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S01.E07: Happy Birthday, Kate Wallis

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Kate struggles with a family secret she's been holding on to. Joy tries to convince Kate to go on "The Marsha Bailey Show." Mallory has a birthday surprise.

Airs May 25th.

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Promise ring, Jamie. Barf. I can't blame Kate for her discomfort. The icky connotations of a promise ring are enough to put me off mall food courts, and dumb choker-wearing boyfriends back in the 90s and now. What I like about Kate is that she continues to give us a really layered, and complex look at the popular girl by not playing into stereotypes and expectations by not being excited about the promise of forever with a high school douchebag (even though part of the problem stems from the issues with her own parents). 

Hell yes to ring pops and roller skates. These are the moments where Mallory isn't a total suck-monster. But am I the only one who thought those two might have an awkward kiss or do I just watch too much TV?

Joy can take ALL of the the seats. What a hag.

So, my current Annabelle theory is based on Kate's panicked reaction in the therapy session. I think that she may have had some kind of disassociative event where she created Annabelle as a coping mechanism. Again the mirrors from the closet at the end where we see Kate (eating what looks like dog food. Shout out to the Veruca Salt "Seether" video?) split between the doors. 

It's pretty clear how Jamie saw Kate (Madonna) and Jeanette (Whore) when he was with them. He just keeps on sucking. 

Oh fuck! I forgot about the "before times" when we didn't have worry about computer security and having private chats being read by booty calls. That's gonna be a boner killer for Trevor and Ash's relationship. Trevor, I still like you, but taking the private conversation of a kidnapping and assault victim like that, which can be so easily taken out of context (which it will) is truly awful. I get why he did it - Jeanette is still his sister - but I have to imagine that there are some legal implications to this? My law degree from Law & Order university didn't cover this subject so I don't know whether or not this chat could be admissible in court if it was taken without Ash's permission.

Jamie's drunk pee stream, and Joy's assholery are what drove poor Kate to Martin Harris's house. Worst. Birthday. Ever.

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1 hour ago, ZeeEnnui said:

Promise ring, Jamie. Barf. I can't blame Kate for her discomfort. The icky connotations of a promise ring are enough to put me off mall food courts, and dumb choker-wearing boyfriends back in the 90s and now. What I like about Kate is that she continues to give us a really layered, and complex look at the popular girl by not playing into stereotypes and expectations by not being excited about the promise of forever with a high school douchebag (even though part of the problem stems from the issues with her own parents). 

I am going to play devil's advocate. I think that Jamie was sensing that Kate was starting to slip away and the promise ring was away to hold onto her. It was probably why he got stinking drunk. I remember commentary on a blog about when Simon Cowell did douchest thing you could do and impregnated his best friend's wife (off-topic: Simon Cowell and that bitch both suck). The best friend bought his wife a big fancy ring, the blog post commented that he knew that his bitch of an ex was losing interest because he bought something so extravagant. If Kate wasn't kidnapped, she would have moved on from him when she went off to college, if not sooner.

I was also put off about what Derek did. He knows that Ash's relationship with Katie is fragile at the best of times, so having it revealed it by opposing counsel that Ash had a fake identity to have a conversation with Kate is going to destroy it; especially after Derek and Ash just had sex. Just like Kate and Jamie, Ash would be totally be entitled to never speak to Derek again.

Kind of weird that the show lifted the twist of Joy sending the letter to Kate from the end of the season 1 finale of Awkward.

@ZeeEnnui, you aren't the only one that thought Kate and Mallory were going to kiss. Considering Kate's trust issues, I am glad that didn't go down and Mallory was being a good friend.

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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How did Kate and that douche Jamie end up at Martin’s house? I missed that part. 
As for the admissibility of that chat printout, since those were early days for personal computers, it probably wasn’t settled law. Ash did leave it out in the open. 
Joy is such a bitch. The same as I don’t understand why Kate was besties with the Mean Girls, I don’t understand why Rod loves Joy.

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14 minutes ago, Ambrosefolly said:

I am going to play devil's advocate. I think that Jamie was sensing that Kate was starting to slip away and the promise ring was away to hold onto her. It was probably why he got stinking drunk. I remember commentary on a blog about when Simon Cowell did douchest thing you could do and impregnated his best friend's wife (off-topic: Simon Cowell and that bitch both suck). The best friend bought his wife a big fancy ring, the blog post commented that he knew that his bitch of an ex was losing interest because he bought something so extravagant. If Kate wasn't kidnapped, she would have moved on from him when she went off to college, if not sooner.

I was also put off about what Derek did. He knows that Ash's relationship with Katie is fragile at the best of times, so having it revealed it by opposing counsel that Ash had a fake identity to have a conversation with Kate is going to destroy it; especially after Derek and Asha just had sex. Just like Kate and Jamie, Ash would be totally be entitled to never speak to Derek again.

Kind of weird that the show lifted the twist of Joy sending the letter to Kate from the end of the season 1 finale of Awkward.

@ZeeEnnui, you aren't the only one that thought Kate and Mallory were going to kiss. Considering Kate's trust issues, I am glad that didn't go down and Mallory was being a good friend.

That's actually a really good point about Jamie using tacky jewelry with questionable symbolism to try and lock Kate down. I'm willing to bet if not for the kidnapping, Kate would have showed up with a fountain coke (my hangover cure of choice), some Advil and a breakup notice the next day.

And, I can't remember...did Derek know that Ash moonlighting on the kidnap victim's message board? I'm actually super nervous for Kate next week.

