Twisted, Episode 8: "Docu-Trauma"

At this point, it’s not crazy to say that Danny Desai is never going to be the most popular boy at Green Grove High School for any reason other than killing his aunt five years ago. It’s just not going to happen. Which is why his attempt to ameliorate the town opinion of him by throwing a party feels so ridiculous. Does Danny deserve what happens to him at the end of “Docu-Trauma?” Absolutely not. Should he have seen it coming? Yes.

When Danny runs his party plan by Tyler, Phoebe’s older brother, Tyler rightly reminds him that in order for Danny to have a fun party with people in attendance, people actually need to attend. And he’s not the most popular guy in school by far. So they make a deal: if Danny will consent to an on-camera interview for Tyler’s documentary, then Tyler will ensure that people come to Danny’s party.

Lacey takes the same skeptical approach to Danny’s party idea, adding, “I don’t think throwing a party is going to solve anything. One party and everyone’s going to forget about your past?”

Ultimately, she’s right. The party turns out to be one big set up, culminating in a prank recreating the events of Danny’s fateful afternoon with his aunt Tara to the backdrop of this Green Grove High School party. But who’s behind the prank?

This isn’t the first time during “Docu-Trauma” that Danny is the subject of an eerie prank. First, Karen Desai walks outside to find the front yard covered in jump ropes. Next, during a sweet but secret night out with Lacey, the two are confronted by a silent group of half a dozen men dressed in Danny-masks and red suspenders. It’s a moment that could be decidedly silly but actually plays terrifying. The masks are just so plastic-y fake that the audience understand why Lacey flips out. I can’t be the only one wondering why these two chose what looked like the most serial killer friendly spot in the park to sip Martinelli’s Apple Cider by the lake, but then when you’re dating the only convicted murderer in town, what is fear anyway?

On the Jo front, after Danny publicly says Jo is like a sister to him, Jo agrees to go on a date with Tyler, our tragically good-looking budding filmmaker. (He even has the wire rimmed glasses to prove he’s trying ti be a visionary auteur. But who am I kidding? He’s much too cute to mock.)

Their date goes well, but once Tyler starts asking Jo questions about what being friends with Danny is like, it seems obvious that he wants something from her. Of course, the audience’s first thought is that it’s Tyler and his friends who pulled both pranks, and we the audience are not wrong. This being her first date ever, Jo can’t see any of this. She’s blinded by his good looks. And who can blame her?

Twisted Episode 8 "Docu-Trauma"

After their date, Jo and Tyler make their way to the party, quickly filling up with Green Grove adolescents. Tyler conducts his interview with Danny, asking how he’s coping with the “pranks.” Catching on that everyone else should only know about one prank, Danny’s “socio eyes” come out to play. He smells a set up.

Elsewhere, Lacey also learns that something is up when Phoebe tries to convince her to attend Danny’s party because her brother told her something “big” was going to do down with “the socio.”

Though this is supposed to make the audience feel alarm, all I can think is how melodramatic this moment feels. But it gives us more time with Phoebe, which is always a plus in the Twistedverse.

I love a good set up as much as the next girl, but did the Twisted team have to make it so obvious that something was going to go down and who was behind it? Where’s the suspense, people? I can’t help but feel the show runners are underestimating their audience. Odd, because this show follows Pretty Little Liars so you’d think they would expect a more mystery-adept audience. The fact that Danny’s dad is involved in the mystery, for example, was just too simple of a clue to miss out on from day one.

The party turns into a rager, but grinds to halt when a figure in a Danny-mask emerges on the dance floor and commences strangling a stuffed doll meant to look like Danny’s late aunt Tara. It’s a seriously disturbing image and Danny’s eyes are haunted by it. Doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to shrug this prank off so easily.

After watching Tyler approvingly film “the performance,” Jo confronts the auteur, telling him off. He admits that he staged the performance for his documentary, but insists he actually likes her. She’s over those pretty eyes, though, and walks confidently away.

Notes

  • Rico, suddenly cute and overly neurotic this episode, confesses his feelings for Jo to Danny. When Danny advises Rico to tell Jo, saying, “You don’t know if you don’t ask her,” Rico confronts one of the most over-used lines in history with the honest answer, “No, sometimes you just know.”
  • Have Danny and Lacey been dating for ten years? Their arguments have the bizarrely rational calm of a couple with more than two days time together. I actually enjoyed watching them argue as they display the most reasonable and believable methods of arguing that I’ve ever seen on television. Hopefully the teenagers watching the show are taking notes.
  • At the end of the episode, Danny and Lacey hook up in his living room (because high school students don’t care about windows with open blinds) and a Danny-mask records them from the bushes.
  • When Kyle confronts Karen about throwing the necklace into the lake at McNally Park, she lawyers up. In the end, though, Karen’s character arc mirrors Hannah’s arc an hour earlier on Pretty Little Liars: she confesses to killing Regina even though we’re nowhere near sure that she actually had anything to do with it.

So what did you think of episode 8 of Twisted, “Docu-Trauma?” Are you sad Tyler is seemingly out of the picture? (It seems like he’ll be back in play, what with the Danny-mask sextape recording, but we have no more hope that he’ll be a good guy.) Were you scandalized by the sexy-time between Danny and Lacey? Did those Danny-masks freak you out? (It’s okay, you can admit it.) And how cute did Rico look this episode? Really cute.

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