CBS’s Tell Me a Story
Season 2, Episode 7: “Thorns and All”
Directed by Jeff T. Thomas
Written by Mary Leah Sutton
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Lost and Found” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Sweet Dreams” – click here
The tables have been turned.
Now, Tucker’s the one chained to the bed in the basement. He hears his dead twin sister’s voice: “Rise and shine, sleepyhead.” But, of course, it’s only a nightmare. He wakes up to Olivia, who’s got him right where he had her previously. A devious twist in his plans. She properly fucks with him, too. Good on her.
Simone returns to Jackson’s place feeling jaded after Cora’s murder. She feels responsible for what happened, though he says it’s only because Cora knew the truth about what really happened with Veronica. But she’s broken down, and she doesn’t want to drag Jackson further into her shit. She tells him that what they have “is not real,” attempting to push him away. He won’t let her do it, even if she’s insistent, getting harsh with him before walking out. Ouch, girl!
Beau is now the Mystery Man in the tabloids, pictured at the hospital with Ashley Rose because of people snapping photos while he was checking on Ken. He refuses to stop working on the case, too. He won’t rest until they get to the bottom of whatever’s been going on concerning the star’s near murder. Dt. Gwen’s concerned about him, advising not to get too deep, especially while his work-related mess is ongoing. Like that’ll actually keep him from his own investigating.
The two Garland brothers talk to their mother about Cora’s death. She questions them about whether they were somehow involved in it. Ron says there’s no way. Mom is pissed. She doesn’t appear too thrilled about the possibilities of murder. Is there a world in which Veronica actually didn’t kill her husband? Could Ron be behind it all? He’s lucky to have Derek there giving him a fake alibi for the night prior. Hmm. Very greasy.
Tough ole Ashley is inspected by a doctor. She gets a good report about her throat, in turn giving her hope about her music. Things are getting better. She can take off some of the compression suit, and she can take the mask off whenever she feels ready. Right now, Ashley isn’t quite jumping to remove it. She’ll leave it on for the time being, struggling with what it means to be “just a pretty face” in the music industry. She’s also being encouraged by her mother to spend more time around Beau. They’re real cute together. Interesting Rebecca is so suddenly eager about it. Later together, mother inspires daughter with confidence. She tries to give Ashley back some autonomy over her celebrity life, urging her she’s the only one who knows what’s right for her.
In that basement, Olivia starts interrogating Tucker. He ironically calls her “insane,” so she mentions the “untimely death” of her boyfriend Luke, and how the writer reminds her of him. All abusive men are the same, after all. Olivia plays deliciously coy about whether a woman like her could kill a “big, strong man.” Plus, it’s wonderful to see her give Tucker a taste of his own medicine.
“It’s so nice to meet someone who shares a common interest”
Simone talks to Dt. Gwen about her relationship with Cora and why she came back to town. She begins feeling like a suspect. She tries to tell the cop about what likely happened, involving Veronica. However, Dt. Gwen sees Simone as a felon breaking the conditions of her parole. Worlds collide once Maddie shows up as her lawyer, helping Simone get out of there. Oh, and more: Veronica is one of Maddie’s clients. Stepmom’s trying to mend bridges with stepdaughter. Veronica’s brought Simone back for a family meeting with the brothers. She wants to try being an actual family, offering Simone a room in the house. Ron doesn’t like it. Stepmom insists this is what her late husband would’ve wanted, hoping to keep him close by having Simone around. Maybe Veronica didn’t kill the guy after all.
Elsewhere, Jackson’s on a downward spiral after getting rejected. He shows up at the Pruitt house drunk. It causes a scene, and Rebecca tells him to get out. The man’s clearing hurting, yet his own family seems to have had enough of his antics over the years. (Father Gore feels sad for him.) All the same, Rebecca does what she can to prevent her son from driving drunk— the same thing that killed his father, for which he blames himself. “I should‘ve died with him,” Jackson tells his mother.
Thankfully he hands over his keys.
There’s looming disaster at Tucker’s place. Olivia hears a message from Maddie, who’s on the way over to make sure their relationship isn’t going to just “run its course” and be finished. She wants Tucker to break up with Maddie, or else things are going to get bad for him. She threatens to reveal what’s “buried under the rosebushes.” Tucker ends things with Maddie. She’s better off, considering he’s a creepy killer. He’s met his match here with Olivia, whose own killer instinct is almost scarier than his own. She’s murdered more than one guy. She’s curious why a guy like Tucker can feel emotion, whereas she feels blank.
On top of all that, what are Olivia’s plans for Maddie?
That night, Ashley pops by Beau’s place. She wants to let him know how she really feels about them. She’s scared, because of her scars. He reassures her they don’t appear to him as ugly. He sees through the surface and finds her beautiful. Ashley tells him she’s afraid of taking off the mask, so Beau goes to remove it. She doesn’t want to, though it’s clear the scars don’t figure into the way he feels about her, like anyone who genuinely cares for another person would feel.
A beautiful episode. Shit’s getting wilder, too.
“Sweet Dreams” is next time. The stakes are building up higher.