Based on a True Story – Season 1 Episode 5 “Ted Bundy Bottle Opener” Recap & Review

Ted Bundy Bottle Opener

Episode 5 of Based on a True Story begins at the moment just after Dahlia “jumped” from the rooftop to her death. In the aftermath of the suicide, Ava has flipped. She is convinced Matt pushed her as revenge for her maligning him in public. She wants to pack her bags and leave LA and then go to the cops. Nathan doesn’t agree and Matt, who walks in ominously, has the same views. He tries to convince them he didn’t push Dahlia and that she jumped out of guilt and fear.

He also says that if they run like this right after the suicide it will make them look suspicious. “Act normally,” he says. After he leaves, Nathan rationalizes the situation for Ava. He feels she isn’t concerned about what would happen to him since he has already lied to the police about the alibi. Now that they are in this together, they must stick to the original plan. Ava has no counter and rightly backs down from her stance. But she isn’t ready to accept Dahlia committed suicide.

At a merchandise stall selling Westside Ripper “merch,” Matt runs into a TV writer named Susie. They start talking and she explains her preference for the WR. Susie feels he has flair and style, which intrigues Matt. He asks her out for drinks as he sees the Bartletts heading toward the bar. But he seems genuinely intrigued by this woman. Ruby gives the group – including her boyfriend Carlos – ecstasy to enjoy the night. Matt is inspired by how Susie talks about her work and the need to keep coming out with “fresh content.”

Ruby spots Matt and gives him and the writer some pills as well. On the dance floor, Ruby and Nathan get cosy and flirt with each other. This is down to the effect of the pills and nothing more. Matt takes offence when Susie says she is at the CrimeCon to research the show she is writing about and that she is repulsed by him. She admonishes his crime spree and lack of humanity. Matt’s temper gets the better of him.

He follows her to the bathroom, makes out with her, and then slashes her throat. He joins the others on the dance floor and makes out with Ava and Nathan. It seems everybody is making out with each other. Matt uses the same shard of glass to slit everyone’s throat but this turns out to be a daydream on his part. Matt abruptly leaves her company and goes out.

The Bartletts reignite their old spark and sexual hunger for each other. This night has the potential to bring their marriage back on track, with the acceptance that they tried to make things better previously, even though it didn’t work out.

At the morning breakfast, the Lipsinki sisters (Sisters of Crime) make a headline entry. The Bartletts are jealous but joke about their aspiring to be as famous as them. Matt has taken it upon himself to keep people interested in the podcast. He organizes an exclusive “meet” with the WR in a room, where he has set up a mic and speaks through it remotely. Fans start gathering at pace and the Lipsinki’s “memorial” for Dalhia is spoilt.

The Bartletts also go to the room where they spot Ruby. As they go out to confront Matt, Ava drops her burner, which Ruby picks up. The duo confirmed with Matt about his new tactic, which will launch their work. He once again reiterates that he didn’t kill Dahlia. Seeing the crowd flocking in, Ava is convinced that he didn’t, showing she also “sold her soul” to the killer. Ruby reads Ava’s latest message to Matt mentioning how he killed Dahlia. We will have to wait for another episode to find out more.

The Episode Review

Ever since Matt became the centre of attraction, the show’s fortunes have changed. Although the overall execution has gotten much better in the last two episodes, Tom Bateman’s commanding performance has elevated Based on a True Story single-handedly. This episode was creative, dark, bold, and vehemently funny. The package seemed even more appealing given the plot progression and how our characters dealt with their situations.

Priscilla Quintana looked absolutely gorgeous in episode 5 and the ending confirms we will be seeing more of her. Will she become complicit in their scheme or will she rebel and go to the cops? Given how we have progressed so far, the likelihood of either of those things happening is equal.

Messina and Cuoco brought piercing vulnerability to their characters once again. Perhaps all they needed to save their marriage was the one wild getaway we saw in the episode. But ironically, they had to “sell their souls” in order to get this far.

Peacock has another hit on their hands with this series of which the drama is just beginning to unfold.

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