The series starts to drag as we focus more on Conrad, who becomes harder to sympathize with.
This recap of the Hulu series The Girl from Plainville season 1, episode 3, “Never Have I Ever,” contains spoilers.
In “Turtle”, Michelle’s world was unraveling before her very eyes and in her panicked state, she texted her friend Natalie a possibly incriminating message. In the third chapter things only escalate further for our mysterious lead. Like the previous installment, episode three mixes the flashback storyline with that of the current investigation case. Information is drip-fed at an excruciatingly slow pace as we learn (a little) more about the couple and the detectives dig deeper into Michelle’s motives. Unfortunately, “Never Have I Ever” suffers from a dull flashback and serious pacing issues.
The Girl from Plainville season 1, episode 3 recap
The episode’s title comes from the first scene of the 2012 timeline, as Michelle and her friends play the Never Have I Ever game in a swimming pool. Michelle alludes to her summer fling with Conrad and the girls give her the attention she so desperately craves. She befriends a new acquaintance called Susie, who is yet to appear in the present timeline, although she is of great importance to Michelle. Meanwhile, Conrad spends time with his mother Lynn (played by Chloe Sevigny), and struggles to cope with his delicate mental state. These flashbacks don’t have the same energy as the last episode now the budding romance is over. By separating the couple, there is little to keep the viewer’s attention.
We’re supposed to care about Conrad, but the flashbacks only paint the picture of a confused and wayward teen. He smokes too much weed and pops too many pills. Conrad clearly needs help, but he can’t seem to quite ask for it. His fall from grace is painful to watch, although he is hard to connect with. In one particular scene, he psyches himself up for a party, talking into the mirror and hitting himself, something Michelle did earlier in the show, minus the violence. This is a man on the edge, but why would Michelle give him that final push? What are her motives?
In the present, the detectives bury themselves under mountains of paperwork as they try to crack the case. Detective Gordon asks for the assistance of Katie Rayburn (The Boys star Aya Cash) and manages to finally obtain Michelle’s phone. Katie spends hours digging into the text history of our modern-day Romeo and Juliet, only to hit a wall. A welcomed break helps her to tackle the case from a different angle as she spies that incriminating message sent to Natalie. It all begs the question, how does Michelle and Conrad’s relationship go from teen bliss to teen suicide?
As you can see from the rating, the quality of The Girl from Plainville has dipped with each episode. There’s still the intrigue in seeing how this all happened and surmising Michelle’s fate, but these characters are fast losing my interest. The episode needed more screen time for Elle Fanning, as there was more of a focus on the unlikeable Conrad instead. Hopefully, things will pick up as we get closer to an arrest.
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