In episode 1 of Bad Sisters, Grace Williams cries as she prepares the body of her husband, John Paul Williams, for his funeral. Her sisters–Eva, Bibi, Ursula, and Becka–show up to support her.
Becka is a bit late to the funeral, having gotten side-tracked by causing a motorcyclist to crash. She cries in the middle of JP’s service, but Bibi nudges her to stop, saying they don’t have to pretend anymore.
Meanwhile, Matt–the motorcyclist whom Becka slowed–makes his way to Claffin and Sons Insurance. His brother Tom has been running the company ever since their dad died. Tom informs him they must do whatever they can to make sure they don’t have to pay Grace any of John Paul’s claim.
Six months earlier, John Paul was alive and enjoying Christmas dinner with the Garvey sisters.
At the dinner, he makes a racist comment, insensitive remarks about Eva’s infertility, and puts a damper on Becka’s announcement that she’s opening up her own massage business.
The Garvey sisters all hate him–except for Grace, who pleads with them to let her be happy with the man she loves. But Grace doesn’t seem so happy when John Paul keeps her from going to an annual outing with her sisters.
Eva reflects that Grace has gotten “quieter and smaller” lately. It’s all due to John Paul, and the sisters all joke about wanting him dead, citing different ways they would kill him.
Back in the present day, they throw flowers on John Paul’s coffin. “It’s over,” Eva says.
Matt and Tom drive to the funeral reception, Tom hoping to find evidence to make John Paul’s policy void. Matt tells him their dad wouldn’t have tried something so insensitive. “How would you know what he would’ve done?” Tom barks at him. Matt leaves.
But Tom continues his operation, questioning several of the Garvey sisters at the reception, and asking Grace where she was the night her husband died. Grace says she was with her sisters.
Matt comes across Becka at a bar, and they recognize each other from when Becka caused him to crash. Matt doesn’t know she’s one of the Garveys; nor does she know he’s a snoopy insurance agent. She leaves him with her number.
Later, Tom admits to Matt that their company is nearly bankrupt. If they have to pay Grace, they will lose everything.
Grace shows up at Eva’s later to tell her she did something stupid. Tom made her uncomfortable with his questions, so she lied to him that she was with her sisters the night JP died.
Eva assures Grace that they’ll back her up. When Grace leaves, she calls the other sisters to meet her. They all commit to standing behind Grace, but they’re worried about the police getting involved. They also note that Grace can’t find out about what they did.
“Just stay calm, and we’ll look out for each other,” Eva says.
The Episode Review
Bad Sisters is a new dark comedy/thriller based on the 2012 Belgian series Clan (released as The Out-Laws in the UK). Created by Sharon Horgan, the show is streaming on Apple TV Plus.
Episode 1 is a slow-moving, but establishing introduction that paints an early picture of John Paul’s odious nature and the Garvey sisters’ loyalty to each other. Bad Sisters is teasing an intriguing mystery–one that involves at least four of the Garvey sisters, to some extent.
But how, exactly? Given the split-timeline storytelling device, I think we’ll be getting a deep dive into just how the sisters are connected to the death of their brother-in-law.