Based on a True Story – Season 1 Episode 3 “Who’s next?” Recap & Review

Who’s next?

Episode 3 of Based On A True Story begins with Matt coming to the house under the pretence that he has come to check the leak Nathan told him about from the new pipes. Ava lets him in and nervously watches him inspect the pipes. She is panicking big time inside and starts inching towards a knife she sees on the kitchen top. As she reaches closer, Matt drops the show. He confronts Ava with the truth, face on. He knows that Ava is the mastermind behind this podcast and takes her to the warehouse, where Nathan is waiting. Matt finally agrees to do the podcast (although he never really accepts he is the Westside Ripper).

But first, they need a change of location. Matt says when it goes online, every second of the podcast will be heard, enhanced, and analysed. He reports that he can hear people talking outside and the sound of railway tracks as well. Matt proposes a new location, which he will message the duo on their new burner phones. He definitely seems prepared and perhaps even more committed to the podcast than them! Also, he has named Nathan as his alibi (and by effect, abettor) to the LAPD, who also paid him a visit.

While hanging out with Ruby, Ava learns that “Sisters in Crime,” a famous true crime podcast, is also coming out with a series on the Westside Ripper. She messages Matt to speed up the process and receives confirmation of the new location. It is a huge, posh house that Matt once did a job on. Matt discusses marketing strategy before beginning the recording. He has also updated all the gear to make sure they don’t “half-ass” this podcast. He also proposes the title of the podcast, i.e. the title of the show.

In the first session, Matt reveals that he has killed more than 20 women. The first victim was at the age of 18. The couple is shaken by the stirring revelations. The next day, Matt shows up at the club and demands that Nathan and Ava change the first episode creatively. He did not like it at all and remade the first episode for them to hear. Nathan dismisses his suggestions but understands that Matt holds all the chips. Matt’s son Ollie and Michelle’s daughter Gabby request their parents for a playdate. They reluctantly agree.

Michelle works at the club and was the one who announced to Nathan that he was being demoted. Ava has a weird dream where she is listening to the podcast with Matt alone. She talks about how Nathan would collapse and be shattered if she closed the lid on the podcast. He doesn’t have anything else in life and feels like a complete failure. She must remain strong for his sake. Matt then plunges a knife deep into her heart and that is when she wakes up.

Ava isn’t ready to cede control when Nathan tells him about Matt’s changes. They meet him and discuss the details. But Matt makes it clear that they should go with his version of the recording and that the duo really doesn’t have any sway over creativity in the matter. Matt makes it more fun, lively, and targeted to titillate the listeners. The podcast goes live and Nathan and Ava anxiously wait for the number of downloads. The Sisters of Crime podcast on the same issue had half a million downloads.

Michelle informs Nathan at the club that the police came to see him again. She also mentions Matt, to which Nathan becomes defensive and severs any ties with his “supposed friend.”

The cops show up again and Nathan expresses his wish to Ava not to lie to the cops about Matt’s alibi. Ava pleads with him to do so for their future and the incoming baby. He panics as he cannot remember the name of the film Matt said they saw. After the cops leave, Nathan reaffirms that he was able to guess it right (Face/Off) and that he has gone ahead with the alibi. As they read the numbers, the Bartletts are stunned, positively it seems.

The Episode Review

Tom Bateman truly owned the episode. His increased involvement with the podcast did not bring too many positive surprises, although the English actor was wickedly charming and believable. For some reason, the runtime of each episode feels truncated. The inadequacy is mainly due to the lack of all the elements the show promises as not all of them are contained in a single episode.

While it makes you question the individual episodes, it spurs you on to binge all of them together. Something tells me that watching the entirety of Based on a True Story would be positive for it. The lighthearted tone definitely dominates the overall storytelling and it makes it an addictive experience.

The podcast should be an explosive hit with the public, as we saw from the reaction at the end. But how soon will this association come back to bite the Bartletts in the behind? Can’t wait to find out!

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