Grand Army season 1, episode 3 recap – what happened in “Relationship Goals”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 16, 2020 (Last updated: February 10, 2024)
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Grand Army Netflix
Grand Army Promotional Image Courtesy of Netflix


Grand Army season 1, episode 3 is part of the story that is horrifying to witness as a fairly innocent situation continues to escalate into a more sinister event.

This recap of Netflix’s Grand Army season 1, episode 3, “Relationship Goals” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped the entire series — check out the archive.

The opening

Please be warned — Grand Army season 1, episode 3 has themes of sexual assault that can be traumatic to victims.

The opening is a text that says “They all have love in their lives.”. Episode 3 then flits to a school assembly and the national anthem is in full flow. A few students, including Anna and Joey, kneel to the anthem and they are jeered by a couple of students. Jay is at home playing the saxophone. Sid is still struggling with the perception of him and the stereotypes aimed at him due to his ethnicity and faith — he’s scared. Sid leaves the pool and his swim team celebrates with him.

The opening stages present plenty of themes to deal with; Black Lives Matter, dealing with one’s sexuality, and a black kid suspended from school with the risk of not fulfilling his potential

Do not have sex with my brother

After school, Joey and Anna hang out and think of an idea to go to Spain together in their gap year. Joey tells Anna she has “Tim issues” and she doesn’t want to mess it up with her — Anna is bothered by it and questions whether she wants to be in a relationship. Anna reminds her that Tim is her brother and asks her to promise not to have sex with him.

This friendship group is more complicated than what the series initially presented — there’s a dynamic where Joey is central to it all.

George is playing

Episode 3 shows the classic dynamic of young and dating, which includes ghosting and trying to get one’s attention.

At church, a few kids throw things at Leila. She then shows Rachel something she has sent George — it’s a sexual image. Rachel tells her she shouldn’t have sent it. Leila is worried that George hasn’t replied to her for a while.

Taking the knee

Dom’s friends tell her how she should approach John Ellis. Jay then turns up in the shopping mall and he seems a little down as Sonia passes him homework. He then tries to touch base with Dom about Owen’s hearing but she brushes him off. Sonia asks Dom if she can see the similarities to policing in the black community with what happened to Jay and Owen.

Dom seems to be “on the fence” regarding the Jay and Owen situation, mostly because it was her money that was taken and lost by their prank on the stairs during the school lockdown — Sonia is trying to remind her that this situation is part of a problem in the black community.


Episode 3 deepens Joey’s dynamic with her friends as it truly escalates in “Relationship Goals”.

In the cinemas, Joey chooses to not sit next to Tim but sits next to Luke and George instead. This irks Tim. Joey leaves the screening as Tim goes to get food. She sees him flirting with the cashier so she heads over and kisses him. She tells him she isn’t being weird but wants to keep things normal. Tim doesn’t like how she throws herself at his friends to send him a message. She is annoyed by his comment and sits back down next to Luke and George. Joey and George keep on flirting and Tim is slowly getting annoyed.

Just leave

At a bat mitzvah, Rachel is annoyed at Leila for making the whole event about George and tells her to leave — she also gives her view that he isn’t into her. Leila is sat on her own, increasingly getting upset.

She starts sobbing during the disco and a rabbi cheers her up by bringing her to the dance floor. Leila apologizes to Rachel.

I can’t do this

With Sid battling with his sexuality, he’s struggling with his relationship with Flora, and episode 3 sees it reach boiling point.

Sid is out with his girlfriend Flora having a meal. She makes a comment that he doesn’t like naked women but she means “pornified women”. He’s impacted by her comments and he starts suggesting he hasn’t got time for this relationship. Flora is devastated but Sid claims he still loves her. Flora departs the restaurant.

Bumping into John

Episode 3 sees the blossoming of a new relationship and one that was easy to see coming.

Dom bumps into John Ellis in the mall and pretends it was accidental. It’s a short conversation and then John asks her if she wants to do something.

They both go to get some pizza. Dom’s sister texts her asking her to go home as their mother is working. John asks why her sister hasn’t gone far and Dom explains her sister got pregnant young.

You ain’t f*cked her yet

Episode 3 presents misplaced masculinity that often impacts young teenage men who believe that sex can be the only deciding factor in a heterosexual relationship. At the cinemas again, Tim is told to chill over Joey. George mocks him as Tim gets increasingly stressed about the situation and tells him he hasn’t f*cked her yet because he’s a p*ssy. George gives him the notion that because Tim hasn’t had sex with her yet, he has no right to what he’s feeling — but it’s abundantly obvious that Joey and Tim have feelings, so it is not unnatural for Tim to be annoyed that his friends and Joey are all over each other.

Afterward, Joey tells his friends that the man who looked suspicious in the cinemas had a bag full of sex toys and she gets out a mini vibrator.

Taxi time

And the Joey friendship group intensifies and escalates as the tension between Tim and Joey reaches boiling point — Joey is drunk and annoyed at Tim — Tim is in a hole that he cannot get out of due to his feelings. Joey is a little frantic trying to get a taxi and Tim tries to calm her down — she’s quite drunk. In the back of the taxi, she’s desperate to talk to Tim but he isn’t in the mood.

George, Joey, and Luke continue to fool around at the back of the taxi. Tim tells her she’s an attention seeker. George tells Tim that Joey isn’t going to be more into him if he keeps acting like this.

Joey calls Tim hypocritical after all the girls he has been with in front of her face. She tells him she wants to have fun and but Tim keeps on ignoring her. Tim tells her that he just doesn’t want to watch. Joey gets on top of Luke and starts kissing him — she looks at him and says, “I get to do that”.

A good evening

Dom and John talk about the Jay and Owen situation. John thinks it is f*cked up what happened. He then tells Dom that he’s had a good time with her. Dom tells him that she appreciates how he helped her out at Target (when she couldn’t afford all the clothes for her family)

The ending

Episode 3 brings an uncomfortable moment that changes Joey’s story forever — if you have ever been directly or indirectly affected by sexual abuse, then the next scene comes with a warning.

Joey starts kissing George while Tim just sits there. Luke and George then forcefully finger Joey despite her telling them to wait and stop — both teenage boys hold her legs apart so they can continue despite cries from Joey and zero consent. They don’t stop and Joey asks for Tim’s help but Tim ignores the whole thing, essentially becoming complicit by remaining silent — Joey has been raped. After the taxi ride is over, Joey is traumatized and crying. She heads to a bathroom and cleans herself up. There’s blood on the tissue. Tim texts her and asks if she’s okay. Joey heads to the toilet and throws up. Anna knocks on the door and asks if she can come in.

This scene represents a key discussion in society today — we always expect our abusers to be strangers but it’s often someone we know and trust. Joey’s story represents many women’s real-life stories in today’s world. George and Luke are her best friends and they still raped her, while someone who has feelings for her ignored what happened due to his own immaturity — Episode 3 is a case study of how it can happen to anyone.

The text that was written at the start continues to end the chapter: “They l have love in their lives. It’s their lack of respect that’s sickening.”

Grand Army season 1, episode 3 is part of the story that is horrifying to witness as a fairly innocent situation continues to escalate into a more sinister event.

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