Daniel Mays leads the charge in a dramatic episode that laid everyone’s feelings out on the table.
This recap of White Lines season 1, episode 7, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
As we learn at the start of White Lines Episode 7, Zoe has been enjoying something of a whirlwind romance with Boxer. She hasn’t left his apartment. He has been painting her feet, which is true love, I guess? They’re very happy together. Only you have to wonder how happy they can conceivably continue to be.
Sometimes, you don’t necessarily realize how you’ve been going on until you’re forced to face it. David, for instance, has realized that he never dealt with his feelings about Axel — he just put them in boxes with his things. He thinks everyone should get together, for the first time in twenty years, and say the things they need to say.
This get-together forms the bulk of the episode and is very dramatic, but we’ll get to it soon. In the meantime, Marcus loses his house, and in his time of need, Anna is quick to go back to George and leave him the dogs. Marcus attends a meeting with Oriol and Kika and learns that his associates have been selling in rival clubs. Nothing seems to be going well for him currently, and it only gets worse.
Zoe’s marriage isn’t having a great time either. She accidentally sent an indecent photo meant for Boxer to Mike, which he’s instantly suspicious about. It only puts further strain on them and causes Zoe to become even more unsure of her feelings, both for her husband and Boxer.
Clint — I’m pretty sure that’s his name, but I might be wrong — gets into it with Miguel over the Spanish authorities’ handling of Axel’s death. Why did it take Zoe coming over and digging around for any actual evidence to be uncovered? While it has since become obvious that Axel was killed on Ibiza and then taken to be buried elsewhere, Miguel argues that evidence suggested otherwise and the Spanish police did what they could. At the same time, though, he wants Clint to know that his son was awful, which very much becomes a recurring theme of White Lines Episode 7.
This all comes to a head during the ill-fated get-together, which boasts some fine acting from everyone but Daniel Mays in particular, who spends the evening getting increasingly drunk and annoyed and has some truly superb outbursts. The meal takes place at David’s swanky hippie bachelor pad, complete with a spherical yin and yang sculpture, and the entire gang is in attendance: Marcus, David, Anna, George, Kika, Oriol, Zoe, and Boxer. It’s the first time they’ve all been together in two decades. And judging by how things turn out, it’ll probably be the last time. In no particular order, here are some of the things that are revealed throughout the evening: that Marcus slept with Anna; that Zoe is living with Boxer; that Axel betrayed Anna; that Axel got David addicted to smack; that Axel slept with Conchita; that David is potentially gay and was in love with Axel. It’s chaos and becomes increasingly difficult to watch. Some particularly difficult sequences include Marcus, having been demeaned again by George, trying to win Anna back only to be told that she doesn’t want him anymore, and a flashback in which David, his face numb from the drugs, starts beating his head against a tree.
Naturally, this all erupts into violence. David eventually loses it and says that whatever happened to Axel was basically assisted suicide. He wanted to die. He loved pain. Once again, Zoe is hearing how deeply troubled and possibly deranged her brother was. Marcus says outright that everyone around the table had a reason to kill him.
Zoe also says that while piecing together Axel’s life she’s also piecing together her own, but that becomes more difficult than ever in White Lines Season 1, Episode 7. What does she want from Boxer? What does he want from her? What are they together? Fittingly, they leave separately, and Clint stops her on her way to reveal that he stayed behind. In the process, he reveals how he really felt about Axel. He hated him because he continued to smile and laugh when Clint was crippled with grief over losing his wife, Axel’s mother, to cancer. But this is interspersed with flashbacks to Axel telling Kika how his demeanor was always a front to keep his own grief battened down for Zoe’s sake. In all his determination to laugh and live, he forgot to ever let that pain out. And it continued to eat him alive until he died.
Now, as Clint says to Zoe, they can at least catch whoever killed him. Even in such a revelatory episode, the single dramatic question of the show remains unanswered.
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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.