Poker Face Episode 9 Escape From Sh!t Mountain Review And Recap- Smurf Bikinis, Ankle Monitors, And CRS
Poker Face Episode 9 went Russian Doll on us when Charlie must rely on someone else to play crime buster in a simultaneously blistering cold and red hot episode with a quartet of great performances. Before Charlie can say, “you have always been the caretaker,” she finds herself needing some assistance for a change. Fear not, Charlie, you aren’t dead yet, and someone is looking out for you. She gets run down and thrown away like trash on a snowy mountain in the middle of nowhere. The men who did it didn’t count on her being nearly indestructible. Lucky for the men, she has a serious case of Cant Remember Sh!t, CRS to you and me. Unlucky for Charlie, she needs to be in a hurry before the duo decides to end her, just in case.
Poker Face Episode 9 opens with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s bearded douchebag going through the paces day after day. He plays games, drinks green juice, guzzles alcohol, and eats takeout. This isn’t the sweet boyish relatable guy you have grown accustomed to. Playing off type, he is one obnoxious, Door-Dashing dick who never tips. Oh, and he can’t leave his incredible mountain villa because he wears an ankle monitor. When a massive snowstorm takes out the tracking system on his ankle, he takes the opportunity to break out his sports car for a joy ride. While heavily intoxicated, he runs down a person. He puts the body in the trunk and drives to his friend’s motel to dispose of the body.
After tossing the body inside a hidden hole in a tree, the pair go back into the motel and argue. These two have a long history. Trey(Gordon-Levitt) is an entitled tool who was arrested for insider trading and is six months deep into a fourteen-month probationary sentence. Jimmy(Danny Castaneda, The Umbrella Academy’s Diego) is angry he hasn’t contacted him in all that time. These two lost someone years ago, and it has haunted them both, although Jimmy more than Trey, apparently. Before the two can work anything out, there’s a knock at the door, and it is Charlie, who is barely conscious. Before Trey can do anything, another car drives up, and another crime needs to be solved.
Poor Charlie, even when things go well for her, they end in disaster. Months earlier, she met a hot mountain man and started a sweet affair that lasted just long enough to get Charlie stranded on Magic Mountain during the winter. Needing money for gas, she is hustling the best she can when she meets Morty, a hilariously opportunistic Stephanie Hsu. The two team up, and Morty, whose real name is unknown, buys Charlie gas with a stolen credit card bearing the name Mortimer hence the moniker. On the way to Denver, they swerve to avoid a deer, run into a snow bank, and get stuck.
Needing to get help, they split up, but when Morty doesn’t return hours later, Charlie starts walking and gets run down by Trey. That brings us full circle. In a twist, Charlie needs to solve her own crime before she becomes another dead body. Just before Chalie passes out again, she sees Morty drive up in her car and wonders if Morty has become her now. Poker Face Episode 9 is so effective because it doesn’t shy away from Natasha Lyonne’s roots or its growing place in pop culture iconography. Trey and Jimmy have secrets, and Charlie knows a lie when she hears one, even if she can’t remember what happened to her.
The more Trey and Jimmy talk, the more she realizes they know something about the girl who disappeared ten years ago and whose femur bone is probably lying on the floor. Charlie used it to drag herself out of the hole and knock on the door, not realizing it was a body part. Morty, who is a thief but not a killer, thinks it is just about money, but Charlie knows better. While the men prepare a room for the women, Charlie sees a picture of Chloe, Trey, and Jimmy when they were much younger, and Morty pulls a gun on Trey after taking pictures of Chloe’s skeleton in the hole.
Trey punches Morty out after convincing her to take his car in exchange for her silence and drives his car off a cliff with her body inside and the photos erased. Charlie meanwhile pretends to take a sedative that Jimmy claims is Tylenol. After Trey returns from killing Morty, he and Jimmy argue, and Trey says for the second time that he won’t let another girl go crazy on him. Jimmy now knows that Trey lied about how Chloe died. Trey claimed it was an accident years ago, but he is clearly a sociopath who probably tried to rape her and beat her when she fought back.
Jimmy gets shot in the head, trying to be Charlie’s hero and Trey attacks. Thinking he has thought of everything, he stashes Jimmy and Charlie in the tree hole after stabbing her in the chest and wipes down the motel. He drinks from the coffee cup, where Charlie puts her blue pills, and while trying to get back home, he nearly collapses in the woods. He returns home just before 7, thinking he got away with murder again.
The devil is in the details, though, and Charlie grabbed his ankle bracelet and ripped it off his ankle while he was dumping her body. The monitor gets activated, and the truth comes out. Ever resilient, Charlie didn’t die, but because Morty’s body was found with her wallet, they think Charlie died in Trey’s car. Patched up but badly injured with the world believing she is now Jane Doe, Charlie thinks all her problems have been solved.
Everything is coming up roses until we see Cliff calling Sterling, asking how deep to dig the hole. Poor Charlie can’t catch a break. She may think she is in the clear, but Cliff knows she is in the hospital and alive. Charlie’s injuries make her vulnerable. I hope she has time to heal before Cliff strikes. With only one episode left, I’d say time is running out for our favorite citizen detective. Find all our Poker Face coverage here.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.