“Scene of the Crime” finally gives Alma what she wants — or does it?
This recap of Why Women Kill season 2, episode 4, “Scene of the Crime”, contains spoilers.
With all the revelations of murder over the last few episodes, it’s easy to forget that Alma’s chief goal in Why Women Kill is to secure membership in the exclusive Garden Club – in “Scene of the Crime”, she gets her opportunity to do so, though admittedly it requires stealing the furnishings and wardrobe of the dead woman buried in her garden.
Alma is still likable and charming; she’s a woman who has come to resent herself and her lot in life who hasn’t quite realized that she’s turning to the dark side. She still naively believes that if only she could be part of a swanky girls’ club that there somehow won’t be a body in the back yard; that she’ll suddenly be as upper-crust and stylish and successful as she imagines all those other women to be. It’s funny to watch how she rationalizes stealing all of Mrs. Yost’s valuables. After all, she doesn’t need them anymore, does she?
It’s a desperation move, admittedly – Alma is thrown for a loop when she’s informed at the last minute that Rita and the rest of the Garden Club will be visiting her at home out of the blue to basically audition her for potential membership. Stealing Mrs. Yost’s things and putting them up in her own house just seems like the logical solution. The problem is that she immediately gets used to them being there. She immediately buys into the fantasy she is dreaming up for herself; a fantasy in which she’s the kind of woman who owns all these things, the kind of woman whom the Garden Club would be suitably impressed with. She’s even quick to replace a family portrait with one of Paris. Even Bertram takes issue with that, and he’s a serial killer.
It’s only by chance, really, that Rita, who also came from nothing, identifies and respects Alma’s drive to make something of herself. Ironically Alma gains some degree of acceptance from Rita not by making her believe she fits in, but by proving that she doesn’t.
But we mustn’t forget that Mrs. Yost is dead and buried in the garden, and Why Women Kill season 2, episode 4 makes sure we don’t in a couple of sequences. In one, Mrs. Yost’s dog tries to dig up her body while the Garden Club members are all still inside. And in another, the police, having discovered Mrs. Yost’s car in the lake, call for a visit while Alma and Bertram are literally burgling her home.
And then there’s Dee. After ditching Scooter, she has her sights set firmly on Vern, which is fair enough. He isn’t exactly against the idea, but he has been scorned before and is clearly nursing a fair amount of trauma from wartime. But there’s little chance that anyone would be happy about them as a pairing. Remember, Rita hired Vern to spy on Scooter before Dee did, so from her perspective, he’s at least partially complicit in ruining her relationship after leading Dee straight to their rendezvous. There’s also the fact that Dee being Alma’s daughter is going to pose problems. Just when it looks like Alma has secured her Garden Club membership, Rita sees Dee arriving home and figures out the connection. There’s no way she’s going to let that slide. And unfortunately, it’ll be Alma who pays the price.