A return to form for the series about the real-life “texting suicide case.” This chapter is expertly written as it takes a fascinating dive into the characters’ motives and mindsets.
This recap of the Hulu series The Girl from Plainville season 1, episode 6 contains spoilers.
It’s been a rough few weeks, but The Girl from Plainville is finally back on track with a solid sixth episode. “Talking Is Healing” dips between two timelines, as is the show’s structure, with the trial well underway in 2017, adjacent to a 2014 flashback focusing on the troubled lovers. Michelle seeks medical help, whilst Coco continues to battle his depression alone. Co-creator Liz Hannah (Mindhunter, The Dropout) is in the directing seat this time, which makes for an intriguing and deeply thought-provoking instalment, one that reinvigorates the series.
The Girl from Plainville season 1, episode 6 recap
Lynn and her daughter fight their way through a crowd of paparazzi and the trial swiftly commences. Michelle stands accused of involuntary manslaughter and could face some serious jail time. Her legal team must somehow offset the damning text message evidence to save her skin. Because of Michelle’s newfound infamy, they request a bench trial, meaning there will be no jury. Each side delivers their opening statements and the witnesses are summoned. It’s an intriguing set-up, with the trial scenes adding suspense and drama to the proceedings. In hindsight, this would have worked a lot better had it been introduced earlier in the series, possibly intercut between other timelines.
Back in 2014 and Michelle finds herself in hospital receiving therapy treatment due to her restricting and bingeing diet, mixed with excessive exercise. The therapy seems to have a positive effect on Michelle who starts to analyse her decisions and reflects on her issues. This unlocking of Michelle’s inner workings is an important insight into the wayward teen, showing exactly how she ticks. Michelle evaluates her own mental state, saying she likes to fix people and can be very controlling. Integral plotting that adds another layer to the story.
Coco isn’t faring much better himself, having just graduated he now must make plans for his own future. The awkward teen records video diaries where he explains his depression and social anxieties. Coco receives his captain’s license and begins working for his father. The two fall out almost instantly though and a rather violent fight ensues. Coco’s mother, played by the exceptional Chloe Sevigny (also in Russian Doll) must deal with these two sparring family members and is unsure how to support them. The emotional toil Lynn undertakes in this episode is masterfully portrayed by Sevigny, who elevates the script.
This is a much stronger episode from the series, with a deeper understanding of characters and motives. In addition, the filmmakers do an excellent job of fielding both sides to the case. At times you can see why Coco would want to commit suicide and then seconds later be adamant he didn’t want to go through with it at all. The same can be said for Michelle’s killer instincts, she can be seen as a supporter or the perpetrator at all times. This is a complex story that for the moment is being professionally told. Hopefully, the show continues in this nature.
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