The Girl From Plainville – Episode 3 “Never Have I Ever” Recap & Review

Never Have I Ever

Episode 3 of The Girl from Plainville begins with Detective Scott Gordon asking Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn to get a warrant for Michelle Carter’s phone. He believes Michelle’s texts could result in a manslaughter charge.

Rayburn is skeptical, seeing as Conrad had a history of depression and anxiety. Still, she agrees to get him a warrant.

Michelle meets Natalie, who brings up the text Michelle sent her the other night about Conrad’s death. Michelle says she doesn’t know why she said that. She changes the subject, and Natalie drops it.

A flashback shows Michelle on a school trip in 2012. She talks to her friend Susie about how she fooled around with Conrad. She says they texted a few times, and then he disappeared.

Around the same time as the school trip, Conrad is on a boat, working for his dad’s Marine Towing and Salvage company. At this time, he’s preparing to go back to high school.

In the present day, Gordon shows up at Michelle’s school to say he has a warrant for her phone, her computer, and any of her other devices. Michelle later yells at her parents when they demand answers as to why the police are interested in her.

We then flash back to Michelle hanging out with Susie and watching Glee, while Conrad goes to a party. He practices what he’s going to say beforehand, trying to make himself sound cool. When he gets to the party, however, everyone pays attention to Robby and ignores him. 

He goes back home, where he sits outside alone. Scrolling back through his old text messages, he taps on Michelle’s name. Their text conversation plays out as if they are speaking face to face.. He talks about going back to school, about how his brain feels different, about how he doesn’t know how to be a kid anymore.

She asks why he never said goodbye in Florida. “Why now?” He replies that he missed talking to her. Susie shows up, interrupting their conversation. She goes to Michelle’s house with her, and they lie in bed with each other. Susie says she’s concerned about Michelle’s recent trouble sleeping. She says she loves her, and that Michelle can tell her anything.

Now, Michelle goes over old possessions: friendship bracelets she and Susie made, bunny ears she and Conrad wore in Florida.  She tries to tear the ears apart, screaming as she does so.

Lynn is also struggling. She vents to a friend about how she asked Conrad so many times if he was okay, how he always said he was fine. Now that she knows he was never fine, she feels guilty about his death.

Katie Rayburn, meanwhile, goes through phone records from Roy’s and Carter’s phone. She eventually comes across Michelle’s indicting message to Natalie.

The episode ends with a flashback to Conrad standing alone in a bathroom, holding a bottle of pills.

The Episode Review

This episode suffers from pacing issues, with its heavy concentration on flashbacks slowing the plot and jumbling the timeline.

It is interesting to see the way Conrad interacts with the world around him, and how his reaching out to Michelle was essentially a cry for help. Playing out their text correspondence as if they spoke face to face was an astute choice, as it gave Elle Fanning and Colton Ryan room to explore the dynamic between their characters.

As The Girl from Plainville continues, it departs some from its original portrayals of its main characters. Conrad is depicted as a scared, depressed kid who just wants to be seen. While Michelle is shown to be someone who has always had people on her side and yet continues to act in a self-absorbed manner–as if she has always been alone.

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