Based on a True Story – Season 1 Episode 2 “BDE” Recap & Review


Episode 2 of Based on a True Story confirms our fears: Matt is the Westside Ripper! We see him in the supermarket shopping with his son. Nathan called him on the day to install a new toilet for them. And that is when Matt saw Chloe in the cereal aisle. He got obsessed with her instantly and after following her for a few days, murdered her. Cut to, the beach. Matt keeps trying to downplay the offer and the suggestion that he is the killer. He gives Nathan no answer before going into the sea, catching Nathan’s bluff.

Nathan is livid with himself for failing to convince Matt. Ava is in close pursuit and stops with Nathan, who pukes on the side of the road. She feels they have lost their only negotiating position. What will they do next? Ava thinks they should let Matt respond in the window Nathan has given him (48 hours and counting). She gets a video call from Ryan, her rich client from the previous episode, who submits a huge offer to buy a house in another locality.

At the Beverly Club, Nathan is paid a visit by Detectives Peterson and Burrell. They ask regular questions about Chloe, which he nervously navigates. Before leaving, they show him Matt’s photo and ask for his number.

Nathan and Ava meet their friends socially, as a day off. The former is late reaching the location and instantly tells Ava what’s going on with the police. Even though she is concerned, Ava believes they should continue with their plans. It is risky, but if it works, they will be set for life. Nathan, though, disagrees and says they should go to the police with this information.

While discussing their lives, Nathan’s post as the tennis coach comes up. The ladies in the group all vociferously praise Mason as the “new hot coach” who gives them shots during practice. Ava tries to paint a rosy picture, saying that Nathan “moved on” from the position voluntarily. But he tells them the truth; bare to the bones. The friends react nervously and vow to support Nathan by boycotting the club. Deep inside, Nathan feels he has let his family down. He also catches Ruby and Ava discussing the former’s new boyfriend and what attracts her to him.

That is where Nathan gets the idea that if he doesn’t show Ava ambition and take risks, she might ditch him too. So, the next morning, he asks Matt to meet him at a diner. He is still beating around the bush and hasn’t accepted Nathan’s “proposal.” But this time, Nathan turns the tables on him and starts walking away menacingly. Matt grabs his hand, out of the blue, and agrees to it. Nathan’s bet has paid off! He shares the news with Ava, who is doubly excited and they proceed to have sex.

Ava is facing problems at work as her boss takes her off the Palisades lot (the big house Ryan and she saw in episode 1). She pleads to remain on, mentioning that Ryan wants to buy the  Avondale house. But that has already been sold, he informs her. If things don’t work out, Ava might have to go back to showing apartments, which means a significantly smaller paycheck. Only Nathan will meet with Matt to record the podcast. He does not know that all of this is Ava’s plan.

She has also scoped out an empty warehouse where the recordings can be done. Nathan waits at the warehouse with all the preparations. Ava listens to two million dollar deals for sold podcasts. And then her doorbell rings. It is Matt. “We need to talk,” he says.

The Episode Review

The final twist in the episode might further change how all of this goes. Matt is proving to be way smarter than our amateur detectives. He is one step ahead of them and that might not always be a disadvantage. Nathan and Ava’s troubles might be affected by the fact that the police now know about Matt. Even better, they suspect he might have something to do with Chloe’s murder.

So that makes them safe for now. But who will save them from themselves? That is the more important question.

Once again, the core themes of a mid-life crisis and marital dysfunction surfaced in this episode. Even though they feel familiar, Messina and Cucoco are up to the task to make them more appealing. This episode is a decent follow-up to the enthralling first part, but we still have to wait before making our minds up about the series.

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3 thoughts on “Based on a True Story – Season 1 Episode 2 “BDE” Recap & Review”

  1. Hi,
    I enjoyed watching this show tonight – Based on a True Story – BDE.
    Podcast is the secret word for the contest Season 1 Episode 2 aired Sept. 18th, 2023.
    I wish to enter tonight’s contest.

    Thank you,
    Laura Prier

  2. Hi Lucy. The thing was that the dog belonged to Ava and Nathan originally. But they gave him away to Ruby and Simon because Nathan felt he couldn’t give him as big a backyard and that the dog would be happier in a bigger house. Hope that helps!

    – Arnav

  3. I’m curious what was the deal with Simon’s dog? Why does Nathan ask the dog if he misses them???!!!

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