina however is secretly delighted at the prospect. Robert begins hearing voices.

1987

Marvin prepares to commit suicide in his room via hanging and after agreeing to spend eternity with Angela, but is she actually dead or simply insane? Regina goes too far and is murdered at the hands of Dahlia after a raging argument. Fortune contacts the bellboy, believing him to be her father.

2017

Regina unveils her identity as a spirit. Alex and Marie flee the Bellboy's chamber, but Alex is caught and dragged away by the Bellboy and Regina, to Marie's horror. Harold finally discovers the notes of 80s detectives Angela and Marvin after weeks of searching. Stephen uncovers a horrifying truth about his father with the help of Virginia.

Season 2

Shortly after the conclusion of season 1, Dahlia was renewed for a shorter second season of 6 episodes. The season would explore the aftermath of each era's respective events in the finale. It is slated to premiere on ABC in September 2018.

Episode 1

1947

Drained physically and emotionally, Dahlia attempts to escape her torture chamber, but her hooded kidnapper returns. Virginia and Coleman prepare to start the hunt for Dahlia, but Regina tries to stop them, but the unexpected return of hotel owner Norman Wall from Florida stops her in her tracks.

1987

Angela learns she never died and The Bellboy is manipulating her. Regina's body is discovered by Fortune and Regina, to the former's horror. Marvin decides to check out of the hotel, but will the officers empathise with his loss of sanity?

2017

Marie and Harold begin the hunt for Alex using the newly found detailed maps of the hotel. The owner of the hotel, Norman, arrives unexpected from Florida and is questioned by Virginia and Stephen about Stephen's father.

Episode 2

1947

Dahlia escapes her chamber after knocking her masked torturer out with her chair and is painfully reunited with a smug Regina. George Hodel returns to the hotel and buys a scorn Virginia a drink in the bar only for her to be whisked away Norman for 'her own safety'. The bellboy damages Robert's sanity further. Coleman is found by the police, unconscious on an empty lot in Downtown.

1987

Marvin vows to never return to the hotel after a single therapy session brings him back to reality, but he fears for Angela's safety. Fortune hides Regina's body and decides to leave the hotel for good, but her mother stops her and fatally injures her. Devastated at the lack of her spirit, Regina's horror grows when a masked figure appears and carves a crooked smile into the blank face of Fortune. Angela grows fed up of the bellboy's teasing and escapes the hotel. She reaches out to Marvin but he refuses to acknowledge her existence.

2017

Marie and Harold find a disturbed Alex in a sealed room of the hotel. Virginia recalls her drink with George Hodel to his son, Norman explains why he saved her from him. Regina and Dahlia also recall the death of Regina's daughter, and if her spirit is hiding from her within the hotel.

Episode 3

1947

Coleman is returned to the hotel and placed in Virginia's care, but the pair soon reunite with Dahlia. Regina confides in Norman about her pregnancy. George Hodel requests a second room.

1987

Angela and Marvin sit down with a local paranormal investigator to discuss their time at the hotel. Regina attempts to organise a funeral for Fortune, but being a ghost has limitations. The hooded figure haunts the hotel's halls once again. The bellboy learns of his daughter's death.

2017

Regina gets her first mail in 30 years and it contains Fortune's belongings. Virginia and Steve begin the hunt for Dahlia's final resting place. Dahlia and Norman have their first encounter.

Episode 4

1947

Norman plans to return to New York, but he reveals he has some unfinished business to take care of. Regina examines Dahlia's wounds. Virginia and Coleman face off with George Hodel.

1987

Angela and Marvin decide to return to the Baltimore hotel for a drink to face their fears, but the bellboy and Regina have other plans, but Regina falls foul to the hooded man.

2017

Alex and Marie decide they must return to university, but Harold encourages them to stay, Virginia discovers her sister's grave has recently been exhumed, to Steve's horror he finds a glove that once belonged to his father in the pit.

Episode 5

1947

George Hodel shows an interest in Dahlia's scars, but Virginia and Coleman scare him off and the urge Dahlia to leave the hotel and Los Angeles for good, but Robert's fading sanity encourages Dahlia to stay, despite his violent fits of rage against her. Regina contemplates a back street abortion, despite Norman's warnings. Blood begins dripping on the walls of Dahlia's room, a psychic warns her once again of her pending doom, not long before to hooded figure returns and drags her back to the sealed chamber.

1987

Dahlia has hallucinations of George Hodel murdering her, but she cannot recall the truth. Regina calls out for her daughter to no avail. Norman contemplates the hotel's future. Angela and Marvin face the wrath of the bellboy one final time.

2017

Alex and Marie prepare to leave, but Dahlia's hallucinations return and she almost unmasks the man behind the mask. Harold finally decides to talk to his mother, but she is preoccupied with the hunt for Dahlia's remains, while Stephen hunts for his long-dead father.

Episode 6

1947

Day 1

Dahlia finally faces her final moments as she awakens in the middle of surgery, she uses the last of her strength to reach out and unmask her murderer. Regina decides to keep her baby, but tries to exorcise the bellboy with the help from a priest. George Hodel checks out of the hotel and Virginia has a chance encounter with Andrew Shane, her former brother-in-law.

Day 2

Virginia is distraught when Dahlia's remains are recovered from the same lot that Coleman had been found only weeks earlier. Norman leaves Los Angeles for New York. Dahlia awakens as a spirit for the first time, with no memory of her murder. Regina fails to exorcise the bellboy and the priest dies as a result. Robert cracks and confesses to murder, but his legitimacy is questioned.

