The Idol – Season 1 Episode 3 “Daybreak” Recap & Review


Episode 3 of The Idol begins with Tedros taking Jocelyn shopping. Leia drives the car and Tedros and Jocelyn have oral sex in the backseat. Outside the Valentino store, Jocelyn’s fans greet her. The paparazzi are there as well and they capture Tedros and Jocelyn together.

Leia has been putting up a brave face until now but finally breaks. As Tedros takes Jocelyn on a shopping spree – and makes her spend bucketloads – Leia phones Chaim.  We can see that Leia is clearly distressed. She narrates the incident from the morning when Tedros slapped and fired Andreas, Jocelyn’s cook, for touching her abdomen.

Jocelyn, who did not think it was a big deal, does not dare go against Tedros when he fires him. Tedros’ weird energy has creeped Leia out, who feels Jocelyn is brainwashed by him and that he has full control of the house. Chaim and Destiny are not convinced.

Chaim also takes a phone call from Finkelstein, the Live Nation rep. Chaim lies about Jocelyn having two new songs that she is recording in order to put off Finkelstein, who is worried about his money.

Tedros literally asks Jocelyn to buy everything from the store. We then see him threatening a store employee for “looking at Jocelyn.” When they come back to the house, Chaim and Destiny sit down with him. Tedros looks defensive and is unprepared for their line of questioning. But when he mentions that Mike Dean, Kanye’s producer, is coming over, Chaim becomes supportive. He asks for “three hits in two weeks” because Jocelyn is in trouble if she does not deliver. But when Chaim sits in the car to go back, he mentions to Destiny that “our girl in is trouble.”

In the background, we see Nikki shooting a new video with Dyanne. She seems pleased which is a good sign for Dyanne. The next scenes mark the first occasion where Jocelyn talks about her mother. They had a symbiotic relationship but it wasn’t all roses. Jocelyn concedes she misses her presence in the house, which her mother bought.

Tedros pulls up Xander for not being brave enough with Jocelyn’s album and artwork. He is her creative director but his work has been lacking. Xander confesses to Tedros that his input is often suppressed by Jocelyn and the label. His ideas are not able to get through. He suggests they use Jocelyn’s “cum” photo as her next album cover.

During a recording session, Jocelyn gets into an argument with Chloe and Izaak. The duo claims that trauma and personal loss can inspire an artist to make music that is bigger than them. They give the example of Robert Plant, who wrote Led Zeppelin’s hit song “All My Love.” He wrote it after he lost his young son. Jocelyn does not agree with their implication that Plant’s son’s death was a good thing because it yielded such timeless music.

From how they behave, it is clear that these are Tedros’ “followers” and not just his social circle. How can a man like him have any friends? Episode 3 culminates with a long, extended dinner scene, that does breathe some life into the show’s central conceit: the idol. Jocelyn gets up and toasts to the new people in her life who have made her less lonely. Tedros pushes Xander to tell Jocelyn his new idea. He is hesitant but when Tedros asks you to do something, you don’t have options. This sparks moments of tension between Jocelyn and Tedros. Leia finally gets her voice back and supports her.

Jocelyn sees Tedros, in part, as the person that we as viewers see. Tedros feels she isn’t taking risks and that is why she hasn’t written a song since her mother died. She is stuck – her last song being “Daybreak.” Joss gets defensive when Tedros brings up her mother. He feels her passing is the reason why Jocelyn is stuck. He pushes her to talk about her in front of everyone, even though she is in no mood to do so.

Jocelyn opens up about how her mother physically abused her and how she was beaten with a hairbrush relentlessly as a means of discipline. To “unwind her,” Tedros asks Jocelyn to bring the hairbrush to him. He sends away Leia with Izaak so that he can do whatever he wants. In the climactic montage, we see Tedros mimicking Jocelyn’s’ mother by beating her and then washing her wounds. She screams in pain but for all the suffering she endures, she thanks Tedros “for taking care of her” in the end.

The Episode Review

We were finally able to get a foot inside the door in episode 3. Finally, we were given glimpses of what Jocelyn’s world is about through an artist’s perspective. But, as soon as that happened, The Idol reverted back to its strange, provocative, and perverse methods. The dinner table conversation was a revelatory incident in the scheme of season 1. We were finally treated to some decent, insightful writing in a climactic showpiece that was foreshadowed in the recording studio.

There is no sense of this style being The Weeknd or Levinson’s expression of self. The point that an artist must be unequivocally committed to his true self and identity is not something that instantly gives it validation. The Idol continues to be perceived as facetious and intentionally controversial. That is the worst part of the series.

It would appear that The Weeknd and Levinson haven’t been able to grasp the storytelling. Even though this episode marks an improvement by taking steps towards telling a real story, the show still remains some way off being watchable.

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You can read our full season review of The Idol here

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