Poker Face Season 1 Episode 10 Recap and Ending Explained

By Adam Lock
Published: March 9, 2023 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
View all


“The Hook” may not be the explosive ending viewers may have had in mind, but it is still cleverly written and nicely sets up the narrative for a second season. Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne have made an impressive detective show that shows no signs of slowing down. Bring on season two!

We recap the Peacock series Poker Face season 1, episode 10, “The Hook,” which contains spoilers and explains the Ending.

Rian Johnson’s case-of-the-week murder mystery series Poker Face has been a breath of fresh air this year in an otherwise crowded marketplace. Our star lead Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll), has provided viewers with an exceptional new female detective in the guise of human lie detector Charlie Cale. But as is life, all good things must come to an end, and “The Hook” marks the concluding chapter in an impressive debut season. This finale loops us back to the opening storyline as Charlie is finally hunted down by her enemies, with nowhere to run.

Poker Face Season 1 Episode 10 Recap

“The Hook” opens right at the very beginning of this saga, with casino owner Sterling Frost Sr. (Ron Perlman) vowing to find and kill Charlie for what she has done (Episode 1 “Dead Man’s Hand). Sterling blames Charlie for his son’s death after Charlie cunningly framed him, forcing Sterling Frost Jr. (Adrien Brody) to commit suicide. Sterling sends his head of security, Cliff LeGrand (Benjamin Bratt), to capture Charlie, who has run away. We are then treated to an amazing montage sequence as Cliff chases after Charlie throughout America’s back roads and highways.

How long is Cliff on the road?

This montage starts on day one at the gas station (Episode 2, “The Night Shift”), proceeding to quickly pass through most of the old episodes, showing the storyline from Cliff’s perspective while calling back to earlier plots in comedic fashion. We see him eating outside Boyle’s BBQ joint (Episode 3 “The Stall”) and calling Sterling outside the theater (Episode 6 “Exit Stage Death”), but he’s always just missing her. The gaps between sightings grow wider, and Cliff finds himself living in depressing motels, spending over a year out on the road.

Charlie may have lived in constant fear for 368 days as a fugitive, but Cliff has lived with a bubbling rage inside of him. He was forced to live in squalor on the road for over a year. The hunter is delighted when he finally tracks her down to a hospital in Denver (Episode 9 “Escape From S*** Mountain”), but Sterling asks him to wait an extra two months until she is back on her feet. Charlie exits the hospital with renewed health and all her bills paid for. Outside, Cliff is waiting for her. He drives her straight back to Sterling.

They share awkward car journeys and further murky motel rooms on the trip back. Cliff talks about how it was inevitable that he would capture her and that the hook always brings you back. Charlie asks Cliff if he killed Natalie, and he orders her to go into his glove box. Inside she pulls out the gun used to kill Natalie, silently answering her question. Charlie considers shooting Cliff at that moment and running, although she can’t quite bring herself to pull the trigger.

What does Sterling Frost Sr. want from Charlie?

The duo arrives in Atlantic City, and Charlie meets with Sterling Frost Sr. Surprisingly, he doesn’t want to torture or kill her; he needs her help instead. Sterling realized over the year that Charlie wasn’t to blame for his son’s death.

He hunted her down regardless so that she could assist him in battling rival casino owner Beatrix Hasp. Sterling needs Charlie to point out Hasp’s lies during a scheduled meeting. He offers her a large payment for this job and then passes her a present. Charlie opens the present to find the same gun inside, which she picks up. Suddenly, the lights cut out, and Sterling is shot dead.

Who is Beatrix Hasp?

We revert to before the crime occurred and see more from Cliff’s point of view. The man is angered by his torturous task, with a new-found hatred for his boss. Cliff has decided to work with rival casino owner Beatrix Hasp (voiced by Rhea Perlman), and together they plot Sterling’s death.

Beatrix needs a patsy to take the fall for the murder. Cliff proposes they use Charlie, as she has a believable motive for wanting him dead. This explains why Cliff made Charlie hold the gun in the first place; her fingerprints are now on the murder weapon.

How does Cliff frame Charlie?

The audience is shown Cliff’s scheming and how he exactly framed Charlie. He swaps Sterling’s present, which contained Charlie’s name tag, and replaces it with the gun inside the box instead. He leaves a novelty, black-light poker chip on the table for Sterling, which allows him to locate Sterling in the dark. Cliff cuts the power, shoots Sterling, and swaps the guns. Charlie realizes how the situation looks and runs. She calls FBI agent Luca Clark (Simon Helberg) and begs for help.

Luca updates Charlie on his narrative. He caught Kazimir Caine, thanks to Charlie, and gained promotion in the process. He is now working on the case of Sterling’s murder. The evidence is undeniable, though; Charlie is screwed. Even if they can prove her innocence, Beatrix’s crime family would have her killed regardless. He urges Charlie to get out of the country fast. Charlie escapes the hotel via a bachelorette party and heads for her sister’s home.

Poker Face Season 1 Episode 10 Ending Explained

We are introduced to Charlie’s sister Emily (Clea DuVall), who detests her sibling. Charlie asks for keys to their father’s boat. There is much tension and backstory between these two distant sisters, a narrative we will hopefully get to explore in season two. Charlie finds a large hole in her father’s boat at the harbor and calls Cliff, with nowhere else to go. Cliff directs her to his fancy new yacht. He calls the cops and stalls while Charlie waits in his boat. It isn’t long before she unravels the plot, finding the novelty poker chips and joining the dots. Charlie fights with Cliff and then escapes, swimming away from the police.

In another twist, Cliff is arrested by Luca. Charlie had told him to check Sterling’s tape recordings, and they prove Cliff’s involvement in Jerry and Natalie Hill’s deaths. Next, Luca meets Charlie at a diner, thanking her for helping him solve his second major case. He informs Charlie that Cliff turned on Beatrix straight away, although they are yet to catch her. The FBI agent offers Charlie a job, and again she turns him down.

The season ends with Beatrix calling Charlie, mirroring the ending of the opening scene, where Sterling called Charlie. Beatrix threatens to track down and kill Charlie, adding how they are a fully modernized crime syndicate years ahead of Sterling’s shoddy operation. It looks like the second season will follow a similar format to the first. Still, now Beatrix is after Charlie instead of Sterling Frost Sr. Hopefully, Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne can work their magic again with an eagerly anticipated second season.

What did you think of Poker Face Season 1 Episode 10 and the Ending? Comment below.

Endings Explained, Peacock, Streaming Service, TV - Ending Explained, Weekly TV
View all