What/If Recap: Admitting Your True Self

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 24, 2019 (Last updated: last month)
What/If season 1, episode 8, "What Secrets"


What/If season 1, episode 8, “What Secrets” shows the scenario Anne has constructed spill-over; the characters’ demons reveal themselves in an emotionally impactful chapter.

This recap for Netflix’s What/If Season 1, Episode 8, “What Secrets”, contains significant spoilers. We have provided extensive coverage on Mike Kelley’s neo-noir social thriller, and you can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

The secrets are out but before we delve into Lisa (Jane Levy) and Sean (Blake Jenner), let’s look at Todd and Angela in What/If season 1, episode 8, “What Secrets”.

For Todd, the affair between Angela and Ian was a matter of pride, so only natural that he decides to go to Ian’s house to try to hurt him. The couple finds loads of files on numerous women, leading them to investigate further in Ian’s past, which leads to his mother. Ian’s mother suggests that due to a strange childhood, he became a monster, a man that she no longer recognises. Ian has Angela and Todd right where he wants them, as he infiltrates their house later to take them hostage.

That Angela/Todd/Ian story was dramatic, but the core story took over in-between. What/If episode 8, “What Secrets”, sees Sean hand himself into the police and refuse bail. At the same time, Lisa’s genetic sequencing technology is fast-tracked for FDA approval. A day that is meant to be celebratory turns into the worst day of her marriage as Sean leaves her a letter, along with his ring.

What/If episode 8, “What Secrets”, do offers much sympathy for Lisa, especially when she enters the police station and is unable to see her husband. Coupled with the fact that her stepbrother Marcos admitted he was the cause of the fire that killed her parents. After a few chapters of staying firm and attempting to match Anne, her whole world has come crashing down.

Meanwhile, What/If episode 8, “What Secrets” sees Cassidy and Avery get together to investigate Anne before she undoubtedly brings the company down using a series of litigations and mind games with other organisations. Predictably, this leads to sex, but what wasn’t predictable is Cassidy receiving a text suggesting that “Uncle John” is outside, and then becomes a victim of a hit and run. Cassidy is now out of the game.

The most significant moment in What/If episode 8, “What Secrets” is when Anne (Renée Zellweger) visits Sean to bail him, but mocks him for his attempt to represent as noble and kind, and that he should reveal himself as the monster he is. Anne expresses that he is doing Lisa no favours by hiding behind his darkness.

Once Lisa hears about his bail, she marches to Lisa’s estate and demands that she sees Sean. This spurred a stand-out scene in the series, as Sean admits to being a monster, and Lisa walks out, leaving the ring. This moment was flagrantly symbolic of course, but it also represents a victory for Anne and what she was trying to achieve. As Lisa walks out, Sean breaks down in tears, hugging Anne’s legs.

Our coverage of What/If season 1 does not end here. You can read the recap of episode 9 by clicking these words.

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