“Someone Is Lying” effectively sketches the confusion of the morning after the night before, as Bella begins to try and put the pieces together.
This recap of I May Destroy You season 1, episode 2, “Someone Is Lying”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
I May Destroy You episode 2 rejoins Arabella (Michaela Coel) on the morning after the night before, but she — and indeed the tone of the whole show — are not the same as they were before. Bella’s off her food, has a cut on her head, has broken her phone, and keeps having weird flashbacks of an odd man aggressively thrusting in a toilet cubicle. She can’t remember how any of this happened. Her friend Terry (Weruche Opia) seems skeptical. Simon (Aml Ameen) is being coy about how the evening ended. Nothing is making sense, but as the episode’s title insists, “Someone Is Lying”.
Terry thinks Bella just needs to stop watching YouTube videos about memories that haven’t really happened and get some sleep. But Biagio (Marouane Zotti) is video-calling and another flashback to an ATM withdrawal complicates the matter further. Terry, meanwhile, has a pretty horrendous audition during which she’s asked to take her weave out by a dismissive white woman.
With Ben (Stephen Wight), Bella continues to interrogate her own recollections of the evening, which don’t match her bank statements — they put her in a different place entirely from where she remembers being. With this new information, she returns to Simon, whose story of an Uber doesn’t add up. Bella takes a photo of his receipts in the app.
That picture leads her to an address: Alissa’s (Ann Akin). She had a blackout of her own. She can’t remember the evening, her housemates reckon she got spiked, and Simon’s ghosting her. As Bella says, the only person they both know in this story is Simon, who’s looking increasingly shifty in this scenario, but Alissa takes offense at the suggestion and berates Bella all the way out of the block.
Bella’s next plan is to go to the police station since she’s convinced that she witnessed someone being assaulted, though it doesn’t seem like she has yet considered the possibility that it was her. Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) joins her for support. The police ask outright if Simon or his friend had any reason to assault her. She thinks not, though she concedes it’s weird that he just left her somewhere. But Bella can’t help but downplay the whole experience — she insists that the police should “be careful” in using big terms like “assault” when it could all be in her head.
This is obviously a defense mechanism. In a powerful moment that’s intercut with scenes of Bella being medically examined, she’s pressed by the police on her image of the man, whose face she sees clearly. When she’s asked who he’s looking at, the penny drops — he’s looking at her. If anyone was being assaulted, she was. She instantly breaks down. This radically re-contextualizes her view of the evening, of the incident. She is, suddenly, a victim, someone who has been violated. As she falls asleep on Kwame’s knee, it’s with the knowledge, whether she wants to admit it or not, that nothing will ever be the same from this point.