Poker Face Season 1 Episode 2 Recap – how does Cliff track down Charlie’s location?

By Adam Lock
Published: January 26, 2023 (Last updated: February 16, 2023)
View all


Another intriguing setup, maximizing on clever plotting and Natasha Lyonne’s unbeatable screen presence. “The Night Shift” continues with the show’s formula and is a tad repetitive at times, but it feels like a series just finding its feet, after a superb opening chapter.

We recap the Peacock series Poker Face Season 1 Episode 2, “The Night Shift,” which contains spoilers.

In the opening installment of Poker Face, Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne) managed to solve her first-ever murder case. She figured out who had killed her friend and co-worker Natalie Hill (Dascha Polanco). The person who orchestrated this deadly plot then committed suicide by jumping off a balcony, but the man who actually pulled the trigger, Cliff (Benjamin Bratt), he’s still after poor Charlie. In “The Night Shift”, Charlie finds herself a fugitive, on the run. After a week on the road, she arrives in a sleepy rest area, where another murder case is about to take place and of course, Charlie can’t help but get involved.

Poker Face Season 1 Episode 2 Recap

As with the previous episode, “The Night Shift” starts with the events steadily unfolding, as the characters are established, leading up to the murder in question. Three youthful workers at a rest area merge paths in this intriguing opener. There’s Jed (Colton Ryan), a mechanic, who spies on his infatuation, a goth girl called Sarah (Megan Suri). She has eyes for a Subway employee named Damian (Brandon Micheal Hall). Damian flirts with Sarah every night when he comes to her father’s shop to buy a Lottery scratch card after his shift.

Jed sits on the rooftop of the petrol station, spying on Sarah with large binoculars. Damian decides to confront Jed about his creepy behavior and they get into an argument on the rooftop. Surprisingly, they bond instead of fighting, and Damian offers Jed some life advice. After the heart-to-heart, Damian checks his scratch card and is shocked to have won the 25k jackpot. Without hesitation, Jed hurls Damian off the rooftop, desperate to claim the winnings for himself. Jed steals the scratch card and hides the dead body in a nearby truck. He tidies up after himself and returns Damian’s apron to the Subway.

In another twist, Jed watches as the driver returns to their truck to discover the dead body within. This driver panics and disposes of the body by the bins, before driving away. Jed manages to catch all of this on his CCTV camera. Covering his own back, Jed then calls in 911.

Following the format of the first episode, after the murder has played out, we revert back to the previous day. Charlie drives the highways and pulls into the same mechanic shop that Jed works at, just before her car conks out. While she waits for repairs, Charlie sees to her gunshot wound in the nearby service toilets, where she befriends kooky driver Marge (Hong Chau). Marge super-glues the wound shut and gives Charlie some advice on staying off the grid before they part ways.

The next morning, Charlie discovers that her new friend is suspected of killing a Subway employee. Charlie cannot believe what she is hearing but acknowledges the fact that Marge was a weirdo, who carried a gun with her after all. Charlie uses her card to withdraw some cash, which may have indicated her location to Cliff. Time is now against her. At the mechanic’s repair shop, she pays for their efforts and Jed discusses the murder from the night before. Jed wonders if Damian had money problems as he played the Lottery every night, but never won. Here, Jed makes his first mistake, Charlie suspects a lie.

As Charlie departs from the rest area, Jed buys a new scratch card and pretends to have won, celebrating by the side of the road. On the radio, Charlie hears that Damian was bludgeoned to death, which means Marge didn’t shoot her victim as first assumed. The amateur detective senses a new mystery to solve and performs a last-second U-turn, returning to the rest area, even though the clock is ticking. She surveys CCTV footage and questions the locals, paying particular attention to Jed and his web of lies.

On the petrol station rooftop, Charlie finds a Hawaiian coin. This matches Sarah’s story from earlier. She informed Charlie about her little ritual with Damian. He would pay for a scratch card and use a coin from Sarah’s collection to play along. The night he was murdered, he had used the Hawaiian coin. Charlie picks up this piece of key evidence and questions Jed further. He admits to speaking with Damian on the roof last night and lies again about Damian not winning. Charlie escapes before Jed can intimidate her anymore. She then tests out the scratch cards and the coins, looking for more clues.

Ending Explained

Meanwhile, Jed messes with Charlie’s car brakes. Later, Sarah flirts with Jed, asking to see his winning ticket. She swipes it and passes it straight to Charlie. The amateur sleuth inspects the ticket and realizes that Jed has been lying all along, she now has the proof. There are sequential serial numbers on these scratch cards. Charlie witnessed another trucker buy a ticket before Jed and the numbers don’t seem to match the order. Jed proposes it’s a misprint, but Charlie isn’t buying it. She lays out the whole scheme. Damian bought the winning ticket, announced that he’d won and Jed killed him for it. Jed eventually admits to the crime, but theorizes that she has no solid proof – there is a pattern emerging.

An alarm goes off on Charlie’s watch, she’s out of time. If Cliff is on to her, he’ll be arriving shortly. Then Jed forces Charlie to leave anyway, revealing that he’s done his research on her, she is a person of interest in many murders back in Nevada. Charlie admits defeat and drives off. But once again, she finds herself drawn back to the case. She asks the local truckers to contact one specific driver, whose dash-cam will prove Marge wasn’t the killer after all. Charlie can’t afford to see this murder case through to the end though, she is out of time and a fugitive on the run. She has to go.

As Charlie drives away, Cliff arrives upon the scene. He questions Sarah about Charlie’s whereabouts. Sarah lies and misdirects Cliff, stating that she heard her say she was heading west. In the final moments of the episode, the lead mechanic (played by Pixar faithful, John Ratzenberger) tells Jed that someone messed with Charlie’s brakes and that he’s fixed them for her. He suspects Jed of the tampering and possibly the murder too, but he doesn’t discuss the matter further. Jed burns his winning ticket as the police show up to arrest the killer anyhow. Looks like Charlie’s idea worked and Marge should be released a free woman. A happy ending of sorts!

What did you think of Poker Face Season 1 Episode 2? Comment below.

More Stories

Peacock, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
View all