1987

Day 1

Dahlia learns that George Hodel did not kill her, but she still wonders who did. Norman puts the hotel up for sale. Angela and Marvin's bodies are recovered from the hotel room they stayed on that fatal night, but their final actions in helping Regina allow them to pass over to the other side, saved from insanity.

Day 2

Real estate agents refuse Norman's offer to sell after Angela and Marvin's murders. Norman discovers the truth about the bellboy, Regina accepts that Fortune is gone for good, but is abruptly confronted by Dahlia.

2017

Alex and Marie gather the residents both alive and dead together in the ballroom to strengthen Dahlia's memories through a seance, and Dahlia learns that the hooded man was Norman all along, Norman tries to evade the hotel, but just as he exits hotel property, Virginia shoots him in the head and his spirit is dragged to hell. Dahlia is relieved to be fully restored to her former self, but learns she still has some unfinished business in the form of Fortune Black and the Bellboy. Alex and Marie say their goodbyes and head back to campus after a horrifying set of months in the hotel, but not before they are met by guardian angels from the hotel's past. Harold prepares to trap a spirit from the hotel, but Steve has other plans for his equipment.

Season 3

A final third season of Dahlia consisting of three 90-minute episodes was announced by ABC shortly after season 2's conclusion, the cast was severely cut down for the final season, with it consisting solely of Alexandra Daddario, Frances Conroy, Sophie Turner, Jamie Campbell Bower and J.K. Simmons in the leading cast. It was confirmed that each episode gap would cover 12 months, with the series concluding in 2019.

Episode 1

1947

Dahlia's remains have been buried and Virginia is preparing to move back to San Francisco, but as she leaves the hotel, she is emotionally reunited with her sister's disorientated spirit. Coleman questions Robert over his insanity and George Hodel arrives at the Hotel Cecil.

1987

Dahlia and Regina pause their feud to help one of their own against the Bellboy.

2017

Dahlia decides to help Regina find Fortune in order to pass over at last, Virginia decides to check into the hotel permanently with her son as her health begins to fail, but Stephen Hodel has other plans for them.

Episode 2

1948

The Case of the Black Dahlia is closed by the LAPD, but Virginia grows persistent after a tearful farewell to her sister's spirit. The Bellboy, using the LAPD underground connection, travels to the Cecil hotel to torment George Hodel, but not before he haunts him.

1924

Anthony Coombs, a petty criminal looking for lodgings, arrives at the newly opened Baltimore Hotel. Hired as a Bellboy, he encounters the manager, a perverted serial rapist who damages Anthony physically and mentally, referring to him simply as the bellboy. Anthony murders the manager and then hangs himself in a sealed off room on the top floor. His spirit then awakes, only identifying himself as the bellboy with no recollection of his past, or the fact that in order to restore peace and pass over, he must recover and rest his organic body.

1988

The Bellboy has a flash from his living life, but dismisses the truth about his origins. Regina and Dahlia decide to put everything to rest.

2018

Virginia is wheelchair bound and living in the Baltimore hotel under the supervision of her son, but Stephen Hodel resurrects his father's spirit from the grave to learn the location of Dahlia's body. Regina and Dahlia stumble across the body of a bellboy and realise it's time to help the man who's tortured them for the past 70 years. They take the body and lay it to rest in the hotel's garden and the bellboy, recalling his memories as Anthony Coombs, passes over to the afterlife.

Episode 3

1949

Virginia gives up and returns to San Francisco with her father and toddler son, George Hodel and The Bellboy have their final face off.

1989

It's New Year's Eve at the Baltimore Hotel and a young Stephen Hodel and his dying father arrive at the hotel for the celebrations, George reveals to Stephen that he wants to die on the property in order to live forever, but a psychologically damaged Stephen is revealed to be the true killer in the family.

2019

Virginia refuses to die on hotel property, but once she's told she has a year she just wants to recover her sister's body. Stephen Hodel has a sudden seizure and recalls his father's final moments, remembering his promise to return from the dead and bring Dahlia's body back to the hotel.

2020

Dahlia and Regina are contacted by a heavenly spirit revealed to be Fortune, who passed over in 1987, something Regina had neither realised or considered. Fortune accepts her mother to the other side but in a change of compassion, Regina reveals she will not leave without Dahlia. Fortune reveals that Dahlia only remains in order to pass over with her sister Virginia, Dahlia tells Fortune and Regina that she will stay and wait and says her farewells before returning to her sister's bedside, realising she is her sister's guardian angel, she kisses her and accepts her last breath, dying in the arms of Dahlia, Virginia holds Harold's hand. Harold and Stephen decide the hotel must close to release the remaining spirits, including that of Stephen's father, who has been the cause of his life long psychosis. They burn the Baltimore down and free themselves from its grasp. Harold decides to return to teaching after his mother's funeral and Stephen returns to his role as an advisor at the LAPD.

Reception

Dahlia received critical acclaim from both the media and the public and maintained a high viewership throughout the entire run. It was a creative decision of Rhimes and Abrams to end the series rather than that of the network.

Spin-off

With the appearance of the Cecil in the final series, reports of an in-universe spin-off based on the Cecil was in developement, although neither Shonda Rhimes or J.J. Abrams would be involved. It was then reported that Netflix would air the series rather than ABC.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.