CBS’s Tell Me a Story
2×02: “Writer’s Block”
Directed by Solvan “Slick” Naim
Written by Steve Stringer

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “The Curse” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Family Business” – click here
Father Son Holy Gore - Tell Me a Story 2x02 - Garcella Beauvais as Veronica GarlandApart from fairy tales, Ashley Rose’s facial mask is reminiscent of The Phantom of the Opera, too. She’s grappling with her new face while everyone around her is more concerned about her latest hit single. She and her mother Rebecca keep clashing. She thinks her label’s just trying to make money off her personal, physical trauma. Cute to see Beau listening to her song, probably thinking about when he saw her singing recently. Not so cute for him to get pulled over by Officer Miller, another cop with an obvious grudge. There’s division between him and the supposed “real cops” because he talked to Internal Affairs. A tense, ugly moment, and we can see that Beau has his fair share of baggage. He doesn’t have any better of a time at work, when he pisses Ashley off immediately. Tough day.

Jackson wakes up to find no trace of Simone. Well, except for that Cinderella slipper charm. Simone has her own life going on— she recently lost her father. She attends the funeral, to the surprise of Veronica, her stepmother. Excellent adaptation of the fairy tale here with the stepmother and the uncanny twin brothers. Elsewhere, Maddie’s working and contemplating her impending nuptials with the confused, creepy writer Tucker Reed. She asks a colleague about how he felt before getting hitched. She feels Tucker is “distant,” but her co-worker assures her it’ll be fine. At home, Tucker’s trying to write. But he has writer’s block, he can’t even bring himself to put down a single word.
Father Son Holy Gore - Tell Me a Story 2x02 - Natalie Alyn Lind as Ashley Rose Pruitt

“The beast got out of its cage”

Father Son Holy Gore - Tell Me a Story 2x02 - Paul Wesley as Tucker ReedPoor Olivia’s not having a great time of life recently, between her missing feline, the move from back home in Oklahoma, a break up, and the water making her breakout. All the while Tucker is in the background lurking, listening, learning, not unlike the eerie dude who keeps a close watch on Ashley Rose, obsessed over her— dangerous male obsession is an overall theme in Season 2 so far. Later when Tucker goes to a cake tasting with Maddie their relationship begins to crumble a bit. She knows things are weird. He’s certainly not going to admit he’s been stalking a young woman. So he blames it on his publisher and problems with his book.

The country star is trying to ward off attention from the press. She doesn’t want to show her face all over television while she hasn’t quite healed, both physically and psychologically. That doesn’t mean shit when it comes to her label. “For now” they’ll work with her. But what happens when now becomes later? At the moment, she tells her man Damien to fuck off and leave. She takes a stroll outside, accompanied closely by Beau. She tests his resolve, and he refuses to do anything but his job. This gives them time alone out at the stables, where they talk. She starts confiding in him, calling herself a “bad investment.” Beau does what he can to relate with her.

Simone at least has her godmother, Cora. They meet during the reception later at Veronica’s home— the home she shared with Simone’s father. They have a talk about dad’s death, and there’s potential for treachery. Probably likely that, in this Tell Me a Story universe, that Veronica did kill her husband, right?
Or maybe one of the twins did the job. Hmm.

Things are getting scary for Ashley without her knowing.
Her stalker Kyle is out there, getting close to her assistant.
Father Son Holy Gore - Tell Me a Story 2x02 - Tucker's Bloody RoseTucker’s getting disgustingly creepy, even more so than before. He’s taking the stolen cat back to Olivia after contacting her, supposedly via the poster. He’s also made things out sympathetic for himself, cutting his hand with a rose in the garden earlier to make it look like the cat hurt him. This all gets Olivia’s guard down and to the car, where he grabs her, sinks a syringe into her neck, and then they’re gone. Whoooa, that escalated fast!

Somehow, Jackson tracks Simone down. He’s sneaky and taken with her. He has a smart brain, sadly it’s been obviously wasted with the wrong pursuits. He came to bring back the charm she lost while at his place. He puts it around her wrist, as if figuratively sliding the slipper back on her foot. This earns him a smooch. Maybe he’s the Pruitt dark sheep, but he seems like a good guy underneath it all. And Simone obviously feels the same way.

What’s the end game here for Tucker? Whatever it is, it’s icky.
That basement room where he’s keeping Olivia is TERRIFYING!
Father Son Holy Gore - Tell Me a Story 2x02 - Ashley Rose's Shattered Mirror

“What—
you think I’m a quitter?”

Father Son Holy Gore - Tell Me a Story 2x02 - Olivia ChainedAn excellent follow-up episode to the premiere. Season 2’s already feeling more confident than even the fun, unexpected Season 1, which is a great sign. Excited to see the developing adaptations wade deeper into the dark, disturbing corners of the psyche. Because it’s already been crazy.

“Family Business” is next time.

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