The structure may be repetitive and formulaic, but the stories within these murder mysteries are fun and inventive nonetheless. “Rest in Metal” showcases Nathan Johnson’s phenomenal talents as well. Thankfully an episode about music, actually contains some great songs.
We recap the Peacock series Poker Face Season 1 Episode 4, “Rest in Metal,” which contains spoilers.
By the fourth episode, it is evident that Poker Face has properly settled into a routine now and it is obvious to viewers just how the show’s formula actually works. We are introduced to a new set of characters and a new location; the victim dies in bizarre circumstances and the filmmakers then cut back to before the murder took place. Natasha Lyonne’s Charlie Cale is somehow entangled in this narrative and on most occasions, she actually knows the victim quite well. She uses her superpowers and detective skills to solve the crime but is forced to leave before calling the cops as her attacker hunts her down across the country. It’s formulaic, yet there is still room for some fun and innovation in-between all the repetition.
Poker Face Season 1 Episode 4 Recap
“Rest in Metal” opens with guest star Chloe Sevigny, who plays aging singer Ruby Ruin. She earns her keep working at a DIY retail store but spends three weeks of the year touring with her old band, Doxxxology. The band is famous for having a one-hit wonder called Staple Head, which is ironically playing on the radio during Ruby’s cigarette break. She’s hired a new drummer called Gavin (Nicholas Cirillo) and soon embarks on a rather low-key tour with her equally desperate band.
The band finds themselves playing at Irish pubs and dive bars on a tiny stage. While they play, the customers just stare into space or eat their meals nonplussed, uninterested in the rock band’s mediocre set list. They desperately need new material but are uninspired themselves. Gavin suggests they write another hit because it’s that easy, but the band admits they didn’t even write their first one. Staple Head was written by their old drummer and she gets all the royalties now. The band has been cursed by that hit and Ruby has been chasing the same high she felt when she first heard that song for twenty years now.
During one set, Gavin is assaulted with a stapler to the head. He finally feels that heavy metal-inspired rush of adrenaline and steals Ruby’s vocals. Caught up in the moment he screams over the end of their mega-hit. Ruby punches Gavin in the face for this mistake. Feeling a little guilty, Ruby allows Gavin into the band’s motel room that night and he demos his new song to them all. History repeats itself, and Ruby witnesses another hit song in the making. She downplays Gavin’s song, but in secret the band immediately plots Gavin’s death. They aim to kill the drummer and steal his hit song. They will not be tricked out of their riches this time around.
They fire their driver/roadie and begin to plot a scheme. Ruby lets Gavin perform the screaming vocals for tonight’s show. They play their hit and Gavin prepares for his big moment. Ruby hits her guitar pedal and Gavin is subsequently electrocuted to death as he screams the vocals. The band then steals Gavin’s lyrics, writing them down on a new piece of paper, before burning the old one.
The episode then continues its usual formula, reverting back to before the murder. Charlie joins the band on tour as the merch girl to make some quick money, marking a Russian Doll reunion for Natasha Lyonne and Chloe Sevigny. She interacts with the band and forms an odd friendship with Gavin. The events play out in the same way as before and Charlie sniffs out the first lie. The police explain that the amp wasn’t grounded, the accident was caused by faulty equipment. In response, Ruby says that the band was lucky to not get electrocuted too.
Before they forget the hit, the band quickly records a demo. Charlie can’t get the catchy tune out of her head but is shocked by what she discovers in her car. Whilst cleaning out Gavin’s mess, she finds pamphlets, brochures, and wrappers that include all the lyrics on their packaging. They all mesh together to make the song. She realizes that Gavin wrote the song from all these rubbish slogans. Charlie confronts Ruby about this revelation. In a twist to the formula, Ruby is honest and doesn’t deny stealing the song at all. She says that Gavin may have written Sucker Punch, but they need this hit.
Charlie is stumped by Ruby’s honesty, yet she continues her investigation anyhow, something just doesn’t seem right. On eBay she finds that the band’s guitarist is selling Gavin’s old amp. She concludes that the guitarist must have switched amps and killed Gavin for the song. He is even heard singing a new song which incriminates the band further, as he practically confesses to the whole murder plot in his lyrics. To top it all off, Charlie realizes that the band was all wearing shoes containing thick rubber soles during the gig, to counteract the electricity on stage. Once again, Charlie has the proof, but it doesn’t seem concrete enough.
The human lie detector has problems of her own anyway. She has become involved in a viral video and Cliff has managed to track her down thanks to this TikTok clip. She runs away from her attacker, into a violent crowd as the band plays their new hit, Sucker Punch. Charlie crowd-surfs to safety and drives away before Cliff can get his hands on her, but it is a lucky escape.
In an ironic finale, the band meets up with businessmen to sign their lucrative deal, but two issues arise. A Youtuber has discovered that Sucker Punch’s melody is in fact based on a TV theme tune stolen from a TV show Gavin loved. This copyright infringement kills the deal, but there is more. Charlie passed on all her evidence and information to podcaster Murder Girl, who broadcasts the proof across the globe. Charlie strikes once again and returns to her life on the run.
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