Our coverage of I May Destroy You continues with “Someone is Lying,” as Arabella tries to remember the night before.
I May Destroy You Season 1:
Episode 1 – “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes”
Episode 2 – “Someone is Lying”
Narratives are fascinating literary devices. The way something is or can be framed will lead the protagonist on a journey, and an interesting one at that. There is Reverse Chronological, which is telling the story backward in order to arrive at some resolution. There’s also the stream of consciousness method, whereby the main player puts you, the audience in the driver’s seat as the car may go as fast as their mind pleases. If you’re spiked though, with no recollection of who or what got you to the point where drawing a blank mixed with terrifying deja vu is a cocktail coursing through every fibrous sinew of your being, you might be co-morbid in all three plot-lines. Welcome to the second episode of I May Destroy You (HBO) titled “Someone Is Lying.”
Arabella (Michaela Cole) is sitting down to lunch with Terry (Weruche Opia) and relaying back the night’s events. To T’s surprise, Bella was a bit cheeky hanging out with Simon on a weeknight, to which Arabella claims that he was Terry’s friend first. This might be the classic retort we’ve all used to absolve ourselves from any direct association with what debauchery might go down. Terry’s concerned though. Her bestie’s listlessly poking around her full plate of grub as if somehow to wake it up. Dodging any awkwardness, Arabella boxes up her food and Terry’s worries with the excuse of “constipation.” You win this round, Bella.
Back on the street, Terry practices her lines for her Feminist Beauty Campaign audition as Bella follows along on her phone, which is smashed. Upon being inquired, a worried look flashes across Arabella’s visage. Though admitting to doing a bump off of Simon, Terry calls him on her friend’s behalf. Though interrupting him at his high profile banking job, through Bella’s questioning, Simon obliquely tells her A.) He walked her to her flat and B.) She fell, hence the cracked head and screen.
An uncomfortable exuberance meets Arabella, and she immediately hangs up… she’s just relieved because, well, she’s been seeing this vision of a man in a toilet stall ‘doing something a bit dodge.’ Giving T pause, they both continue into her place, and, with a curious but less anxious nature (now that she’s vindicated), she’s telling her how he’s somehow blocking the door, and she keeps hearing this thumping. “Hmm.”
She’s been keeping her mind busy with YouTube videos though, as she shows Terry clips of Ironic process theory, the act of seeing something even though it never was. The foible is that Bella’s not thought of this to go back to… but before she can go deeper, a new part of her brain flairs up- Biago video calls and Terry remedies the situation by helping her friend get back to sleep and fixing her fallen poster after a long night of writing. Did we tell them, we made our deadline?
Sleep mask on and hair tied up, we start to fall into a slight slumber, but we see something. Eyes closed with the force of a synthetic mask, another vision appears.
We’re hazy at an ATM tonight, and the numbers seem to miss us, we aren’t missing them. STOP!
Arabella takes her sleep mask off, and the poster falls off the wall once more.
Terry’s understandably nervous before her audition but is camera ready. After stating her full name and IG handle with her follower base number, she’s asked by the people behind the cam what her most freeing moment was. Grappling with it but with a smile that can tell a thousand stories, she coyly puts off that query for the moment.
This campaign will be situational clips of women playing sports, doing yoga, applying makeup, but Terry’s is the hair segment. They run lines and she nails it. Not one to shy away from confrontation and proud of it, she admits that she’s wearing a wig made of human hair, that can be washed in the segment if need be, but it becomes a little too uncomfortable is when she’s asked to take her wig off on the spot. She refuses, as she would if she were prepared with that question, but she handles it like a fucking pro.
Upon them saying the industry “Fuck You” but actually saying “Thank You For Coming,” she walks off, but not before going back in and answering their last question. She had a threesome once. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when the Queen become a Boss.
Back in their posh flat, Simon (Aml Aneem) and his girlfriend Kat (Lara Rossi) sit down to a comfortable meal of some weird concoction he’s made, as they sit down for a bit of telly. When Terry rings him, he flat out denies it.
Back in their humble flat, Bella and Ben (Stephen Wight) enjoy a toke and watch shit on consciousness until he notices her wound, still bloody like one of those religious icons they claim do. After a bit bandaging, she relays her night to him and they go over her debit card. She spent 40 in Camden, which is a way from her home in Soho.
Cozy in Simon’s domicile, Arabella tries to confirm all of his statement from before. First confirming he walked her back (despite a 45 minute to and from) and then floundering, he claims it was an Uber. Something is amiss, and this is all in the midst of his girlfriend of 8 years, as her face seems more aghast. Not leaving any stone unturned, she takes a photo of his Uber trail from his phone and wanders onto of all the places, Alissa’s doorstep in Camden.
Much to her surprise, Alissa (Ann Akin) answers, claiming that whatever happened the night before was a gas, though she woke up with no recollection. Plus, her calls to Simon have been ghosted. Arabella has finally a crux in her argument, and, still not wanting to know what it means, posits to Alissa a “What If” scenario and, seeing as though they are both mutual friends with Simon, hell breaks loose.
Not only does Alissa accuse Arabella of being a psycho for accusing Simon, not only who is stepping out, but also orchestrating a rape, Bella runs for the next clue because being shouted out from the estates to stay away from him and labeled a ‘psycho’ for all of Camden to hear, is clearly not her game. Denial isn’t exactly a river, but rather a dam-break to some.
In the Uber she’s called, T calls and nothing might be the same ever again. Arabella confirms she’s been spiked and is head to the Police Station as well, and, clearly, Terry is concerned.
At the station, with her friend Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) by her side, Arabella recounts the moments of that evening to the those assigned to her case, Officer Funmi (Sarah Niles) and Officer Beth (Mariah Gale).
Bella tells them she doesn’t believe that neither Simon nor Derae would spike her drinks to harm her, but two other individuals she had no further knowledge of were in attendance, but she couldn’t remember their names.
She also mentions Simon would have no reason to take her to Camden unless he just dropped her off in the middle of nowhere. That is upsetting to both her and Kwame. Personally, I think it’s part denial, but, if it’s true, she would be covering up for her friend Kat, for if this were to hit the paper, it would wreck the better friend.
She does mention to Kwame, though that she had made her deadline! A beacon of light in a dank place.. but Funmi knows. They liken him to David from her description, but she refuses to call it a memory but rather a vision. Something that can go away.
Distortions of the vision seem real when Funmi stands above her, and the final nail in the coffin is when she asks if Arabella can see his Eyes. That is when she breaks down and Kwame can only comfort her.
After sharing a smoke with someone that is so numb to it she can’t feel it anymore, Arabella is released into the arms of Kwame at her home with Terry.
Terry’s beauty campaign audition didn’t go so well, but she’s for her friend right now. With Bella on his lap and tears in Terry’s eyes, I think we have a story to tell… especially when Kat comes rapping on Alissa’s door.
Overall, I think this really tautly tied both episodes in and it was super hard to watch. That’s not bad. I want to be challenged. It was reported that Michaela Cole wrote 191 drafts of the entire series and I can clearly see why.
This is her story… and so many others’.