“Dangerous Intruder” pushes Alma to embrace her villainous side as several storylines come together.
This recap of Why Women Kill season 2, episode 6, “Dangerous Intruder”, contains spoilers.
When the second season of Why Women Kill debuted, there was talk in some quarters that the show choosing to focus on the same clutch of characters in a single timeline would be to its detriment. As it turns out, that idea is proving rather ridiculous, since the storyline Marc Cherry has dreamed up here is more intricate and complex than anything in the first season; a tangled web of competing personalities, motives, and circumstances that keep the wheels of the plot turning while also delivering heaps of fun character moments, truly withering barbs, and surprising turns. “Dangerous Intruder”, an accurate title if ever there was one, is probably the show at its soapy best, with many storylines hitting major turning points and the future of every character seeming pleasingly unpredictable.
Things do continue to rest on Rita and Alma, though, which is logical since the latter is becoming a dark mirror of the former, beginning to talk, dress, and indeed think like her, emboldened by the cruelty she has been shown already and the social riches she might enjoy if she can just get into that damn garden club. But Why Women Kill season 2, episode 6 delivers more of Rita’s backstory than anyone’s. We learn that she and Isobel are cousins and that they have fled from Galveston, Texas, presumably after murdering someone named Harry.
This isn’t the zinger the show thinks it is – it’s actually pretty easy to imagine. But there’s a brief moment in “Dangerous Intruder” when Rita learns that Dee is pregnant with Scooter’s baby and immediately, visibly softens. It’s a strange thing, and I thought it was a ruse at first, but her contrition there is probably pretty telling. We’ll have to wait and see.
Allison Tolman, though. Blimey! This isn’t a simple part she’s playing here. Alma has transitioned from a put-upon housewife to an outright villain plotting the complete destruction of her enemies, and she’s willing to use her murderous husband, Bertram, to do it. What the show has done with Bertram is kind of impressive. He’s a serial killer and seems like the most earnest, sympathetic character in the show. He was scarred by a devastating childhood and has warped his sense of morality to include himself as a kind of compassionate chaperone to the next life. He genuinely sees what he does as mercy, so he’s reluctant to help Alma off Carlo, suspecting that it’s for her own self-serving purposes and not to spare Carlo his torment. Bertram persisted in his activities because he believed his actions were just, and he was willing to stop them when he realized they weren’t; that makes him a very different kind of villain to the one Alma is becoming since she knows what she’s doing is wrong and is willing to use her husband to do it anyway.
Rita’s house – that house! – becomes the nexus of all these parallel storylines in the climax of Why Women Kill season 2, episode 6, and it’s a grand, soapy good time seeing it all come together. Bertram poisons a less-than-enthusiastic Carlo, Alma plants evidence to incriminate Rita for that deed, Scooter finally seduces Catherine, and Vern takes photographs of it all – including, one assumes, Alma. Now that he and Dee are engaged, a development that comes almost completely out of nowhere, that’s probably not a good thing.