There was a lot of tension in this episode, and I loved every bit: Lacey and the people capitalizing on Regina’s death, Jo and her father, Karen and the Mastersons, and of course the regular Danny and everyone who comes into contact with him.
We open on the funeral for the dearly departed Regina. Lacey’s giving the eulogy, and she sings Regina’s praises while also low-key reminding people that a lot of them weren’t here for Regina and her attitude while she was alive. Basically, Lacey misses all of Regina, but as the episode wears on, everyone except Sarita talked about a Regina that did not exist, and it rubbed Lacey the entire wrong way. Lacey’s first exposure to this fakeness is when she steps outside and she sees a girl named Phoebe hamming up the sadness in front of a camera.
Phoebe was a hoot and a half. I couldn’t believe it when she asked the cameraman when the interview was going to air. She used to be friends with Regina (and Lacey and ’em), but the friendship fell apart over a boy and Regina’s cattiness. Now that Regina’s six feet under, however, Phoebe’s letting everyone who will listen know that Regina was like her spleen, a comparison that Sarita did not appreciate.
Also after the eulogy, we get a glimpse at the tension simmering between Jo and her father. Chief Masterson tells Lacey she should come to the office as soon as possible to give her statement since she saw Regina at the party, but Lace tells him she’s not sure she’ll be of much help, which gets Jo’s attention because Jo hasn’t let go of the sleepover Lacey had with Danny. Jo also decides that the funeral is the perfect event to snipe at her dad, because she’s still salty that her grand speech flopped last episode.
Danny didn’t attend Regina’s funeral. You know all of the attention would’ve been on him. My favorite thing about this scene is Danny saying, “Menacing really works for my complexion, don’t you think?” Yep, the brown guy did it, always. I also liked Sarita’s lap dog saying earlier that Regina wanted to be the next Al Roker, just White and female. I don’t see enough White characters talking about the fact that they’re White. Tv always stays mum about it; I guess to further ‘normalize’ all of these pasty people on the tv screen.
Anyways, Karen wants Danny to use Lacey as his alibi, but Danny shoots the idea down. The police have nothing, so this will blow over soon. You know, I really think Danny’s controlled sarcasm with his mom and Chief Masterson is a cover for a lot of emotion that he’s hiding. I mean no doubt he became like this in juvie. He needs it to protect himself; he can’t go around looking confused and basically like an open book every time someone brings up his past.
Danny also mentions that Jo’s helping him, and Karen thinks that’s fine. It’s Jo’s parents that she doesn’t care for. When Danny asks her what’s up with that, Karen keeps quiet.
At the diner, Rico’s been brought in to help Danny and Jo. He was freaked as hell upon meeting Danny last week, but he’s decided that since Jo trusts Danny, he trusts Danny. Hmm. Considering how freaked out he was, I don’t know if I buy that he’d come around this quickly. But anyways, he loves mysteries, so he’s in. He suggests looking at Regina’s close circle of friends for suspects, and Jo, for some reason I don’t get, suggests Lacey. Why did she suggest Lacey? She says, “No stone left unturned, right?” She doesn’t believe Danny’s a repeat murderer, but she thinks Lacey’s dipped her toe in it?
When Jo and Danny leave the diner, Danny’s looking ahead to the day when they can talk about normal things like the Kardashians, but Jo warns him that the Kardashians is a subject he does not want to broach. I’m betting Lacey, Sarita, and Regina loved to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I don’t know if they genuinely enjoyed it, or watched it to poke fun, or a mix of both, but I see them getting together to watch the episodes.
Anyways, Chief Masterson drives up, and I love the way Jo says, “Dad.” You can just tell that her stomach dropped at the sight of him. Chief Masterson orders her into the car, and she says something I could never say to my mother if she was irate, “Okay, calm down.” No m’am. I could have never. So Chief Masterson gets out of the car and uses less words to tell Jo to get in, and she does. He tells Danny that he’s trying to give him a fair shake (lie!), but he needs him to stay the hell away from Jo.
When daddy and daughter Masterson get home, they’re stil arguing, and while I love it, I do realize that just last episode they were on the same page. Jo’s like, “Serial killer? Really, dad, really?” but last Chief Masterson checked, Jo was calling Danny every name in the book, including killer, at the breakfast table in the premier. She barely wanted to go to school because of Danny.
Jo doesn’t know who Johnny Cochran is, and that makes me sad. *Sigh.* I am growing up.
