Season 1, Episode 3: “Bad Inside”
Directed by Ti West
Written by Leah Rachel & Travis Jackson
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Right to Know” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “2 for 1” – click here
Soundtrack note: Nice little tune called “Morning in My Heart” by Eagle Eye Williamson opens up this episode briefly.
The weather’s bad in town. Uncle Frank (Marcus LaVoi) has a bunch of missed calls on his phone from Cottonwood Hospital. He calls back to discover someone’s there. Is it Sasha (Sivan Alyra Rose)? This is the night when she went out with her boyfriend, that fateful night. When he’s gone, we see that somebody, again, is inside their trailer. Who is it? Right now they’re only stealing pizza. Wonder what else they might do later. And, now we know they’ve been around a while… hmm.
Sasha’s curious about the person with the scarred wrist, whoever’s got that camera from Becky’s (Lilliya Scarlett Reid) room. She’s staring at the picture in the school bathroom when she hears scratching from the next stall, and somebody crying. She goes to check but finds nobody, just a weird symbol scratched into the stall.
Meanwhile, she wants to pay respects to Becky. Or at least, that’s how she frames things so she can see peoples wrists , putting BLFF— Becky Lefevre Forever— bracelets on everybody. She checks out Marnie (Sarah Mezzanotte) and Ravi (Jonny Rios). She also has problems with Elliott (Nicholas Galitzine), who doesn’t like the bracelets and doesn’t like that mommy and daddy gave her a car. “They own you,” he warns. She doesn’t want any of his shit, so she tosses the keys in his face. He does apologise later and gives them back, along with some Starburst.
At school, Sasha’s paired with Penelope (Lilli Kay), another former friend to Becky. She finds the owner of the scar: it’s her new partner. Penelope says it’s a permanent reminder of the dead girl. Before Sasha can discuss the camera, she’s pulled off by Coach Jones (Michael Stahl-David). She stole the materials needed to make those bracelets. More than that, Coach shows her a form she signed with Becky’s name. The dissociation continues. She starts to get interested in “cellular memory” which is similar to body memory. She needs an explanation for what’s happening to her.
Sasha gives Elliott a ride home and they talk about Penelope. He claims she was “borderline 5150” obsessed with Becky. He sees the sketchbook belonging to his sister, noticing the creepy drawings. Before they get back to his house Sasha hears the music go up louder until she can’t hear anything else as “I Wanna Be Adored” by the Stone Roses blares. It’s all in her head, though. Makes her look like she’s stoned. We’ve heard this Stone Roses song before, too. Haven’t we?
Sasha also returns Becky’s few things from the car to Nancy (Uma Thurman). The grieving mother goes through her daughter’s things. Note: The book she finds— Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation by Daniel Shaw— is about the traumatic impact narcissism has, from interpersonal relationships to how it works intergenerationally by affecting the children of narcissists. Could this be a suggestion Becky’s parents aren’t who they seem?
Afterwards, Sasha goes next door to see Penelope. Awesome Eyes Without A Face poster in the background. Penelope’s not interested in talking, until Sasha explains she has Becky’s heart. We discover Becky has left scars in other ways. She and Penelope used to be “weirdo sisters” until the year before she died, when she got popular. Becky locked Penelope in the steam room at the latter’s big, fancy home, and that’s where she got those burns. Penelope wanted to figure out why her former friend would do such a thing to her, so she put a camera in Becky’s room.
Ben (Tony Goldwyn) is home doing strange meditation. At first it’s standard. Then he uses a large sage bundle to burn himself on the chest, attempting to relieve himself of the psychological burden of his daughter’s death. He and Nancy are at odds over their grief somewhat. He does his spiritual thing, whereas she’s more connected to the physical.
Speaking of: did Nancy butcher that deer on her run? Yikes!
“Pain can be replaced with pain”
In town, Sasha sees Penelope and Marnie together getting out of her car— Becky’s car. They head inside a place called Crystal Valley Aura Photography. (Read more on aura photography here.) This is definitely where Becky had a photograph taken, the one Sasha saw stuck in one of the dead girl’s books and just like all the photos she sees at the photography shop. But the girls aren’t there. Another vision.
Sasha has her photo taken, too. And it troubles the woman who took it. She asks if Sasha has “a twin” and then demands the girl leave. This sends Sasha running home. She feels the other girl inside her. Uncle Frank’s determined to help his niece. He takes her to the hospital. The doc prescribes experimental medication for anxiety, not covered under insurance. An American healthcare tale as old as time.
Coach convinces Sasha the story about Penelope is’t true. He has all the right words for her. Everything’s got an explanation and Penelope cast as the crazy one. He gives her some bullshit beads to help the anxiety. She starts to feel as if maybe she’s been making things up in her head. Between him and Yvonne, Sasha thinks they’re both a bit right. The pills keep things on the level, so now Sasha looks to get back to normal.
While she’s cutting up wieners she instinctively chops at the mouse on the counter, lopping off his tail. We’ve seen the mouse with no tail before. Many things are recurring, aren’t they? Doubling? She rushes into her room, looking at the aura photo, seeing herself and Becky blend together. Nothing’s getting any better yet.
Solid episode. Ti West does a great job directing, as usual. There are lots of mysterious elements to the plot, as well as the characters, so it’s fun to watch things stitch together. Hopefully they’ll keep getting better, and darker. With ten episodes, there’s lots of ground to cover from here.
“2 for 1” is next.