Poker Face Season 1 Episode 6 Recap

By Adam Lock
Published: February 9, 2023 (Last updated: February 14, 2024)
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Poker Face continues to provide intricate and unpredictable murder mysteries full of flare and innovation with each new week that passes. “Exit Stage Death” is another fine example of this, an entertaining, expertly made murder mystery set in the theater world.

We recap the Peacock series Poker Face Season 1 Episode 6, “Exit Stage Death,” which contains spoilers.

The theater seems to be one of the go-to locations for a good whodunit murder mystery. It’s a classic setting, dripping in history and grandeur. Rian Johnson utilizes this undying convention in “Exit Stage Death,” another inventive installment of Poker Face, with more enticing guest stars and plenty of surprising twists to gawp at. In this exciting episode, Charlie (Natasha Lyonne) witnesses a tragic death during the opening night of a play, and slowly she starts to unravel the mystery.

Poker Face Season 1 Episode 6 Recap

This installment opens in a grand mansion. Actor Michael Graves (Tim Meadows) sits by the pool with his youthful wife, Ava (Jameela Jamil). The rich newlyweds are joined by Michael’s old co-star Kathleen Townsend (Ellen Barkin), who drops in unannounced. She wants Michael to do her a favor, although these two has-beens are still bitter rivals years after their peak when they starred in ‘Spooky and the Cop’ together. Kathleen has been asked to perform a one-night-only interpretation of ‘Ghosts of Pensacola’ by die-hard fans, who are paying over the odds for this luxury. But she needs Michael’s appearance to seal the deal. He refuses to help her out, even though she needs the money desperately.

Ava urges Michael to reconsider, and three weeks later, the stage play is well underway. We catch up with the rehearsals as director and lead actress Kathleen argues venomously with her co-star. Michael refuses to be ordered around by his enemy, constantly threatening to leave the production. We’re then introduced to another co-star, Rebecca (Audrey Corsa), and stagehand Phil, who Kathleen keeps calling Bill. Kathleen orders Phil to construct a trap door for her grand finale, although these stage tricks have become a safety hazard in recent times.

Why can’t Michael quit the production?

It’s soon opening night, and Kathleen is raging. She’s in full diva mode, arguing with the cast and crew. Michael accidentally falls through the trapdoor while mocking Kathleen and happens to test out the crash mat in the process. This accident causes further arguments and Michael quits once again. Kathleen says that he’ll owe the production thousands if he quits. More tit-for-tat follows, Michael threatens to ruin Kathleen’s career in his memoirs, and she threatens to end his marriage with talk of another secret from his past. These two are fired up, and the stage is set both figuratively and physically.

How is the stage rigged for the murder?

The play gets off to a successful start, even if the two stars are at each other’s throats. But as we draw closer to the finale, it appears both stars are planning one another’s deaths. Michael rigs the trap door, and Kathleen loosens a stage light. Someone is going to die before the curtain call. To make matters worse, it looks like stagehand Phil has been drugged and is passed out underneath the stage.

Michael carefully maneuvers on the stage, narrowly avoiding the trapdoor on countless occasions. Suddenly a stage light falls, just missing Michael’s head. The shock causes him to have a heart attack though and Ava rushes onto the stage to provide her husband with his life-saving pills. Ava inadvertently releases the trap door and falls to her death. I bet you didn’t see that one coming! A further twist comes moments later. Backstage, Michael and Kathleen embrace in a passionate kiss. This was all part of the plan. They didn’t hate each other; it was all just an act. They wanted Michael’s rich wife out of the picture instead.

How is Charlie involved in the murder?

The show then rewinds to before the death, and we find Charlie working at the dinner theater as a waitress. She gets into an argument with Kathleen, who orders her to respect the rehearsal space. Then she overhears Michael and Kathleen’s big argument during the opening night. They’ve accidentally left their mics on, and everyone hears their fight, although this is just a misdirection while they rig the stage during Rebecca’s monologue. Viewers then see the horrific death from Charlie and Phil’s point of view.

Phil blames himself for the disaster and quits. Although it appears Kathleen drugged the stagehand and all his checks were professionally done. The loved-up couple prepares for their new lives together. But Kathleen wants to finish her play properly first and organizes an encore performance, which quickly sells out. The world is watching, with all eyes on this juicy story. Kathleen and Michael look set to make a killing, but Rebecca arrives to spoil all their fun. She has found the script for their fake argument and realizes that they sabotaged the stage and killed Ava on purpose. Rebecca wants five million dollars to stay silent.

Poker Face Season 1 Episode 6 Ending Explained

Kathleen orchestrated one murder; it isn’t hard to imagine that she’d kill again. She decides to take Rebecca out of the picture, using her peanut allergy to finish her off. Two deaths may be pushing it though and Charlie is already on the case. The human lie-detector realizes that Phil wasn’t to blame and starts her own mini-investigation. She believes someone tried to kill Kathleen and warns her that they may strike again. Kathleen ignores Charlie’s warning and the second performance begins.

Charlie replays the footage from the opening night and spots the dry ice drifting up through the trap door. She concludes that the dry ice was used instead of the bolt. Picking up the dry ice burns Charlie’s hand and she finds the same scars on Michael. Charlie tries to warn Kathleen in the middle of the play, humorously popping up behind stage props, but the actress won’t listen. Adding to her suspicions, Charlie finds fabric from Kathleen’s shoe up by the rigged light and hears the two actors declaring their love for one another. It all finally clicks into place for her.

Charlie warns Rebecca instead with the full knowledge that Kathleen and Michael purposefully killed Ava, but she then lies as well. Charlie finds the argument script, the bribe, and the peanut treats. She’s one clever woman. Charlie figures it all out and runs onto the stage, stopping Rebecca from consuming the deadly peanuts at the last second. Having nearly been killed, you’d think Rebecca would do a runner, but she asks for more money instead.

The killer thespians exit the stage as Rebecca begins her three-minute monologue. The lovers then argue backstage. Their confession is picked up on a well-placed walkie-talkie and the police arrive to arrest the killers as they finish their final scenes. Kathleen uses these fresh emotions to her advantage and delivers an unforgettable ending, before disappearing through the trapdoor in dramatic fashion. Even Charlie and a police officer shed a tear at Kathleen’s final performance, lost in the magic of the art form.

What did you think of Poker Face Season 1 Episode 6? Comment below.

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