Thank you! Glad I'm not crazy. I'm a few years younger than Kate and Jeanette were in this time period but the mid-90s was around the time Bound, Wild Things and Chasing Amy came out so if this was a less quality show I could see them going for that the predictable narrative -- oooh look how edgy this show is. take that, 700 club! -- route with Kate and Mallory. 

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6 minutes ago, ZeeEnnui said:

And, I can't remember...did Derek know that Ash moonlighting on the kidnap victim's message board? I'm actually super nervous for Kate next week.

Ash mentioned the username to name in a conversation they had at the swings. 

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I was also worried they would awkwardly kiss but glad they are not going that route and just showing Mallory is a good friend to Kate. I hope one of the twists won’t be Mallory backstabbing Kate because I was worried at first but now I see someone who saw a broken and hurt person and became her friend.

We finally get to see Derek and Ash hook up but it’s ruined by finding the chat. Pretty much doomed that relationship. 
I am loving Kate’s dad. He was a total wreck when he was talking about not sticking up for her, and then we saw it was when her mom slapped her. He likely blames himself for her kidnapping since she left the house that night and he didn’t stop her.

Kate’s lie about not knowing Martin is going to be a mess. Did we have a scene about what she told the police about how he kidnapped her? 
Wonderwall is the perfect song for that last scene of her going in Martin’s house. Kudos to the people responsible for the music yet again.

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1 hour ago, ZeeEnnui said:

Hell yes to ring pops and roller skates. These are the moments where Mallory isn't a total suck-monster. But am I the only one who thought those two might have an awkward kiss or do I just watch too much TV?

I thought they might, too, and usually I'm all about the girls kissing, but I'm glad they didn't go that route here. That is not what Kate needs right now. I'm glad Mallory didn't write that note and I'm glad she's being a genuinely good friend to Kate. I just wish Harley Quinn Smith were a better actress, because it's jarring how much better Olivia Holt is in their scenes.

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Honestly I don’t know who I hate more at this point: Harris for being a monster, Joy for being the absolute WORST, Ash because her deception is about to screw Kate over big time, or Jeanette and her brother who are stealing Kate’s private conversation to smear her. All of them are revictimizing Kate AGAIN. Even if Jeanette is innocent, it’s still pretty low.

I don’t blame Kate for hiding the fact that she went to Harris on her own. People always find some way to blame the victim and say she was asking for it. He was grooming and manipulating her, and he still held her against her will when she wanted to leave. She was a child, he was an adult. End of story.

Kate’s stepdad deserves better.

Mallory’s roller rink birthday surprise for Kate was sweet. I really hope she doesn’t turn out to be bad, because I continue to like her and Kate’s friendship. 

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Dot-matrix printers really had their moment last night. The good ol’ paper jam implicating mom! There was no way Derek printed out that many pages without Ashley hearing it over her shower or coming out before it was done. Who knew I would wax nostalgic about a dot-matrix printer? But it really brought me back to my college days. The roller rink was more of an 80s thing than a 90s thing, but somehow somewhere it looks like they found a full-on retro roller rink still going strong in 2021 for filming, so maybe some places they lived on.

I assumed with Ash and DT’s (as she called him) heavy flirting, that they would get themselves in a Romeo and Juliet situation with their warring families, but thought they’d at least open up to each other and have some pangs of guilt on trying to decide whether to use information to help their respective sisters, but the bed wasn’t even cold before Derek “accidentally snooped” and took the info. Daaaamn. In 95, email was pretty new to the general public. I remember a computer science major lived in my dorm and showed it to me in 94. This was not something people had to regularly check yet. But since Ash also went to “check her email” in an earlier scene at home, I’ll allow that the show was setting this up as a normal part of a teen’s routine in 94-95.

Like some others have mentioned, I was getting the impression there was “more” to Kate and Mallory’s friendship—especially when the ring pop replaced the promise ring. But sometimes teenage girls can be really obsessive about their “besties”—or as we would have said in the 90s, BFFs. But the fact that they’ve gotten SO close to the extent they both feel like they have no one else in their lives, I think it’s more foreboding. Mallory turned on her last BFF, so I tend to think she’s going to be put in the middle of this lawsuit and perhaps have to admit some stuff that’s going to support Jeanette rather than her new best friend, Kate.

I think most of us had already figured out that a fight with Mom caused Kate to run away from home and go right to Martin’s house, but it was still somehow emotional to see that. I liked that the show had Kate yelling at the movie for the woman to run faster because he was going to get you. I definitely had that, “No, Kate, don’t knock on his door!” reaction from my couch, too.

I don’t really see how this victim shaming is going to help out Jeanette—in today’s lens—but the 90s was a different time! It probably would have been a typical reaction to think, well, if she went there on her own with a suitcase late at night and begged him to let her stay, what did she expect would happen?

It also makes sense now why in an the episode with Jeanette’s roller-rink party that Jamie said he thought Kate ran away, and why everyone in her life “got over her” so quickly. Kate DID “run away.” To Jamie, she left him and the future they (he) had planned together. It also now makes sense why he dumped Jeanette the second Kate, his true love, came back.

I think in 94 Kate does still blame herself for going to Martin’s house, but Kate in 95 recognizes that he groomed her and her family just let it happen. Almost got to Annabelle! But I’m guessing next Kate episode she’s going to remember it was her dissociative coping mechanism. 

Edited by JenE4
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I continue to not understand why people dislike Mallory.  Especially later years Mallory.  I absolutely loved Mallory keeper of Kate’s birthday.    I don’t think there is any twist here.  It’s a progression of character like everything else.   Mallory and Kate share the same Therapist and become friends.  

