Episode 2 of The Girl from Plainville begins in 2012 in Naples, Florida. Conrad is vacationing with his family. He texts his girlfriend Lily, whom he met online, and wonders why she isn’t answering him.
In Naples, he’s introduced to Michelle, who is there visiting her grandmother for a couple of days. While they talk, Lily’s dad calls Conrad to tell him to stop contacting his daughter.
That night, Conrad goes walking on the docks at night, where he runs into Michelle. She teaches him a trick to fall asleep faster, and they play a word association game, chemistry sizzling between them.
Two years later, Detective Scott Gordon tries to convince his chief to investigate Michelle Carter. Because of her text messages, he believes she may be responsible for Conrad’s death and wants a warrant for her phone. However, the chief says Gordon doesn’t have enough evidence yet for a warrant.
At school, Michelle invites her friends to celebrate her birthday that weekend. They only accept out of pity whenever she makes the event about planning the fundraiser, “Homers for Conrad.”
Michelle still deliberates over how to respond to Susie’s text. She works on the softball fundraiser by herself when all of her friends bail on her.
Rob wonders why Michelle organized the fundraiser in Plainville, when Coco didn’t know anyone there except for her. She speaks as if she knows what’s best, insisting that her family needs to be able to make it and that a Plainville event would make a great getaway for Lynn and the kids.
Flashback to Naples: Michelle goes out with Coco and Sidney on her last day. They ditch Sidney to bike around the city and at night, they search for shells. Conrad talks about school, about being pulled out for being mentally unwell. Michelle relates to his experiences with doctors and pills.
They kiss and she gives him her number. At home, his dad berates him for ditching his sister, and Conrad yells at his sister instead of apologizing. The next morning, he doesn’t say goodbye to Michelle as he promised.
In the present day, there’s a good turnout for the softball fundraiser. Michelle gives a speech in honor of Conrad, then starts the event without giving Rob the chance to speak. Sidney comments on the weirdness of the situation to her mother.
Michelle talks to Lynn about how Conrad brought her flowers the morning she left Florida (the first time we know she’s lying). Lynn continues to put off giving Michelle the note Conrad left her.
Gordon attends and casually questions Michelle’s friends. They admit that Michelle freaked out when Conrad went missing for three days. They said she texted him the whole time. Of course, Gordon knows that Conrad wasn’t missing for that long. One of the friends, Natalie, mentions to Michelle that a cop was asking about her and Conrad.
Afterwards, Michelle cries in her mom’s car, seemingly on the verge of a panic attack. She texts Natalie to tell her she told Conrad to get back in the car when he almost stopped his suicide out of fear.
The Episode Review
Mental health struggles in teenagers is a prominent theme in The Girl From Plainville, driving much of the conversation around Conrad, but also much of Michelle’s inner conflict. The series unfolds the mystery of Michelle’s character bit by bit, developing her not as a sympathetic person, exactly–but as a complex one.
This episode delves into the teenagers’ first meeting and budding romance. With just a few interactions, the show convinces us as to the characters’ shared struggles and how these could lead them into a toxic relationship.
While not much has been revealed about Michelle’s exact influence on Conrad’s suicidal ideation and depression, it’s not hard to believe she’s always been a negative influence. If you recall, Rob stated in the last episode that Conrad tried to kill himself two years ago–the same year he met Michelle. Is it possible the young woman had something to do with both suicide attempts?
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