Season 1, Episode 2: “Right to Know”
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Written by Akela Cooper
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 premiere, “Into the Void” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Bad Inside” – click here
We hear the last minutes of Becky Lefevre’s (Lilliya Scarlett Reid) consciousness before she slipped into death, such as her father’s voice as Ben (Tony Goldwyn) is told his daughter’s dead. We see an eerie image of her in the shower before she died, two hands on either side— male hands. What exactly happened that day?
At home, Sasha Yazzie (Sivan Alyra Rose) continues to wonder about Becky’s death. Seems that people at school got an entirely different explanation. Or, did they? Tough to know yet what the truth is, especially for Sasha. She’s living with another girl’s heart in her body, trying to adjust to all the new aspects of life whirling around her suddenly, from the medical implications of her post-surgery body to the new social ecosystem at Crystal Valley High School. She tires to stay in contact with Yvonne (Kyanna Simone Simpson) while they’re in different schools. She has Elliott (Nicholas Galitzine) around, too. He does his best to look out for her, pulling her away from the “barbaric animal mutilation” they’re doing in biology class. There’s also going to be a “releasing ceremony” for Becky soon. Some “New Age” nonsense rather than a funeral ceremony everybody will attend.
Nancy (Uma Thurman) goes through the remainder of her daughter’s belongings to find things for the ceremony. She finds the girl’s baby teeth amongst them while packing things away. Then her husband tells her Sasha was invited to the releasing. She doesn’t want to traumatise the girl. Bit much, to be surrounded by the grief for the person who died to make sure you could live. There’s being grateful, then there’s macabre mourning.
Soundtrack notes: Sasha’s listening to “Danger” by the Pink Slips in her headphones. Later, while she’s in bed with TJ (Griffin Powell-Arcand), they have sex to “I Can’t See the Light” by Tombstones in Their Eyes.
Poor Sasha’s having disturbing daydreams, all the while she can’t stop thinking of Becky and the releasing ceremony. Back at home, she and TJ keep up their relationship together despite the fact she has to go to school all the way at Crystal Valley. They’ve gotten closer physically since she lost her virginity. Nevertheless, things continue changing. And certain other things don’t, like the problems TJ’s mom has with Sasha. TJ’s family are Diné, also known as Navajo. She thinks her boy’s girlfriend is “a fucking apple“— an Apple Indian is a derogatory term apparently used amongst Indigenous people, referring to someone who’s Indigenous but thinks like/supports white people above their culture (i.e. red on the outside / white on the inside). Sasha feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere: definitely not in the white world, not in the Native world, either.
At school, when Sasha sits down at her test it’s as if she knows it all without a second guess. She winds up with a full 100%, surprising even herself, and particularly Marnie (Sarah Mezzanotte), who thought her new friend was going to bomb.
In town, Uncle Frank (Marcus LaVoi) is looking for new help around his shop to try and lighten the load off his niece. He mentions getting “off the rez” (a.k.a the reservation, for white people unaware) and hopes he can instil the same work ethic he has in his niece. He only wants the best for her.
During gym class, Sasha does some fencing with Marnie, again proving she doesn’t even know herself entirely when she picks it up very fast. That’s Becky’s personality beginning to rear its head even further. Sasha’s freaked out once she realises she’s been using both hands, instead of just being “right–handed” as always. Becky’s the one who’s left-handed. Later, she runs into Elliott again, and also sees a familiar face, Ravi (Jonny Rios)— the guy she saw in her vision of the car in the dust storm. Hmm.
The releasing ceremony is definitely New Age-y and weird. Sasha takes Yvonne with her. They’re surrounded by white, both in terms of clothing and skin colour. Everybody’s got items to burn. Bit cult-like, right?
Ben’s happy to see the girl with his daughter’s heart. He introduces her to close friends Evan (Matthew Rauch) and Ruth (Lili Taylor), who do lots of hugging. Everybody crowds around Sasha, making her the centre of attention. Yvonne spills a drink on her friend to get them inside. They’re searching for the camera when they’re interrupted by Nancy.
Yvonne hides while Nancy looks for something dry for Sasha to wear— now the young woman’s in sacrificial white, Becky’s “favourite dress,” looking just like everybody else at the ceremony. The two of them do share a tender moment. Nancy doesn’t like the idea of burning her daughter’s belongings. Sasha mentions keeping her own mother’s clothing. She lost her mom when she was only two. She advises Nancy to keep Becky’s blanket. They now share a secret.
Oh, and the bathroom where Yvonne’s hiding? That’s the one where Becky died. Looks like there’s still handprints burned into the tub.
Soundtrack note: When Nancy comes downstairs with Sasha, “I’m Not Human At All” by Sleep Party People is playing. A perfectly eerie song for the occasion.
While Sasha goes down with everyone else alongside Nancy, Yvonne looks around Becky’s room more. She runs into Ruth placing crystals around the house at various intervals. Yvonne asks for the wi-fi password, so Ruth keys it into the girl’s smartphone for her. She uses the connection to look for the camera. It’s still there, in someone’s pocket— someone with a serious scar on their wrist.
Ben and Nancy take the items belonging to their daughter and place them with all the others to burn. Sasha watches the fire and feels more of Becky inside her struggling to emerge. We see a vision of Becky running from the shower, being pulled back from the door. Something nefarious happened in that home. Sasha also sees strange masks, briefly reminding her of the scratched out faces she saw in a picture of Becky at school. Before she leaves for the night, she’s given a car by the Lefevres— it belonged to Becky. Elliott feels slighted. His parents want to help Sasha get to school easier. This just pulls her deeper into their world.
Sasha looks through the car when she gets home. Mostly it’s a bunch of junk. She does find a creepy picture of those scratched out faces/masks. There’s a whole book of sketches. And Uncle Frank’s worried about his niece getting gifts from Mr. Lefevre. He doesn’t dig it, neither does he want her to be spoiled.
But Sasha’s falling into a rabbit hole of terror flipping through Becky’s sketches. There’s a bunch of pictures inside. Becky’s own face is scratched out. There’s one drawing that looks like Becky— an actual photograph of her— is surrounded by hooded figures. A black spot’s drawn over her chest.
And then Sasha feels like she’s choking. She rips off Becky’s dress like they’re a pair of hands, squeezing her throat. We see a strange formation of crystals, like the kind Ruth was laying out, only they’re in the shape of a body. In Sasha’s room, someone IS watching her like she worried earlier. Is it the same person who was watching Becky?
Real unsettling stuff in this episode. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea. Father Gore digs the mystery. Bits of character are slowly coming out, specifically Sasha and Frank, their Indigeneity, which is a great addition to the whole story/plot. Should be wild moving forward with a further sense of cult behaviour behind the scenes of Crystal Valley High School and the elite surrounding everything.
“Bad Inside” is next.