Poison of Interest

Episode 10 of Twisted, “Poison of Interest” was all about speaking up. Some of our characters handled the task of speaking up rather admirably. Rico, for instance, wasted no time letting Lacey know that there was a video of her hooking up with Danny hovering somewhere in the Green Grove High School ether. Jo, on the other hand, managed to speak up when called to the plate, but spoke maybe a bit too much. So much for the secret of her feelings for Danny, but at least she didn’t accuse the most recent Green Grove murder subject of being a whore in front of the rest of the town like Karen Desai.

Sounds like a juicy episode, right? Let’s jump in.

After watching other shows on ABC Family, it’s surprising that Twisted has managed to keep the narrative so tight when lesser shows would have started the inevitable diaspora of storylines already. Shows like Pretty Little Liars take so much on their plate that all the stories suffer, but “Poison of Interest” showcases only two story lines this episode: Danny struggling to remain at Green Grove High and Lacey and Rico teaming up to eradicate the sex-tape floating around school.

On the Danny front, Green Grove is all aflutter after news publicly breaks that Danny was removed from the soccer team after supposedly poisoning Cole. Not only has Danny already been punished for this—an action he did not commit—and not only has the coach who let Danny quietly leave the team been fired, but now, thanks to a technicality with Danny’s school-mandated therapy sessions, Gloria Crane, Regina’s mother, has an excuse to get Danny kicked out of Green Grove High School. Danny uses his leverage against the principal—remember those “sensitive photos” from last week?—to ensure that he receive a formal hearing before the school board the following day.

Surprisingly, this also happens to be the day everyone declares how badly they feel for Danny. Chief Masterson remarks upon Danny’s bad luck at breakfast, and even Archie awkwardly confesses to Lacey that he feels bad for Danny (not badly enough, we’ll learn soon enough). Who’s not feeling bad for Danny? Cole, the victim of the poisoning has somehow turned anti-Danny since we’ve seen him last, and plans on speaking at the hearing against his one-time friend.

Though she starts the episode off standing in solidarity with Lacey against Danny’s secretive ways, Jo can’t hold out from those big brown eyes and shiny brown bun for long and ends up trying help Danny not get expelled from school. No one’s really sure if her testimony ultimately helps or harms Danny, considering she essentially confesses her love for him on the stand.

But one good thing does come from this storyline! Tyler’s back, and he’s here to help. He’s abandoned his documentary, but still has the footage of all the interviews he’s collected, and helps Danny and Jo find the interview Cole gave after returning from his poisoning. In the interview, Cole claims Danny is a good guy and never would have poisoned him. And after watching his recorded interview, Cole changes his tune and informs the school board of the same sentiment.

Poison of Interest

But no school board meeting can be drama-free. Archie dramatizes the effect of being around Danny at school (and even spares Danny a smirk when he’s done), and when Gloria Crane accuses Danny of being a murderer during Tess’ testimony in favor of Danny, Karen stands up and declares Regina a whore. Talk about speaking ill of the dead.

Ultimately, Danny gets the axe from GGHS, which is a relief because only poor plotting could result in that kind of trial leading to Danny staying at that school. And now that Danny has been expelled, it opens the drama up to bigger and more scandalous possibilities. Because murderous high schoolers attending public school is a little far fetched; make him home schooled and suddenly more murder is much more plausible.

But where has Lacey’s feisty attitude and impeccable fashion sense been all episode? Hanging out with Rico, trying to track down the video of her and Danny hooking up after Danny’s party last episode.

Rico tracks the video to Doug, our favorite nerd, who promises to erase the video. A few hours later, Doug has not only not erased the video, he’s shown it around. Concerned that she may lose her friends if this video gets out, Lacey floats a hypothetically “bad” situation by them, wondering if they’d stick by her. She’s relieved when they all say there’s nothing she could do to lose their friendship, and relaxed considerably about the spread of the video. That is until Rico confesses that Jo is in love with Danny. The two set out to squash the video once and for all, but after Lacey insults a friend of Doug’s, the video ends up on the phones of every student at GGHS.

But here’s where I want to pause and talk about the strangest element of this episode. When Lacey gets confirmation that her friends will love her no matter what, she clearly relaxes as if this “sex tape” is no longer an issue. Uhm, hello?! It’s still a sex tape of you floating around the school. Though she’s ultimately spurred back to action after learning about Jo’s feelings for Danny, why in the world would she ever have just relaxed with this problem hanging over her head like the sword of Damocles?

Moreover, it seems strange that Lacey, after throwing caution to the wind and bending to the whims of her…ahem…passion, would be so dependent on the opinion of her so called friends. It’s probably the most realistic part of teenage-dom, the idea that one person can be more than one person socially, but there’s something inherently discordant about the way Lacey builds her social circles now that Danny is both in and out of the high fashion picture that is her life.

Elsewhere on the sex tape front, it was clear the writers tried to dig deeper into Doug’s motivations for circulating the sex tape, but couldn’t find sure footing. This plot line almost swerved into impressive, teen-aware territory when it toyed with the idea that Doug wanted to get rid of the video but couldn’t because it suddenly gave him something that other people wanted. The situation became a crash-course in social game theory, but ultimately, this thread was abandoned in favor of petty rivalries influencing one girl to take another girl’s reputation down.

And now all of GGHS knows Lacey’s dirty secret. And she doesn’t even have the benefit of still being in a relationship with Danny or the backup of her popular ex Archie or Jo’s friendship! Sarita didn’t look too pleased about the video, either. Talk about terrible timing.

Poison of Interest

Notes

  • Has anyone else noticed the thematic use of Jo’s hair? When her relationship with Danny dwindles, so too do her curls.
  • Lacey’s character feels genuinely lighter without the secret of Danny on her shoulders, and her friends seem to notice. Was anyone else moved—and highly suspicious—when Sarita stalwartly confesses that Lacey “will always be” her best friend? Sounds like the kind of thing a serial killer would say before tacking on a menacing, “or else.”
  • When Tyler initially tries to talk to Jo, she swats away his advances, asking bitterly if he’s inquiring to gather information on his documentary. Tyler shakes his head, “No. I killed it.” Did anyone else cackle with laughter at his inappropriate—or highly appropriate—word choice?
  • After the hearing, Danny tries to talk to Jo about what she said, but she pretends like it never happened. Does that make her strong or weak? I don’t want to judge her, because everyone has been down that particular road at one time or another, and man, is the awkwardness here brutal.
  • Before the video is mass texted, but after the hearing, Lacey tells Jo that she heard what happened. Jo confesses her feelings for Danny—coherently this time—but says she’s sure Danny doesn’t feel the same way. And even if he did, Jo says, she never would have pursued anything without talking to Lacey about it first. Because Jo cares about their friendship too much to ruin it. Ahem, ahem, cough, cough. Lacey is almost bursting with shame.
  • At the end of the episode, when the video of Lacey and Danny is forwarded to the entire school, Jo’s apoplexy at watching the video is indescribable. It doesn’t look like Lacey’s going to have many friends next episode.
  • On the Chief Masterson front, the mayor brings another investigator to Green Grove to get to the bottom of the Regina investigation.

So what did you think of “Poison of Interest,” viewers? Did Danny deserve to be kicked out of school? What new twisted act is waiting for us in the season finale? Are you glad Tyler came back to lend a helping hand? Who do you think poisoned Cole? How inappropriate was it to call Regina a whore in front of the whole town? And I’m almost getting tired of saying it, but how cute did Rico look tonight?

Leave your comments below.