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The End of the F***ing World Recap: Daddy Dearest

The End of the F***ing World

Episode 7
Season 1 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****

The End of the F***ing World

Episode 7
Season 1 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****

Usually when I’m recapping a binge show, I’ll watch one episode at a time and write the recap before I keep going. But I’ll confess: When it came to The End of the F***ing World, I got weak. I couldn’t stop. So now I know how this all ends, and while my heart is breaking a little, I’ll do my best to keep it out of this particular recap. Next one, though, I may be a mess.

When last we left our heroes, they were standing outside Alyssa’s dad’s trailer. But far from the roguish Adonis with a heart of gold that Alyssa had imagined in her mind, Leslie is a drunk philosopher-cum–weed dealer who spouts off contemptuous platitudes about the world while contributing just about nothing to it. In Alyssa’s eyes, though, he can do no wrong. Her love for him is completely childlike, perhaps her last vestige of innocence. She tries to impress him with cool detachment, but finds it hard not to beam when he so much as glances at her. Alyssa admits that they’re in trouble, and Leslie tells them that whatever it is, they can stay with him.

James does not share Alyssa’s fondness for the guy — he observes that Leslie seems to be “missing parts” — and Leslie doesn’t particularly like James either until he watches him throw a knife directly at a bull’s-eye. At that point, Leslie asks James if Alyssa loves him, and seems genuinely relieved when James says she does.

Leslie offers to take James and Alyssa out on his boat, but is sidetracked by “work” — a.k.a. dealing drugs to teens who are younger than his daughter. The boat isn’t even much of a boat, but Alyssa’s steadfast belief that he’s going to take them out sailing says a lot about her blind faith in a man who’s never earned it. James wonders if they might not be safe hiding out with a drug dealer, but Alyssa won’t hear it.

Back at the police station, Eunice and Teri show James and Alyssa’s parents the security video of the robbery. Gwen immediately blames James and storms out, followed shortly by Tony. Phil tells the detective that tomorrow is his son’s birthday, and that he’ll be 18 the next day. He shows Eunice a childhood family photo of James, and then tells both cops about his wife’s suicide.

Eunice and Teri suspect that James and Alyssa have gone to her father’s place, so they suggest to the rest of the department that they stake out Leslie’s address — an address that, unbeknownst to the cops, Alyssa and James have already visited. Eunice suggests they go now, but Teri suggests they wait for James to turn 18. Then he can have a proper sentence. Eunice is horrified.

“He’s just a kid,” says Eunice.

“No, he’s not,” says Teri.

The two argue over whether or not James and Alyssa’s motives matter. Eunice thinks they’re just frightened kids and there’s no need to scare them with an armed police ambush. Teri wonders if this is about “something else,” and Eunice insists it’s not. She’s clearly horrified by Teri’s indifference to these two kids, who very likely did something bad in self-defense. (I no longer ship Eunice and Teri, by the way. Eunice deserves way better.)

The police arrive at Leslie’s old address and meet the current tenant, who denies having seen James and Alyssa. She swears she doesn’t know where Leslie is, either. Eunice gives her her phone number “just in case.”

Meanwhile, Leslie does half-naked yoga and tells Alyssa and James the wisest thing he’s ever heard: “To be mad in a deranged world is not madness — it’s sanity.” Alyssa asks who said it and Leslie replies, “Me.” Alyssa is in awe. James looks like he’s going to barf.

The trio heads down to the pub, with Leslie promising to take Alyssa out in the boat the next day. She can’t stop beaming. This is amazing. She’s with her dad … even if her dad is currently making out with the bartender.

James suggests to Alyssa that they keep moving, and Alyssa tells him to do what he wants before dancing with her father. James muses that Alyssa feels “far away” now, like they’ve reverted to how they were before. As they dance, Leslie starts crying and saying he’s useless. Alyssa assures him he’s not — after all, he sent her a card every year without fail.

The tenant of Leslie’s old apartment, whose name is Debbie, shows up at the pub. In tow is her son … Leslie’s son. Leslie isn’t involved in his life, either. Alyssa is devastated. Leslie runs out of the pub and gets in his truck. He backs up, not noticing that a dog has been sleeping under his back tires. The dog doesn’t die, though, and Alyssa and James decide to mercy kill it with a rock. James, who used to easily slaughter animals, starts crying, unable to do it. Alyssa grabs the rock and hits the dog. The implication is gutting: James opened himself up to his feelings because of Alyssa, but Alyssa herself has become colder because of her father. The dog whimpers and dies, and I yelled at my computer scream. Clive Koch’s murder didn’t come close to upsetting me as much as this dog’s death did.

Eunice and Teri check into a motel. Teri asks if she wants to share a room. Eunice says no. You go, girl.

Later, a vengeful Debbie texts Eunice with Leslie’s home address. Eunice doesn’t tell Teri where she’s going and leaves the motel room to stake out Leslie’s trailer. Inside that trailer, Leslie is watching TV when he sees the footage of the robbery and learns that Alyssa and James are murder suspects.

There is no way this ends well. I mean, I know how it ends, because like I said, I cheated and watched ahead. (Sorry!) But even if I hadn’t, this much is pretty clear: If it’s not the end of the world, it’s certainly the end of the line.

The End of the F***ing World Recap: Daddy Dearest