The Horror of Dolores Roach – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

They Called Me Magic Hands

In episode 1 of The Horror of Dolores Roach, Dolores’ life has been adapted into a popular Broadway thriller in the present. Performer Flora Frias plays Dolores and delivers the final soliloquy. Following that, she receives a standing ovation. She talks about the challenging role she is playing—that of a cannibal and serial killer—backstage. The rest of the details are provided for us by a newspaper headline.

After saying goodbye to her co-workers, who are gushing about the actress, Flora is greeted by Dolores in person. The murderer speaks to the actress who plays her after becoming upset by this unexpected turn of incidents. Dolores feels bitter that she isn’t making money off of this business and wishes to finally clear the air by telling Flora the truth.

We are transported back in time to the early 2000s, in Washington Heights. With Dominic, her drug dealer partner, Dolores is happier than she has ever been. The business they run is flourishing, and they are putting money aside for their eventual escape strategy. A short while later, Dolores is arrested following a drug raid. Dominic vanishes, leaving her to spend 16 years in jail for assaulting a police officer and possession with intention.

The year is 2019, and Dolores has just been freed from jail. When she gets off the train, she discovers a completely altered New York City. Since the arrest, Dolores’ old neighborhood has undergone gentrification, and she no longer recognizes it.

Dolores returns to her former flat to discover that a young couple have moved there. Dolores sneaks into the apartment and checks her hidden tile in the bathroom, but it’s empty. She understands that Dominic fled after stealing all of their money. She is enraged because that was her only chance to live outside the prison. She is lost while pacing the streets. She only recognizes one spot: Empanada Loca, a popular fast food joint.

While she crosses the street in a hurry, she almost gets run over. The eatery is the same inside. This gives Dolores comfort, while she orders her favorite dish. The cashier refuses a $50 bill for the meal though. Dolores exits the store feeling defeated. A familiar face finds her as she leaves. We learn that currently, Luis Batista is in charge of the eatery.

When Luis recognizes his old friend, he is overjoyed and gives her a meal for free in addition to a herb to smoke. They then descend the restaurant’s basement stairs and enter his temporary residence. Dolores enquires regarding Dominic’s whereabouts. Following the drug raid, Luis acknowledges that he did not see him again. He may have passed away or relocated according to rumors.

Dolores tells Luis that she doesn’t have any friends, family members, money, or somewhere to stay. Luis ends up offering the girl the basement space that used to belong to his deceased dad. Dolores is thrilled to have a place to stay. He gives her the space without charging rent. For her, it’s an actual wish come true.

Luis experiences a panic attack whilst talking and smoking. She gives him an unexpected back massage to help him relax. She then comes clean and says she had been the jail’s masseuse. She later gets settled in her brand-new room. While taking a shower, she thinks of her former cellmate Tabitha, whom she bitterly misses.

The episode comes to a close in the present time. Dolores has started telling Flora about her entire life. We understand that there is still a lot to find out about her.

The Episode Review

By introducing the audience to a murderer who we are actually able to empathize with, the Amazon Prime psychological horror series adopts a different perspective on the serial killer story. Throughout episode 1 of The Horror of Dolores Roach, we witness the challenging circumstances Dolores faces after getting out of prison.

Dolores and her tragic past are effectively introduced to audiences in the creative opener. Rather than diving right into the murders, the series focuses on its main character’s complicated past, giving audiences a chance to connect with her, which already adds an intriguing dimension to the horror story.


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You can read our season 1 review of The Horror of Dolores Roach here!

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