The next day, at school, Phoebe tries to (superficially) reconnect with Lacey and Sarita over Regina’s death. She’s throwing some kind of grief forum thing where people who didn’t know Regina can pretend they knew Regina. Lacey and Sarita have no problem telling her that they’re not interested, but most of the rejection goes right over Phoebe’s head. After she leaves, Lacey starts talking about how Regina would laugh at the convo that just took place with Phoebe, but Sarita’s not having Lacey’s grieving either. According to Sarita, Regina was a bitch that they loved, and now she’s dead. The end.
Sarita heads into the cafeteria, and Lacey’s left looking lost. She sees Jo sitting at a table, and she glances at Sarita’s table, and she hesitates, and she almost goes to Jo’s table, but she sticks with what she knows and goes to Sarita’s table.
Poor Lacey had so many emotions in this episode, and I saw them all on her face. She was feeling a lot, and she had no one to talk to. She can’t talk to Jo because Jo’s entirely too into Danny’s innocence, plus Jo didn’t know Regina and doesn’t care about her. I mean at the funeral, the most Jo could say was that Lacey’s eulogy was “well-structured.” She can’t talk to Sarita about Regina, because Sarita just cut her off. She definitely can’t talk to Sarita and Archie about her feelings regarding Danny (and Jo), because those two are convinced that Danny did it. Hell, probably the only person she could’ve talked to about all of this was Regina, but she dead. :(.
Meanwhile, we’re introduced to Karen’s tension with the Mastersons. She pays Tess Masterson a visit, and quickly lets her know that her house is cute in the way small houses can be cute. Tess takes the backhanded compliment well, and she gives Karen her condolences about her “late” husband Vikram Desai (I don’t believe he’s dead). Karen takes the in and talks about how hard the death has been on Danny, and she says being pulled out for questioning by the police in front of the whole school did not help. Karen wants to know what the hell is up, but the most Tess will give her is that Kyle was over the top. Karen wants Tess to reason with Kyle “unlike last time,” but Tess will do no such thing, because she feels it would be appropriate. Oops. Karen is not feeling that answer. You can see the moment she starts wishing she was out of the house and away from the conversation.
And then Tess has the nerve to tell Karen that she’s here for her and they can talk any time. Really Tess? I couldn’t believe it. Why would you even try that after telling her that you’re basically not going to help her with her son? Smh. It was bold, though. But Karen wasn’t having it.
I really liked Karen going around to clear Danny’s name regarding Regina’s murder.
Now while Lacey’s chilling the cafeteria, laughing with the friends she has left, Archie walks by Danny’s table and makes a comment about how Danny will be in prison soon. Danny immediately responds that he’ll see Archie there. Now because Archie’s a jock and they are sensitive, he takes real offense to Danny’s comment. Danny elaborates and lets him know that
he’s White so his hair is going to be thinning soon. White cracks, so Archie will either end up bald and in jail or bald and pumping gas. Archie is not having this reading of his future, so he starts a fight, and Danny finishes that shit. Archie doesn’t even know how to fight. I saw the shock on his face when Danny dodged his attempt at a punch. Smh.
Danny’s not kidding when he says he doesn’t care people think about him. He only cares about what Jo and Lacey think. That’s why he chooses to display violence while he’s suspected of a second murder. Smh.
Unlike Danny, Jo does care about what people think, so when Danny comes up to her trying to make conversation, she lets him know that she’s done wasting her time: he’s being secretive, she’s basically blindly defending him, and then he goes and gives people more reason to talk. Danny asks if she’s all in her feelings because he rejected her idea of bringing their moms together for a dinner in order to solve everything. Jo lets him know he’s missing the point entirely if he still thinks she’d let his violent ass anywhere near her mom.
Outside, Archie’s pissed that the principal is punishing him at all. Lacey’s trying to get him to see that he totally overreacted while also casting blame on Danny. Archie reveals that he’s lashing out because he’s shaken up over Regina being dead, and I liked it, but it also confused me because at the end of the funeral, he was kind of blasé about Phoebe being fake and wanted to go get pizza.
Anyways, Lacey suggests he go to Phoebe’s grief forum, because he has a lot of pent-up anger. Archie agrees and asks Lacey to come with him. Lacey turns him down, because she doesn’t want to be surrounded by fakes. This doesn’t sit well with Archie who lets her know that it seems to him that Lacey thinks some people aren’t grieving enough while others are grieving too much, and she seems to think she’s the only one who has it right. Lacey tries to say different, but Archie’s already off.