And yeah I can see Kate having a lot of guilt for walking into Martin’s house after having a fight with her mom.    Who by the way hasn’t changed at all in three years.  
 

as for the computer texts thing.  Again L&O university and other TV show doctorates but I am thinking since this isn’t to put someone in jail and to only prove that Kate is lying.   Then it is admissible.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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27 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

I continue to not understand why people dislike Mallory.  Especially later years Mallory.  I absolutely loved Mallory keeper of Kate’s birthday.    I don’t think there is any twist here.  It’s a progression of character like everything else.   Mallory and Kate share the same Therapist and become friends.

I loved it too. Mallory does seem to be the one person other than Rod who genuinely has Kate’s best interest at heart. Maybe Ash too, I did love her getting stoned with the two of them and watching a movie, but too bad we couldn’t have had more of that bonding instead of the chat room deception. 

I think people are quick to connect Mallory to Janis Ian from Mean Girls, but we still don’t know what went down between her and Jeanette and who was really at fault. I really hope we find out soon.

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2 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Honestly I don’t know who I hate more at this point: Harris for being a monster, Joy for being the absolute WORST, Ash because her deception is about to screw Kate over big time, or Jeanette and her brother who are stealing Kate’s private conversation to smear her. All of them are revictimizing Kate AGAIN. Even if Jeanette is innocent, it’s still pretty low.

If Jeanette is innocent, I get why she would want to clear her name with the law suit, but my heart broke many times for Kate in this episode. The poor girl cannot catch a break. At least Jeanette had 2 good birthdays in the 3 years. Kate's sucked for all 3 years.

I still don't feel sorry for whatever Joy is going through but that mother-daughter argument scene in '95 was amazing. Well-acted by both of them.

I'm starting to appreciate Mallory. She is awesome with Kate. Who knows, maybe she was annoying with Jeanette because she could sense some shadiness from Jeanette since '93.

The scene with Wonderwall playing in the background while Kate sat on the floor eating, all the while Harris verbally abused and shamed her... that was heavy. It was hard for me to watch.

Edited by waving feather
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I enjoy this show, but I'm starting to feel like the story is dragging. At this stage, I'm hoping Annabelle is an actual person and not just a disassociative state Kate was in because that would at least be a surprise. Mallory annoys me only because I find her too clingy, I think she's good for Kate but I would want to punch anyone that woke me up by shoving their face in mine. That might just be a personal preference and residual annoyance from an ex clingy boyfriend!

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2 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

as for the computer texts thing.  Again L&O university and other TV show doctorates but I am thinking since this isn’t to put someone in jail and to only prove that Kate is lying.   Then it is admissible.  

But it may not be admissible, considering the way it was obtained?

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8 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Honestly I don’t know who I hate more at this point: Harris for being a monster, Joy for being the absolute WORST, Ash because her deception is about to screw Kate over big time, or Jeanette and her brother who are stealing Kate’s private conversation to smear her. All of them are revictimizing Kate AGAIN. Even if Jeanette is innocent, it’s still pretty low.

I don’t blame Kate for hiding the fact that she went to Harris on her own. People always find some way to blame the victim and say she was asking for it. He was grooming and manipulating her, and he still held her against her will when she wanted to leave. She was a child, he was an adult. End of story.

Kate’s stepdad deserves better.

Mallory’s roller rink birthday surprise for Kate was sweet. I really hope she doesn’t turn out to be bad, because I continue to like her and Kate’s friendship. 

For me it is easy: Joy, even if I felt a bit bad for her. Ash's heart was in the right place and I do think she wanted to be there for Kate in some way. The more mature thing for Ash would be to respect Kate boundaries and hope that Kate forgives her one day, but Ash is still very young and thought it would be helpful and private. While it was a pretty shitty thing to do to grossly violate Ash's privacy like that after they were intimate, Derek desire to help his tormented sister is somewhat understandable. Jeanette, if she is innocent, is now in survival mode with someone she believes it out to get her.

Joy doesn't have the excuse of youth or good intentions and she started the events of Kate being kidnapped. She couldn't even let things slide on her daughter's own birthday and was even trying to paint her a liar to cover her own back. Even after slapping Kate , she was still berating and threatening her instead of being apologetic. I don't even think that Joy somehow trained Kate to be too trusting. She made things so awful and threatened her with tracking her down to friends' homes that I think even the most jaded and distrustful person would run off to someone like Martin that not only came across as "nice" but had the credentials of assistant principal.

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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14 hours ago, Cranberry said:

I thought they might, too, and usually I'm all about the girls kissing, but I'm glad they didn't go that route here. That is not what Kate needs right now. I'm glad Mallory didn't write that note and I'm glad she's being a genuinely good friend to Kate. I just wish Harley Quinn Smith were a better actress, because it's jarring how much better Olivia Holt is in their scenes.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that roller rink scene was unbelievably gay. Normally I loathe queerbaiting, but this is possibly the only instance where the fake out is preferable, lol. The last thing Kate needs is to feel pressure to please someone else she loves. I agree that Harley is a very weak actress even for Freeform (though in her defense, I thought I spotted an obvious saline tear streak on Olivia Holt’s face when she was holding the door, so even the heavyweights aren’t perfect!). Pairing her with Kate/Olivia actually kind of covers up her flaws to a certain extent - it’s easier/move natural to play giddy teen besties than it is to convey nuanced, dramatic emotions. But yeah, most of Mallory’s scenes are essentially Harley talking instead of acting, if that makes sense. 

