Full Circle – Season 1 Episode 4 “Safe in the Circle” Recap & Review

Safe in the Circle

Episode 4 begins with panic in the Mahabir ranks. Aked’s suspicion has led to the re-digging of the body and the haunting revelation that “the circle was broken.” She sends him to find Nat and Louis and “deal with them,” which is another way of saying kill them. Aked uses the Postmates app and Nat’s account to track where she is ordering the food. As he heads to the location, we see that Nat’s friend, Eloise, has set up a meeting with Edward Chung. Nicky and the siblings leave in a panic just before Aked knocks at the door with a gun.

However, we are in for a surprise as Chung phones Harry after meeting Nat. He wants to make amends with Savitri and says that they are “more aligned than she thinks.” He offers to return the excess money he stole from Quincy (approximately $62,500) and also deliver Nat and Louis. Chung also alleges he acted in their mutual interest as Quincy was stealing from them both. Just as it seems our good samaritans will be taken to task, Eloise warns Nat to run. She listens to her friend and takes off with Louis and Nicky to live another day. 

They go back to the motel and now are worse than they were before. Savitri expresses her intention to reopen the circle and shares it with Aked and Harry. While the former wants to please his auntie for the mess up from before, the latter is clearly unpleased. There is a growing sentiment that he resents her leadership and does not see her fit to take the right decisions. Mr Willoughby suggests that Nat is working her own obeah to lift a curse, which is the final nail in the coffin for Harry.

Mel’s investigation has picked up pace. She meets Sam to discuss the dubious past of her family. Mel specifically brings up The Colony at Essequibo in Guyana. It is a high-end condo complex and it got Gene retired. Presumably, it is also responsible for getting Jeff the help he needed to start his brand. She doesn’t tell her much and asks Mel to leave. But Sam is clearly flustered. Seeing no other way out, Louis calls Sam for ransom again. Strangely (to Louis), she keeps the phone and calls Joey the next instant. Once she learns Jared is with him, she asks Joey to turn back to the cabin. She then tells Louis that they don’t have her son.

Derek finally confesses his dark truth, although Sam does not reciprocate and keeps The Colony from him. Derek had an affair when they were broken up years ago. Sam is livid and claims that they only postponed their engagement by one week, which Derek presumed to be “broken up.” Sam leaves the house in a fit, foreboding an end to the marriage.

Louis leaves a message for Xavier, asking him to meet. Nicky tells the siblings the truth of his identity and suggests that they steal a famous painting hanging in the Browne residence. Both of them instantly reject the idea. Louis wants to blackmail Derek again as he was prepared to pay in the first instance. Hannah, Harry’s wife, confronts him about missing money (that he lost at the casino). Their plan was to go back to Guyana with money and make a life. But now it is in jeopardy.

Ron Cuneo, the disgraced casino employee, goes to the task force. Manny and Brian inform him that Harry has called him to a meeting to tie up “loose ends.” They still want him to go with a wire and assure him he will be safe. In reality, the meeting is called by Harry to figure out how to track down Nat and Louis. 

Aked leaves Xavier in the car outside the house, where he is later apprehended by Mel, who has been following him. Manny is agitated and calls Mel. He reprimands her for scaring Sam by accusing her of misdoings when she is the victim in the case. Mel senses that Manny also has a connection tied up to the case and vows to bring him to justice. In his rage, Manny sends Mel’s psych evaluation (the one he purposely didn’t file the previous year to “protect Mel”) to Fong. Aked calls Xavier, who says he is with Shakeela on Mel’s instructions. 

Harry asks him to track Shakeela down, who will lead them to Xavier. Aked calls Nat’s phone and Chung picks up. He offers to give the money and phone to Aked, who agrees to meet him. Mel takes Xavier to a safe house in a hotel, where he tells her about the curse and why the kidnapping happened.

Derek investigates Jeff’s accounts. In January of 2002, he made several deposits of just under $10k not to alert the IRS. Two months later, the number of deposits increased. None of it is in the books. It is clearly being hidden. Right after the last deposit, Gene was arrested but not brought to trial. He meets Widmer with these findings. Widmer asks him if he wants to “be right or married.”

Sam overhears Kristin and Jeff meet Mel at their house and give her the details of Gene’s contact. Mel informs Manny that she is going to meet Gene. She warns him he is in trouble as she will find out his dirty secrets. Manny is flushed and meets Sam at the park.  He asks her not to speak to Mel anymore. Gene paid for the first round of funding for Jeff with bribes and Manny asked Sam to bury evidence. She is complicit in the crimes and learns it from Manny.

Gene is afraid to speak anything to Mel. He refers her to the internal affairs report. Manny was involved but Jeff turned Gene in, saving himself. It is also suggested he is holding evidence against Jeff to inculpate him but refuses to be like his brother.

Xavier calls Shakeela and asks her to meet him at the address. Len is following Shakeela with Paul and they finally find Xavier. They notice his ankle bracelet. But he begs them to take him to Harry.

The Episode Review

Episode 4 doesn’t quite match the last episode’s quality. Suddenly, the possibilities of where the story could take us seem limited. Louis and Nat’s arcs have been affected by other progressions about the past of the Browne family. In fact, their being boxed in by the two mob bosses is a familiar and saturated outcome that is disappointing.

Mel’s elevation to become the voice of the viewers will be central to deciphering this story. Everyone seems to have an agenda of their own. The indifference is seeping through the cracks to make even bigger fragments. That has definitely influenced the flow and cohesion of the storytelling. A lot is yet to be unpacked in Full Circle but the potency of the surprise factor seems subdued for now. 

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You can read our full season 1 review of Full Circle here
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