CBS’s Tell Me a Story
Chapter 4: “Rage”
Directed by Mark Tonderai
Written by Kim Clements
* For a recap & review of Chapter 3, “Greed” – click here
* For a recap & review of Chapter 5, “Madness” – click here
Kayla’s (Danielle Campbell) waking up in bed with substitute teacher Nick (Billy Magnussen), realising she’s spent the night there instead of going home. Grandma Colleen (Kim Cattrall) has been texting all night. This is a creepy situation. Even if she’s not technically underage, it isn’t good. He plays cute talking about “Disney capitalist bullshit” fairy tales sold as the real thing, as opposed to the dark origins in stuff such as the Brothers Grimm. But he’s in a position of power as her teacher, which could put this young lady in an awful position. Not only that, there’s Ethan (Rarmian Newton) and his unsettling obsession with Kayla, too.
At home, Colleen keeps Tim (Sam Jaeger) in the dark, helping her granddaughter sneak in when she arrives. Doesn’t mean grandma digs what’s going on, putting down a stern foot when Kayla tries making up an excuse.
Across town, Gabe (Davi Santos) arrives at Terry’s (Kurt Yaeger) place, where his sister Hannah (Dania Ramirez) is recuperating after her vicious fight the night prior. The siblings are in more danger than ever. They’re not on the same page, either. She wants to run off to North Carolina, whereas he’d rather go to Virginia— someone named Richard (David Andrews) lives there, but Hannah makes clear: “He‘s not our fucking family.”
“No fairy tales for you”
Then there’s Eddie (Paul Wesley) and his paranoia. He nearly hurts Carla (Justine Cotsonas) after she comes into his trailer unheard. Then he realises the pig mask is gone— the one Jordan (James Wolk) took while out doing vigilante work. Speaking of, Jordan’s pissed off with the lack of traction in the cops’ investigation. He’s brought the mask to Detectives Olsen (James Martinez) and Garcia (Zabryna Guevara). They’re not thrilled to learn about his new breaking-and-entering hobby. Wouldn’t any of us be angry with the authorities dragging their heels? Only problem’s when it becomes a self-consuming passion, which is the danger for Jordan.
In class, Nick teaches his students while his secret lover Kayla talks about an “abusive relationship” in Wuthering Heights and how it’s “fifty shades of fucked up.” Ironic, no? Maybe she’s too young to see she’s becoming trapped in one of those same relationships. They’re playing dangerous games, too. He quips about happy endings verbatim from what she said to him earlier in the morning. Later, Ethan catches up with Kayla, telling her he was jealous and made a mistake by threatening to expose her and the teacher. Sincere? Probably not. He claims he’d like to be friends and talks her into hanging out.
He takes her to a “Rage Room“— one of those places you can pay to trash a bunch of shit and take out your rage. You can pick from all kinds of weapons, as well as different objects, from household stuff to effigies of politicians like Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Mike Pence, and Hillary Clinton. Kayla enjoys herself while she and Ethan get their smash on. Out of nowhere, Nick’s there, saying he saw Ethan follow her and wanted to make sure she’s safe. He says Ethan has “three assault charges” and has serious mental health issues. One of the creepier parts of Tell Me a Story, in terms of Kayla’s story, is how neither Ethan nor Nick feel entirely safe, but it’s difficult to tell which one is ultimately the Big Bad Wolf of this “Little Red Riding Hood” scenario.
On the road, Hannah and Gabe argue while they’re making their escape out of state. They do come to terms eventually when brother decides he’s going to start using their newfound money. They also start to reconcile, little by little. Gabe’s done his best to understand his sister, though she doesn’t always give him the same benefit. We’re seeing the “Hansel and Gretel” emerge further with the siblings heading into the woods, bags full of treats. And, y’know, their first names have the same initials as the fairy tale siblings, so…
That night, Ethan pushes himself on Kayla when she lets him into the house to use the bathroom. He’s hauled off by Colleen. Grandma tosses him into the street, then she lays into her granddaughter about her behaviour, attempting to get through to her with some of that tough love. Things take a nastier turn after when Ethan threatens the substitute teacher with pics he took of the forbidden lovers kissing.
At the club, Eddie hears “Crazy” by Patsy Cline start playing. He’s freaked out and his paranoia grows. He asks the DJ why she’s playing it, and she reveals someone paid her $1,000. While Eddie’s off looking for answers he doesn’t know Jordan is confronting Carla, digging at her for info.
Once the club shuts down, Jordan meets Carla, but Eddie’s there for a fight. The two men throw a few punches in the back alley. Eddie says he never meant to kill anybody during the robbery: “No one was supposed to die.” He leaves Jordan bloody and beaten. In his semi-conscious state, Jordan sees his wife come to him, smiling and angelic.
Out at a big estate, Gabe and Hannah arrive somewhere unexpected. He took them to Richard’s place in Virginia. She’s hesitant and doesn’t want to be there, but he feels everything will be fine. Richard is surprised to find the siblings at his door, so is his wife, whom Gabe addresses as mom. Whoa.
This series gets better with time. Chapter 5: “Greed” is next.