Why is his name Archie? That’s so sad. But I’m surprised that Archie didn’t annoy me in the argument. He wasn’t being a douche to Lacey; he just had his point of view of how she’s been acting. What strikes me as weird, though, is later on at the grief forum he thanks Lacey for coming to support him. Um, what about her? Regina was in your circle, but she was Lacey’s best friend.
Next, Karen goes to see principal Tang to know if he spoke to the school board. He says yes, and we learn how Danny was admitted to the school: principal Tang is one weird man, and I don’t even think Karen is sleeping with him. Just brushing her hair is enough for him, so I think their arrangement basically consists of her giving him the time of day. The fact that she finds him slightly annoying and doesn’t try to hide it is completely lost on him.
Tang does give Karen a bit of advice: go over Danny’s head and use the damn alibi.
Blocked at every point from being able to express herself, Lacey goes to find solace in the fort she used to share with Danny and Jo. Her solitude doesn’t last long (or does it? We don’t really know how long she’d been there), because Danny shows up to give me the cutest scene in the episode. Danny’s “Hey, can you stay?” and “I didn’t tell, you know?” sounded so innocent and almost child-like. Keeping this secret, though, honoring Lacey’s wish to not be disclosed as his alibi is how Danny is making Lacey feel comfortable, and he knows that. He’s inviting her to trust him. Lacey doesn’t know that Danny’s not a killer. She wants to believe he’s not, but she’s a big girl now, and she can’t be relying on her memories/feelings from the past. Danny did something that was entirely out of the spectrum of possibilities in her eyes when they were little. And now her friend is dead, and she doesn’t want to believe that he did it, because he looks so normal, but he’d looked normal at age 11, too. And she hasn’t even had a “I had my reason for doing it, but I can’t tell you because it’s dangerous” like Jo got.
Jo’s pressing things because she’s worried about Danny’s innocence, but Danny’s worried about Lacey’s comfort level with him and her trust in him. He’s doing things on her terms, and that’s very smart of him. And it’s working, because keeping this secret is why Lacey gave him the time of day in this episode. Had he spilled in the premiere, she would’ve incinerated his line to her.
Danny says he didn’t tell because he doesn’t want to create problems between Lacey and her boyfriend. Lacey reminds him that the dude’s name is Archie, and Danny’s like, “Oh, I know. I just don’t care enough to use it.” Lacey knows that Danny’s not here for Archie. The guy keeps saying loudly that he believes Danny’s a serial killer. But, it’s that consideration. Danny thinks Archie’s a douche, but he’s looking out for Lacey’s interests because that’s what Lacey told him she wants.
Danny asks Lace how she’s doing after Regina’s death, and Lacey lies and says that she’s fine. Danny reminds her that this is where they used to come when they wanted to do things like cry, and Lacey wants to know if he really thinks she’s going to cry in front of him. He tells her that what he thinks is that she should talk to someone.
I just want to take a moment and talk about the fact that, to me, Danny and Lacey have similar temperaments/ways of talking. I’m thinking about the scene in the cafeteria where Danny called Jo’s plan naive. It was kind of blunt, and Jo went, “So I’m naive?” and while I can see Lacey asking the same question, I also think Lacey would have a comeback for Danny. Jo just asked the question and stayed hurt while Danny stumbled and apologized. Lacey’s popular, and her best friends are/were Sarita and Regina. She was even friends with Phoebe at one point. She totally would’ve had a comeback for Danny.
Lacey’s not interested in talking to a professional, because she did that five years ago, and it did not help. She tells Danny that Jo’s been keeping the fort up, because it’s hard for Jo to give up on something. I totally see it. I see Jo going there every Thursday to make sure everything’s okay while wishing things could go back to normal while also feeling silly for being the only one of the three who still comes to the fort. Aw, Jo.
So Lacey’s words about Jo not giving up strikes a chord with Danny, and he goes to Jo to apologize. Jo’s hair looks really nice in this light. She looks like a strawberry blond, and it’s a cute. Her mom shows up, and Danny invites her, Jo, and Rico to dinner at his house. Jo’s plan is taking flight!
At Chief Masterson’s office, Karen tells Kyle that Danny was with Lacey when Regina died. Womp. I can’t wait to see how Lacey’s going to react to this. Karen also has a really bad poker face. It’s almost comical. Kyle wants to know if anything in Regina’s picture looks familiar to her, and her eyes quickly widen. Smh.
