“How does a Khloe Kardashian–inspired vacation turn into a felony charge?” Well, if you’re Anna Delvey … pretty easily, it turns out. At least, that’s the story we get in episode six, “Friends in Low Places,” also known as Kacy’s episode, which features some funky FX as she fills in for Vivian the blanks of the ill-fated Morocco trip she, Anna, Rachel, and a videographer named Noah (Christopher Lowell) took after Anna moved out of 12 George. It’s not just the quick cuts and stylized rewinds; this whole episode takes a slightly different track from the recent pattern. There are no visits to Anna at Riker’s and no Scriberia team helping Vivian research.
You’d be foolish to assume that Scriberia’s absence means Vivian isn’t going to try and tell the latest installment of the Anna Delvey story to someone, though — this time, it’s her and Todd doing a tag-team story time when they’re out to dinner with their spouses. A journalist and the lawyer of the subject she’s reporting on out on a double date. Is this allowed?! What if America Investigated gets wind of this, Vivian?
Anyway, both Jack and Mags already know all this — because, again, Vivian has an Anna Delvey conspiracy wall at home and Todd basically sleeps on his Anna files as pillows — but we don’t! WTF happened in Morocco, and why are Vivian and Todd so jazzed about procuring the unedited film footage of the trip? Vivian, by the way, seems to have snapped out of her “less enamored of the Anna story” mood from the last episode and is back to being ALL IN. Maybe she’s just excited to live vicariously through the footage from the Marrakesh trip because it is absolutely exquisite. This whole show provides some seriously nice-looking rich-people shit to feast one’s eyes upon, but this episode takes it up a notch — the scenes in Marrakesh are stunning.
Anyway, with Vivian’s interest renewed and her friendship with Todd clearly blossoming, we bounce around to some interviews; she first hits Noah, the videographer, who isn’t feeling all that chatty; then Kacy; then back to Noah; then a brief stop at Neff. But the bulk of the episode belongs to Kacy’s story, even though she got food poisoning shortly after the group arrived in Marrakesh and left early (a miserable happenstance that she now views as the universe’s way of protecting her). Kacy knows the whole story anyway because after she got a panicked call from Anna, claiming she was mugged and has no way home — asking Kacy to front her the funds for a first-class ticket back to New York — and after Anna showed up at Kacy’s apartment to crash for a night, Kacy got the full scoop on the parts of the trip she missed from Rachel. The picture Kacy paints for Vivian, which is filled in a bit more by a second talk with Noah, is one of an Anna who’s moved beyond “fake it ’til you make it.” Anna has been faking it for a long time now, and in some areas, like socially or sartorially, she’s “made it” (though the loan for ADF has still not come through). Anna in Morocco is an Anna teetering dangerously on the edge of desperation, inching ever closer to full flailing mode. An Anna who might know that her house of cards is about to fall and is either trying to run from the collapse blowback or have one last hurrah before it does. (Julia Garner portrays Anna’s increasing panic and twitchiness with aplomb.)
Yet despite her panic over her loan status, clearly slackening grip on her faux-wealthy lifestyle, the absolute meltdown she appears to have on the tennis court in Marrakesh, and how lost and disheveled she seems back in New York; Anna’s still able to wield her manipulation skills when needed. She cries to Kacy about getting mugged to get Kacy to book her a ticket home, claims ageism (as she often does) re: her treatment at the Beekman, then basically threatens suicide so Kacy will let her stay over for a night. She suggests a trip to the gardens Rachel has been gushing over as a way of getting Rachel back on her side after the first credit-card blow-up at the hotel. Is the drunken vulnerability she shows after hearing that Fortress has approved her loan, contingent on an in-person investigator visit to Germany to verify her assets, legit? Even in that state, she manages to spout some b.s. about her father advancing her trust so she doesn’t need the loan and will be turning it down. A flailing Anna is still a manipulative Anna who’s able to spin, even if she must know she’s running out of options.
So Anna’s world seems to have started its crumble, which makes sense at this juncture in the season and is proving as interesting to witness as her cunning rise, but the big question mark by the end of the episode is the Rachel of it all. Is she a good person who was totally bamboozled by Anna to the tune of $62k, like Kacy and Noah claim? Or is she a clingy hanger-on who definitely offered up her credit cards and then abandoned her supposed friend, as Neff believes?
After seeing Kacy’s side of things, it’s not hard to understand why she (and Rachel) would be so hesitant to visit Anna at Riker’s like they were in episode two and why they’d be putting up some boundaries. But Vivian clearly thinks she needs to hear Rachel’s story from the source herself, and as she adds photos from the Morocco trip to her conspiracy wall, she incessantly calls the Vanity Fair editor to try to get her to talk. That’s great and all, but what I want to know is: Will the conspiracy wall be down by the time Vivian’s baby arrives?
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
• Anna-ism of the Episode: “That was so rude. I’m going to leave them a one-star review on Trip Advisor.” The idea of Anna using Trip Advisor is pretty hilarious.
• Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge: Noah seems to suggest that he’s waiting on some payments for some contract work, which any freelance creative in New York media can tell you … is real.
• Fashion Is Life: “She threw her clothes in the recycling bin and then she told me the dress I found for her, the one dress in my closet I was willing to part with, was ugly? No. Uh-uh. She wore that dress. And from what I heard, it was the only thing she wore for the next couple weeks.”