TV

Twisted – Recap: Nothing to Chauffeur It

Recap and review of Twisted – Season 1 Episode 6 – Three for the Road:

While Twisted continues to be one of my favorite shows of the summer, “Three for the Road” is the first dud of the series so far. But even with that said, the episode still manages to be somewhat engaging, thanks to the performances of the three leads, as Lacey chauffeurs Danny and Jo out of state to an apartment complex that might hold the key to last week’s mystery. That said, whatever slack I cut Lacey last week is pretty much gone now, as she spends more than half of the episode being the most insufferable person on the planet (and I say this as someone who generally likes Kylie Bunbury).

The episode is tightly focused on the trio’s investigation into who sent the threatening letter and hush-money to Regina before her death, and this makes everything feel purposeful, even though they don’t make much progress in their investigation until the final act of the episode. But the problems arise whenever the episode chooses to focus on the ancillary characters, like Karen (Denise Richards) and Tess (Kimberly Quinn). Even the scenes with Kyle (Sam Robards) and Rico (Ashton Moio), whom I normally enjoy, felt weighted down with inaction. I get that the scenes between Karen and Tess are meant to remind us of who Vikram Desai was, and I imagine the scenes between Kyle and Rico are meant to further Rico’s conflicted feelings about what’s best for Jo, but just because a scene is necessary doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining. But it’s just so hard to really enjoy anything involving Karen Desai or Kyle Masterson. Thankfully, the writers utilize the central trio to pick up the slack considerably, using the pretext of Regina’s murder to explore how Danny’s crime five years ago had lasting repercussions on two people he cares about deeply.

Credit: ABC Family

Credit: ABC Family

In investigating the letter Regina received, the trio tracks the return address to a private apartment complex. The out-of-state road trip had originally been just Danny (Avan Jogia) and Lacey (Kylie Bunbury), and this would have been uncomfortable enough given their fractured friendship, but it’s made all the more awkward by Lacey’s insistence that their kiss last week was a mistake. But it turns out that the pair won’t have to worry about going it alone, as Jo (Maddie Hasson) is able to sneak out to join them, prompting an amusing series of scenes in which Danny exasperatedly tries to rekindle the friendship between the former friends. His attempts to steer the conversation just don’t work, as Lacey takes issue with Jo trying to paint herself as a victim when they discuss their shared childhood memories. Lacey is just profoundly obnoxious here, refusing to cut the girl any kind of slack whatsoever and finding issue in every little thing said by Jo, who is at least trying to go along with Danny’s attempts to make the car ride less awkward. For his part, Danny tries to prompt a reconciliation by locking the girls out of the car until they make up, but the truce is only temporary: when the gang finally gets to the apartment complex, they’re denied entry by a no-nonsense security guard, and this is the breaking point that leads to Jo and Lacey airing their grievances about the last five years.

Credit: ABC Family

Credit: ABC Family

Jo reveals that the reason their friendship ended in middle school was because Lacey went out of her way to make sure she didn’t get invited to a party to which the entire class had been invited. It sounds silly out loud, but Maddie Hasson really sells the hurt of rejection with her performance, and Kylie Bunbury also goes a long way in making Lacey’s choice at the time seem understandable. Jo had apparently been so screwed up by Danny’s arrest and conviction that she became impossible to be around, and so Lacey admits that everything Jo is saying is true, prompting Jo to rail against Lacey for what she perceives as a betrayal of their friendship. Jo felt Lacey didn’t stick up for the person who was supposed to be her best friend, and it’s a poignant moment that ends up being the best of the episode. Having hashed things out, the girls eventually make amends just long enough to discover that the person who lived in the apartment they need to get into is none other than Vikram Desai, Danny’s father. Naturally, the girls don’t tell Danny this, as he’d been off trying to find another way into the apartment complex at the time. It’s a genuinely interesting choice to have the girls opt not to tell Danny that the apartment was in his father’s name, as they’re now forced together by a secret. Danny thinks they went through all that trouble, and have nothing to show for it. For once, he’s the person from whom secrets are being concealed, and that’s compelling stuff, although I suppose another secret being kept from Danny is that Jo obviously has a crush on him — a fact Rico immediately pinpoints when meeting with Jo at school earlier in the episode. His jealousy of Danny, coupled with his complicated desire to protect Jo, is likely what prompts Rico to go to Chief Masterson with what he knows.

Credit: ABC Family

Credit: ABC Family

Rico’s scenes with Kyle feature a lot of figurative wheel-spinning, as Rico nearly confesses having seen Karen Desai throw the necklace off the pier last week, only to back off at the last moment. This goes on and on, and it’s apparent that Rico is just waiting for Kyle to force him to talk, so that he won’t have to willingly betray Jo. Once Kyle realizes Rico knows something, he tells Rico that withholding evidence in a criminal investigation carries serious jail time. However, when that doesn’t work, he appeals to Rico’s feelings for Jo, saying that telling him the truth is the best way to protect her. Kyle even gets a tender moment, explaining that Jo is the most important thing in the world to him, and all he wants to do is keep her safe. And so Rico confesses everything, saying that he saw Karen Desai throw something off the pier, and he’s pretty sure it was a necklace. Danny, for his part, tells Karen, when confronted, that the necklace was placed in his locker by some unknown party. He doesn’t know who put it there, he just knows it was there the day after Regina’s murder, and whoever put it there knew he would be the prime suspect in the investigation. It’s a frame-up, says Danny, but I’m still not sure I entirely trust him just yet. I’m not saying he murdered Regina or anything (hell, I still don’t think he killed his aunt), but I do believe there’s more he’s not telling us. And that makes Danny one of the more interesting lead characters that ABC Family has churned out in recent years.

Credit: ABC Family

Credit: ABC Family

Danny is, at the very least, more interesting than his mother, who flips out on Tess when the two get high and make pottery together, at which point Tess inadvertently confesses that she fooled around with Vikram Desai while he was dating her. It’s kind of a silly storyline that doesn’t fit with the rest of the episode, as the two women basically mess around with clay and smoke weed, but I did find the resolution, in which the two women make amends for the past, to be sweet. But I don’t know that the scene justified the rest of the plotline, which felt weirdly insubstantial when set against even the stuff with Kyle and Rico. But I suppose it was necessary to help us get a better grip on the late Vikram Desai, so in that sense, I get it. I guess the big question now is whether Vikram Desai actually was the person who sent the letter to Regina. They didn’t find a body after all…

Credit: ABC Family

Credit: ABC Family

“Three for the Road” is the first stumble in an otherwise unblemished season of television. But much like a scratch on a vintage roadster doesn’t prompt the owner to throw out the entire car, one iffy episode doesn’t ruin the five awesome ones that came before it.

TV ABC FamilyRecapTwisted

Got Something to Add?