Rain Dogs takes some exceptionally dark turns in “Didion Hell”, becoming a very different show with little warning.
This recap of Rain Dogs Season 1 Episode 4, “Didion Hell”, contains spoilers.
This week’s episode of Rain Dogs picks up an indeterminate about of time after Episode 3, with Costello and Iris having settled into Selby’s rather lovely home in Bruton (it says a lot about his family’s wealth that this kind of property, in the middle of nowhere with a pool, has been left abandoned.)
Rain Dogs Season 1 Episode 4 Recap
Things seem to be going well. After a brief visit from Gloria, Selby suggests they start the adoption process soon. Eventually, he says, Allegra will die, and then they’ve hit the jackpot. Neither of them will have to worry about money ever again.
Why can’t Selby adopt Iris?
There remains a darker undercurrent to all this, though. Selby can’t legally adopt Iris because he went to prison for almost killing a man, and he doesn’t take very kindly to this notion. He thinks it makes their little family a carefully cultivated lie, and he slips into a state of malaise.
After ignoring Costello for several weeks, Selby threatens to go and see her mother, so she lets the tires of his car down. Both are unnecessarily cruel to one another. Selby is obviously deeply troubled, and the increasingly fractious relationship between them both doesn’t go unnoticed by Iris.
Time passes (title cards announce each month.) Selby’s actions begin to border on the openly psychotic, including urinating in Iris’s bath (while she’s in it!). When Iris throws a Halloween party, ostensibly for Iris’s benefit but really to revel in her own newfound status, she tries to patch things up between her and Selby.
What happens to Costello’s money?
This is where things go badly wrong, and Rain Dogs takes such an uncomfortably dark turn it almost morphs into another show. Costello offers to leave since she has a little nest egg saved up so that she and Iris will never have to worry about having a roof over their heads again. But Selby takes great pleasure in revealing that he has gambled all that money away. Costello and Iris have no choice but to stay.
Costello, understandably, goes ballistic, assaulting Selby and smashing up the house.
When Costello tries to drive away, Selby stops her, still with a grin on his face. Costello breaks down in tears and asks how they can possibly proceed, and both agree to pretend to the gathered attendees, all agog at the drama, that nothing remotely curious even happened.
Rain Dogs Season 1 Episode 4 Ending Explained
In December, Costello wakes Iris in the middle of the night. She puts her and their bags in the car, ready to make an escape. But as Costello stares wistfully at the house, she decides against leaving. They both head back inside and put their bags away. The episode ends with Iris cuddling up to Selby as Costello prepares coffee.
Why does Costello decide to stay?
It’s hard to say right now why Costello decides to stay. She might be worried about her financial security after having promised Iris that they’ll never be without a home again. But it’s much more likely that she’s trapped in an incredibly toxic relationship with a man she loves, who loves her in return, in his perverse way, and loves her daughter too. This is a very common cycle of abuse and toxicity, and it’s likely that subsequent episodes will be about how — or whether — Costello is able to recognize and free herself from it.
You can stream Rain Dogs Season 1 Episode 4, “Didion Hell” exclusively on HBO and HBO Max.
- Rain Dogs Season 1 Episode 5 Release Date
- Rain Dogs Season 1 Episode 5 Recap