Quite bland for an opening episode, despite initially having a promising storyline. With much of the episode featuring the characters staring off into space, it’s hard not to do the same. On the plus side, the ending hints at some much-needed drama, which hopefully will create something more interesting than seen in this one.
This recap of the Hulu series Tell Me Lies season 1, episode 1, “Lightning Strikes,” contains significant spoilers.
Based on the 2018 novel, Tell Me Lies is expected by many to be a “thrilling, sexy coming-of-age story exploring toxic love, ruthless ambition, and shocking betrayal.” It sounds like it could be amazing. But is that the case? Read the recap of the first episode to find out.
Tell Me Lies season 1, episode 1 recap
At the start of the episode, Lucy dreams of having passionate sex with her former lover, Stephen. After she wakes up and Stephen isn’t there, she prepares for a friend’s upcoming wedding. As she gets ready with her friends, they hope that Lucy doesn’t go down the “Steven rabbit hole”. She says she won’t and doesn’t want to talk about it. Then, Wrigley comes into the play, and he’s a larger-than-life character. Moments later, he walks into a server and causes them to drop their tray; some wonder if Wrigley is high. Lucy tells Bree, the upcoming bride, that she’s really happy for her. As she walks around the pool, she has flashbacks to when she used to date Stephen, and just then, she locks eyes with him at the wedding.
Tell Me Lies cuts to 8 years earlier (September 2007), meaning that the wedding scene we just witnessed was in 2015. In 2007, after being dumped by her boyfriend Parker (who it seems will not reappear in the show anymore), Lucy wonders whether she is broken inside. During the drive to campus, Lucy and her Mom, CJ, argue over Lucy’s apparent change in personality. Proving herself not one to hold back, CJ claims that Lucy’s father would be so disappointed if he could see who Lucy had become.
Arriving on campus, we see Lucy meet all of the big characters from the wedding. Firstly, Lucy meets her roommate, Maisie, and later her friends Bree and Pippa. During a party, Lucy meets Diana, who warns her to be careful around Wrigley. Soon after, Stephen corners Lucy and chats her up. He eventually asks her to go for dinner with him, although she asks to think about it before giving a proper answer. Maisie asks Lucy to come party with her, but Lucy rejects her offer. The following day, Lucy and her friends learn that Maisie crashed her car and died.
Next, whilst at a party, Lucy drinks too much and throws up. And it’s Stephen who then decides to help her back to her flat. She asks him to stay with her, so he falls asleep beside her. The following morning, they start to make out, but she stops it from going any further. As he leaves her dorm room, Diana wants to have a chat with him. She asks what he did the night before, to which he lies by saying he passed out at Wrigley’s place. It soon becomes clear that Stephen and Diana dated for two years before he drunkenly cheated on her. He further claims he hasn’t hooked up with anyone else, nor would he want to.
The first episode of Tell Me Lies ends with Diana and Stephen in the middle of having sex until she tells Stephen to stop. Once she leaves and Stephen is alone and about to masterb*ate, Wrigley calls him and asks him to come over straight away. Their friend, Drew, is distraught and says that he “really fuc*ed up”. We don’t see the following conversation, but are we right to assume it’s connected to Maisie’s death?
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