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‘Poker Face’

‘Grief is a Five Letter Word’ was written by Adam Milch and directed by Gavin Polone. They make up two thirds of the guys that run this show, by the way. It’s time to get all caught up with what went down in Green Grove this week. Here we go…

The Recap

We open this week’s episode by remembering Regina at a memorial service. Lacey is giving the eulogy. Jo is staring at Lacey as she praises the dead girl who replaced her. Bored to tears Jo, decides it’s time for a little flashback fun and drifts off to remember a time when she was happy with her two best friends and their adventures at the secret fort. Apparently all three of them were little pyros who like to burn and blow stuff up. But Jo is snapped back to the present by her mother. Jo goes to greet Lacey and tells her speech was nice, well-structured to be exact. Mama Masterson comforts Lacey while Papa Masterson suggests she comes in for an interview. Jo gets snippy with both her father for dragging Danny out of school in handcuffs and with subtly with Lacey for not stepping up and telling everyone she spent the night with Danny the night Regina died. Mama Masterson breaks up the squabble.

Back at the Desai Manner, Karen and Danny discuss the newspaper article which turns into an argument about not telling anybody about Lacey spending the night. It’s revealed the Masterson family isn’t trustworthy in Karen’s mind. Danny leaves and so does Karen but the camera stays in the room and pans into a picture of the Desai family complete with Dead Aunt rocking the mysterious necklace from last week’s episode.

Switching back to Regina’s memorial service, Lacey is trying her damnedest to keep things reverent but none of her friends or their comments are really helping to set the tone. Then the popular kids stumble upon a girl in front of the cameras with crocodile tears. Her name is Phoebe. Regina had a falling out with her and they hadn’t been friends for months. Lacey is disgusted.

Meanwhile, at my new favorite diner, a new Scooby Gang is being born. Danny,Jo and Rico discuss evidence over fries at the local diner. Rico is a big ‘Murder She Wrote’ fan. He thinks the text is a red herring. They decide to focus on everyone who was close to the victim and proceed to evaluate all the popular kids’ fatal flaws.

Moving on to see what Sheriff Masterson is up to we stumble upon interviews at the police station. We see Scott disclosing what Danny said to him at the party and Papa Masterson throws him out. The deputy goes into sounding board mode and they start discussing the crucial crux of their case. This is where we learn Regina only had the necklace for about 6 or seven months. The parents have no clue where it came from. The deputy wonders if Danny recognized it. Papa Masterson isn’t sure because Danny has a good poker face. Papa Masterson really shouldn’t be working this case, what with the conflict of interest and all, the even he himself freely admits to but small towns and all that jazz.

Of course right after that scene, Danny and Jo get busted for hanging out together. Danny tries his best to come across and polite and non-threatening but Papa Masterson just isn’t having it. He orders Jo to get in his vehicle and screeches away.

For what feels like the umpteenth time in only two episodes, Jo and Papa Masterson are arguing again. She tells him that his case is circumstantial at best. He tells her she no Johnny Cochran. She doesn’t get the reference because she’s not old enough. I don’t the character was even born when that infamous Bronco chase happened. She pleads with her mother to tell her father that he’s being irrational.

Back at school, Phoebe is being a fake witch, which really disgusts Lacey. But she tries diplomacy and being nice to Phoebe when she approach her and Serita. This sends Lacey down memory lane but Serita stops her and tells her like it is: Regina was not a nice person and even though they loved that about her, she’s gone. It’s time for Lacey to shut the heck about Regina and move on in Serita’s opinion. This kind of shocks Lacey and leaves her reeling for a moment. It almost makes her want to reach out to Jo but she decides against it and sits with the rest of the popular kids.

Karen shows up to the Masterson home. Back handed compliments abound and then Karen asks for a favor, to try and talk to Sheriff Masterson and get him to ease up on Danny. Mama Masterson doesn’t think her suggestion is a good idea and Karen storms out.

