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'Notorious' recap: 'Friends and Other Strangers'

Posted on

ABC/Adam Taylor

Notorious

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
09/22/16
performer:
Piper Perabo, Daniel Sunjata, Ryan Guzman, Aimee Teegarden
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Drama

Do you remember when you were a kid in school, and you’d sit in class taking diligent notes on what your teacher was saying, yet somehow everything that came out of his mouth went in one ear and out the other? You’d sit, and as you solved times tables and proofs, wonder what impact this would ever possibly have on your life? This week’s Notorious felt like a fifth-grade classroom. I’m positive things happened, because I have the notes to show for it, but I’m not positive anything happened to move the story along like we needed.

We began with Alan, Sarah’s brother, finally agreeing to be a guest on Louise Herrick Live. Right now the whole world knows his sister is simply as a murder victim, but he wants to make sure people know that she was a real, actual person who laughed and smiled and cheated on her husband (but that’s neither here nor there). In typical LHL fashion, though, Louise has an exclusive that she’s ready to drop on her unsuspecting guest, and soon, she reveals to Alan (and the world) the photos of Sarah’s battered face and Oscar with another woman. “Oscar Keaton killed my sister,” he says into the camera. Dun dun dunnnn.

Meanwhile, PA Ryan is continuing to (literally) creep his way to the top. Julia is still struggling to figure out who sent her the photos, but never fear, Ryan is here! He’s like Fred from Scooby Doo — handsome and so good at solving mysteries! Of course, because he’s either a super-genius or the writers just gave up, Ryan figures out very quickly who sent the photos: Oscar’s BFF Levi. And he would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for that meddling kid! Ryan tells Julia his findings and after she tells him “You did great!” and awards him an A+ and a gold star, he walks away as giddy.

Now that the disturbing photos have been released to the public, Jake can finally confront Oscar about them. Oscar admits to having hit Sarah, but just once, several years ago, when he was extremely intoxicated and she found out about his affair. It was one time! Oscar also admits that he’s been dating someone online for the past few months, SweetVicky, whom he has yet to meet in person. This is totally going to end well.

Things surrounding Levi are still pretty suspicious, so Julia calls him in and asks him about the photos, hoping to threaten him enough to get him on LHL. He plays dumb and denies it at first, looking like a well-dressed deer in headlights. But eventually, he fesses up and manages to play Julia at her own game: He admits he sent the photos, but if Julia doesn’t lay off, he’s going to leak the photo of Jake and Sarah together to a competing news station. Mic drop, Levi out.

NEXT: Where’s Nev Schulman when you need him?

[pagebreak]

Oscar may have confessed to the online relationship with SweetVicky, but Jake knows the next step is tracking her down. Jake and Ella crash a film set to find Oscar’s SweetVicky in the flesh, and they do — about to jump the bones of her patient (it’s a porn set and she’s playing a nurse — classy). Once confronted, Vicky says she has no idea who Oscar is and that people often imitate her online, using her picture and name to scheme people. Looks like Oscar was catfished.

Now, who better on the mystery case than Ryan? He’s back on the prowl to dig up dirt. As he lurks outside Levi’s house, our Fred finds his Daphne in Ella Benjamin, who also happens to be looking for Levi. A cop comes over to yell at the two for being on private property, so Ryan naturally does the most sensible thing he can think of and starts kissing Ella. “From the looks of that kiss, she’s all in. Don’t screw it up,” the cop tells him. (Must be nice to be as charming as Ryan.) The mystery-solving duo continue romantically stalking Levi as they hack into his computer from the hood of a car while gazing out at the LA skyline and eating Chinese food. Once they successfully hack Levi’s computer and see a stash of photos of Vicky, they realize he’s been the one catfishing Oscar; the one to whom Oscar has been revealing his deepest, darkest secrets (and the occasional dick pic) over the last few months.

Meanwhile, we finally get the beginnings of a Louise Herrick origin story, something I’ve been waiting for since episode 1. (Louise’s off-air act was getting a bit old.) Julia is given an exclusive video of a soldier being beheaded, but Louise is adamant that they not air in on LHL. Julia agrees at first, but eventually goes against her word and plays the video live on air, visibly upsetting a difficult-to-fluster Louise. She storms off the set, telling Julia, “You self-centered little bitch, don’t you ever do that to me again.”

Eventually, Louise reveals that when she was a reporter in Afghanistan; she fell in love with Pascal, an interpreter. He gave her his lucky compass to keep her safe in the war zone, but he was taken hostage by insurgents and beheaded. “You think I’m just some ditzy party girl when I’m not on the air,” Louise spits at Julia. “If you weren’t so busy looking down on me, you’d understand. I don’t believe in luck anymore — I believe in work.” She expresses her disappointment in Julia for not valuing their friendship and her request more, but quickly reverts back to her margarita-chugging self when a boy knocks on the door. Even so, it feels like a weight has finally been lifted now that Louise has some semblance of substance.

The episode ends with Jake offering Julia an exclusive Oscar Keaton interview for LHL. What a good friend!

And did I mention?

  • “Hey, can you spot me 100 bucks? I’m meeting the girls at the strip club… I want to make it rain.” —Louise
  • “Jake’s the god of darts… all hail the god of darts.” We couldn’t have picked a more exciting sport?
  • There was a B story involving a famous rock star drugging and raping female fans, but the whole thing felt very contrived and desperate to be socially relevant. It was nice to watch Julia stand up for her beliefs after her boss said he’d fire her if she had the rock star’s victims on the show, buuuut the way the whole thing wrapped up (one of the victims admitted to drugging/trying to kill the rock star) felt strange to me.

So what did you think? Did you miss Bradley this week? Were you happy to get some backstory on Louise?  

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