You Recap: I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me


Best of Friends
Season 4 Episode 6
Editor’s Rating 2 stars


Best of Friends
Season 4 Episode 6
Editor’s Rating 2 stars
Photo: Vulture; Photo: Netflix

We are back from our brief intermission and find Joe … basically right where we left him. The police think Joe is a hero because he saved Roald. As Kate will later remark, drily, everyone seems to have forgotten that she is the one who pulled both men out of the dungeon. Which is weird, no? I mean, sure, sexism, duh, but isn’t Kate already famous? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the media to latch on to her involvement and not get so stoked about Joe?

As for the rest of the gang: Roald is getting out of town and wants Kate to come, but she’s not afraid of being serial killed; anyway, she’s busy throwing this big art event in memory of Simon. Adam is on the verge of bankruptcy and makes an absurd trade, his car collection for a diamond (but not a ring? How does he have the money to get it set? Whatever.) because he believes that he can charm Phoebe (who is already rich and does not need this diamond) into getting engaged to him because they are no longer broken up. In fact, they are “working their through issues,” which means Phoebe tries to tell Adam she thinks she’s being followed, and Adam placates her, tells her she’s being paranoid, and puts her up in the penthouse of the hotel he’s about to lose.

Joe is impressed that Rhys is running for mayor while serial killing. Who says men can’t multitask? Recon on Joe’s part yields virtually nothing useful: Rhys is either at home all the time or in places where media and/or the public surround him. I feel like Joe’s research skills are suspiciously and uncharacteristically weak here … maybe he isn’t finding anything about Rhys because there’s nothing to find out? Like, is Rhys even real??

I know at least one of you commented on the midseason finale recap that your theory is Rhys is Joe: Basically, Joe has a split personality because he can’t live with all that he’s done, and so he invented Rhys to justify his desire to keep on killing people. The only catch is that Rhys seems to exist too fully in the world that everyone else is in to not be a real person. Lockwood knows about him, as does Nadia; he’s spoken with journalists, and we’ve seen him on TV. (Right? Or has only Joe done that?) For instance, just now, Nadia pops over with some useful information: Her friend spotted Rhys going for a morning run in Regents Park. (This is EXACTLY the way Joe cornered Peach Salinger when he smashed a rock into her skull. My kingdom for new material!) So (b) Rhys is real, but Joe’s perception of him is all screwy, or (c) some third convoluted possibility that hasn’t even occurred to me. Speculate away in the comments!

Anyway, Joe doesn’t get to act on this tip because by the time he gets home Rhys is already there. Rhys says he wants a FRIEND. Allegedly Rhys’s motive for killing all his acquaintances was just to get rid of political liabilities, which does not track and adds more fire to the theory that Rhys is not the person behind these murders at all. (Couldn’t he have just paid them off? Seems like it would’ve been a lot less trouble!) Rhys tells Joe that they have something very special in common, but unfortunately, Joe disappoints Rhys by failing to kill Roald and, in so doing, pin all the Eat-the-Rich murders on the neofascist with a knife collection. So now Joe has one last chance to make it up to Rhys: Find someone to frame for it all, or Rhys will make Joe go down for it.

I mean … sure? Fine? Is this thrilling anybody? If Rhys is just Joe, it would be much juicier to have that confirmed earlier in the season so we can be invested in these goings-on. I feel like this would have a lot more pop if Rhys weren’t some random guy we met five episodes ago. Wouldn’t it be more meaningful if Rhys had an actual connection to Joe and his murders from earlier seasons — what if he knew Beck? Or Mr. Moody, the bookstore guy?? As it is, Rhys is a very by-the-numbers baddie, and his apparent link to Joe is sort of tenuous, bizarre, and lacking in any real oomph. Which tells me that a twist is coming, and Rhys has been Joe all along, which … is not as interesting as Rhys being someone else, if you ask me!

