Television

Dare Me Episode 2

Dare Me Episode 2: Mutually Assured Destruction- Review and Recap

Desperation and boredom make for a deadly cocktail as a second episode of Dare Me dives deeper into the murder mystery.

The episode begins in the same way the pilot episode began and ended, with a voice-over from Addy. Her’s are the voyeuristic words from an idealistic young girl who has had her dreams shattered. The stark lost innocence that drips from each vowel is heartbreaking. Addy did a bad, bad thing and judging from the amount of blood on the carpet, someone is dead as a result. We still don’t know who is dead, but there are certainly more than a few contenders.

“Desire is mutually assured destruction”. Addy says Coach told her. It’s another Coachism that speaks volumes about her outlook on life and what she may have gone through in her past. There is a reason Colette is so cold. Willa Fitzgerald continues to quietly deliver a captivating picture of sad need. She is an ice queen with a barely maintained grasp on her perfect little life. It’s hard to be too sympathetic though because she is the worst coach ever. She isn’t just hard on the girls, she teaches them all the wrong things.

She plays Addy off Beth always pushing and pulling strings to prod the girls into the role she needs them to play. The girls caught Sarge Will and Coach French hooking up. Colette needs that secret to stay hidden. She bribes the girls with cigarettes while pontificating the importance of trust. Her behavior towards Addy borders on grooming, while she treats Beth like the number two Heather. Blackmail and bribery are not usually key components of a lasting relationship. As much as she needs Beth to keep her secret, she needs control more. Creating competition between Tacy and Beth is not a good idea with the family dynamic at home.

In her home life she has called it quits with Sarge Will and attempts to immerse herself in her life with Matt. Sarge cares for her or at least who he thinks she is. Colette may just want what she can’t have. She acts loving towards Matt initiating sex, but probably that was just an attempt to control him or herself. Fake it until you make it is her motto.

Beth and Addy continue their codependent and destructive friendship. Both of these girls have serious problems. One is so desperate to make it out she is willing to overlook terrible behavior from her friends and her coaches. The other controls the world through too cool behavior carefully curated to disguise the pain inside. She chews but doesn’t swallow most meals to control her weight and flaunts new BFF’s to control the high school hierarchy she has carefully built. These are cruel girls in a self-made cruel world.

Marlo Kelly’s Beth bristles with intensity so painful it’s hard to watch. She is like looking at the sun and Kelly is a star in the making. Her fire is the perfect foil to Coach French’s ice. One needs to stay hidden and the other needs to be seen. Oversexed and overwrought Beth needs admiration and attention from her friends and men to fill the hole her family doesn’t. As powerless as she is at home she is Queen of her kingdom. The soundtrack by Jonathan Sanford highlights the complexity of her personality. She is an overly serious girl who has been let down and neglected by those who should love her the most.

Addy(Herizen Guardiola) wants so badly to lead a different life she fails to see the danger in her current one. Beth is a viper and Coach Colette is a predator. The two most important women in her world are operating on another level. They both manipulate Addy through attention. They play others of each other and capitalize on the naivete she possesses. The fantasy life she covets is not what either person can deliver. She encourages Colette to go to Sarge at the end of the episode because the fairy tale romance that represents, Addy wants.

She fails to understand that there are consequences to decisions. Choices matter and happiness doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Someone loses their life because of that belief. If you are that desperate for happiness when you get it you will do anything to hold onto it. Want and need shouldn’t be confused with desire. Desire isn’t desperation. Desperation makes people do terrible things and this town is full of desperate people. One choice doesn’t destroy a life, but it can begin a descent that is impossible to correct.

Episode two established the shifting relationships and murky motivations. Very few have figurative or literal clean hands. Cheating spouses, lying friends, and manipulating daughters fill the screen. Beth’s Mother has only taught her daughter that sexuality is currency. Addy’s Mom has tried to protect her through low expectations and complacency. Neither is a successful plan. Most of the plot tonight revolved around a cell phone and trust. It is a testament to good writing by Megan Abbot and Gina Fattore that an entire episode that was devoted to a stolen cell phone did not feel devoid of action. Instead of stagnating, good character development drives the plot. Trust is earned, not forced regardless of Coach French and Beth’s beliefs.

As the episode ends, Addy revels in the life she thinks Coach French has. Colette passionately embraces Sarge Will, and Beth reviews the video she has had all along. Likely her decisions will affect everyone around her as she burns Coach Colette’s life to the ground in the coming weeks. Who is dead and who did it have too many possibilities still to call, but my money’s on Addy with a gun in Coach French’s house. Her voiceover which could feel manipulative right now are contemplative and hopefully that continues. We will just have to watch as things reveal themselves. In a town with this many secrets and that much corruption, anything is possible. Catch up on our ongoing coverage here.

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