Jo has a plan! She suggest that her mom and Danny’s mom get together and have a nice dinner. If her mom thinks Danny is a good kid she’ll be able to convince her father to ease up on him. Danny dismisses the idea in a really callous manner. I think he suffers from the same thing his mom doe, tactlessness, and ends up putting his foot in mouth. He basically calls Jo naïve. And then Archie makes matters worse and picks a fight with Danny but not before making a snide remark to Jo. Danny let’s Archie have it and kicks his butt but not before sizing him up and predicting his future. The fight gets broken up.
Archie got in trouble but not suspension trouble. No, they let it slide and forced him to go to the grief counseling session instead. Archie is spewing a lot of hate about Danny and Lacey is co-signing his bullpucky. Archie asks her to come to the grief counseling session with him and she declines. He snaps at her and excuses her of thinking she better than everyone else and is a know-it-all. Meanwhile in another part of the school, Jo is giving Danny a piece of her mind. She is about 85% done with Danny shenanigans apparently. The dinner is off.

Next, we find Karen, back at the school, once again, trying to smoothing things out after news of Danny’s fight with Archie. The school board now has even more ammunition against Danny. Mr. Ting kisses Karen and she sits down to vent about how hard parenting is. Mr. Ting wants to brush her hair with a special brush. Karen shoots him down. So that sneaking suspicion I had last week is confirmed and I’m squicked out to the max.

Danny shows up to the old fort and finds Lacey. Lacey isn’t really ready to buddy like Jo has and leaves despite Danny’s longing to get close. It’s revealed that Jo has kept the fort in working order even after all of this time. Lacey reminds Danny that Jo has a hard time givbing up on things. I guess that statement prompts Danny into action. Danny shows up to Jo’s house who is studying with Rico and he apologizes and invites Rico and Mama Masterson to dinner. Mama Masterson clears her plans with her husband. Cut to Karen barraging into the police station to share Danny’s albeit with Papa Masterson. Naturally he doesn’t believe her. But he does show her a picture of the necklace and she does not pass the poker face test.

In the filler scene of the night, everyone who needs to be consoled about their grief over Regina’s death (which isn’t many) has gathered in a small classroom. Archie is relieved that Lacey decided to come. Lacey looks around the room and questions her choice silently.

Getting back to the main action, Karen wants to talk to Danny about Regina’s murder investigation but it’s interrupted with the arrival of the honored guests and surprise, Papa Masterson has decided to crash. As Danny and Jo set the table, Danny wishes he would have had a little heads up about Mr. Masterson inviting himself over. Jo states in her defense that she did text him. Papa Interruptus comes over to stroll down memory lane. Apparently, Karen hasn’t changed a thing; she kept the house exactly the same. Jo and her father get into another daddy-daughter skirmish as Danny realizes that the picture of Dead Aunt wearing the necklace is out in the open and is about to be discovered by Sheriff Snoopy. Danny jumps into action and offers to refill Mr. Masterson’s glass. Saved by Mr. Masterson’s bladder as he excuses himself to use the restroom, Danny springs into action and hides the photo.

As it turns out Sheriff Snoopy didn’t actually have to use the restroom after all. He was just using that as an excuse to sneak away and go through Danny room. But Danny catches him in the act. Mr. Masterson tries to play it off and says that photo of the young Danny, Jo and Lacey caught his eye and he could he sworn he took the photo. Danny tells him he is mistaken and that his father was actually the one who took it and politely follows that statement up by asking Mr. Masterson to leave as well as inform that dinner is ready. As Danny leaves the camera focuses on the bed, it looks like someone sat down recently or that’s what’s implied by the rumpled impression someone’s but has left.

In the meatier side of the grief session, we hear the mourning of people who didn’t really even know Regina. Lacey has had enough and calls everyone out on their bullpucky and tells them exactly what Regina actually thought of them. She especially let the pompous Phoebe have it. Archie is amused.
When we get back to that awkward dinner, we see Rico talking about ‘The Avengers’ movie and like most people I know he just loves talking about Loki parts of the movie. This leads to a conversation about McNally Park. That conversation turns into ‘I don’t want my daughter hanging out late at night with a convicted murderer’ conversation. The next thing we the audience know, a big bombshell secret comes out. Karen asked for the Masterson to allow Jo to be a character witness at Danny’s sentencing and they turned her down. Thank goodness for Rico who breaks the tension of the yelling and storming out by shoveling as much spaghetti into his mouth as, if not more than, humanly possible.

