The Devil Wore Anna
Episode 2 of Inventing Anna begins with Vivian interviewing Anna in prison. She discusses Anna’s personality and how she’s going to speak to Val and try to get a more rounded perspective of her.
So then we jump across and see Val while he’s organizing a fashion shoot. Vivian shows up and speaks to him, where Val mentions how cold and unapproachable Anna was. He was desperate to be her friend though, realizing very quickly that Anna knew exactly what to say, what to do and how fashion-orientated she was.
She knew exactly what she was doing and managed to capture Chase’s attention immediately. Who’s Chase you may ask? Well, only Anna’s boyfriend at the time. Alas, the plot thickens.
So Vivian heads back to the office and catches up with her makeshift team, who piece together a timeline of Anna’s actions. In 2011 she attended a fashion program in Central Saint Martins, London. Then she head to Paris. In 2013 she seems to have become Delvey but the records are hazy. It’s here Anna also met Val and it seems the pair have a connection to Acme Bar given they both have the same photo of it on their social feeds.
Digging deeper, the team also find a chess set posted by both Chase and Anna. From here, their feeds are perfectly synced. With Chase having a constant flurry of “new money” coming in, given he did shows all over the place, Anna played her part well as his partner and lived up the lavish lifestyle. However, their feed went dead in 2016.
Val also brings up Anna’s friendship to Nora Radford, the middle-aged lady we saw last episode. Not only that, she also seems to have ties with a woman named Talia Mallay, which Anna needs the funds from Paul authorized for to go and meet her. Paul refuses initially, but Vivian eventually manages to twist his hand and he agrees.
Vivian doesn’t show up alone though, and Jack drops her off at the front door. Talia is incredibly rich but she’s also a go-getter. She’s made her own money since branching out from her parents, admitting that she didn’t even turn on an oven until she was 25 years old. It’s a nice way of understanding Talia’s personality, given she initially presents herself as a rich girl with everything handed to her on a plate. I mean, hat is technically still true but she’s at least trying to make a name for herself.
As they sit down and talk, Talia gushes over Anna’s tenacity and her knowledge in art. They first met at a gallery, with Anna admitting that her father will buy everything for her. This rubs Talia up the wrong way as she admits that earning it beats inheriting it any day of the week.
Their opposing views sync when they find common ground on a photo, eventually leading to Anna and Chase meeting Talia on a yacht in Ibiza. Part of this comes from a guy called Henrick, whom Chase sees as a prominent businessman that could help get a foot in the door.
Although Chase’s pitch doesn’t quite work, Anna instead manages to get through to him. She brings up his age and how he’s set in his ways, using a story about Facebook, the telephone and the imminent presence of death to convince him.
Unfortunately, Anna outstays her welcome and stays on the boat for a week longer than everyone else, stealing a living. Talia is convinced that this is Chase’s doing, but that incident is the last time they actually spoke.
Meanwhile, Rachel refuses to go and see Anna at Rikers, which certainly riles up Neff. When she runs into Kacy later that day, she’s also decided not to see Anna, pointing out that the person in prison is not Anna Delvey and a con-artist. Neff is confused, pedaling the fact that she’s their friend. The truth is, none of them really knew her and this is just starting to hit home for Neff.
Meanwhile, Talia finishes her story and offers Vivian the chance to stay the night, It’s a million miles away from her apartment, and Jack stays with her. They even have a guestroom with heated floors too.
After heading back into New York, Vivian catches up with Val again. This time though, he speaks about how Chase and Anna were falling apart at the seams. In the middle of Paris Fashion Week, it’s clear that Chase’s financial woes are causing a rift between them. They have such a massive argument that ends with Chase breaking up with her there and then. So naturally, Anna stays with Val that night.
In the morning, Chase rings and urges him to check her passport, believing Anna is lying about who she is. Val refuses but when there’s an issue at the hotel with Anna’s cards, she claims it’s her father that’s cut her off completely.
This is all a big manipulation, and eventually Chase shows up and pays. As Val picks up his luggage, he checks Anna’s passport and notices it reads Sorokin rather than Delvey. Val encourages Chase to try and help but this revelation causes him to spin out.
After finding this out, Chase completely spins it around and blames Val, deciding to live the lie instead of face the truth. It turns out Chase is actually in on this with Anna. He confronted her about her name on the balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower.
Here, Anna claims she’s creating art studios in New York and wanting to be at the top of the world. But she can’t be questioned over how to get there. Her fierce tenacity sees Chase stand by her side, as they both decide to conspire together and blame Val.
As the episode closes out, Vivian visits Anna once more at Rikers, telling her she needs to talk about Chase.
The Episode Review
So the second episode of Inventing Anna turns the attention to the past and specifically how Anna and Chase managed to work together and twist the hand of the social hierarchy and work their way up the ladder. It appears they’re both in this together now and it certainly explains away why Chase decided to blame Val. It is, however, a little questionable how much blame is being placed on Chase here rather than Anna but we’ll have to wait and see how this story plays out.
The story works reasonably well though, with plenty of flashbacks and a range of different characters to boot, giving their opinion on Anna and what she’s been doing. There’s an interesting dynamic with Neff and her friends, given she seems to be loyal to Anna, and it’ll be interesting to see if that has a larger part to play later on.
For now though, Inventing Anna builds on the good work done in the first episode, leaving things wide open for the rest of the season.