Dressed in their new outfits, episode 5 of Tiny Pretty Things begins with Ramon overseeing all the dancers practicing their Ripper routine. That doesn’t stop him from grilling into the ladies about their dancing though. Neveah is pulled away from the viper’s pit courtesy of a call from her Mother. It turns out she’s in prison and calling because she misses her.
Meanwhile, June struggles to get accepted for any jobs while Neveah stays away from the others to reflect on her call earlier. Shane takes some time out to speak to her and admits that he knows how she feels; Shane’s family is no stranger to crime.
It turns out Neveah’s Mother is in Rogen Correctional and she has no love lost for her, proclaiming that she wants her Mum to rot given she had to raise Ty single-handedly.
Caleb begins convulsing and having a seizure after taking rohypnol. It’s the second time a student has been drugged – with Cassie being the first. As Torrie and Selena discuss this loudly in the corridor at hospital, Nabil happens to be listening from inside Cassie’s room. Selena tells Torri to stay in line and keep her mouth shut, as Nabil quickly echoes what he’s heard to Caleb.
After a bad dream about her Mother, Neveah heads in for comfort with Shane. Only, he instead decides to hook up a visit to Rogen Correctional for the following day. Following her Father’s death, Neveah reflects on a man named Greg, her step-father of sorts who used to beat her Mother and brother. She was 10 at the time and has never forgiven her Mother since.
Elsewhere, Caleb does some research and learns that he actually drugged himself after taking pills from June’s stash. This sees the kids head straight in to see June, confronting her about the roofies she has stashed away. She weakly proclaims that they’re not hers but this only makes her seem more guilty.
Caleb immediately goes to Nabil and tells him about June. On the back of this, Torri and Bette take their findings to see Officer Cruz, trying to get her to arrest June.
Meanwhile, June heads in to see Selena who happens to be sitting at the desk with her feet up. In the middle of this tense and dramatic sequence of events, she comically falls backwards off her chair.
Anyway, June pleads with Selena to believe her after reinforcing that the pills aren’t actually hers. Down on her luck, June receives a lifeline in the form of Esme. She shows up in her room and reveals she has a new gig that may be of interest to her; a job down at the club where Paige currently works. Interestingly, Cassie used to work there too.
Meanwhile, Delia invites Bette and Oren over for dinner. Only, Bette invites the entire dance troupe over to have drinks instead. Delia is obviously not happy with her sister while a visiting Tyler speaks to Neveah about their Mother and what happened in the past.
Elsewhere, June heads to work as a waitress but stumbles while handing out drinks from the tray. Eventually, one of the customers takes her down to the shore for a breather, where she admits to drugging her roommate. That, of course, being Cassie. She only roofied her to make sure she’s off her game but didn’t bank on her falling off the roof.
When Nabil finds out what June’s done, he promises to let her fall when she’s at her most vulnerable. Caleb refuses to stand by and let this happen though, eventually confronting Nabil about the pills and how Cassie wasn’t actually drugged up at the time of her tumbling over the side of the roof.
Nabil and Caleb eventually find Officer Cruz and relay this information on, telling her that June’s not the one to blame.
Back at the party, Bette reveals to Oren that she knows about him cheating with Shane. Bette tries it on with Ramon later that evening, trying her best to goad him into submission. Oren leaves after seeing this and Ramon eventually pulls away, leaving Bette’s weak attempts at seduction a complete bust.
Meanwhile, Neveah’s Mother heads in for her parole meeting. Neveah shows up and listens as Neveah tells her story about how she struck back at Greg with a baseball bat after he hit Tyler. She wants a chance to do right by her kids and regrets what happened.
Neveah eventually speaks up on behalf of her Mother and admits that she felt alone and went through a dark time. Neveah gives an impassioned plea to free her Mother, given she too was a victim of this crime.
After the hearing, Neveah speaks to Tyler and admits it feels good to tell the truth. With things looking up for her, Neveah heads back to auditions with renewed vigor.
The Episode Review
With the mystery around Cassie’s death consuming the heart of this series, the question remains; who exactly did push Cassie over the edge? More home truths are revealed regarding June’s roofies though and this works nicely into drip-feeding the truth about what happened to Cassie that night.
Beyond this reveal, there isn’t an awful lot of plot progression here although the bubbling character conflicts continue to keep things ticking by at a reasonable pace. Right now though, there’s a lot of different suspects and it’s difficult to say exactly who could be responsible.
There’s still pockets of melodramatic bursts of over-acting though but the biggest problem here comes from the tonal inconsistency. Did we really need to see Selena comically fall off her chair like that? What does that add to this series? These moments of humour feel completely out of place, which is a shame because the character work with Neveah has been good this episode.
Hopefully Tiny Pretty Things can smooth out some of the rough edges going into the second half.