But back to our program. A blonde woman, who we will later learn is named Dawn, was lurking in the crowd at Rhys’s press conference and appears yet again at Kate’s art event, in Adam’s last-minute employ, as a waitress who will definitely never get paid by Sundry House. Though Kate emphatically did not invite Joe, he’ll be there at Phoebe’s insistence.

Phoebe assures Joe that she’s never seen Kate so smitten with anyone as she is with him. I really want to be excited about Joe and Kate because that’s clearly the relationship we’re supposed to be invested in this season, but I’m just not FEELING it. Are you? (Penn Badgley talked on his podcast about his desire to do as close to zero intimate scenes on this show as possible, but you don’t have to be doing anything explicit to sell me on these two really clicking. With great chemistry, all you need is, like, eye contact!) And since we never got any real closure with Marienne, I don’t know how we are supposed to square Joe’s investment in Kate with this purported eternal devotion to a woman he wanted to run away with and who he knows is still out there, hating his guts.

Phoebe also tells Joe about her fears that she’s being followed. Unlike Adam, Joe listens long enough for Phoebe to run through the suspects, which means we are treated to the same single-bullet-point bios of the third-tier members of Phoebe’s inner circle. We already know Blessing’s entire personality is that she runs pyramid schemes! Cut the filler and stop making these episodes 50 minutes long! If the justification for this is to catch us up since the midseason break, may I just say that the midseason break served no purpose but to sap any momentum the show was trying to build! Another contender is someone named Connie, who has no alibi and has made no impression on me, but I have no idea who he is, except in the second episode of this season, he was the “horse guy.” Do with that what you will.

Joe finds Connie with a broken nose because he “fell over a loo,” and I thought maybe that was a euphemism for something or that he was doing something violent and plot-related, but it appears that, no, he just … fell over a loo. Joe manages to convince himself that framing Connie would actually help this addict recover when you really think about it. Then Joe gets a text from Rhys to check his freezer, which, what do you know, has yet another body part in it. This time it’s Simon’s ear. Lovely. Joe needs to plant this ear on someone TONIGHT, or “it’s on you tomorrow.”

At the art event — the perfect place to plant an ear on an unsuspecting soon-to-be suspect — detectives are also in attendance. I wonder why exactly planting the evidence is even Joe’s problem. Didn’t Rhys explicitly say all Joe had to figure out was the “who” and Rhys would take care of the “how”?

Niko, a shipping heir and bachelor in the mold of that Stavros guy who dated Mary-Kate way back when, arrives to do a lot of cheek kissing and flirting with Kate. Everything he says is exactly what she wants to hear: he doesn’t work for his dad anymore, he’s free now, chasing his own passions!! Meanwhile, Adam corners Joe to say that he will propose to Phoebe, so can Joe please say a bunch of nice stuff about him to her? Joe turns around and runs into Nadia and Edward, whom you may recall as the guy who was arguing so heatedly with Nadia during class in the premiere that Joe predicted they’d either kill each other or date, which is what they’re doing now. I love that Nadia’s reaction to seeing Joe at this event is to blurt out, “I’m confused. Are you rich?” Nadia wants a selfie with Lady Phoebe “ironically,” which feels very out of character. I get that she needs to want this for plot reasons, but it lands so awkwardly.

Kate moseys over to Joe to accuse him of sending her mixed messages. Joe can’t have this conversation right now because he needs to leave a severed ear in Connie’s pocket. Except he can’t do that because — surprise! — Connie says the conversation he had with Joe earlier in this episode was the wake-up call he needed to book himself into rehab. Joe is struck with late-onset conscience and cannot frame this soon-to-be-saved young man. So Joe is still stuck with the ear.

Phoebe is told by Dawn, our blonde waitress, that the police have asked her to quietly escort her to the safe room. I don’t mean to be harsh, but why on earth would Phoebe believe a waitress she has never met has been entrusted with this task? Nadia observes their suspiciously swift entrance into an elevator. Dawn, we soon learn, is Phoebe’s stalker, and she traps Phoebe in one of the Sundry House rooms. While Phoebe lives out her nightmare, Niko buys Simon’s entire art collection. He swears he’ll be loaning most of them to the National Gallery of Athens. He tells Kate point-blank that she is hot and smart and sexy and loves having sex, soooo what are they waiting for? Honestly, great pitch. She agrees to a tryst the following night.

