'The Red Road' Episode 3 Recap: Role Reversal
'The Red Road' Episode 3 Recap: Role Reversal
Find more information on The Red Road, including schedules, at The Sundance Channel. Note: This blog contains spoilers about episode 3.
So it’s clear that The Red Road doesn’t just ease into an episode, as “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” can attest. The only thing I’m still unsure about, even after watching the third episode: what “woman” are they referring to?
Is it Jean (Julianne Nicholson), who is starting to remember things even as her imagination continues to get the best of her?
Is it Marie (Tamara Tunie), who makes quite the confession to son Junior (Kiowa Gordon)?
Is it Rachel (Allie Gonino), who may have uncovered something about her mom’s past?
Or is it new character Sky Van Der Veen (Lisa Bonet), a woman from Phillip Kopus’ (Jason Momoa, Bonet’s real-life husband) past who seems to have resurfaced just in the nick of time?
Sky is a Lenape lawyer representing the family of the boy who was struck in the hit-and-run that Jean may or may not have caused. She and dozens of others are outside the police station, protesting the fact that nothing’s been done since the accident nine days prior. Sky eventually runs into Kopus and the two -- who grew up together -- reminisce and she offers to cook him dinner catch up. Uh-huh.
The reasons why the police haven’t looked into the hit-and-run are because A) Harold (Martin Henderson) is too busy covering up his wife’s involvement; and B) officers are more concerned with searching for the missing college student. Ugh. If I were the parents or family or friends or lawyer of the Lenape boy who is fighting for his life in hospital, I, too, would be making a scene since cops seem more concerned with investigating the college kid’s disappearance than finding out who hit the kid with their car.
Speaking of, Jean is not loving the psychiatric hospital (though, understandably, I don’t know if anyone truly digs being in a treatment facility). Her doctor has prescribed anti-psychotics but Jean says they aren’t working — and she has a point. While the doc and Harold are talking, Jean spots a newspaper with the headline “Lenape Boy’s Condition Worsens After Hit and Run,” then envisions the unconscious, mangled boy on her bed. She gives her head a shake, the bed is empty once again and the newpaper has a completely different, unrelated headline. But then Jean looks at her loving husband who smiles grimly and says, “I wish you were dead.” Um, yeah, clearly the meds are doing absolutely nothing.
The doctor later asks Jean how long has she been hearing voices. Months? Years? She reveals that when it started, it was different. “It was just a fuzziness, just a random thought, it didn’t feel like it came from me, it felt like someone else put it in my head and I just assumed it was part of being pregnant. With my first, with Rachel.” Thud. This all coincides with Rachel — who, along with sister Kate (Annalise Basso), have been shipped to their grandparents’ house — discovering a bunch of tapes recorded by Jean’s late twin brother. Brian talks about Jean and Kopus, and then goes on a tangent about ghosts and wanting ghosts to be real and him wanting to be a ghost when he dies and how he doesn’t understand why people are so scared of ghosts because if there are ghosts, it means dying is OK. Weeeeeeird. So weird that I’m a little surprised that the voice Jean keeps hearing is Rachel’s and not her dead twin’s. Shudder.
Brothers seemed to be a bit of a theme throughout the episode as Junior has quickly become beguiled by Kopus. The guy who seemed so nice at the beginning is now willing to do whatever Phillip says, even if it’s illegal. Hell, especially if it’s illegal. The kid joins Kopus and Mike as the men steal drugs from the nursing home, where we do see shades of the Junior of yore. But Phillip’s bad-ass life is far too tempting for the teen, who simply can’t resist his brother’s lifestyle. And it’s only going to get worse. Marie confesses to Junior that she is dying from cancer and isn’t going to be around forever. He takes the news pretty well, perhaps because in the back of his mind, he believes he and Phillip can carry on with their shenanigans guilt-free once Marie is gone.
Instead of going to buy a gun of Jack (Tom Sizemore), Phillip heads to Sky’s (where the two get closer but not as bow-chicka-wow-wow close as I expected them to) and he sends Junior to do his bidding. Because Rachel is the world’s most annoying daughter, she sneaks out of her grandparents’ house and joins her boyfriend in the city. It’s a creepy situation at Chez Jack, where the dirtbag is smoking a big fatty and his pregnant missus (you know, because he did such a bang-up job with Phillip) is snorting lines of cocaine. Awesome.
Junior wants to get the gun and get the hell out of there but Jack starts telling him all about Phillip and how when he was 8 years old, Kopus killed somebody. He adds, “It was bad. Bad things happen in those mountains,” which brings to mind something that went down earlier in the episode. During the search for the college kid, Harold finds a sinkhole and calls it in. He hears a shot, and two hunters come around, one of whom warns the officer not to get any of the dirt on him -- then proceeds to show off his badly scarred arm. Huh? What kind of messed-up voodoo is going on there?
But back to Junior and Rachel, who have spent the night in a hotel room in the big city, something Rachel is loving. She asks her beau if all the illegal activity, breaking into places and getting guns is the new normal because she doesn’t think Junior owes Kopus anything. That’s when the kid goes off on her, insisting that Kopus is his family and Rachel has it so good with a mom who cares about her but she continues to act like a “little spoiled white girl.” If that weren’t enough, Junior tells her that Jean probably hit the kid, so she tells him to go to hell, and he tells her to find her own way home — and leaves her there. Yikes. That exchange seemed to come out of nowhere since they’ve been super-lovey-dovey up until then. Perhaps it’s just how Junior is coping with the fact that his mom doesn’t have long to live and he is preparing himself for a life and future like Phillip’s. And maybe, just maybe, he loves Rachel enough to spare her that life and future.
The show seemed to have all kinds of disjointed storylines going on but it’s all starting to come together. Harold find some prescription drugs in Mike’s car and links him to the nursing home robbery — but because of the deal he and Kopus struck, the cop is forced to let Mike go. But don’t think Harold is going to let things slide. Harold follows a guy (who just happens to be Kopus and Mike’s inside man at the nursing home) and wrangles some crucial information on him. Inside Man reveals that he saw a kid at a party Mike had and Mike sold him drugs. Harold asks what kid and Inside Man is all, “You know. The kid. The COLLEGE KID.” Dun-dun-duuuuuuun! Harold, who looks like he just won the lottery, leaves and is now on a mission.
The next day, Kopus at home, playing with his dad’s -- now his -- blind dog when he hears a knock on the door. But it wasn’t knocking, it was tapping. Someone has nailed the flyer of the missing college kid’s picture with “I Know” written on it. Oooooh. This cat-and-mouse game Kopus and Harold have got going on is about to get good.