My Stand-In – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap & Review

Episode 8

My Stand-In Episode 8 drops us inside Joe’s head where even after Ming’s affectionate hug, he’s back to being someone else’s stand-in. His life has, in fact, repeated itself – putting him once again in the vulnerable slot between two powerful people. Tong has him repeat a stunt, one that includes him taking a painful beating.

Back in his hotel room, Ming shows up to offer a ride but Joe would rather take the team van. But Ming gets his way as he’d like to greet Joe’s mother. Introduced as an investor in the movie, Ming says he’s there because he’d heard she was unwell. She confides that Joe is like a different person since his coma so Joe quickly hustles her away.

Undeterred, Ming notes flukes like Joe knowing Tong’s sword-fighting scene, having the same figure, same job and disappearing on the same day as Joe’s accident. Annoyed, Joe asks flat out if he thinks they’re the same person and Ming takes that as a sign to leave.

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At Wut’s office, the detective shares CCTV video, believing the culprit was someone close to Joe. Sol, surprised Ming is elsewhere, watches the footage, spotting a familiar figure but quickly diverting past it.

Meanwhile, Ming meets his seer to ask whether this Joe is the same person as the old Joe. But with the same mantra, that Joe is neither alive nor dead, the seer can only give direction. However, Ming is determined to find out himself.

At the hospital, Wut greets Joe’s mother but he’s there for a private chat. He’s disappointed that Joe is with Ming for money, even if it’s to care for his mother. He presses about the break-in and how a ‘ghost Joe’ seems to have visited the house. When the nurse calls, Joe makes his escape. Afterwards, Wut approaches Sol, having an epiphany about the break-in – it had to have been the new Joe.

Reporting to Ming’s house, Joe is assigned to cook a dish the old Joe used to make, reviving memories. Later, when Joe tries to bathe, Ming insists on joining him, plying him with questions. Joe queries – would Ming believe him if he claimed to be Joe? No, so he should accept Joe’s death.

Determined, Ming heads back to the seer for another round. While Joe visits his former parents’ grave not understanding why he’s not dead yet, he resolves to do his best with what he’s given. Wut and Sol overhear the graveside confession, Wut throwing punches for his transgressions – for not telling him, for dying when he shouldn’t have taken that unsafe job, etc, etc. Eventually, they hug it out.

Now with a drink, Wut wonders why he didn’t tell him sooner but Joe’s just relieved to be able to come clean. He supposes he hasn’t paid the karma on his previous relationship with Tong and Ming. But previously an orphan, in this life, he’ll take care of the mother he’s given. And Joe confesses that he still hopes to return to his real body someday.

Happy to have him back, Sol visits Joe’s Mom, welcoming selfies with him and showing the unreleased video featuring Joe. Separately, he offers to clear Joe’s debts so he can escape Ming. And Joe confirms that his feelings for Ming are dead with his old body.

Mike, Ming’s brother, wants to meet the guy who got his brother to meditate. But he’s actually seeking assurance that Joe will eventually leave, hearing instead that it’s Ming who needs to let go. Surprised to see them together, Ming drags Joe to drive to the old apartment.

At the top of the stairs, both are subsumed by memories and quickly undress, Joe turning his back for him. He sneezes upon climax, and in his head, he’s not sure if these feelings are from his old existence or the new.

Afterwards, Ming questions him about the break-in, noting that only a few knew of the spare key. Insisting Joe isn’t dead, Ming is certain his Joe is in this new body – the sneeze his evidence. As Ming presses Joe, he’s interrupted by a call affirming that they found Joe’s body.

The Episode Review

How long could this possibly have gone on with Joe intertwined with his old friends, workplace and former boyfriend? As we hear consistently throughout this episode, there are just too many coincidences. And Joe – in any body – is simply too forthright to be canny. If it had been Ming or Tong, they could have played this game to the end. But Joe, no way.

Did Joe’s comment about repaying karma for the way HE treated Tong and Ming rile you up too? What sort of blah-blah is that? From what we’ve seen, I don’t think that’s where the karma bomb would drop. Back then he was also the guy stuck between two stronger and meaner forces. Just as he is today. Can anyone say gaslighting?

Yet here he is – new body, same old brain, and unfortunately the same old heart. Falling into Ming’s clutches again. And now that they’ve found Joe’s body. Damn. Any guesses on what will happen next? Come on faithful readers, I’m dying to hear your theories… you know where to add ‘em.


Have you fallen for My Stand-In? Anyone else awed by this well-developed story? It’s time to confess in the comments below. And before you go, be sure to check out our interview with the actors behind Joe and Ming.

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