A murderous new arrival sets out in pursuit of Alyssa to avenge the death of her lover, who’ll be all too familiar to fans of the first season.
This recap of The End of the F***ing World season 2, episode 1 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous season by clicking these words.
There’s a crucial question that everyone tuning into the second season of The End of the F***ing World wants an answer to – did James survive last season’s finale? Well, they’ll have to wait for a little while, at least, as this opener introduces Bonnie, fresh from prison for killing someone – “on purpose”, as she explains to the old school friend who serves her at a petrol station. He takes it as a joke, but when we see the gun in her glovebox and the picture of Alyssa in a file she’s carrying, it’s hard to see it that way.
In a flashback, Bonnie claims she learned about punishment at a young age. During a pop quiz, when she’s unable to name the capital of Latvia, her stern mother says, “I feel like you’ve punched me in the face.” And she means it. Bonnie grew up in this environment, where her own father was too afraid to reveal he had lost his job and instead drove around all day until it was time to come home. Eventually he left to get milk and never came back. That left Bonnie’s mother to focus on her. When she discovers Bonnie’s lipstick: “Do you know what kind of women wear this? Hookers. And hookers don’t pass exams.” As punishment, Bonnie has to eat the lipstick. “Life can be hard,” she says in voiceover, “mum taught me how to cope with it. How to cope with people.”
Bonnie’s method of coping is… interesting. She fails all her exams, but she tells her mum she got three A’s. She went to university anyway, though admittedly by getting a job there. Her lecturer has a familiar face – that of Clive Koch, the man whose house James and Alyssa broke into in the first season, who tried to rape Alyssa and had his jugular sliced open in return. He identifies Bonnie as a worker, rather than a student, and says he doesn’t want to see her in his class again, so she endeavours to show him her potential by smearing his posters in human faeces. He’s impressed. She can come to his class on the condition that she has a drink with him once a week.
In Koch, or at least adjacent to him, Bonnie could finally see a future for herself. He takes her to his home and butters her up with complements about how exceptional people tend to fail exams, which simply rank levels of mediocrity. Pretty soon, he gets handsy and suggests they take their clothes off, which she’s quick to do. Afterward, he gives her money for a taxi. What a charmer.
Koch claims he could fall in love with Bonnie, and as their relationship persists, she naively asks if it has happened yet, “the love”. “Nearly,” he responds, shushing her and telling her that they’re done for the night. Yuck. In the university library, Bonnie flirts with a student to antagonize Koch, and later sees Koch at home with another student. In response, she smashes his car with a stone turtle. He spins a tale that this new girl is in love with him and threatening him in an attempt to destroy his life, which Bonnie buys. She begins following the student in her car, and eventually runs her over. Tearfully, she uses the girl’s phone to call an ambulance. The next we see of Bonnie, she’s in prison.
Koch sends Bonnie a copy of her book while she’s inside, saying it happened – he loves her. I think we have our explanation for why Bonnie is out for Alyssa; she wants revenge. And we’ve seen that she’s willing to get it in quite a determined way.
Back in the present day, Bonnie tucks the revolver in her skirt and knocks on the door of Alyssa’s family home. “Hi,” she smiles. “Is Alyssa in?”
Thanks for reading out recap of The End of the F***ing World season 2, episode 1. For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?