Everyone Else Burns – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Episode 2

Episode 2 of Everyone Else Burns begins with David going into the Elder’s chambers. He is desperate to know why he wasn’t “promoted,” although Elder Samson does not like that word. He also happily passes on the obligation to Elder Abijah, who does his best not to offend David. His lack of self-awareness on the issue is egregious; I mean, why would he be promoted over Andrew? Still, Abijah encourages David to serve God the same way he has been.

Fiona runs into Melissa while returning home from shopping. Melissa offers her an opportunity to have her own business – which comprises selling the leftover utility bags from Melissa’s designer store. Fiona is eager to try it, as being a devoted Christian woman in the kitchen for 17 years hasn’t helped her too much. Miss Simmonds, Rachel’s teacher, advises her to work hard toward college. It is a competitive sport and other girls in the race will have an advantage over Rachel if she doesn’t start taking it seriously.

Simmonds advises Rachel to get a phone for herself. Of course, David disagrees and instead, hands over two hours of ministering duty to her for a week. David has been wondering what is the “log in his eye,” as he does some soul-searching to figure out why his promotion was stopped. That’s what the Elders had said and David arrives at the conclusion that his family is his log. He also tries to stop Fiona from selling the bags online, as it would be blasphemous in the eyes of God.

Andrew drops by and reminds David of his ministering responsibility to non-believer Joel Jackson. That evening, David takes Aaron with him to Joel’s house, who prefers Andrew to be his guide in the process.

Joshua keeps following Rachel around during her ministering run, something she quietly appreciates. He knows he cannot talk to her – since he was shunned and it could land Rachel in trouble – and keeps leaving food items for Rachel to express his interest.

Meanwhile, the sessions at Joel’s house are going as expected: torridly. He is even prompted to say that he doesn’t want to be in their presence at one stage. Joel points out that Aaron has unresolved anger issues and realizes that the Order might not offer the community he is looking for. David spoils his precious antique table in his rage. Andrew drops by to inform him that Joel wants David to reimburse him for the table but Andrew convinces him not to. He also calls Elder Samson, who calls David the most irresponsible ordinand ever.

Melissa encourages Fiona to stand up for herself against David’s imposition of patriarchal rules. Aaron’s violent drawings continue, making both Fiona and David concerned. Understanding he was harsh on her, David gives Rachel his old handset, which is so ancient that it can neither place calls nor send texts.

Rachel sees Joshua outside their house looking for a dog he is looking after. She goes down and offers him peppermint as a peace offering. And Joshua gives her his old handset in return. The next day, she is informed by Simmonds that the care home has accepted Rachel’s application as an unpaid volunteer. She wants to become a doctor when she grows up and this will help. It is also revealed that Joel is Simmonds’ ex-boyfriend as she shows Rachel a photo of the broken coffee table.

Fiona’s bags have sold out in a jiffy, with most members of the Order buying them. David is made to eat his own words and he realizes that he wasn’t promoted as an elder because of his own mistakes. Rachel and Joshua start texting each other, marking the start of a budding friendship.

The Episode Review

I know the British are notorious for cancelling shows early – Peep Show, The Office, Fawlty Towers – but they would do well to make Everyone Else Burns a multi-season item. I am sure I will be more convinced of this notion over the course of the next few episodes. Although all the characters are well-written, David and Fiona are the ones that stand out in typical sitcom traditions. It is always the weird ones…

David reminds me of Dwight Schrute from The Office with his egregious lack of self-awareness and obstinate pride. Kate O’Flynn is the star of episode 2 as Fiona with her intent eyes and perhaps the start of a new consciousness. Even being quirky, what redeems these characters is their human bits that are so well brought out. It is a compelling combination that should make Everyone Else Burns a firm fan favourite.

We will have to wait before confirming this show as a classic…but we are not too far off from that moment.

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You can read our full Season 1 review of Everyone Else Burns here!
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