Boo Derek! I was disappointed we got zero build up to his hookup with Ash. It just seems like the afterglow scene came out of nowhere to give him a pretext to find the chat log. Overall, I was glad to see Ash again and I wish she had been incorporated into the show earlier. Not looking forward to the discovery ruining Kate’s trust. 

Froy Gutierrez played a pretty believable drunk. He really swings for the fences in channeling “asshole high school boyfriend deeply threatened by his girlfriend’s independence and obviously superior potential.”

I think I have a crush on Kate’s dad. He’s hands-down the best character of the series. “Don’t ever imply that I’m not her father again” was badass and also hot as hell. Eat shit, Joy!

Edited by SnarkEnthusiast
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I think Martin was fucking with Kate regarding Jeanette. He'd already started poisoning her by telling her that everyone had forgotten about her and that Jamie was dating J. Joy said Kate needed a bad guy. In a Stockholm Syndrome kind of way, since he was responsible for her food and care, she might have formed complicated feelings for Martin (as would be natural) and instead of hating HIM decided to direct her anger at Jeanette.  It could've been a coping mechanism. I think MARTIN saw Jeanette break in and then told kate, 'Hey, Jeanette was here and saw you but you're not getting help." And in Kate's trauma she's created the memory of seeing J herself. 

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Count me in with those who thought the roller rink scene would end differently than it did.  Taken by itself, it wouldn't have bothered me, but within the context of the entire story, it would have felt like jumping the shark.

I'm still not liking Mallory, but I think it's because I'm not fond of the actress portraying her.  She just doesn't seem to fit the role, in my own opinion.

Did anyone else have the thought that Annabelle might be the girl from Widow Falls?  Kate was so vehemently NOT in favor of her that I wondered if she might have experienced a bit of Stockholm Syndrome with Martin and been jealous that there was a girl before her.  I could see Martin using that to play against her and get her to bond more tightly to him.

I can see how Kate would feel that Joy raised her to be blindly obedient.  From my own experience, I understand that kind of conditioning.  Everything is great and wonderful and fun as long as you're following the other person's rules, but as soon as you balk, you get brutally steamrolled and berated and torn apart.  In time, you learn to avoid that by doing everything they say just to keep them happy and prevent your own tearing-down - regardless of who that other person is.

I loved the directing of the scene in the basement, from the slow transition back and forth within the mirrors to show two of Martin AND two of Kate throughout the entire scene, to the small detail of Kate having to eat with her fingers as Martin reminds her that he's taking such good care of her - showing that juxtaposition was powerful.  That scene was incredibly well done.

Edited by mandymax · Reason: Edited because sometimes my spelling skills suck
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5 hours ago, JenE4 said:

The roller rink was more of an 80s thing than a 90s thing

I was a kid in the mid-90s and went to a lot of roller rink birthday parties. It was definitely over by the late-90s though. 
 

Dammit Jeanette’s brother! I was rooting for you!

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Joy is an impressively loathsome person, in every single summer. She can say how she sent the note to try and help Kate, but it feels more like she was pissed off at Kate for not being the perfect daughter she wants and that she is so close with Rod so she tried to drive her back to her by freaking her out more and giving them a villain to fight together. Joy's horribleness pretty much drove Kate closer and closer to Martin until she finally went right into the lions den just to escape her, and while I do think that Kate was right that Joy made her desperate to obey any adult authority figure, her constant criticism and gaslighting made Kate quick to latch onto an adult that validated her and seemed to listen and believe in her, so of course she gravitated towards Martin. Poor Kate, she just went through so much, its like the whole universe was conspiring to hurt her more. The ending with Kate coming to Martin's house as well as imprisoned Kate being verbally abused by Martin about how he's "taking care of her" was just so brutal. I really hope that things improve for her, I just don't know how much more she can take. 

Of course sixteen year old Kate would think a promise ring was a lame gift, she was already thinking about getting out and seeing the world and not living the life her mother wants her to live, having a ring would just make her feel tied down. She was just a teenager, talking about marriage and kids is just a huge ask. I can at least get why Jamie thought it was a good idea though, he could probably tell that Kate was increasingly not as into him as he was into her so this was a big swing to try and hold onto her. That's probably why he ended up getting drunk, he could tell that she wasn't thrilled about the ring and doesn't really see that kind of future together. Even without the kidnapping, no way would that relationship have lasted. 

The Talented Mr. Ripley, a movie about a person who becomes infatuated with, kills and impersonates a rich person with a seemingly perfect life, is certainly an appropriate movie to reference in this story. 

I definitely thought that something "more" would happen between Kate and Mallory, but I am glad they didn't go there. Kate really needs a friend right now, not a romantic partner. I have never really liked Mallory but I am liking her more seeing how kind and supportive she is with Kate. I really hope that Mallory doesn't turn out to be sketchy, I just don't think that Kate can handle anymore. I also really liked all of the scenes with Kate and Rod, he is just such a warm caring person, and probably one of the most normal people in this whole town. You could tell how much he regrets not believing Kate when she told him about the affair and not interfering when Joy was being cruel to her and driving Kate out, you can imagine how guilty he has felt this whole time about letting Kate go. The only problem Rod really has is his bad taste in women, because Joy is The Worst, he can do way better. I wish that he would ditch Joy and take Kate as primary parent, but I guess he is sticking with her. 

I wonder if Annabelle is the other girl from the previous town Martin lived in? Something definitely went down there, and Kate was so intense about her there has to be more story there then just some student trying for her fifteen minutes of fame based on some minor encounter. 

