Sadly viewers episode three did not pick up where episode two left off but instead a few days later, which we pick up on during Elise's (Sharon Belle) opening monologue, which this time focused on connections.
We get a beautiful montage of the girls just...connecting and more notably Elise is talking more. Whether it's on the dock or on the deck of their cottage. Elise so eloquently describes how they ditched their phones days ago, "those electronic acquaintances with little red notification flags fade unimportance when you make real, intense, face-to-face connections with other humans."
It's notable that Elise and the other girls are able to disclose such intimate stories of their lives to strangers that they haven't been able to share with some of their closest friends. It's an interesting concept to explore given the emotional states that all girls originally arrived in.
The montage ends and we find Elise waking up to find a note from Jen (Kat Inokai) stating that her and Stevie (Emily Alatalo) have headed into town and would be back around lunch. The scene that happens next is probably my favorite of the episode mainly because of how Elise just seems to carry herself. She looks light and free. She heads outside and takes in her surroundings very similar to her arrival to the cottage scene in the first episode, except this time she's different. She's smiling. I'd also like to point out Elise's confessions of having a personality disorder and acknowledging it as a ticking clock, which is reminiscent of Stevie calling her brain a ticking time bomb in episode two.
What happens next is also interesting. Elise sees that Stevie's left over some of her things so she politely takes it upon herself to return them, which I don't think she needs to do but I think that's her way of committing a selfless act which is unusual for someone who constantly swerves her own path. Hooray character development, and a fluid one at that! She drops Stevie's belongings off and curiosity gets the best of her as her attention focuses on a few photos on Stevie's bed. Photos of Stevie and a man, which judging by their poses I'm inclined to believe it's someone she was involved with romantically.
And the jealousy is UNREAL. We don't know what happened at the end of episode two or if we ever will (thanks Jason) but I can only assume it was something important enough to allow Elise to react in such a way.
I've seen Belle's performances in a few things now but this is by far one of my absolutely favorites. While observing each photo, you can see the hurt in her eyes, the tightening in her jaw as our lead immediately begins to build up her guard. I think Elise feels betrayed, which is an interesting emotion to feel after only knowing Stevie for such a short amount of time. However, considering that the girls have been sharing such intimate stories with one another, it's obvious that this man in Stevie's photos have not been mentioned. At least not yet. Elise gets herself together, putting the photos back and grabs Stevie's belongings back which I think is such a statement because she's basically not letting Stevie know she cares. GO ELISE!
Still frustrated, Elise tries to distract herself by reading only to find herself not being able to focus. Shocker. She heads inside to look for what we later find out is aspirin for her headache, but she instead finds Jen's personal pharmacy.
DUN. DUN. DUN.
Cut to Jen coming home talking about town and how she thinks Stevie likes her. If Elise is surprised by this, she doesn't show it but apparently the way Stevie talks about Elise is very appealing. She however just stumbles on her words and says she's not into that sort of thing. SURE JAN.
This episode, despite its lack of action, really showcased a lot of Elise's development over the last few days. It's impressive and done in a way that doesn't make me wonder, "what am I missing?" or have me thinking this is a completely different character. Which is a perfect segue as to what happens next. In another uncharacteristic action, Elise says to hell with her and Jen's "no small talk" rule and straight up asks her if she's sick.
Jen looks really surprised and is immediately defensive asking Elise what she wants to do with her life. More specifically what she wants from life and I think Elise is really scared to answer because I don't think anyone's asked her that before. She admits she wants to chase adventure without sabotaging herself. Jen seems somewhat proud to get a true answer from Elise but then seems to get upset when she realizes that Elise is looking for purpose, which I think is interesting considering the opening monologue from the second episode in which Elise basically says she's lost faith in a higher power.
Jen then discloses she’s had some health struggles in the past and she’s turning a corner, whatever the hell that means. Perhaps it has something to do with her infertility? She turns her back to Elise and the raw emotion seeps through. She does her best to hold it together but inevitable her silent cry becomes audible and Inokai’s ability to convey two strongly opposing emotions of anger and sadness is amazing. However, I do think however Jen is a bit maniacal but she has a heart of gold and I think genuinely means well.
She then goes to hug and apologizes to Elise and it’s a tender moment. A connection. A connection that I think Elise has been looking for.
I thought about it last night and I think connection is a strong theme through the series. I think I’ve said it before but it doesn’t seem like Elise has had a lot of connections in her life so to meet two strangers she can immediately connect with sans judgement is appealing. Jen is more of a mother figure while Stevie is more of a romantic connection, or at least Elise probably thought she could have been. But there’s still time!
The episode ends with Jen saying that Stevie wants to go to dinner the next night and Elise looks hesitant but Jen reassures her it’s her treat. The episode ends there and we can only hope that tonight episode picks up during or after dinner.
Join us again for another #SwerveNTN live chat and tune in tonight at 9:00 PM EST for episode four!