Danny and Jo are alone together. Her parents have left to give Rico a ride home. They are the swing set that we saw from Joe’s dream in the pilot. She suddenly realizes it. Another showcase of how Karen Desai really doesn’t like change. Danny breaks the awkward silence by informing Jo that he went to the fort and found Lacey there.

Phoebe and Lacey have a chat and reminisce about Regina. We learn what the falling out between Phoebe and Regina was over (not that I cared). It was over a boy, of course. Lacey discloses that her last interaction with Regina wasn’t that great either. Phoebe reassures her that Regina knew she loved her and it’s official the two of them are going to be new BFF’s. I think Serita is about to get kicked to the curb and thank goodness because she’s kind of boring and surly.

Danny heads off to the diner to ‘get some homework done’. What’s wrong with your room Danny? Karen do you not know how to parent at all? It’s late and he’s a person of interest in a murder. He doesn’t need to be wandering around alone at night. Somebody could try to get vigilante justice and kill him. Karen wants to talk but Danny is not having it. He explains to his mother that it isn’t anyone else’s fault that he spent five years in a juvenile detention center and storms out.

Jo comes home and has a chat with her dad. This is the most civil conversation between the two in the series to date. She tells her father she believes in Danny and she’s not going to stop being his friend.

Jo’s mom makes tea and Papa Masterson talks about his rebellious daughter and the lack of change in Karen Desai’s home decorating. But Mama Masterson did notice one thing. That photo of Dead Aunt. She says she saw it and then noticed it was one. This sets off the red alert in Sheriff Snoopy but he keeps it to himself.

Danny is at the fort. What are you doing Danny? Oh, smart, you’re getting rid of the evidence. He burns that family picture that features Dead Aunt wearing the mysterious necklace; actually he burns all of his photos that feature Dead Aunt. He tries to smash the necklace but can’t force himself to do it.


What was my surprise of the night? Oh, hey, look, Lane from Gilmore Girls. Break out the confetti because she’s going to be sticking around.

Favorite Character: Rico, c’mon that kid likes ‘Murder She Wrote’ and listens to 3 Six Mafia, that’s a winning combination in my book.

Favorite Moment
• Danny punching Archie (I’m not condoning violence but man I seriously dislike the dude)

Favorite Lines
• Jo: Try not to kill me? It’ll make me look really bad in front of my parents.
• Lacey: Wow! Staking out a memorial service, keep it classy local news.

Favorite Scenes
• Danny, Jo and Rico at the diner discussing the ins and outs of Sheriff Masterson’s case against Danny and possible suspects in Regina’s death.
• Lacey calling everyone at the grief counseling session.

Least Favorite Character: Archie. First of all his name is Archie. Second of all, he’s written way too stereotypically for my taste. It’s a shame because I love me some Grey Damon aka Mr. Kitty Hat from ‘The 9 Lives of Chloe King’.

Side Eye of the Night: Karen Desai – Umm, excuse me, are you exploiting Mr. Ting’s hair fetish for your son’s personal gain? Gross. Talk about a mother’s love… I haven’t seen something that disturbing since that one scene in Forest Gump (shudders).

Oh Honey Moment – Magnum Cum Lade from Green Grove Community College.

Burning Questions
1. Who gave Regina the necklace?
2. Where has that necklace been for the last four and half years?
3. Who did Regina get Danny’s number from?

My Two Cents

I’m not saying that Phoebe, the publicity hound had something to do with Regina’s death but she sure seems like she’s socially benefiting from it.

Grade: B-. It’s time to break out the red string and push pins and make a wall of weird. I’m going to get to the bottom of this mystery if it kills me. In for a penny, in for a pound; I’m going to go down with this ship. I love the young cast and am very much looking forward to when Danny, Jo and Lacey finally teaming up together. I have this feeling that everyone has something to hide and I’m going to enjoy uncovering everyone’s dirty little secret. We already have quite a few (Mr. Ting I’m looking at you). Here’s hoping Green Grove has as many salacious secrets and back room dealings as Rosewood.

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