Heartbreak High (2022) season 1, episode 1 recap – “Map B**ch”

September 14, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
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A snappy opener establishes an overarching “mystery” and multiple short-term predicaments for an immediately likable cast of newcomers.

This recap of Heartbreak High (2022) season 1, episode 1, “Map B**ch”, contains spoilers.

READ: Our spoiler-free season review.

Amerie and Harper are best friends. Except, suddenly, they’re not. While the question of why that is will form a long-running mystery for the entire season, in the immediate there are other things to worry about — namely, the discovery of a so-called “incest map” on a stairwell wall that lays out, in fine detail, all the real and rumored sexual liaisons that have been occurring amongst the Year 11s. And Amerie and Harper drew it.

Heartbreak High (2022) season 1, episode 1 recap

Nobody, least of all Amerie, seems to know what Harper’s problem is. The last they saw of each other was at a festival, but the whole night’s a blur. Whatever happened there pushed Harper to completely reinvent herself and made her angry enough to headbutt Amerie in front of the entire school. It’ll come up later. But the discovery of the map makes for a nice distraction, and also works to bring together a whole bunch of mismatched students Breakfast Club-style.

When those students are called to a classroom over the school tannoy system, their nicknames are spray-painted on-screen. It’s a visual flourish but also a nice reminder that, just as there are two sides to every story, there is also more than one identity in an individual. Amerie and Harper are both summoned, as are Sasha and Misty, school heartthrob Dusty (who Amerie is obsessed with), Ant, non-binary Darren, Quinni (who is being called “lazy kebab” because of the incest map), Douglas (otherwise known as Ca$h), and a new kid named Malakai. The purpose is a new sex education class to be taught by a modern new teacher named Jojo, but since it’s off-syllabus it’ll have to be taught in their personal time, which everyone hates Amerie for. (The episode’s title, “Map B**ch”, is what the whole school takes to calling her.)

Within and around all this we begin to get some glimpses of the home lives and backstories of some of the other students. Darren, for instance, is sleeping with a lad from another school and uses his uniform to secure a job interview since Hartley High — the incest map scandal has made the local news — has such a bad reputation. He also lives with his mother and stepfather, the latter of whom is clearly queerphobic and wants Darren out of the house when his friends come to watch football.

Of course, Darren and his best friend Quinni become Amerie’s new BFFs, since while they aren’t necessarily totally ostracised, they at least don’t move in the same circles as Harper, and have sympathy for Amerie’s plight. Together, they attend a cemetery party, despite unsupervised parties technically being banned now, and in the flurry of alcohol and music, Dusty kisses Amerie. This is obviously a big deal to her since she has been in love with Dusty forever (she even drew a golden line representing destiny between his name and hers on the incest map.)

At the end of the episode, though, the police raid the party. Everyone flees, but Dusty runs off with Harper. As we see Amerie get home and dance in excitement, we also see someone write “Dusty f*cked Harper” on what looks like a new incest map.


You can stream Heartbreak High (2022) season 1, episode 1, “Map B**ch”, exclusively on Netflix.

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