So Kate's lie is that she went to Martin's house that night to stay after her fight with Joy. It really doesn't change things, she certainly never asked to be held captive and abused for a year, she just wanted a break from her mom with the help of a trusted adult, but I can see why Jeanette and Derek are looking at this as a big change in the case and why Kate hid this fact. If nothing else, it shows that Kate left things out of her official statement and that could leave room for people to wonder if Kate lied about anything else, like seeing Jeanette. It sucks because I do feel for everyone and get why they did everything that they did even if it hurts other people. It sucks that Derek stole this information from Ash and is giving it to Jeanette to paint Kate as a liar, but I also get him wanting to do anything he could to help his sister after watching her being dragged through the mud by the entire country for all this time. It sucks that Ash was lying to Kate about her real identity on the website, but I can understand why she is trying to give her sister all the support she can while Kate is still holding her at arms length. It sucks that Jeanette is going to use this to prove that Kate is lying and cause her more pain, but I can understand her using this as a way to try and prove that Jeanette might not be a monster and reclaim some kind of life after her life has fallen to pieces. Its really just sad that Kate felt like she needed to hide this, but she probably (and probably correctly) assumed that she would be judged and blamed for being kidnapped if people knew she went to Martin's house willingly before he took this opportunity to lock her up and kidnap her. It would go from "poor Kate!" to "what were you expecting?" especially in that time. Its sad but I can see how that could happen, especially if Kate herself blames herself for going to see him. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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I think I'm more surprised that I'm vaguely disappointed that Kate and Mallory didn't kiss.  I know that it's better for plot reasons that they didn't, but I would have totally bought it if they had.  And if you'd told me a few episodes that I'd feel that way, I wouldn't have believed you.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, who plays Ash, reminds me a little bit of Ajiona Alexis from 13 Reasons Why.  And that's a compliment.  There's a resemblance, and they have very similar screen presences.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this show is a MUCH better done 13RW.  I hope they have the good sense to leave it as a single season and to allow any further ones to be different stories.

Also, I know Freeform can only get away with so much, but Ash didn't even remove her bra when she and Derek had sex?  We saw him pulling up his boxers.

Man, who would have predicted that Cindy would end up the better person than Joy.  She's VILE.

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1 hour ago, absnow54 said:

I was a kid in the mid-90s and went to a lot of roller rink birthday parties. It was definitely over by the late-90s though. 
 

Dammit Jeanette’s brother! I was rooting for you!

I was taking college courses in 1994 and we definitely used email, too. Glad to know that roller rinks were still going strong!

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Well, my totally irrelevant reaction to the skating rink scene was, there's no way Mallory wasn't a good skater.  No way the rink would have hired her, let alone made her assistant manager, if she couldn't be able to pick up a shift as a floor guard.  Based on my degree from the University of Taking My Kids to Skating Rinks in the 90s and Early 2000s.

And despite how sympathetic certain characters are at the moment, I still don't believe anyone at this point. 

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This is such a complex story.

I felt for Kate in this episode, and it's such an honest look at PTSD. Her reaction to the girl trying to escape in the old film was heartbreaking, as well as the scenes with Martin taking away her hope, and the scene at the end was absolutely horrible. 

It still seems like Kate's story is fairly straightforward. I don't blame her for lying to the police about going to Martin's house willingly. While it may complicate things for the lawsuit, even if she did lie, she was a still a minor imprisoned and abused. It doesn't change what happened. 

But she did go on TV, and accuse Jeannette of seeing her, and deliberately leaving her there to suffer. Did Martin maybe make that up, after realizing that Jeannette had been in his house, maybe finding the scrunchie? That seems pretty plausible, and Kate could end up believing she saw and "locked eyes with" Jeannette. She believes what she saw was real, but maybe Jeannette is indeed innocent of that one major action, and of course she should try to clear her name. Similar to awful Joy saying Kate needs a villain, and with Martin dead, some of her trauma is relaying to Jeannette.

But Jeannette is also a teenager, and is also suffering. I'm a bit surprised that people think Jeannette should just let it go and continue to be a national pariah. But it's terrible that the odds of Jeannette being able to clear her name without affecting Kate are slim. 

Rod deserves better, despite his major failure to support Kate when she needed it the most.

Jamie seemed like such a naïve boy in this episode. Giving the ring in front of all their friends? No pressure, Kate!

Regarding Martin's past, there's much more there. The show keeps cutting away when his past is brought up on the news (I think they've done it twice). There was a whole story discussed on the news last night that we didn't see, apart from Kate's reaction and sad defense of Martin.

Annabelle seems like the one of the last major questions, as well as how Kate was found. I'm not sure how Kate may have "met" Annabelle, but obviously Annabelle is a major trigger for Kate, enough that she's suppressed memories about her (or it). Something from Martin's past? 

There are a lot of out there theories going around, but I hope the show doesn't go in some of those directions.

Joy is horrible, but the scenes with her and Kate were well done, especially the 1995 scene where Kate confronted her about the note. 

Edited by CrazyDog
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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

The Talented Mr. Ripley, a movie about a person who becomes infatuated with, kills and impersonates a rich person with a seemingly perfect life, is certainly an appropriate movie to reference in this story. 

 

There are 5 books about Tom Ripley, this is the first one. He gets away with several murders. He is an anti-hero, and a serial killer, and to have Jeannette reading the book was an interesting moment. 

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17 minutes ago, cardigirl said:

There are 5 books about Tom Ripley, this is the first one. He gets away with several murders. He is an anti-hero, and a serial killer, and to have Jeannette reading the book was an interesting moment. 

