Full Circle Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – how is the kidnapping botched?

July 13, 2023 (Last updated: July 19, 2023)
Adam Lock 0
HBO Max, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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Max series Full Circle Season 1 Episode 1 Recap


It’s a complex and disorientating opener for Full Circle, yet “Something Different” feels lived-in and authentic, while the kidnapping scenario adds another layer of intrigue to the narrative. The camera work sometimes feels a little off-putting, but this is a promising opener otherwise.

We recap the Max series Full Circle Season 1 Episode 1, “Something Different,” which contains spoilers.

One of the most prolific filmmakers of our time, Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven), directs this six-part miniseries from a script by writer Ed Solomon (Men in Black), which explores a botched kidnapping of one of New York’s wealthy elite.

Full Circle Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

The premiere, “Something Different,” starts with the catalyst, mourners gather at the funeral of Quincy Mahabir, a Guyanese American with ties to a criminal underworld in Queens, New York.

Mrs. Mahabir, who runs a dodgy insurance company in the city, wants revenge for the murder of her brother-in-law, Quincy.

What is Mrs Mahabir’s plan?

Her nephew Aked thinks he knows who the killer is, but Mrs Mahabir has other ideas. She wants to target a wealthy celebrity family instead, commenting on how this rivalry goes way back. Mrs. Mahabir’s plan is to kidnap celebrity chef Jeff McCusker’s grandson, Jared.

Jared lives with his rich parents, Sam and Derek Browne, who work for Jared’s grandfather Jeff in the family business, promoting the chef’s work via his media empire.

Early on in the episode, Jared loses his phone. It’s implied that Jared has lost many items in the past, including his grandfather’s watch.

But it seems a boy called Nicky has been obsessing over Jared and collecting these belongings over time. Nicky contacts Jared online, and the two teens start to get to know one another.

Why do Louis and Xavier move to New York?

Adjacent to these two storylines, we’re introduced to friends Louis and Xavier, who travel from Guyana to New York for work. They are summoned by Mrs. Mahabir to be involved in the kidnapping plot. The friends are honored by this opportunity and instantly find themselves in debt with the crime family.

Louis and Xavier are first tasked with killing a targeted individual on the first day on the job. This killing is then made to look like a drug overdose so that Mrs. Mahabir can receive a massive insurance payout from the man’s death.

Louis freezes during the attack, but Xavier steps up to finish the job.

The killing catches the attention of Inspector Melody Harmony, a rogue detective who wants to be a part of this ever-expanding ‘Guyana’ case.

Her boss Manny rejects her request to be involved, though. So Harmony decides to do her own investigating after hours in secret.

Why does Harmony confront Xavier?

She observes the CCTV footage of the killing and confronts Xavier the next day. Harmony hopes that Xavier will work as an informant for her so that she can delve deeper into this seedy, criminal underworld. As soon as Xavier is told of his next task, he phones Harmony with an update.

The kidnapping is to take place that very night at Washington Square Park, but Xavier only knows the location; he is unaware of the actual criminal act itself. Xavier asks Harmony to help him get home to Guyana. She denies this request but promises to help him out in some smaller way for his assistance.

Louis’ sister Natalia, who also works for Mrs. Mahabir, overhears these kidnapping plans and warns Louis. She thinks they are going to kidnap and kill the boy.

Natalia believes Mrs. Mahabir has gone crazy due to her recent grief. The crime boss thinks this random kidnapping will even score. Natalia wants to save the boy for her own peace of mind.

Aked leads the kidnapping team, following Jared through the city streets that night. Jared has sneaked out to meet with Nicky. The next thing we see, Jared is shoved into Aked’s van, and then they phone his parents for the ransom money.

Jeff is brought in, and he gets his finances in check, borrowing from his local casino.

How is the kidnapping botched?

While Jared’s family scrambles to get the money together and stress over the whole debacle, Jared casually walks back into the family home. He admits to sneaking out to meet with Nicky, and it seems Nicky is the boy who has actually been kidnapped in his place. The criminals have nabbed the wrong boy; this is how the kidnapping is botched from the very beginning.

Interestingly, Nicky was wearing the exact same clothes as Jared when they met on the streets. He asked to try out Jared’s bike, and the criminals mistook Nicky for Jared. They swiped the boy without knowing the difference.

Full Circle Season 1 Episode 1 Ending Explained

Aked makes another call, but Jared’s parents mute it straight away. They are unsure how to progress with the negotiations now that their son has safely returned home. While they debate their next move, Aked sends them a video. They watch this video in which Aked tortures Nicky. Aked proves he isn’t messing about; he wants the ransom.

Horrified by this video, Jared’s family seems inclined to help out Nicky regardless. Will they send the criminals the money anyway?

What did you think of Full Circle Season 1 Episode 1? Comment below.

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