This recap of Dare Me Season 1, Episode 6, “Code Red”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
After the previous episode, it was pretty inevitable that Dare Me Episode 6 would feel like a downgrade in comparison. But that isn’t to say that “Code Red” doesn’t have its fair share of decent character moments and promising developments, and the overall sense of impending collapses is very much felt looming over proceedings here.
The cheerleading team understandably remains in disarray, with RiRi’s injury not only impacting her but also Tacy, who is evidently being blamed for the whole affair. While cheerleading once again becomes Addy and Beth’s focus, Colette is too distracted by her romantic lives to properly devote herself to the team. This reaches a real crescendo in Dare Me Episode 6 as she and Matt enjoy drinks and a happy family façade at the same bar as Will. The tension and locked eyes are too much for both of them; Colette leaves, while Will comes to blows with Kurtz (Chris Zylka), unable to process his emotions.
Continuing the trend begun last week, “Code Red” finds useful ways to blend aesthetics and narrative, most obviously in a scene which helps to emphasise Addy’s renewed cheerleading focus, lingering guilt, and increasingly rivalrous relationship with Beth. Beth is unusually subdued throughout, still reeling from her assault, and takes something of a backseat to Addy here, as Tacy continues to be tormented in a deeply unpleasant manner.
We also see a real blowout between Matt and Colette, which blows up and simmers down again, and find the upcoming Regionals slot into position as the looming ticking-clock device as we cross the halfway point and start moving towards the climax. I think it’s safe to say at this point that Dare Me has finally found the style and rhythm that works best for it, and while this episode was lighter on overarching plot development than it might have been, the raised stakes and better grasp of how to utilize artistic quirks are helping to sustain it. Another plus is that it’s genuinely difficult to tell what might happen next – while those who have read the book might be in the know, anyone simply following the show along will have plenty of reasons to keep going.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.