Story Recap – what happened in Inventing Anna season 1?

February 11, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
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This is a story recap of Netflix’s Inventing Anna season 1 and will contain spoilers as it details what happened.

There is nothing Shonda Rhimes cannot turn into Hollywood gold. In her sophomore series effort for Netflix, Inventing Anna is no exception. Even if this critic has an issue with the final two episode’s themes, the makers have tried to manipulate the audience that Anna deserves our sympathy. The limited series from Shondaland productions is based on Jessica Pressler’s reporting of woman Anna Delvey, who tricked New York’s elite into funding her business practices without having a penny to her name. She walked around claiming to be a German heiress who had a 60 million dollar trust fund ready to be gifted when she turned 25.

The series is based on Pressler’s article, How Anna (Sorokin) Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People,” for The New Yorker. Here is a story recap of what happened in Inventing Anna season 1.

Story recap – what happened in Inventing Anna season 1?

Episode 1- “The Life of a VIP”

Vivian (Anna Chlumsky), is a disgraced Manhattan Magazine reporter who wants to scrap her #MeToo Wall Street story to cover the arrest of a German heiress. She pitches a story to her boss about the Instagram con artist tricking big banks, philanthropists, financial advisors, hedge funds, law firms, real-estate advisors, art gallery owners, and even crucial players at fashion week. Even more impressive that she not only cracked New York City’s exclusives but found herself landing a job in “The Fortress,” a private and elite financial equity firm. Vivian manages to get an exclusive interview with her. This buys her two weeks to shape a story enough to let her run with it.

Episode 2 – “The Devil Wore Anna”

Even though Anna is unreliable, she establishes a theme about her character for the limited series run. She never wants anyone to think of her as basic. We meet her squad, which includes Neff, Kacy, and Rachel. Here, Vivian interviews two people. The other situation is Chase and Anna visiting Hampton’s Queen, Talia Malley. When they visit her in Ibiza, this establishes Anna’s talent for changing minds and swinging a deal. The other demonstrates Anna’s penchant for mistakes. She and Chase stay on Talia’s friend’s yacht weeks after everyone’s left without permission.

Val is a gay fashion designer and Anna’s closest friend. That’s until Anna’s yuppie boyfriend, Chase, who suspects Anna has no money, has Val check her passport. Val reports back that she is Russian. He tells his girlfriend Val to go through her bag and passport on his own, so she breaks off the friendship.

Episode 3 – “Two Birds, One Throne”

Nore, an uber-rich socialite, living in Manhattan, tells Vivian to let Anna and Chase live with her for months. Nora is a rich woman who loves men and looks down upon young women. She is ready to fund Chase’s entire company with two-million dollars for an app called WAKE. That’s until Anna turns the tables when she finds out her boyfriend lied, ran off to his parent’s house in Ohio, and lost everything. Does she support Chase? Sure. But she drops a hint to Nora that WAKE is in severe financial trouble. So, she puts all her money into Anna’s plan, the Anna Delvey Foundation.

This is a theme that is established throughout the series. Nora is more worried about Chase losing her friend’s money than hers because it would ruin her reputation.

Episode 4 – “A Wolf in Chic Clothing”

This episode involves Alan Reed (Anthony Edwards), who sees ambition in Anna, something he considers none of in his daughter. So, he takes her under his wing. He gives her instant credibility. Alan gets caught up in her lavish lifestyle. He is invigorated, buys hip clothes and stylish glasses, and ignores the common sense of basic business background checks. Alan completely ignores verifying her trust and signs the forms without seeing the paperwork. Alan takes the word of Anna’s financial advisor from Germany. It was Anna, using a male voice app and a digital SD card to show a German number.

Episode 5 – “Check-Out Time”

This episode has Neff begin to question Anna and her lifestyle. The other is we see Vivian’s backstory start to take shape. Anna’s credit cards are declined at dinner, Neff pays the bill, and Anna is then kicked out of the hotel for owing them 30,000 dollars. Anna manages to pay back the hotel, and even Neff, causing her friend to think Anna was the real deal. Meanwhile, Vivian comes clean to Anna’s lawyer, Todd. She was accused of falsely reporting a story that her editor threw her under the bus for not doing his job when he failed to vet a subject.

Episode 6 – “Friends in Low Places”

This episode is by far the series’ most suspenseful. Anna needs to blow off some steam and invites Rachel and Kacy on an all-expenses-paid Khloe Kardashian-inspired trip to Morrocco. The group finds that all of Anna’s money is tied up because she maxed out all of her credit cards and can’t get a hold of her father to wire her some money. She further enrages them by calling the country “dirty.” Feeling threatened, after Kacy left the night before, Rachel is forced to use her Vanity Fair company card as a hold on the hotel. Anna ends up running over $62,000 in credit card debt on both of her cards.

Anna does get some good news, however. Alan calls her and tells her that her deal with Fortress came through, but there is a catch. She must allow them to travel to Germany to review her father’s trust she has set up for her.

Episode 7, 8, 9 – (“Cash on Delivery,” “Too Rich for Her Blood,”)

As Vivian rushes to finish her story, that computer with Rachel’s feature she published for Vanity Fair, the flashbacks show Anna sneaking off to Los Angeles after her latest scam. She deposits bad checks in all her bank accounts that are in red. The next day, she withdraws the money—over 50,000 dollars worth. After the article hits Vivian, she has her baby, and she cuts her maternity leave short of investigating Anna’s family. It turns out Anna is a liar, a real shocker. She comes from a good, salt-of-the-earth family. Except, they are just essential.

Anna fakes a suicide attempt and enters rehab to pause the date on her Visa that is about to expire. The series ends with Rachel tricking Anna to come out of the facility, so she is arrested by the police and sent back to New York City. At first, in the trial, there were no media there. Neff sees how sad this makes Anna, so she starts a media firestorm that has everyone’s media outlets covering it. We found out Rachel testifies, was hurt by Anna, but in the cross, she admits she has profited over 600,000 dollars over the situation in book and media deals.

Lastly, all Anna cares about is that everyone needs to know how close she came to achieving her dreams. Todd scraps that plan, and in his closing, depicts Anna as a victim of rich men and banks. She had no idea what she was doing, he says. She is found guilty of 12 of 15 fraud felonies, but the most prominent two were thrown out. Anna was convicted and will stay in prison for 12 years, more prolonged or equal to the masterminds behind Enron. Anna was released from prison in 2021 and was deported back to Germany.

And there you go, a story recap of Inventing Anna season 1 and what happened. What are your thoughts on the story? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

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