Episode 6 of Nine Perfect Strangers begins with Francis continuing to be haunted by ghosts from the past. Specifically that of Paul, as he appears as a teeny tiny man running across the apartment. Through his biting rants, Paul reveals that she actually gave him $128,000.
Speaking of the past, Lars too suffers from ghosts of his past. Remember when he mentioned the Christian upbringing? Well, all the kids gather around him, bullying the kid and chanting that he’s a faggot.
When Lars suddenly awakens, Masha happens to be there. She hands over a notebook and tells him to record everything that happens this coming day.
In the morning, the gang all join together and discuss the nature of dreams. Well, it seems like Masha is controlling their visions and dreams, which seem to be a manifestation of their own insecurities and issues.
With treatment seemingly working, the gang all agree to follow through and take more drugs in the morning. With the “buddy system” in place, Carmel is not so sure how this will react with her current medication.
Masha however, has news of her own. Given the death threats she’s been dealing with, the big revelation that Masha was having an affair with Carmel’s husband is a huge shock to the girl. It also gives Carmel incentive to exact revenge as well.
It turns out Carmel has arrived at Tranquillum to “study” Masha and take inspiration to become a better person – and partner. Masha is desperate for Carmel to get all the hatred out of her heart and admits that her husband meant nothing to her.
With this secret out in the open, all our gang take their drugs and prepare for the next stage. Delilah is worried, concerned about pushing the protocol too soon. It also seems like Masha is giving in to temptation – eating cake that previous evening – and brushing aside the fact there’s a big lawsuit hanging over Tranquillum.
The drugs kick in and this leads to Tony and Francis kissing outside. It’s been brewing for a while but to see it finally play out is pretty satisfying.
Anyway, it’s eventually broken up by Tony admitting that he’s thought about ending everything and committing suicide in the past. From that spot to this hopeful bliss is quite a big journey and one that Francis listens intently to.
Carmel opens up to Lars and admits why she’s really at Tranquillum. The odd ones out here are Ben and Jessica, who really don’t have a lot of substance – or anything to do. Jessica’s trauma for the episode comes from losing her nose in a vision.
Meanwhile, Napoleon, Heather and Zoe all enjoy getting high. Zoe wanders off on her own, where she notices someone walking through the trees. Heather and Napoleon follow, where the trio end up seeing Zack.
Things take a turn for the worst though when Zack mentions to Heather about the medication he was on. Specifically how part of these drugs seemed to initiate suicidal tendencies. If that wasn’t enough, Heather even underlined this part too. When this crippling revelation comes to light, Heather begins screaming and is brought in to be treated.
When Masha finds out they all saw Zack, she contemplates just what this means in the grand scheme of things. For now, she checks up on Napoleon, who admits he’s struggling to forgive Heather after the big revelation earlier in the episode.
As they talk, Masha agrees to help bring their son back. Delilah overhears this and worries about what it could mean. Speaking to Yao, it seems like this incident is what led to the tragedy befalling Connolly, although quite what this protocol is remains a mystery. One thing’s for sure though, Delilah wants to leave and get out while they still can.
As we flash over to Masha one more time, we see that she had a daughter in the past and she was struck by a car.
The Episode Review
Nine perfect Strangers continues to lay on the melodrama in new and interesting ways. This week we see new revelations come to light regarding the Napoleon/Heather situation, with the latter actually being partially responsible for what happened to Zack.
It’s a pretty shocking moment and one that’s matched by the other bombshell involving Carmel and her partner having an affair with Masha. These little reveals are all nice tidbits but overshadow some of the bigger problems with this series.
There are way too many characters to juggle and unlike a tight ensemble like Big Little Lies, where it’s four families intrinsically linked, these strangers have a lot more ground to cover and it doesn’t always work.
The biggest victims here though are Jessica and Ben. They have barely anything to do all season long and although their past woes are quite interesting, they pale by comparison to, say, Tony and Francis finding themselves or the Napoleon family.
The wildcard though is Lars and I’m sure we’ll see more about his past come to light over the final two chapters. And what is going on with Masha’s past? We’ll have to wait and see of course but for now, this ending sets things up nicely for the final two chapters to come.