“Do No Evil” is a slightly delirious episode as everyone reels from the discovery of Betty’s death, while Candy seems to be exposed as something a little more sinister than a woman simply defending herself.
This recap of Love & Death Season 1 Episode 4, “Do No Evil”, contains spoilers.
“Do No Evil” picks up right from where we left off in Episode 3, with Betty Gore, having confronted Candy about her affair with Allan, subsequently confronting her with a wood-splitting axe.
At first, it just seems like a negotiation aid. Betty, pregnant with another child, doesn’t want Candy to see Allan again. Seems fair. But as Candy tensely tries to go through the motions of retrieving Alisa’s swimsuit and peppermints, she overextends a little with her apology. Betty shoves her, and attacks her with the axe, seemingly lopping off part of her foot with it.
But the next we see of Candy, she’s emerging from the house, dripping wet from the shower, some tell-tale bloodstains here and there. We don’t see the killing, and thus we’re no closer to understanding how a churchgoing housewife who was evidently terrified of an armed woman she wronged managed to interpret self-defence as 41 separate blows with an implement expressly designed to chop things into pieces.
Love & Death Season 1 Episode 4 Recap
How does Candy try to cover up the murder?
Candy goes home, showers, gets changed, and clearly cooks up a story about where she’s been which she repeats verbatim to anyone who’ll listen. Snippets of flashback show a little more of the encounter, but not enough for us to get a real sense of what happened.
Candy, her eyes wet with tears, is halfway to delirium. It isn’t clear if she genuinely thinks she can get away with the crime or if she’s just trying to pretend it never happened. Because we haven’t seen inside the house – aside from in glimpses of blood-spattered furnishings – we don’t know if Candy made any efforts to hide Betty’s body or cover anything up.
She doesn’t confess anything to Pat, or Sherry. She takes Alisa to her swimming lesson, and to see The Empire Strikes Back.
Elizabeth Olsen’s face shoulders almost all the drama here. It’s constantly framed in medium or extreme close-up, her damp eyes and worried expression telling the full tale of how she’s feeling. She tries to hide it, even when Allan calls trying to get in touch with Betty, who hasn’t answered the phone or the door when he sent a neighbour round to check on her. But she’s crumbling.
And Allan knows something’s amiss. Betty, not exactly known for her hectic social life, can’t have just disappeared off the face of the earth. So, he rounds up a few more neighbours and gives them specific instructions to get into the house in whatever way they can.
The door is unlocked. The find the bloodstains in the bathroom, and the baby, alone, screaming in the crib. In an adjoining room, they find Betty’s corpse.
What do the police think happened to Betty?
The neighbours tell Allan that Betty seems to have been shot, and while I know they’re not coroners, it seems a little unlikely that someone struck 41 times with an axe would seem to have died from a gunshot wound. Allan calls Candy, who is having sex with Pat, to tell her, and she plays up her surprise and grief when she gets the news.
The sex thing is weird, right? It’s an obviously intentional inclusion, but there’s no way to interpret it, I don’t think, other than as evidence of Candy’s outright psychopathy. Until this point, she has been presented as being genuinely flummoxed by the whole affair. She spent the day on autopilot, barely cognizant of anything. But to go home and have sex with your husband while the daughter of the woman you just murdered sleeps in the other room is just a little bit indefensibly nuts.
Chief Abbott of the Wylie PD confirms to Allan that Betty seems to have been shot. We don’t get a full view of her corpse until the sheriffs arrive to take photographs, but when we do, it’s clear that a gunshot is the least of her problems. A flyer for The Shining on the kitchen table leads Abbott to assume a cult murder. Did Candy leave that there, at the scene of an axe murder? Again, not entirely the behaviour of a woman acting purely in self-defence.
It doesn’t take long for the sordid details to get out. The police rule out premeditation – nobody lugs an axe around in broad daylight, and there are signs of a struggle everywhere. But the footprints in the utility room are too small to be a man’s. Nobody suspects Candy of anything so heinous, of course, but she knows that someone’s going to put two and two together eventually. She was there that morning. She did it. And that knowledge colours all her subsequent actions – including comforting Allan and Alisa when he tells her the news! – with a tinge of madness.
Love & Death Season 1 Episode 4 Ending Explained
You can see this, too, in Candy’s deranged police interview, and in how casual she is about chopping up the flip-flops she was wearing with a pair of scissors. She’s clearly, at this point, trying to get away with the crime. These aren’t the actions of a terrified, panicked woman, but the calculated manoeuvres of someone truly cold-blooded.
It might ultimately prove to be Allan who is Candy’s downfall. She’s already a person of interest to the police since she was the last person to see Betty alive, but the episode ends with Allan confessing to his own affair with Candy – a revelation that will surely cast a different light on the investigation.
You can stream Love & Death Season 1 Episode 4, “Do No Evil” exclusively on HBO Max.