The Girl From Plainville – Episode 4 “Can’t Fight This Feeling” Recap & Review

Can’t Fight This Feeling

Episode 4 of The Girl from Plainville begins with Conrad panting and sweating after overdosing on pills. He calls his mom and throws up in his room. “I want her to come back,” he says. “I’m scared.” 

Lynn sits at his bedside at the hospital, asking him, “Why? If you die, I die.” He promises not to attempt suicide again.

She sits outside with Co to tell him the hospital wants to commit their son. His father, however, thinks Conrad just needs to get back to school and work.

We flash forward, and we see Katie Rayburn and Teresa Adams question the parents about Conrad’s mental state before his death and about his relationship with Michelle Carter. They’re trying to figure out why he may have taken his life, but Lynn and Co couldn’t say.

Mr. Cataldo, Michelle’s lawyer, speaks with Michelle and her parents. He tells them there’s an official investigation into her connection to Conrad’s suicide, and the prosecutor will likely bring charges.

Michelle insists she didn’t do anything wrong. She wants to text Lynn to reassure her, but Cataldo tells her she can’t contact anyone who has anything to do with the case, including Lynn Roy.

In a flashback, Co picks up Conrad from the mental institution. Conrad says he feels better, and his dad says he could keep up the progress by talking to a therapist. Conrad is skeptical.

When Co tells Lynn that Conrad doesn’t want to go to therapy, the two of them get into a screaming match while Conrad settles back in at home. 

Conrad texts Michelle to tell her he was in the hospital and tried to kill himself. Michelle feels guilty; she says she should have been there for him. “I get it. And I’m here for you. I love you.”

Rayburn muses how to proceed with the case against Michelle, but Adams points out that their evidence is thin. They prepare to question Michelle’s friends, Natalie and Cassie.

In another flashback, Susie and Michelle hang out. Susie says her mom’s been complaining about how much she talks to Michelle. Susie becomes evasive about hanging out with her.

Adams tells Cataldo the charges they have aren’t assisted suicide, but involuntary manslaughter. Cataldo tells Michelle to turn herself into police custody tomorrow. If she’s convicted, she could be jailed for up to twenty years.

Afterwards–feeling left out of parties and other goings-on by her friends–Michelle “Facebook stalks” Natalie and Cassie.

She goes on a walk and listens to Glee, living out a fantasy in which she and Conrad sing a duet as Finn and Rachel from the show.

In the past, we see Conrad text Michelle. He tells her his life is a joke, and she pushes him to open up. He feels everything is pointless, and she insists that he is special. While he thinks he doesn’t deserve her, he tells her he loves her.

Susie notices this text, and Michelle tells her she does love Conrad–but she also loves Susie.  Michelle asks her if you can be in love with two people at once. Just then, Susie’s mom interrupts to tell Michelle to go home.

After that, Susie disappears for a while. Michelle goes to see her, and Susie says her mom doesn’t want them talking anymore. She read their texts and thinks Michelle is obsessed with her.

Trying to push Michelle away, Susie insists she isn’t into girls. She isn’t into her. She then shuts the door on Michelle, who holds back tears as her mom drives her home.

Rayburn and Adams meanwhile find that Conrad and his dad got into a physical altercation in 2013. This worries them about their case, as it could have been the true motive for Conrad’s suicide.

In the last flashback of the episode, Conrad’s grandfather gifts him with his truck. Conrad texts Michelle to say he’s going to California, and she asks him to take her with him. They talk about leaving and starting over, even buying a house.

The episode ends with a scene from the present, as Michelle gets her mugshot taken at the police station.

The Episode Review

Conrad’s and Michelle’s love story progresses, and their adapted text conversations are absorbing, even while tinged by knowledge of the couple’s sinister future.

Elle Fanning continues to shine in her role as a tormented teen who feels abandoned by her friends and yet reacts in the most toxic of ways. The show so far does well to both humanize and hold accountable the titular character.

Colton Ryan gets a lot more screen time in this episode as well, giving a subtle and resonant portrayal of someone losing control and purpose in his life. While The Girl from Plainville is slow to pin blame on any one person for Conrad’s mental state, it does paint a complex portrait of several variables: his difficult home life, alienation from friends, obsession over Michelle. You can’t help but feel for this utterly human teenager who just wants to find his way in life.

This episode brings up so many conflicting emotions. Even while knowing how this history plays out, one can’t help but be hooked by these performances and fascinating character studies.

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