Poker Face Season 1 Episode 9 Recap – how does Cliff find Charlie?

By Adam Lock
Published: March 2, 2023 (Last updated: March 18, 2024)
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Rian Johnson is back in the director’s chair for one of the best installments of the series to date. “Escape from S*** Mountain” is a cleverly sculpted script featuring surprising twists.

We recap the Peacock series Poker Face Season 1 Episode 9, “Escape from S*** Mountain,” which contains spoilers.

We’ve reached the penultimate episode of Poker Face, and Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne), the human lie detector, is still on the run from both the law and the casino mafia. In “Escape from S*** Mountain,” Charlie’s luck finally runs out, though, as she finds herself trapped in the snowy mountains of Colorado. Again, the amateur sleuth is caught up in a murder mystery, and as always, nothing is quite as it seems. Directed by the show’s creator and Hollywood heavyweight Rian Johnson, this is a real tour-de-force of deception and masterful storytelling.

Poker Face Season 1 Episode 9 Recap

The episode opens with a repetitive montage, introducing viewers to Trey (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). This wealthy singleton lives in the mountains, repeating daily activities and routines. He exercises, plays virtual sports, orders food to be delivered, and drinks alcohol. As the days blur into one, Trey starts to break down, ditching the diet and upsetting his delivery guy. In retaliation, the delivery guy leaves Trey’s food just out of reach at the gates. This reveals the first twist in the installment, Trey is wearing an ankle tag and cannot leave his property.

Why is Trey’s ankle tag not working?

That night, an epic storm is forecast, and Trey’s parole officer calls. He tells Trey that due to the storm messing with their monitoring system, his device won’t be working. The officer advises Trey to stick to the terms of his parole; he’ll be back at 7 am to check up on the criminal. Obviously, Trey doesn’t waste a second; he’s straight out of that door. Trey speeds in his sports car through the gathering storm, just missing a deer in the middle of the road, but he does hit a woman though. As another car approaches, Trey hides the body in his trunk.

Why is Trey under house arrest?

Panicked by this homicide, Trey calls the only person he knows Jimmy (David Castaneda), who owns a nearby motel. Jimmy and Trey have a complicated history together, and there’s instant tension between the two so-called friends. They drag the body into the woods and bury the woman in a deep, hidden hole. Back at the motel, Trey explains his ankle tag. He is under house arrest after being accused of insider trading. Jimmy is annoyed that Trey hasn’t contacted him, even though he’s been back in the local area for six months now. Feeling victimized, Trey decides to leave, but first, there is a knock at the door. Jimmy grabs his gun and the two men open the door. They are greeted by the corpse they just buried. As the corpse awakens, a car drives into the motel car park.

As is the structure, we revert to an earlier time in the story. Charlie is lost on the Colorado Trail. She falls in love with a handsome, muscular local. They are head over heels for one another in this scenic paradise until winter arrives. Charlie hates the snow and plans to leave immediately, although she is low on funds. At a gas station, she makes friends with Morty (Stephanie Hsu), a common thief, who offers to pay her for a ride out of this place.

Who is hit by Trey’s sports car?

Driving away from the mountain range, Charlie nearly hits a deer and crashes into the side of the road. The car is stuck in the snow, so Morty offers to head back to the gas station to get a tow truck. Charlie waits for the untrustworthy thief to return, but night falls and she still hasn’t returned. Charlie wanders the roads in the dark and is hit by Trey’s sports car. In a massive twist, Charlie is the murder victim of this particular episode. Charlie is thrown into the boot of Trey’s car and awakens in the hole. She drags herself out of that hole and crawls to the motel. This syncs up with the first storyline, and then Morty arrives in Charlie’s fixed car.

Charlie falls in and out of consciousness inside the motel. Trey and Jimmy ask her what she remembers, and slowly, Charlie starts to recall the events that transpired. She remembers being hit by a car and waking up in a tree. She used a stick to pull herself out. Morty inspects this stick and realizes that it is a human bone. Charlie pieces it all together; the body they have found belongs to the missing snowboarder Chloe Jones. Charlie asks to see the missing person’s poster, but Jimmy lies, saying he doesn’t have one. They think it’s odd that he would lie, although Morty deduces that he wants the reward money for himself. As Trey leaves the motel, Charlie notices his ankle monitor.

What does Trey offer Morty?

It isn’t long before Charlie has the whole plot figured out. Trey hit her with his car and buried her with Chloe’s dead body, which he is also somehow wrapped up in. They need to get out of here fast. Morty wanders off first, quickly finding the hole and snapping a photo of Chloe’s skull. Trey isn’t far behind her, though. He goes to shoot her, but Morty has stolen his gun. Morty believes Charlie’s theory and wants paying off to stay quiet. Trey offers her his sports car as payment, and she accepts the deal. Unfortunately, Trey is a ruthless killer who knocks Morty out before she can drive off into the snowy sunset.

Poker Face Season 1 Episode 9 Ending Explained

Meanwhile, Charlie attempts to grab her keys and escape, but she’s still in agony after the collision. She wheels to the keys and spots a photograph of Trey and Chloe together. Jimmy returns with some sleeping pills. He tells Charlie about Chloe and how she was a promising snowboarder, although the pressure eventually got to her, and she skipped town. Charlie takes the pills and instantly passes out.

Trey returns to the motel after killing Morty. Jimmy is angry that Trey would do such a thing, and they argue outside. Charlie wakes up inside the motel. She pretends to take the pills and spits them into the mug beside her. Next, she tries to grab the keys again, yet her noisy antics tip off Trey and Jimmy. Trey takes the keys from her and prepares to kill Charlie. She tries to reason with Jimmy, stating that Trey killed Chloe; he can’t be trusted. This works, and Jimmy tries to stop Trey, but he shoots his friend dead. Trey goes to shoot Charlie next. The gun jams, though, and he stabs her to death instead.

Where is Trey’s ankle tag?

Charlie is buried in the hole again, this time with Jimmy’s corpse and Chloe’s. Trey enters the motel to clean the crime scene and sips from the mug, accidentally downing the sleeping pills. He heads home and makes it in time without passing out. Inside, Trey realizes that his ankle tag is missing. Charlie has snagged it. We then see her lying in the hole with the ankle monitor in her hand.

How does Cliff find Charlie?

In the final moments of the episode, Charlie wakes in the hospital. It looks like the police found her, thanks to that ankle monitor. She watches the news from her hospital bed. It is inferred that Morty had stolen Charlie’s ID and was found dead in the sports car. Because of the stolen ID, the police identified Morty’s body as Charlie Cale’s. She is now, for all intents and purposes, a dead person. She chuckles to herself, realizing that she has no identity anymore. This high is short-lived, though. Outside the hospital, Cliff waits for the opportune moment to kill her. This news story has alerted Cliff to Charlie’s location.

What did you think of Poker Face Season 1 Episode 9? Comment below.

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