Brand New Cherry Flavor episode 1 recap – what happened in “I Exist”?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: August 13, 2021 (Last updated: November 6, 2023)
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Netflix series Brand New Cherry Flavor episode 1 - I Exist


Brand New Cherry Flavor will leave everyone talking. P.S. those kittens!

This recap of Netflix’s Brand New Cherry Flavor episode 1, “I Exist,” contains major spoilers.

Check out the spoiler-free review of the series.

Brand New Cherry Flavor episode 1 recap

In the early 90s and on her way to Los Angeles, the lead character Lisa Nova (played by Rosa Salazar), stops at a petrol station and makes a call to her ex-boyfriend Code (played by Manny Jacinto). Although he hasn’t seen her in months (as she was shooting her short film in the woods), he’s glad she’s alive and allows her to stay on his couch.

The following morning, Lisa meets with Director Lou Burke (played by Eric Lange). Lou himself has not had a “real hit” since 1986 but after he views Lisa’s short movie, he is interested in making it into a full feature. After agreeing that Lisa will be the director, Lou sends over a contract and a $10,000 deposit. They leave lunch together and bump into A-List actor Roy Hardaway (played by Jeff Ward), although Lisa seems more interested in a motorist.

Afterward, Lisa searches for an apartment with Code and his current girlfriend Christine (played by Hannah Levien). Upon settling in (if you could say that), Lisa is disturbed by a group of cats feeding on a dead coyote.

Lisa meets up with Lou again, and this time he’s helping Lisa pitch herself. Lou wants more depth from her which is how we learn that Lisa is making the film due to her non-existent relationship with her mother. “I feel that if I make my film, somehow she’ll see it”. It seems to be the start of a great friendship until Lou crosses the line and places his hand on Lisa’s leg. She takes his hand off before also claiming that they make “a good team”.

During a party full of showbiz people, Lou abandons Lisa, so in enters Boro. All the time holding her cat, Boro says, “I’ve been waiting for the right moment to say hello”. Bringing attention to Lou engaging in important conversations without Lisa, Boro informs Lisa that “for you, I could hurt someone”. As quick as she arrived, Boro leaves. When Lou returns, Lisa learns that he has already spoken to Alvin (played by Patrick Fischler) and is “in” with the film, although Lisa’s very disheartened that she never got to speak to Alvin. Lou, however, doesn’t see (or doesn’t care) what the problem is. Driving home, Lou makes another move on Lisa. She rejects him (again).

The ending

It’s the next morning that Brand New Cherry Flavor shows us how much of a jerk Lou can be. Lisa learns that Lou has fired her as director, and now Jules Brandenberg (played by Jayson Blair) will be directing her movie. Upon learning the news from Code, as Lou wasn’t man enough to tell her himself, she storms over to his house, although, once again, he doesn’t seem to care much. Even going so far as to say, “walk before you try to run” and “let this be a learning experience”. It’s only when Lisa calls him washed up that Lou shows emotion and angrily throttles her.

As a result of Lou’s betrayal, Lisa goes to Boro’s place and looks out for a white jaguar (which is painted on the wall). She gets welcomed in by the Motorist, who after taking his helmet off, appears to be undead. Boro tells Lisa that she will help her with her issue, but only by taking the first payment upfront. For most people, that would mean money. But not for Boro! “Do you know how special you are, you have something inside you. It’s tasty. It’s always been there”. With that, Lisa pukes up a live kitten. And so a deal is made between Lisa & Boro.

What did you think of Brand New Cherry Flavor episode 1? Comment below.

Netflix, TV Recaps
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