At the grief forum, it takes Lacey longer to go off on everyone than it would’ve taken me. Even the grief specialist was acting a buffoon at this thing. Some dude talked about being Regina’s nerd pet, Archie talked about Regina giving her raisins, like wtf? That’s all you have to say about the girl?
It’s when Phoebe calls Regina her soulmate that Lacey goes off. Phoebe and Regina talked behind each other’s backs and mocked each other’s clothes, in sum they were the opposite of soulmates. This is enough to get Phoebe to run out of the room.
Chez Desai, Kyle Masterson decides to crash the dinner. Oops. Jo’s helping Danny set the table, and don’t think I missed her complimenting him on his charm. “You’re good at that.” Mmm-hmm. Danny notices the picture that includes his dead aunt wearing the necklace Regina had, and he decides to hide it. While he’s doing that, he runs into Chief Masterson doing the opposite of being a police chief, because he’s searching a suspect’s home without a warrant. Good job with the silent sneak-up, Danny.
So when everyone’s around the table, Rico’s regaling Danny with a recap of The Avengers (great movie!), and Danny’s only low-key interested. He agrees that they should rent it, though, and Jo suggests Danny come with her to see the renovated park, but Chief Masterson shoots that down, because Danny’s too dangerous. Tess dries to dress it up for Karen, but neither Karen nor Kyle are up for the bullshit. Things.go.south. Kyle ramps the rudeness up to 20. Mind you, he’s over at Karen’s house, but he does everything but say that Danny deserved the death penalty.
Turns out the “thing” Karen refused to tell Danny earlier was that she’d asked Tess and Kyle to let Jo be a character witness for Danny during his sentencing. Karen believes this would have helped a lot, but neither Tess nor Kyle wanted to give their 11-year-old daughter even more exposure to the murder drama. It was bad enough that she was there when little Danny was fresh from his kill. I’m sure there were many reporters calling the Mastersons for interviews and they had to worry about Jo’s psyche, so they turned Karen down, and Karen has never forgotten. Delicious drama! Seriously, I loved this argument.
After Karen storms off, Jo and Danny chat outside. They’re sitting on the swings of murder, and Jo notices. Danny tells Jo he visited the fort, and Jo looks a little embarrassed, and he tells her Lacey was there too. I wonder how long until all three of them are at the fort. Anyways, Jo promises Danny that she’ll be there for him now, since she couldn’t when she was younger, and it’s very sweet. I’m glad, however, that she didn’t say that she would’ve agreed to be a character witness if her parents had asked her. Some people in Fandom ignore the fact that Jo’s always this close to turning her back on Danny (she’s done it twice in the first two episodes), and I wouldn’t have liked it if the show had presented it like Jo hadn’t been freaked the hell out by Danny five years ago.
At school, Lacey apologizes to Phoebe. I’m not sure why. She was completely in the right. But it’s a nice scene, and we find out why Phoebe and Regina fell apart. Phoebe even admits that she was jealous of Regina’s closeness to Lacey, and she plotted ways to tear them apart. It’s my favorite scene in the episode. Lacey tells Phoebe about her last interaction with Regina, that it wasn’t too cute either. I just love that these frenemies had a quiet moment where they talked about something (someone) they had in common.
Chez Masterson, Jo and Kyle find common ground of their own. Kyle apologizes to Jo about causing a scene (when he gonna apologize to Karen?). Jo sees that her dad’s just trying to protect her, but she’s not a baby. She believes in Danny, and she’s going to help him. Kyle always told her to follow what she believes, well here is that advice come to bite him in the ass. Favorite Jo scene of the episode.
In the kitchen, the parental Mastersons talk about how the Desai home hasn’t changed in five years. Tess brings up the picture Danny had moved, how it was there when they came in but was gone when they were leaving. This pings Kyle’s senses, and I don’t see why other than he’s looking for reasons for Danny to be guilty. I mean the picture is of Tara Desai, and she doesn’t have much to do with Regina as far as Kyle knows. Tara wasn’t found dead with the necklace, was she?
Finally, we see Danny at the fort, and he’s about to destroy the necklace, but he changes his mind. Big mistake, because you know it’s going to come back to bite him in the ass, and it’s going to bite him with Chief Masterson’s teeth.
So! That was our second look into the lives of the residents of Green Grove. What did you think? Who do you think killed Regina? The show isn’t pointing in anyone’s direction yet, and we know Danny didn’t do it. I have no guesses. Someone on Tumblr suggested Sarita, and that hurt my heart. I don’t want it to be Sarita! None of Regina’s friends were grieving suspiciously, so I don’t know. I just.don’t.know.