Jeanette reading it and Kate referencing it. Another mirror symbol. 

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8 hours ago, JenE4 said: Who knew I would wax nostalgic about a dot-matrix printer? But it really brought me back to my college days. The roller rink was more of an 80s thing than a 90s thing, but somehow somewhere it looks like they found a full-on retro roller rink still going strong in 2021 for filming, so maybe some places they lived on.

This was filmed around the North Dallas area - the skating rink is Interskate in Lewisville - yes still a busy roller rink.  I took my kids there often when they were younger, dabbled in roller derby for awhile and we would have fun meetup skate sessions there. 

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9 hours ago, JenE4 said:

Dot-matrix printers really had their moment last night. The good ol’ paper jam implicating mom! There was no way Derek printed out that many pages without Ashley hearing it over her shower or coming out before it was done. Who knew I would wax nostalgic about a dot-matrix printer? But it really brought me back to my college days. The roller rink was more of an 80s thing than a 90s thing, but somehow somewhere it looks like they found a full-on retro roller rink still going strong in 2021 for filming, so maybe some places they lived on.

I

So much this!!  I thought that was going to be the purpose of that scene- Ashley catching him.

I am liking Mallory more, but I can't help but wonder if she isn't a little obsessed with Kate, and is almost "grooming" her in a different way/using her in her own way.  Kate is definitely vulnerable, and some of Mallory's quirkiness could go either way.  Her intro to Kate's stepdad, "I'm Mallory and I like snacks!" and the way she woke Kate up the morning after they smoked pot made her seemed to be more pushy/selfish than cute. 

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I honestly don't think there's going to be a prestige. Context is going to be important, I think. I think the third act will come down to the fact that everyone reacted in a way that fit into their own reality and the only "villain" is Martin. And that bitch Joy.

The Tom Ripley books were basically about someone putting on a facade and pretending to be someone they weren't. So far that could be applied to most of our characters: Kate (the good girl who did as she was told), Jeanette (lies, changes from nerd to It girl to albatross), Joy (having an affair and putting on airs), Ben and Vince (hiding their true sexuality), Ashley (literally pretending to be someone else online), Martin...

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As much as I love the idea of a Kate/Mallory pairing, I think at this point it would be too predatory.   I think that is the issue with the Mallory Haters they think she is preying on Kate which I just don't see.  If this episode proves anything it is that.   If there is a relationship in the future it needs to be after the defamation suite and the Annabelle thing gets settled.  

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I think Ashley should be rightfully mad at Derrick and end their relationship, but I don't blame him for taking that chat print out. He didn't go looking to snoop, but he came across it and his whole family has been torn apart by the accusation against Jeanette.

I think the print out would not be admissible in a criminal case, but the rules about civil cases are different. Plus, they don't actually need to admit the print out. They just need to get Kate and Ashley on the stand and ask them about it. Then if they lie, I think lawyers would be able to show the chat....on TV lawyers are always arguing that they should be able to use something they couldn't otherwise to impeach a witness. 

However, it should be irrelevant. People will use it to blame Kate, but Martin Harris is a creepy, terrible dude. If a minor shows up at someone's house I am fairly certain it is a crime to take them in without notifying the parents. Plus, Kate clearly wanted to leave at some point and he locked her in the basement instead. She's the victim regardless of how she got there. 

I thought those dot matrix printers had gone out of style by 1995. I can buy the old one the Wallis family was getting rid of being that kind, but I would think the mother would use the newest printer to do her evil manipulation of Kate.

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“This changes everything.” Only the fact that she knew him better than she let on.  He still kidnapped her. That isn’t on her.  

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Why would her mother say that she always needs a bad guy? That doesn’t fit with the girl we’ve met. Except for her hatred of Jeanette.  

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So the longer this goes on it's clear Kate wasn't gone for a year. And while being held captive is super bad it doesn't look like he sexually assaulted her - so why keep her? 

 

Basically everyone is a liar in this show. 

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1 hour ago, KaveDweller said:

I think the print out would not be admissible in a criminal case, but the rules about civil cases are different. Plus, they don't actually need to admit the print out. They just need to get Kate and Ashley on the stand and ask them about it. Then if they lie, I think lawyers would be able to show the chat....on TV lawyers are always arguing that they should be able to use something they couldn't otherwise to impeach a witness. 

 

But wouldn’t a prosecutor need to explain why this damning printout was being brought up at all? And the prosecution would need to share that document with the defense beforehand if the prosecution was planning to use it as evidence, I think (discovery and Brady violations?), at which point the defense would probably be able to shut it down because the printout was more or less stolen. Or does all that not matter in a civil case? Maybe I am overthinking!

Edited by TattleTeeny
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It's "funny" if you look at Jeanette in 1993 and Kate in 1993 it seems like Kate has it all she's pretty, popular has the guy the money, etc. while Jeanette is frumpy, single, not rich... but then when you see how things really were Jeanette actually had things pretty good.  Yeah, her mom was a bit extra but she wasn't horrible, she got along well with her dad, her brother was cool, she had friends (at least one good in Vince) while Kate had a sucky boyfriend, a mom that sucked, a stepdad that was afraid to stand up to his wife, friends that were lame, a stepsister that somehow blamed Kate for breaking up her family and I'm not sure what happened to her bio-dad but he's clearly not around.  Kate really had no one decent in her life that she could count on, certainly no adult.  Really goes to show you can't judge a book by it's cover.

Speaking of books.... that was an interesting twist with Jeanette reading Talent Mr. Ripley at the end.  

