Brave New World
Episode 4 of Nine Perfect Strangers begins with a flashback to the past. Specifically involving Masha as she heads into the parking lot. She’s being followed by a gunman who shoots her. This single gunshot blasts us back to the present as Heather asks whether they’re all being medicated.
Masha admits that she’s micro-dosing them all with magic mushrooms. Even Tony too. His oxy has been switched out a while back for mushrooms. Francis is understandably not happy and walks away, while Masha turns and nonchalantly tells the others that they’re all keeping secrets.
Lars, as it turns out, is an investigative journalist but Masha is well aware who he is. She’s actually happy that he’s there and encourages him to continue on with his research. It certainly takes Lars aback but Masha continues to flirt the line of insanity.
This whole ordeal obviously isn’t helped by the fact Masha is receiving threats, and as she contemplates in private with Yao whether it could be one of the guests.
After the events of the evening, all the guests contemplate whether to hang around and continue treatment or not. Francis isn’t happy with the lack of consent regarding the psychedelics but she’s deciding to stay. Given Tony’s transformation From asshole to less-of-an-asshole, she’s convinced that this is actually working.
Masha’s one on one with Carmel though brings up more revelations about our quiet guest. Behind the girl’s shy façade is a much darker core.
She’s a bit of a livewire and her earlier utterance about wanting to punch Jessica in the face is a little alarming. Some of this seems to stem from her marriage, with physical abuse defining a lot of her moments in the past. In fact, Carmel has a pretty nasty scar on her chest from where her lover bit her. An “act of love” as Carmel calls it.
Knowing this is just an excuse, Masha has Carmel write down all the nasty things her partner has said about her.
Meanwhile, we see a few little bits of history about Lars. He’s going through a breakup with Ray and his devout Christian upbringing means he’s handling a lot of pressure. He talks to Zoe about this too, who is also in denial regarding her depression with Zack’s death.
The day’s task revolves around anger, and after Francis makes her feelings felt, Carmel is encouraged to let hers out too. With a dummy set up, Masha reads out all of those horrible things Carmel’s partner said about her. Carmel completely unlashes her anger, smashing the dummy repeatedly.
The others watching this though are pretty scared, including Napoleon and Tony. When Tony skips out, Francis follows and tries to get through to him but he’s clearly erratic and suffering quite badly.
It turns out Tony had a fight at a bar in the past and this resulted in the man being taken to hospital with a bleed to the brain. This same guy then died 6 days later. This is the big drama surrounding Tony and his metaphorical black cloud hanging over his life. He’s got nowhere else to go and this dummy beat-down is precisely why he’s acting this way.
As day turns to night, Delilah confronts Masha but she waves away her protests. However, things take a turn for the worst when Masha heads into her apartment later that evening. A smashed plate on the ground and a note up on the wall reading “It’s good to die” hint that someone at the resort has it in for her. Who could it be?
The Episode Review
Nine Perfect Strangers returns for another decent episode, one that sees us finally understand more about Tony and what happened to him in the past. His life has been completely destroyed and everything has compounded into a pretty shocking and devastating reveal that he has nowhere else to go.
Tony’s relationship with Francis is easily the stand-out element of this whole show too and the way this pair have grown over the weeks is definitely one of the big highlights.
By comparison, Napoleon and Heather equally have a decent arc and with Zoe tying into this too – especially given the death of Zack – hints at a much deeper cathartic release to come over the weeks.
Speaking of which, Carmel is the central focus this week and her abusive past gives a lot more clarity around exactly what’s happening and why her mood swings have been so erratic. It’s obvious she’s been through a trying experience and the anger management class is exactly what she needed to open up a little.
However, Masha is still a big talking point here and it’s unclear exactly what her purpose is going to be going forward. There’s clearly someone who has it out for her but this whole mystery angle is still in its infancy right now. Still, Nine Perfect Strangers is shaping up to be quite the intriguing show.
You can read our full season review for Nine Perfect Strangers here!