Black Butterflies – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Blood-Boiling Envy

Episode 2 of Black Butterflies starts with a little more context to that scene featuring the small child in the therapy room. It seems to be a young Adrien, and he overhears his mother being physically abused by his father. Waking up in the middle of the night, Nora encourages him to go back to bed.

In the morning, Adrien shows back up to see Albert and pick up where they left off. With the recorder switched on, our story starts in the 70’s. Solange and Albert are older now, with the pair working at a salon. Their own salon, in fact, having created this together and turning it into a pretty lucrative business. A new, ordinary life but a good one; Albert and Solange are perfect together.

When Solange begins throwing up, right off the back of their cat having a litter of its own, Albert is spooked and believes their salon is going to come under jeopardy given her pregnancy. Adrien hastily reminds her they only did this for the two of them, not anyone else, completely dissuading the idea of having children.

As a result, they visit an abortionist who uses medieval instruments to get rid of their baby. It’s a cringe-worthy scene but one that shows just how awful this was before modern procedures.

We then skip to the French Riviera in 1972. A photographer by the name of Steven Powell snaps the lovers’ picture, which explains the one Carrell had at the end of episode 1. He introduces himself to them, but Albert is understandably cautious. Still, the elusive promise of taking a ride in his car and visiting his villa is an offer too good to pass up.

Once there though, Powell begins snapping pictures of the pair… and eventually just of Solange. After encouraging her to strip down and snapping pictures of her topless, it becomes too much for Albert. He’s enraged, especiall when Steven begins kissing her and forcing himself on her.

Albert has seen enough and stabs Powell repeatedly in the back, killing the man outright. With Solange shivering and nervous, Albert instead picks up where he left off and the pair have sex in a pool of Powell’s blood. After, they cut a lock of his hair but predictably leave behind crucial evidence, something that may well come back to haunt them in the future.

Adrien has a hard time believing this story, unsure whether the whole thing has been fabricated or not. That is, until he checks online and finds old news reports of what’s happened. The realization that what Albert has told him is actually true begins to dawn on him, and it leaves Adrien somewhat conflicted over the best way forward.

When Adrien returns home, he’s not exactly pleased to find his publisher there. It turns out Nora has shown him the first 2 chapters already and betrayed her partner’s confidence. Alone, Adrien lashes out at Nora. She bites back though, pointing out she’s doing what’s right. He’s been stuck in a rut for a long time and now that he’s writing something profound and good, she believes it should be highlighted and celebrated.

Adrien admits his last big hit was a fraud and he wants to go back to being the man he was before. Nora immediately challenges this, bringing up he was in prison in the past, so that’s perhaps not a place he wants to go again.

While this is going on, Carrel continues to dive into the Powell case, tracing back a whole litany of bloody murders that could well be connected to Albert. As the camera pans out from a map, we see a whole host of newspaper clippings and pictures of bodies.

For now, it’s back to Albert and Adrien, as they continue their story. A year has passed since Sol and Albert have murdered Steven Powell, and the pair are living it up. They have a way of attracting their prey, with Solange essentially working as a honeytrap and Adrien killing various seedy men who get a little too close for comfort.

This continues through the years, with Solange and Albert becoming more daring and bold as the years pass. However, there are a few men who manage to survive the night, deciding to back up and not force the issue when Sol refuses to engage. And through it all, every victim has a lock of hair taken as a memento.

Away from the bloody fun during the summer, the pair return to their salon the rest of the year. As Adrien jots all of this down, Albert tells him that the need for him to write this is not so they can write the cold, hard facts alone. No, he needs Adrien’s talents as a writer to really get inside the mind and psyche of Albert to understand what he was thinking at the time. As Albert’s story closes out this episode, Albert reveals that Solange ended up getting pregnant again; time and fate have a funny way of rearing their head.

Adrien is distracted from writing up his notes by Nora. She’s heading off on a flight to Zurich for work but interestingly, she’s not alone. She’s going with her work colleague “Mr Handsome”, Alan.

What’s particularly fascinating here is how the story Albert is weaving almost echoes the jealousy that Adrien is beginning to feel, understanding exactly how his subject must have felt at the time.

And as the episode comes to a close, Carrel comes closer to figuring out Albert’s truth that he’s been hiding for so long. After checking his bin, a figure at the door prompts the man to grab his gun from the holster and approach.


The Episode Review

There’s an interesting rhythm to this show now, which manages to add echoes from Albert’s story into Adrien’s current situation. It’s a really interesting way of presenting this story, and it works wonders to really hone in on the psyche for how Albert’s jealousy drove him to kill.

As a crime drama, this is actually a pretty solid watch and although it is a tad slow at times, the jumps back and forth between the past and present work to keep things feeling fresh and exciting.

Black Butterflies certainly has a lot of promise and the first two episodes have worked beautifully to set the tempo for what should be a very intriguing second half to this series. Roll on the next episode!

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

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