Also, like others, I don't think the chat room conversation changes anything.  Kate was just physically assaulted by her mother and went to an adult for help. She didn't beg him to let her stay there he invited her in when she said she didn't know what to do.  Regardless, she didn't asked to be held captive in the basement and while I get that Jeanette wants to clear her name or whatever she's still shady AF and it just makes it hard to feel much sympathy for her.  I am interested to see how Jeanette became the IT girl as for next episode it looks like she's changed her appearance but she's still a "freak" or whatever Kate's useless friends called her.  I feel like we don't really learn much in these episodes.  They're interesting but you're still left asking how a bunch of stuff happened.  

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6 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

But wouldn’t a prosecutor need to explain why this damning printout was being brought up at all? And the prosecution would need to share that document with the defense beforehand if the prosecution was planning to use it as evidence, I think (discovery and Brady violations?), at which point the defense would probably be able to shut it down because the printout was more or less stolen. Maybe I am overthinking!

Jeanette's lawyer isn't a prosecutor working to put Kate in prison, she's a civil attorney. So there are different rules. I don't really know what all the rules are, I am not a lawyer. But I've seen shady seeming things get admitted on other TV shows.

The reason to bring it up would be to paint Kate as a liar. She told the police she didn't know Martin, and the truth was she knew him and originally went to his house willingly. Once they prove Kate lied about that, it gives weight to Jeanette's claim that she is lying about being seen. 

Let me just clarify, I think it is a really crappy thing to do because Kate is absolutely the victim of what Martin did and her lying because she didn't want to be blamed for her own kidnapping is not the same as lying about Jeanette. But lawyers often do crappy things to win a case (at least on TV).

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Oh my goodness, I think I sort of forgot that I should be thinking in terms of fictional TV drama and not regular old real-life court stuff (possibly the result of podcasts about wrongful convictions). 

Edited by TattleTeeny
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On 5/26/2021 at 2:42 PM, KaveDweller said:

I think Ashley should be rightfully mad at Derrick and end their relationship, but I don't blame him for taking that chat print out. He didn't go looking to snoop, but he came across it and his whole family has been torn apart by the accusation against Jeanette.

This.  Derek didn't go on the computer to look at the chat. He hollered that he was going to check his e-mail (which, yes, in college in 1995 we had campus accounts and used them).  If Ash had heard him, something he intended for her to do, she would have told him to hold off or might have said she wanted to close some things or whatever.  But she didn't hear and it was literally open in full screen when he turned on the monitor.

I don't even think he knew what it was at first.  But, yes, Ash told him she was chatting with Kate on line posing as someone else, so he figured it out.  At that point, it would have taken unimaginable will power and a near saintly moral code to stop reading and/or not try to preserve it to help his little sister.  But yeah, those printers were loud, distinct, and SLOW. Ash must take 20 min showers and play music.

As for its usefulness, I think it might potentially be used in court if it could be authenticated.  It wasn't obtained illegally. Derek was an invited guest who sat down at a computer that he asked to use, and which was already on and saw a screen that was already pulled up in an account already logged in. It was a violation of Ash's trust and their relationship.  But I can't think of any law violated.  At minimum, it it was arguably  not illegal.  (Also, illegally obtaining something as a private citizen is not the same thing as an illegal search by law enforcement and they have different admissibility rules). 

But, again, authentication would be the problem.  The conversation is using screen names, printed and the in the possession of interested parties. And even once you established that the document was genuine and unaltered, you'd have to show that Kate was Traumarama79. What it might help with either way is give them a key into breaking Kate's version of events. And Kate and Ash, if questioned, would either have to tell the truth or commit perjury. 

As for its relevance, the fact that Kate lied about her interactions with Martin prior to her abduction is meaningless as to whether she has any culpability. SHE DOES NOT. And even in the 90s that would have been legally true and most people would have still seen her as a victim.  I think Kate's lie was not so much about whether people would blame her in reality, but about her blaming herself. At least part of Kate thinks it's her fault for trusting him, for going over to his house, and I sure she has some shame at having liked him a bit. She couldn't the truth that out loud no matter who told her she wasn't to blame because she believes she is and is ashamed.

However, that she lied about that, no matter how understandable, could be used to impeach her credibility as to other parts of her story.  She had motive to dislike Jeanette for talking over her life as far as her friends and boyfriend and the night she told the cops what she believed Jeanette did was the same night she saw Jeanette kissing Jamie.  So, if she'd lie about one thing, maybe she'd lie about this too.  At least, that's the theory.

 

On 5/26/2021 at 12:39 PM, CrazyDog said:

But she did go on TV, and accuse Jeannette of seeing her, and deliberately leaving her there to suffer. Did Martin maybe make that up, after realizing that Jeannette had been in his house, maybe finding the scrunchie? That seems pretty plausible, and Kate could end up believing she saw and "locked eyes with" Jeannette. She believes what she saw was real, but maybe Jeannette is indeed innocent of that one major action, and of course she should try to clear her name. Similar to awful Joy saying Kate needs a villain, and with Martin dead, some of her trauma is relaying to Jeannette.

Maybe Martin also decided Kate "need[ed] a villain."  

BTW, am I misremembering, or did Joy all but accuse Mallory of leaving the "Liar" note on the door?  That shady bitch accused a 17 year old girl of something she did and not even to make Mallory look bad as no one else was with them. She did it just to be a nasty bitch to a kid. 

