Black Butterflies – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Blood-Soaked Sand

After a brief introduction, showing a young boy in a therapy room listening to classical music, cereal spilled over the table and a picture of a butterfly turning black, we begin episode 1 of Black Butterflies in our present day timeline.

Adrien Winkler is a writer but he’s stuck in a rut, struggling to put pen to paper. Adrien receives a call from an aging man called Albert, who happens to have a big opportunity for him. He’s willing to pay Adrien 4000 euros to ghost-write Albert’s story.

Adrien shows up at Albert’s, clicks the recorder on and sits down before him, waiting for the story to begin.

Adrien wants to start with his childhood and after initially joking, telling Adrien it’s “none of his business”, he begins speaking about his life growing up.

Albert moved around a lot, ferried across to different Catholic schools, every time a bit further away than the last but always with the same rich, spoilt kids calling him “Lice-Boy.” However, all that changes when he meets a strange girl called Solange

After saving her from a couple of bullies, Adrien silently walks her back home and from there, the pair solidify their bonds together. They walk to school together every morning and walk home every night. Adrien’s world soon completely revolves around her, seeking solace in someone who shared the same grief and loneliness that he did.

As the story takes a break for a while, we learn a bit more about Adrien and his circumstances. His partner Nora has a good job and she’s surprised when her partner actually wants to make love that night, which seems to hint toward a history of depression, as that does lead to loss of libido.

As for Albert, he’s read Adrien’s first book and found it pretty intense. The character name that Adrien uses, Mody, seems to be short for Maudit which means “cursed” in French. “That’s no good,” Albert says solemnly. “Names are important.”

When Adrien presses Albert to get back to business, we continue on with our story. A few years have passed since we saw Solance and Albert but some things never change. Albert has written Solange a poem and waits outside her door to read it to her. She loves it, and the pair head to the beach, where they find a couple of nameless city kids whom they spend the afternoon with.

When one of the guys forces himself on Sol, ripping her blouse off, Solange grabs a nearby bottle opener and stabs him in the head. When he collapses in a heap of his own blood, bottle opener in hand, Albert works swiftly and drowns the other boy. After, the pair make love, symbolically in the woods in what appears to be an allegory to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

This confession sends ripples through Adrien’s life, as he writes up Albert’s notes and ends up becoming engrossed in his writing. With Adrien writing up the notes every night, Nora ends up reading what her partner has written in secret, a thin smile crossing her lips.

Meanwhile, a separate story thread involving a man named Carrel sees him chasing up an old case. He receives a call at the station regarding the Powell file he requested earlier. When he receives it, he looks through and sees details regarding the victim, Steven Powell, along with several pictures which could hold a big clue to what’s going on here. Those pictures happen to be of Solange and Albert.

Adrien doesn’t have a great relationship with his folks, reserved and cut off from Nora when the subjects falls to discussing either of them. When the subject is changed, Nora brings up the story she’s read on his computer. She encourages Adrien to continue it, instead of pursuing his dead-end current novel “Astral Projections.” Interestingly, he signs his name “Mody” that night while writing up the notes.


The Episode Review

Black Butterflies gets off to very intriguing start with a story that looks like it’s going to serve as a character study for two very different men. Adrien has his fair share of familial issues, which are explored in this show, while Albert has a very dark past that he’s sharing with Adrien.

The show works well to bounce both perspectives off one another, while the series has a decent way of slipping back and forth between past and present. There’s certainly a lot of promise based on this opening episode alone. The rest of this series looks like it’s going to be quite the intriguing watch!

Next Episode

You can read our full season review for Black Butterflies here!

  • Episode Rating
    (3.5)
3.5

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