Nadia tells Joe what she saw regarding Phoebe and the elevator, and Joe immediately clocks that whoever pulled Phoebe away was not, in fact, the police. For some reason, it does not occur to the police to check any of the rooms of this hotel. But it does occur to Joe, who very quickly figures out what room Phoebe and her captor must be in.

Dawn has a giant knife, so, it’s not an ideal situation. I write in my notes: I wonder how quickly Phoebe will dump Adam once she finds out he’s the idiot who hired this waitress without doing a background check. In a funny twist, Dawn’s obsession with Phoebe has allowed her to gain insight that Phoebe does not even have: Dawn knows that Adam is broke, and she reports as much to her “best friend.”

Joe knocks on the door (he is unarmed?? For some dumb reason???), and I must say I loved Phoebe’s delivery of, “Yes, the paparazzi lady I only speak to through the television!” I scream to myself: Joe, drop a PIN or TEXT somebody for the LOVE of GOD. Instead, he just goes inside and locks the door behind him. Dawn, hilariously, tries to tell Phoebe that Joe “is a con man or worse,” but Phoebe isn’t buying that. Joe has a great voice for hostage negotiations, and Phoebe has remarkably quick reflexes; she manages to get the knife from Phoebe and yells that she is tired of being “fake protected.” During this scuffle, Joe slips the ear into Dawn’s backpack. In a convenient or suspicious twist, depending on your point of view, Joe is the hero yet again. But Nadia is starting to wonder about him, and I am rooting for her!

Joe has some long game to expose Rhys as the real killer and ultimately exonerate Dawn. WHY? I’m sorry, but this is so convoluted and has nothing to do with the fun heart of the show, which is subverting the supposedly “romantic” tropes of boy-meets-girl-does-anything-for-her that makes You so fun when it’s really in the zone!!

In a confab with Edward, Nadia applies the rules of whodunits to their real situation: “Where was the last time you read something where the outsider kept being the hero but actually had no deeper connection to the story?” I know, of course, she is talking about Joe, the “outsider,” but I am hoping this is an extra-meta line by the writers promising that at some point Rhys will be revealed as someone from Joe’s past.

Adam takes Phoebe to a fancy picnic to propose to her, and instead, she dumps him, confessing that she knows all about his money problems — ”I found out from my stalker, of all people” — and saying that if he really loves her, he can sort out his financial problems and come back to her then.

Niko meets Kate at her place, but just as they are starting to have a very good time, Niko’s phone buzzes with a text that says, “call me after,” and it’s from … TOM LOCKWOOD. Buddy, SAVE HER DAD’S NUMBER UNDER A CODE NAME. Amateur hour! Niko tries to argue that Kate’s dad is a good guy who wanted to do something nice (it is hilarious to think of her dad sending her a hot fuckboy to buy her art and make her come just so he, the dad, can be … supportive?). For the 10 millionth time, Kate says these “gifts” are just her father’s way of controlling her and proving that he can manipulate her no matter what she does. Joe observes all this through the window because Kate never closes her curtains. After Kate throws Niko out, Joe goes over.

Joe tells Kate that she’s not crazy; there is something between them. He explains that they cannot be together because, uhh, “My past is not great.” She says that she also has a past. I write in my notes okay, but did you commit a string of homicides? She promises they can have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy re: literally everything they ever did before the day they met. KATE. TERRIBLE IDEA. Joe is thrilled, and they finally kiss for real. But Joe still doesn’t spend the night for some reason. Odd, no?

When Joe gets home, Rhys is already there. Joe naïvely thought this whole thing was over, but Rhys says there is a main event: He wants Joe to kill Kate’s dad. Yet another character we have not met — and we’ve now had six episodes to meet people who matter — whose fate is supposed to be of interest to us.

You Recap: I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me