CBS’s Tell Me a Story
2×03: “Family Business”
Directed by Anne Hamilton
Written by Sylvia L. Jones
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Writer’s Block” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Number One Fan” – click here
Ashley Rose’s stalker Kyle tends to his burns while surrounded by his obsession, listening to her music. He’s also baking cookies, which gives him the perfect opportunity to do more burning. This is one disturbed young man. And there’s no way to know how far he’ll go with his obsession, either.
The country star is at home trying to recover when she sees the man who rescued her on the news. She hasn’t contacted him. She generally keeps pushing away from everybody, including her assistant. Meanwhile, those cookies Kyle baked have arrived at the Pruitt house. Mom doesn’t want her girl to know, neither Ken, but Beau insists on telling her.
After their hookup, Simone and Jackson get to know one another a bit. They bond over the loss of fathers, albeit under very different circumstances. He gets all he can out of her before she decides they have to say goodbye. He’s smitten with her. She tries to remain distant, at least a little. She’s only in town for dad’s funeral, so there probably isn’t much future for them anyway. But they’re kinda sweet together, no?
Less sweet is where poor Olivia’s coming to— in a dark, dingy room chained to a bed. She screams for help. The only one coming is Tucker. I mean, he’s got a meal, but it’s a creepy stalker meal. She quickly puts together what happened after he supposedly returned her cat, considering the little kitty’s there with them. Tucker knows everything about her, and it just serves to freak Olivia out more than she is already. A “terrible way to start a relationship” is the understatement of the century. He makes it clear to Olivia: “No one is going to miss you.” He’s like a version of the Beast, forcibly confining the object of his affection in a wing of his home. A different, more ugly part of the Beast than Ashley Rose, who embodies the isolation and loneliness of the fairy tale character.
After the cookies, Beau welcomes a couple detectives, including Gwen, who knows him and his situation well. She tries to persuade him to change his story for Internal Affairs. Seems Beau’s honesty is getting in the way of the thin blue line. Neither he nor the cops have any clue that Susie the assistant is talking to stalker Kyle at this very moment. The detectives do what they can to start looking into the stalker and the latest cookie delivery. This also reveals, for Ashley, the existence of “other threats.” She’s shown the massive amount of so-called “idle threats” from the public, far more than only Kyle. Being famous is akin to having a virus or a curse in the 21st century— lots of love, perhaps even more hate.
Simone finds out her dad’s cut her from the family business in his trust. More than likely it’s actually Veronica pulling the strings. There’s $25,000 left for the grieving daughter, considering dad had a full empire left behind. This is when Simone confronts her wicked stepmother about the night her father died. She doesn’t quite get anywhere with it. Although it’s very hard to ignore Veronica’s mean streak. And is it possible only one of the brothers really knows what’s going on? That’d really be a messed up family.
Beau takes Ashley for a ride and some ice cream. They don’t see Kyle, watching from afar. They go off and chat. Ashley asks Beau about his problems at work. He mentions that he “broke the code” of the police department by telling the truth. She admires him for doing what was right instead of what was easy. Kyle keeps an eye and a camera on them, all but boiling over with jealous rage. That doesn’t mean Beau isn’t keeping his eye on Kyle’s car, though. The cop on leave’s senses remain keen.
Ashley gets Beau to take her to see the valet who saved her from the exploding car. She feels terrible for it taking so long. She does what she can to thank him for pulling her out of there in time. She hugs him tight.
While Olivia is stuck chained in the basement, yet trying her best to find a way out of those chains, Tucker surprises Maddie at a business function. He goes hard with his obsessive writer’s memory, trying to impress the people around his fiancee in order to impress her, too. And it’s working, so far. They even fuck outside. Still, he can barely go five minutes without checking the camera watching Olivia on his phone. He sees her trying to escape, and that’s against his creepy rules. So he goes home and takes Olivia outside to see the rose bushes he planted— they have women’s names. Oh, god.
That night, Simone gets a visit from Derek and Ron. They’ve brought along her mom’s jewellery, along with a $50K cheque from their mother. She rips it up and tosses it in their faces. She accuses them of delivering “blood money.” She even punches Ron in the face. Derek tells her if she doesn’t leave things will get worse. Uh oh. Is that a threat? Or a warning?
An intense one, building up these fairy tale-adjacent stories.
Things are getting darker, too.
“Number One Fan” is next.