Everyone Else Burns – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

Episode 4

Episode 4 of Everyone Else Burns focuses on relationships. All around, we see our main characters working through their feelings. The changing dynamics of David and Fiona’s marriage are egregiously oblivious to him. David’s lack of interest in what Fiona has to say or how she feels combusts well with his lack of self-awareness. Meanwhile, Rachel reveals to Julia that she did want Josh to kiss her the other evening. And she is disappointed he didn’t.

Julia suggests that it is because Josh thinks it will make Rachel uncomfortable. He does not expect her to indulge in a romance since he knows how “wound up” she is. This perspective puts Rachel in deep thought about what to do next. It was brought up in the last episode how Fiona was first set up with Andrew on a date by the church…but it didn’t materialize. 

However, from the looks of it, that unfulfilled prophecy might be chancing to be resolved soon. At the dinner table, Aaron’s hideous drawings once again disturb David and Fiona. He even confesses openly that he vents his feelings through the drawings. This time, he has drawn the school bullies, Rob and Tom, suffering at the hands of a fire.

Rachel brings up an innocuous question: “Would you shun me if I were excluded (from the order)?” Fiona parleys with David on the side and tells him what to say. They want to nip it in the bud, thus preventing Rachel from even thinking about doing something wrong. It is not Fiona’s brightest moment as a parent, showing how much she also has to learn.

At a congregation, Andrew talks about the sin of adultery. In his reckoning, even looking at photos with sexual desires is considered to be a sin, ushering a concerning look on David’s face. He is struck by the possibility he might have “cheated” on Fiona.

There is an incident at the church where Andrew hands over Mary’s wedding ring (his dead wife) to Fiona for safekeeping on one knee. At school, Miss Simmonds is concerned when Aaron draws an erotic picture of Jesus and John the Baptist. She thinks the other kids might bully him for it, something that eventually happens later on in the episode.

Rachel goes to Josh’s apartment and accepts that she likes him. But acting on her feelings would be wrong…according to others…so she won’t do so. Fiona’s newfound – and growing – obsession with Andrew has to wait as David makes his confession about adultery. He presents a box to Fiona which has empty raisin packets. David perceives looking at them and imagining the lady on the packets to be caressing his hair in bed, as a sin.

He has already booked a meeting with the Elders to repent, drawing Fiona’s ire. The meeting goes as expected – no further action and another extended probation for Elder Abijah. Andrew even offers Fiona a hug for her frustrations, which might foreshadow a future relationship.

David gets news of Aaron’s infractions against the other kids. He resists any implications of homosexual tendencies from Simmonds and decides to take Aaron on a penance trip. 

Inadvertently, David encourages Rachel to seize her feelings for Joshua. He once again does not let Fiona talk and mentions he is going on a two-week trip with Aaron to an isolated cabin. Fiona is livid when cannot get her point across but her anger cools off when she sees David’s apology gift – a huge 4k TV. This instantly charms Fiona who watches it in peace with Melissa.

Rachel finally has her first kiss with Josh as they watch a famous rom-com on the telly. They will be finally going out, marking a new phase in her adult life.

The Episode Review

The reason why I say that Everyone Else Burns – and British sitcoms in general – are so different is because their televisual universes constantly evolve. There is no going back to square one after a damaging incident between two characters, something that will come back to bite David eventually.

Episode 4 is funny and yet quietly serious about the changing dynamics of relationships. All the characters are gunning for a respectable arc that is unusual for sitcoms in general. Issues like Aaron’s suppressed anger and unhappiness, and Fiona’s growing detachment from David manifest quite strongly in the episode. It is clear that the writers have a definitive plan for how the story will progress this season. And that clarity is infectious. 

Everyone Else Burns is my new favorite sitcom, at least for now, so here’s hoping the next episode is a good one. 

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