You pulls off a neat switch in “The Captain”, and the show continues to be a highly entertaining, often hysterical thriller.
Joe Goldberg was so disappointing in bed that Beck started doing the episode voiceover just so she could get it off her chest. Man, that’s rough. And as though things weren’t bad enough for Joe, the fact he’s a nutcase murdering stalker means he has to read through the group chat in which Beck reveals to her friends that he lasted a mere 8 seconds in the sack. When the emojis started getting involved, you have to imagine this whole ploy started to seem like a bad idea. And that’s before he found out about The Captain.
The implication is that Beck has a sugar daddy. He paid for her new bed and he pays for her phone bill, and when he asks Beck if she has acquired a specific outfit, he immediately transfers her $500 for it (right through the messaging app!). She says she loves him, which distresses Joe so much that he leaves immediately and goes to hide out at their prearranged motel meeting spot.
Luckily, the sugar daddy is a real daddy, and the outfit is a period piece for a Dickens Festival, which is kind of creepy considering she bought it from a lingerie shop. But, details. You’ll recall that Beck has been telling everyone that her dad died of an overdose, which it turns out is only half true. He did overdose, but he was, ahem, “saved” by some Christian blogger woman and absconded with her and her family. Beck keeps that bit of the story to herself and secretly endures themed get-togethers with his second family so that The Captain keeps sending her cash. It’s a good job Beck was given narration duties this episode, because that isn’t quite “keeping your ex in an underground vault and murdering him with peanut oil” on the weirdness scale, but claiming your dad is dead is still a pretty out-there way of making yourself seem deep and interesting.
Joe is snooping around at the Dickens Festival in his Great Expectations getup, and eventually gets caught out, but he’s able to smooth-talk his way out of it mostly by being oh so sincere about his insta-nut issues the previous evening. He’s invited to dinner, which is a predictable catastrophe, and Beck tells him to get lost while she grieves about her dead dad being alive. It’s all a bit silly. Then again it does lead to a spurt – sorry, not a great choice of words, all things considered – of inspiration for Beck, who spends the night writing prose that is presumably not, as her earlier work was described in this episode, “treacly”. This turns her on, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since, earlier in “The Captain”, she talked herself into masturbating while waiting in a dirty motel for her dad to turn up dressed like the Artful Dodger.
This leads to the best scene of the episode, in which Beck turns up at Joe’s apartment for a second attempt at halfway decent sex, and his place is comically strewn with all the stuff he’s collected while spying on her. It’s hilarious – the dude just has her underwear and phone and diary lying around in the open! So while they’re getting it on he has to frantically squirrel away all her stuff and it’s great. Also a bit unlikely that he’s suddenly some lothario now, but whatever. He also – somehow, some way – manages to replace the missing Ozma of Oz first edition that he nicked from Peach Salinger, who’s definitely onto him at this point. Blimey, this show’s mad. Can’t wait for next week.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.