The Girl from Plainville season 1, episode 4 recap – “Can’t Fight This Feeling”

April 5, 2022
Adam Lock 0
Hulu, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
3

Summary

As the teen leads become increasingly more unlikeable, the filmmakers throw the audience a lifeline and a reason to root for them, although it may be too late.

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3

Summary

As the teen leads become increasingly more unlikeable, the filmmakers throw the audience a lifeline and a reason to root for them, although it may be too late.

This recap of the Hulu series The Girl from Plainville season 1, episode 4, “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

The two lead characters in The Girl from Plainville are both outcast teenagers with a love of music. Michelle is obsessed with Glee, and Coco plays his rap music nonstop. They’re never parted from their earphones or mobile phones for that matter either. A stereotype of adolescence maybe, but the filmmakers use this adoration of modern music as just another tool to express this naïve time of life, where emotions are high and behaviors are compulsive and sometimes erratic. “Can’t Fight This Feeling” is full of these nods, even finding time for an excessive musical number inspired by Michelle’s favorite TV show.

The Girl from Plainville season 1, episode 4 recap

The fourth episode continues the series’ previous structure with the two timelines, splitting up the story between before and after Coco’s death. In 2012, Coco is recovering from his first suicide attempt and tries to rebuild a bond with his anxious mother. Colton Ryan portrays the wayward teen in respectable fashion, it’s just hard to connect with this bland individual. The whole series relies on this connection and I’m finding it difficult to care about his troubled path when the show doesn’t provide him with any examples of likeability.

This disconnection is then married with a rather odd choice from the creative team when they decide to perform text conversations in live-action sequences. I understand the monotony of endless text messages appearing on the screen, how it can easily become repetitive and boring, but the alternative method around this is jarring and plain bizarre. Michelle and Coco will be texting each other one minute and then the next moment they are side by side, play-acting their messages out in real life. It detaches the viewer from the production and feels like amateur theatre at best.

Back in 2014 and the lawyers are searching for a motive. They have indisputable evidence that Michelle provoked Coco into killing himself, but they are struggling to find a reason why she would want to do this. The unanswered question is the intriguing anomaly in the whole investigation and one of the few hooks keeping the audience’s attention. Katie Rayburn’s team ignore certain glaring pieces of evidence and charge Michelle with manslaughter. The confused girl is taken down to the station and her mug shot is taken.

The ending

Elle Fanning brings some raw emotion to the show as she pleads with her lawyer in the present and falls out with best friend Susie in the past. The distraught teen just wants to tell her side of the story, but they are skeptical. As the episodes progress, her mental state deteriorates further, leading to that elaborate musical number and her destructive impulses.

The ending provides a little consolation to the aforementioned negatives. Coco is given his very own truck as a present from his grandfather and yearns to take Michelle to California in it. In true teenage style, the two talk about escaping to the coast to start a new life, daydreaming, and making distant plans. The fantasy pictures them driving off into the sunset together. This redeeming final shot finally brings some empathy to the characters, but it might just be too little too late.

What did you think of The Girl from Plainville season 1, episode 4? Comment below. 

You can watch this series with a subscription to Hulu. 

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