On 5/26/2021 at 6:03 AM, waving feather said:

If Jeanette is innocent, I get why she would want to clear her name with the law suit, but my heart broke many times for Kate in this episode. The poor girl cannot catch a break. At least Jeanette had 2 good birthdays in the 3 years. Kate's sucked for all 3 years.

Eh, Jeanette had 1 good birthday.  Her birthday in 1994 started off well.  But it was also the day Kate was found and Jamie punched her. And I just realized that it appears that Kate was taken by Martin on her 16th birthday (unless this isn't the start of that, but it seems likely) and found on Jeanette's 16th birthday.

Edited by RachelKM · Reason: More thoughts...
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So there would be no legal issues with even just “stealing” printer paper then, hahaha! I suppose not? I mean, it’s dumb but it’s still taking what’s not yours. Surely someone can’t come into my house and print, say, my bank statement just because I left it open on my laptop? But this was 1995, so I have no idea what kind of cyber-rules existed.

Derek talked about the bedsheets as if they came with the college dorm room! Does that ever happen? I have had only one college dorm room and we brought our own!

Edited by TattleTeeny
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Whether it's legally admissible or not, what Derek did is still very much morally wrong. Technically he asked Ash if he can use her computer to check his email but he did not get a response. So he did not have her permission to touch her computer. She may not allow him to use if she actually heard the question as she has private material on there. It's like someone knocking on my door and asking if they can come into my house while I'm not home. Proceeding to break in because there is no answer and then stealing my things.

Even if she heard and allowed him to use her computer, it's completely wrong for him to print out the chat to share it with his sister without her permission. 

Anyway, if Derek and Jeanette are smart, they will not use this as evidence directly, but use it as a starting point to investigate and find other proof that Kate lied about not knowing Martin Harris. Use it as intel.

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4 minutes ago, waving feather said:

Even if she heard and allowed him to use her computer, it's completely wrong for him to print out the chat to share it with his sister without her permission. 

I don't think anyone was arguing that it wasn't a violation of Ash's trust in him and a moral wrong. At the same time, Jeanette is his sister.  So I get it.  But, damn, I dread when Kate is confronted with the information gleaned that she lied about knowing Martin better than she said.  And I don't mean because of being outed as having lied, but being confronted with a secret that she almost certainly makes her feel she is at least partly to blame for what happened to her (even though she absolutely isn't). 

I also hate that she's likely to find out that 1) Ash pretended to be a stranger to encourage Kate to tell her things and violated her trust and 2) inadvertently disclosed those secrets.

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Oh, I totally get it and would do the same thing!  I just assumed that I would be violating an actual law of some kind (and wouldn’t care at the moment). My issue was whether it would even be valid as “official” evidence (in real life, that is—for a TV drama, I suppose anything goes).

But each of them is being just mildly shady for what they think is the greater good for their respective sisters. And, to me, that kind of negates the morally wrong part.

And yes—they should totally team up on this!

Edited by TattleTeeny
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5 hours ago, Anela said:

Why would her mother say that she always needs a bad guy? That doesn’t fit with the girl we’ve met. Except for her hatred of Jeanette.  

That was weird to me as well. It seemed to come from out of left field and conveniently offer an explanation for Kate's vision of Jeanette. Kate showed bitterness towards her mom and step sister but those are perfectly normal and understandable feelings that lots of teens have. I actually thought that Kate came across as sweet, kind, and likable in 1993. I felt like Tanya's subplot from last week was also thrown in there from out of a hat. 

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The finding of the paper jammed in the printer made me think of the series “House.” Him always saying “everybody lies;” its pretty spot on in most cases.

We see many of the characters telling small and big lies. Lying to protect themselves, protect others (even if in their own screwed up ways) and lying to themselves for self preservation or to justify their actions. We will see how it all unfolds. Like others have said i think once all is revealed Martin will be the only truly evil person.

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Yeah, nothing we have seen so far indicates that pre-kidnapping Kate was some kind of person who blamed her problems on other people/“bad guys.” 

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38 minutes ago, Texasmom1970 said:

Like others have said i think once all is revealed Martin will be the only truly evil person.

Joy is up there though. She did two things that were quite unforgivable this episode. 1) When her lies were exposed, she assaulted her own daughter verbally and physically. And without remorse, continued to berate her even as she was packing to leave the house. 2) Sending "hate mail" to scare her own daughter and mess with her mind, so that her daughter will depend on her again. This is also for her own selfish need.

So, Kate's question "Do you hate me?" is valid. Because she certainly acts like she doesn't love her daughter. Or even like her.

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58 minutes ago, waving feather said:

Joy is up there though. She did two things that were quite unforgivable this episode. 1) When her lies were exposed, she assaulted her own daughter verbally and physically. And without remorse, continued to berate her even as she was packing to leave the house. 2) Sending "hate mail" to scare her own daughter and mess with her mind, so that her daughter will depend on her again. This is also for her own selfish need.

So, Kate's question "Do you hate me?" is valid. Because she certainly acts like she doesn't love her daughter. Or even like her.

She didn't just abuse her. Joy straight gaslighted Kate using her mistaken interpretation of her father's conversation. Joy is kinda awful.

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So, I had a few thoughts:

1. When did Kate take off the promise ring?  It wasn't in the scene where she showed up at Martin's house.

2. Interesting that they mirrored the ring with a green ring pop for her 18th birthday.  Same hand/finger, everything.

3. Sixteen year old Kate obviously is starting to develop feelings for Martin.  The look/smile/declaring "best birthday ever" when she saw the stuffed animal Martin gave her at the fair says it all.

4. Yes, I did think Kate and Mallory were going to kiss.  

 

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