Keeping secrets is typically a bad thing. No matter the reason for it, and when those secrets get released, it can cause a very terrible pain that last forever. In the newest episode of Nine Perfect Strangers we learn two very big secrets, and we see a couple form and a bond strengthen. We also see a bond get stretched, possibly to its limits. Masha (Nicole Kidman) has upped the dosage of the psychedelics and things get very intense.
The episode starts off with us seeing Masha in her life before death and she has a daughter that meets a very fatal doom. We also see her eating the cake from Zoe’s (Grace Van Patten) birthday party that night. Considering how healthy Masha is, it’s odd to see her eating sugar. We see Lars (Luke Evans) have a nightmare about being bullied as a child for being gay. Masha wakes him, and tells him she hates bullies as she explains she’s controlling their dreams now. She also hands him an iPhone so he can record the events of the day, which she states will be incredible. We also see Frances (Melissa McCarthy) have a wild dream about Paul Drabble (Ben Falcone) where he annoys her until she flushes the tiny man in the toilet.
In the morning, Frances and Lars tell the group about their dreams. Masha explains what’s happening and nobody really blinks an eye. She ups the dosage of everybody at the retreat and gives them a buddy system – The Marconis, Napoleaon (Michael Shannon)/Heather (Asher Keddie)/ Zoe, Ben (Melvin Gregg)/Jessica(Samara Weaving), Lars/Carmel (Regina Hall), Tony (Bobby Cannavale)/Frances. This turns into a really intense day of secrets being revealed. Before the secrets, is the bonding. Tony and Frances seem to be falling in love, is it the drugs or are they just compatible? Jessica has a vision about her nose falling off, and Ben aids her along with Masha into calming and relaxing her. I’m not sure what that was about exactly because they never hinted at surgery but I’m sure we will see soon.
The secrets in this episode are truly revealing. They revolve around Carmel and Masha, and the Marconis. It truly changes the dynamic of the show. Masha knows who Carmel is, and why she is the way she is. She was the first woman Carmel’s husband cheated with. Masha wonders if that’s who has been threatening her, but it isn’t Carmel explains that she just wanted to learn from Masha in hopes of getting her family back. Masha explains to her that she has to let go of the past and move on. Definitely a lot of unpacking for Carmel, but over time I’m sure it will happen.
The Marconis secret may literally break the family apart. While tripping in the woods, Heather sees Zach (Hal Cumpston) and he tells her what made him commit suicide. It was medicine that was prescribed to him. Zach reads all the side effects to Heather and she loses her mind. Napoleon doesn’t understand, but after a talk with Heather he begins to doubt if he can forgive her negligence. She knew about the side effects because she checks everything for anything. She’s precise, so in his eyes she neglected their child. Zoe sees Zach again, and ask him things, but he explains he can only tell people what they know. The Marconis seeing Zach leads Masha to explain her plan. She wants to connect them to Zach through psychedelics, spiritually.
Her plan worries Delilah (Tiffany Boone) and Yao (Manny Jacinto) as the last time this was attempted, someone died. They think the family she last tried this with is affiliated with whoever is threatening her. Surely, we will get the full scene as a flashback at some point. This is what Masha has been planning the entire time for the family. There is definitely something there, but what exactly we don’t know. They’ve been showing partial clips from that particular event, but nothing in full.
Johnathan Levine continues his streak as director of Nine Perfect Strangers along with writing, and Jessica Sharzer assist with the script. They do a great job of getting the cast to convey their emotions. This episode was phenomenal as far as the conversation at hand goes. Hulu is doing a great job at producing meaningful content. Things that no matter what, have a message behind them. This isn’t just some drama filled show, it’s about people understanding. The character development in this show is really good, and pleasing for the audience.
This episode hit home for me, as somebody who’s taken medication where suicide is a side effect, it’s a tad bit triggering. There is a warning before the episode so I knew what I was getting myself into. As I stated in the Reservation Dogs review earlier this week, suicide isn’t something that should be demonized. It is something that should be discussed, and we as a society need to begin to better understand it. Mental health is real, and it’s good to see it being taken seriously. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide I urge you to call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255. Somebody out there loves you, I promise. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rating – 8/10
Nine Perfect Strangers premieres Wednesdays on Hulu