Red Rose – Season 1 Episode 4 “Manchester Innit” Recap & Review

Manchester Innit

We get a sense of what happened in the past as episode 4 of Red Rose begins. It is an attempt to recontextualize the story for the viewer. In 2013, Rita, Gloria, and Rachel are among many who play a game on the Ouija board. Gloria becomes the volunteer and asks the seeker to call out the spirits. We see the incident where the participants are spooked when someone called Tom responds. But things turn for the worse and the gateway has to be closed. Back in the present, the meeting is set to be held near the viaducts. This is perhaps an opportunity to gain more information about who is behind the app.

There is a sense of general apprehension about the meeting. Taz jokingly says it will be a great place to dump the bodies. But the group does not allow Wren to go alone. While they wait, they see Big Jenna has resumed her attacks on Wren by calling her a replica of her failed father. On Taz’s enquiry, we learn that Wren’s father was jailed on the charges of manslaughter. We get shocked for a second when Jaya Mahajan, from the first episode, meets them near the viaducts. Jaya says she heard about the app from the group.

When Wren holds her camera up, she can see Roche, who asks her to go into the pitch-dark tunnel. An incoming train surprises us and Roche gets angry at Wren for not following her instructions. We then get to learn about the truth of Red Rose through Jaya and Douglas from CoderDojo, a group that made the discovery. Jaya explains the background of the app, which is linked to the suicide of someone called Jacob Taylor. He made a sketch of the rose (that is the symbol of the app). Rachel gets a call from Wren with a static. The mother gets worried but the app calms her down by sending a text reply.

Jaya informs the group that Red Rose has access to Wren’s videos, photos, texts, and personal life stories. She further takes them to Jacob’s house to reveal all the answers. Jacob’s mother answers the door and thinks that they are friends of his from St. Augustine. Jaya takes the opportunity of Mrs Taylor bursting into tears to go into Jacob’s room. Wren goes with her and they discover a sketch of Alyssa. We also see a completely destroyed computer case.  Jacob’s father walks in on them and enquires about the suicide. She takes a book from the room as Mr Taylor sees no point in keeping it.

Mrs Taylor concedes she knows the group were not friends with Jacob. Wren starts to delete it from her phone when she finds the message, “Jacob can’t help you. He’s in the garden with Roche.” Rachel and Simon are concerned about Wren when they see her behaving hysterically. But is it really her? Wren shows signs that she has forgiven Noah, as she grabs his hand and agrees with his assessment that the summer is not going too well for them.

Rick and Simon almost come to blows when he comes home and lectures Rachel about Wren. He also shows her the fight video of Wren with Jennas. But when she comes back, owing to an urgent notification by the app, she sees the two fighting each other. She has a fight with Rachel about the video and locks Wren out of the house.

Wren goes to Noah’s and they finally make up. Shelley asks her to stay for as long as she wants. Jaya accepts a call from Jacob. He says, “I hope you found what you were looking for because Wren, her time is up” as the episode ends.

The Episode Review

Red Rose’s narration has moved in a new direction with this new information about Jacob. He holds all the keys to answering the significant questions about the app’s origins and what it exactly is. Jaya is set to play an important role going forward. Her computer-savvy background places the guys at an advantage. It is a clever creative choice as well.

Wren is especially going through a volatile phase. Her state of mind is taking a turn for the worse and her friends need to defiantly stand behind her. Episode 4 expanded the horizons of the show to Manchester and come as a fresh breath of change.

The dynamics between the friends and new characters were quite good in this episode and hopefully this transition will not take away the focus on from the original conceit.

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