The opening teases just enough intrigue and peppers just enough comedy into its fifty-minute running time to keep viewers hooked. It’s a great setup that presents a tight-knit group of likable sisters and, in JP, a most detestable villain to despise.
This recap of the Apple TV+ series Bad Sisters season 1, episode 1, “The Prick,” contains spoilers.
Irish filmmaker Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) has teamed up with Apple TV+ to bring us Bad Sisters, a dark comedy series heading to the streaming platform on a weekly basis starting this August. The series boasts a large ensemble cast, featuring many European TV stars, including Claes Bang (Dracula) and Anne-Marie Duff (Sex Education). The opening episode, “The Prick” introduces audiences to an enticing plot filled with sarcastic wit.
Bad Sisters season 1, episode 1 recap
The premiere introduces us to the many Garvey sisters. Grace is recently widowed and busies herself with a buffet for her husband’s wake. Eva drinks wine alone in her lavish abode. Bibi lays in the bath, sporting an eyepatch. Ursula sits in the toilet on the phone, hiding from her hectic family. And finally there’s Becka (Eve Hewson), who rushes to the funeral in a bright pink cardigan, clumsily attempting to avoid traffic.
These sisters are a close-knit gang and try their best to support their grieving sister. Grace isn’t coping with her husband’s death particularly well. Having the open casket in her dining room for all to see. We find her sobbing and talking to herself as she preps the sarnies. She observes the coffin and finds John Paul (Claes Bang) is sporting a rather noticeable erection, which she tries to cover up best she can. The sisters gossip about this comical revelation and Ursula points out that this is common with those who suffered violent deaths. How did John Paul (JP) die exactly? Either way, the sisters clearly hate the man and a flashback reveals exactly why they detested this loathsome brother-in-law so much.
Six months earlier, it’s Christmas Eve, and the family gather at Eva’s house. JP is instantly deplorable, calling Eva a spinster, who should give up her dead parent’s house so the sisters can receive their pay out. He is needlessly mean to the others, verges on racism and continually refers to his wife as ‘Mammy’. JP then jokes about Eva being pregnant, when he clearly knows she can’t have children of her own. It isn’t hard to hate this man, but we’re given even more reasons. He is controlling and creepy, calling the night short when he chooses. Grace defends her husband, telling the sisters that he makes her happy, but they obviously despise this vulgar excuse for a human being no matter what she says.
The flashback continues into Christmas Day. The sisters are excited to meet for a traditional swim, but JP forces Grace into staying at home. He is manipulative and violent, slamming the door shut in Grace’s face. She lies for her husband’s sake and tells the girls she can’t make it, she’s drank too much champagne already. The sisters go without her and discuss the many ways they would like to kill JP. Eva worries that Grace is slipping away from them, going inwards and losing her identity because of this monster. They need JP dead and Bibi ponders giving nature a helping hand and speeding up the process.
Back in the present and the show adds further cast members. Brian Gleeson (Peaky Blinders) plays Thomas Claffin of Claffin & Sons Insurance. The soon-to-be father is anxious that JP’s death has triggered a rather hefty insurance claim and he must stop the family gaining this pay-out else his company will go bust. With the help of his half-brother Matthew, they crash the funeral to try and seek out any signs of foul play. They need to file for malicious intent or the company will go bankrupt.
Thomas meanders around the wake without any airs or graces, scoping out the widowed wife. He firstly commiserates Ursula, mistaking her for the wife, then heads over to Grace. The sisters worry about saying anything incriminating, but Bibi calls him a prick in front of Thomas anyhow. Thomas questions the bereft Grace, asking her where she was the night JP died. She lies and tells him she was with her sisters. Thomas suspects deceit and he’ll stop at nothing to get this insurance claim nullified.
Panicked, Grace pays singleton Eva a visit and explains the lie she just told Thomas. Eva tries to calm her, stating that they’re just insurance men trying to avoid a pay-out, but Grace is clearly worried she’s ruined her chances. Grace needs the money as much as Thomas does. Eva says she’ll back up Grace’s alibi. She then rounds up the other sisters and explains the problem to them. The girls don’t want the police involved and they all agree to tell the same story, adding that Grace can’t find out what they did. The sisters make a pact to look out for each other. This makes it nearly certain that they killed JP, but how? I don’t know about you, but I’m dying to find out more from this treacherous story of murder and fraud.
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