Shining Vale – Season 2 Episode 4 “Smile” Recap & Review


Episode 4 of Shining Vale opens with Pat having a nightmare, in which she wakes up having her blanket being pulled out of her bedroom door, and when she follows it, she finds a woman with a smile taped on her face. Gaynor hears noises and goes upstairs to see what’s going on, and sees Pat dragging the blanket with hair all over her face. Both are scared of each other and scream. This wakes up Jake, who demands that he needs 8 hours sleep if he’s going to function properly the next day. 

In the morning, Terry joins Pat in the kitchen. Buzzing about their recent sexual encounter, he makes cringey jokes about it, which irks Pat. Pat has another dream where she walks into a room full of women wearing pieces of paper with smiles on their face, and she runs into Nellie, who has Rosemary’s face. She claims to be undercover at the asylum, as she’s writing a book about the abuse of women. The smiles are to represent women being normal if they look and behave in a way that pleases the eye. Pat is horrified when she sees Nellie’s actual face, and wakes up from the dream, with a pancake planted on her face. 

Pat goes to the hospital to ask if she can resume treatment, but it’s too expensive. Next stop is a visit to the therapist, and he tells her to find something to distract herself. Pat is convinced the vision of Rosemary hints that she has come back to haunt her via Nellie. 

Terry is at work, and he tells Kathryn he knows about the affair, but she tells him nothing other than a kiss happened between them. Terry thinks this is strange and figures out it must have been Pat having the affair, not him. He returns home and confronts her about it, and she tries to deflect away from it. But she finally admits that it did happen, and this is what brought them to the house in Shining Vale. He decides to leave Pat after hearing this. They break the news to Gaynor and Jake, and both of them are pleased by the news. Jake even says he expects to have two Christmas celebrations now. 

Terry goes round to see Kathryn, takes drugs with her all night and talks about Pat for the majority of the evening. 

At school, Jake is getting kicked off the team for punching a girl (in the previous episode) and Gaynor is there as his caretaker, as they talk to the principal. The principal tries to persuade Gaynor to return to school in order to obtain a place at a good college. Gaynor finds out while walking through the school, that everyone thinks she got pregnant, and that’s why she dropped out of school. And they also think she killed her boyfriend. All of this upsets Gaynor, especially she’s been so responsible with her life recently.  She is also sure that she is being stalked after seeing a weird silhouette of a man following her around. She wrongly thinks the stalker is a man she meets while working at the coffee shop, who introduces himself as Ennio. 

Terry wakes up on the sofa at Kathryn’s the next morning and asks her what happened. She assures him nothing happened and urges him to sort his feelings out, as she thinks he’s still in love with his wife. 

Pat has a dream about Nellie again and ends up waking up in a good mood for a change, as she dances around the house, listening to music on her walk-man. This good mood changes when she has a vision of Nellie writing in a notepad, using her own blood. We’re still in the dream. She rolls up Pat’s sleeve to reveal something written in blood on her arm. It reads “His seed is in you,” signifying that she is pregnant. Nellie says the same thing happened to her.

The episode ends with Pat waking up and immediately throwing up. Yes, she is definitely pregnant!

The Episode Review

Things are starting to piece together in this episode, and the reveal at the end is shocking but not totally unexpected as it’s been building up for a few episodes now.

For a 30 minute show, it still manages to give all the characters their own arcs, and this is evident in episode 4, with each member of the family having their own storylines that work really well with the overarching narrative at play here. 

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You can look forward to a full season review when this show ends!

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