“The Good Brother” examines more of Scott’s past and Lisey’s potential future as she finally takes the plunge into Booya Moon.
This recap of Lisey’s Story season 1, episode 5, “The Good Brother”, contains spoilers.
Water has been integral to Lisey’s Story thus far, the gushing pathways to the mystical kingdom of Booya Moon. We’ve been treated to countless shots of troughs and sinks and bathtubs spilling over with liquid as the show has transitioned through time periods, perspectives, and realities. For the first time in Lisey’s Story episode 5, “The Good Brother”, Lisey herself takes a plunge. Where she’s going or whether she’ll even get there is anyone’s guess; the idea of Booya Moon is exactly that – an idea, perceived differently by everyone who has glimpsed it, like they’re looking at it through the curtains of water that pour into and out of it.
After the shocks of the previous episode, which spent a long time both physically and psychologically torturing Lisey, “The Good Brother” feels somewhat contemplative. The assurance of the police that Lisey will be protected hours after being violently tortured is a cruel joke, as is Dashmiel imploring Dooley not to hurt Lisey, totally unaware that he already has. Lisey is literally and figuratively alone, accompanied only by a specter of Scott, and a lot of this episode finds her reminiscing on things he told her about his brother, Paul.
In flashbacks, we see “the bad” infiltrate Paul. One day he attacks Scott and claws him with long fingernails, and their father, Andrew, knocks him unconscious and chains him up outside. In weeks of captivity, Paul becomes increasingly monstrous, his behavior feral and his face contorted. It’s played straight, as if it’s real, but it’s also a recollection of Scott’s, so it’s shaped by how he remembers the events. Was it easier for him to dose Paul with crushed-up ketamine if he pictured him as a monster? Was it easier for Andrew to shoot him dead if “the bad” had corrupted his brain completely?
These are the lies we tell ourselves, we ways we rationalize the worst aspects of our lives. Lisey’s Story season 1, episode 5 doles out the story of Paul’s death as Lisey begins to explore Booya Moon, where Andrew implored Scott to take his dead son, and where his grave now resides. This isn’t a place that’s easy to make sense of. It’s as much a metaphor as a location. It heals, but it also scars deeply. Those who sit around its pool have lost themselves to it but left their pain and traumas behind. What are they looking for in the water? What does the Long Boy want from them? What is the significance of the water we have seen so much of, and why does it allow passage to this strange realm of make-believe? Lisey, descending into her pool with a shovel, intends to find out.