Gossip spreads rapidly in “easy when that doesn’t affect you”, as the mysterious virus quickly claims new victims, and debates over isolation, quarantine, and a rapidly-spreading plague give Kissing Game a topical twist.
This recap of Kissing Game season 1, episode 3, “easy when that doesn’t affect you”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Funerals are always hard, but they’re especially hard when they also involve a land dispute. As it turns out, since Bel died of a potentially contagious disease, the local villagers don’t want her to be buried anywhere where she might contaminate the soil or the water. The mourners don’t want to hear this, of course, but it makes logistical sense, especially when a bunch more students suddenly come down with the same infection.
A doctor explains what we know so far. The cause is a mystery. The prolonged exchange of saliva passes it on. Some students take several days to exhibit symptoms, some just hours. A spot around the mouth heralds the illness, which gradually shuts down senses and emotions. And it’s spreading. An isolated wing has been prepared to treat the infected. This is all filmed on more phones than you can count. “easy when that doesn’t affect you” hardly gets off to an upbeat start.
The unintentional timeliness of quarantines and isolation and a rapidly-spreading plague are difficult to avoid, even if this one is a bit silly in both its cause and its glowy symptoms. But it gives the show a sting of topicality that is really felt in Kissing Game episode 3, and it meshes well with the themes of social media. Fran makes the decision to share the kissing map with Manu, who shares it with everyone, which feels like a big move, but also the smartest play, however much it might upset people or cause some embarrassment.
Naturally, it causes an uproar. Relationships are ruined. Fights break out. The principal purposefully disinfecting her hands strikes another uncomfortably familiar note.
Personal subplots continue to develop in “easy when that doesn’t affect you”. Alex’s relationship with his father is strained and uncomfortable, and his only solace is staring moony-eyed at Da’Mask brushing some kind of animal skull ASMR style. Chico creates a Grindr catfish account to check up on his former hook-up, who’s ghosting him now. And Fran, while laying in bed with her sick mother, has a stylized dream in which she’s blown into a grave that is rapidly filled. When she wakes up, her lips are black. Uh-oh.
A video breaks out from the hospital’s isolation wing, with Jeferson live-streaming the infected, white-eyed, and glowing, which seems an attractive prospect for some of the students, who want to glow too. Less attractive is Jeferson roaming to the nearest window and filming his own suicide, although there’s still a frisson of cool-kid counter-culture showboating among the students’ reactions.
Some developments occur in Kissing Game episode 3. Chico visits Manu’s mother and accuses them both of lying about where Manu really is in order to keep up appearances. Fran, meanwhile, might have blacked-out her lips, but her symptoms continue to worsen, her senses suffering. Her home life suffers too, as her mother, thanks to her ill health, is told she must leave her house within a week.
Fran doesn’t take this well. After accidentally tipping boiling water all over her hand without realizing, she storms over to scream at Alex’s father for the inhuman way he has cast off her mother. Her eyes are white. And when Alex and his mother return home, in the glare of their car’s headlights, she begins to glow.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.