‘I May Destroy You’ Episode 3 Recap: “Don’t Forget the Sea”

It might not be the right time, but there’s something about episode 3 of  I May Destroy You, “Don’t Forget the Sea.”

I May Destroy You Season 1:

Episode 1 – “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes”

Episode 2 – “Someone is Lying”

Episode 3 – “Don’t Forget the Sea”

I’ve always loved the ocean. Its salty scent, the way it laps up on the sand and the way it sifts, cresting foam of blues and darker hues. It’s a painter’s dream come true. There is a downside to all of that beauty, however. There’s something called an undertow. It’s violent. It knows no soul, neither does it care about it. You could happily call a lifeguard, but we all know that’s silly. The waves don’t care about you. Welcome to the third episode of I May Destroy (HBO) titled “Don’t Forget the Sea.”

We open up 3 months earlier on the sun-drenched streets of Ostia, Italy, where Arabella (Michaela Cole) is hashing out her next solipsistic work of art. As stated before, it’s more of an all-expenses-paid work trip than a holiday, though the posh digs she’s put up in has her newly touched-down girl, Terry (Weruche Opia), thinking otherwise. This includes a four-post bed Terry vows to totally post-up on before her stay is over. She may have met her new match-ress.

Cuddling on the bedding with Bella, Terry lays claim to using anything she’s written for auditions or to simply cast her in future projects that will involve Arabella’s work. This is not even a question, as they both have each others’ backs until the end- but looking too far ahead distracts from the now. It’s Terry’s first day in Ostia and what better a warm welcome than making some delectable weed-infused pasta. I mean, when in Rome, amiright?

Back on the streets, they are TOASTED. This is pretty ostensible when they dip into a pizzeria, barely being able to sit upright, let alone order a pepperoni Za but successfully pissing off the cameriere.

Thankfully, they are tended to by another of the waitstaff, Mathilda (Camille Dugay Comencini), and she clearly is picking up on what Bella and Terry are putting down. She tells them her local hookup at the basketball court is a good spot to score some choice shit.

On the court, in the cut, the two women scout for their connection without trying to look like a bunch of narcs. Mathilda finds them and introduces them to Biago (Marouane Zotti). In one fell swoop, they are given ketamine, coke, and molly, in addition to an invite to a party from Mathilda. In exchange, Arabella gives them her phone for the contacts and details, but only Mathilda complies, while Biago rebuffs. Terry side-eyes her bestie, as one contact is technically more than enough.

Later that night, as the dynamic duo get ready in the same bathroom, Terry reveals she’s not looking to get down with any of Biago’s friends or friends of friends. Basketball players aren’t her speed, as she claims to desire intelligence and people her height. I have to say, these two clearly have a very intimate bond if Terry can get primped in the mirror as Bella is urinating in front of her. Hey, they both have one thing on the mind: “Where is my shot glass?”

At the club, Arabella and Terry decide on their appetizer for their starting course. Molly, it is, decides the guest, and this soon moves outside to one of the couches. There, they debate on who has the power over their respective life paths during a cig. While each one makes a case for the other, Bella takes it away with the zen motto, “Control what you can, no more, no less.”

Not soon after, they both begin to roll. This is what you aim for with the high, and it’s gorgeous with every word feeling like a cloud you can hop on and get lost in. Terry is especially feeling it, but, as we’ve known before, there’s always someone not satisfied with what lies in front of them (I got your back, Arabella) and, in Sade’s words, need for “higher highs.”

Bella’s antics nearly get her booted from the club a few times, but, instead of turning the volume down, she ratchets it up, retreating into the loo to do a bump… or a few.

I mean, once the music hits you, it’s like a drug, but, whereas Terry is satisfied with riding the wave, some of us writers are so full of ourselves *raises hand* at times, we think not only does the crowd like our sloppy behavior but also that it will provide an almost Hunter S. Thompson-esque magic to the next passage we may pen. You know, for the craft.

This includes Arabella decamping to the bathroom a few more times to maximize her night and even takes an unknown pill from an Italian woman as they ‘freshen’ up.

It matters none, though, as she’s tearing up the dance floor in more of an impish way, rather than what she perceives in her drug-addled mind as adding to the party. She proves a nuisance to the manager of the club, as well as the DJ, and, though I’ve never been properly kicked out of a club when I was in my ‘exploratory’ period as a writer, I wasn’t exactly the most tolerable among friends in a few instances.

When a fight breaks out near Terry in their booth, she decides to split. There’s absolutely no bloody reason for her to be there, if this was a night for them, and her friend abandoned her for the attention she so seeks. Though Bella implores her to stay because she thinks they are going to spin Hamilton, enough is enough. The high is killed though not the comedown with her friend being the anti-drug. How ironic.

As with every quick high, there needs to be the countervailing, and Arabella drops. As she arrives at her senses, she cannot find Terry, and nobody in the club has seen her or at least anything her mind can conjure up in so many words as a writer. How ironic.

Elsewhere in the moon-drenched streets of Ostia, Terry navigates with her phone as the only possibly ‘safe’ friend to the hotel.

Coming across a disco, she meets someone named Giovanni (Alessandro Carbonara), who hits on her by saying she’s beautiful and that he likes Mountain Dew. Way to fucking go, America! We’re literally a commercial to Europe… but fuck it. Terry’s already chalked the night up to a disappointment. Why not make Limoncello out of lemons? (Yes, I know Limoncello is out of Sorrento, but it still is intoxicating all the same.)

As the club pours out, Biago waits with Arabella for Terry with no sign of success in sight. Her anxiety mixed with her coming down has hit at an all-time high (and not the good one) so he escorts her to the apartment in hopes that Terry would be there.

At the other club, Terry takes on the role of ‘writer,’ mirroring her friend to impress Giovanni. This lands as a win, as Terry ends up dancing with her new suitor. With her magnetism growing stronger, another man cuts in to dance. This is Luigi (Alberto Brosio), and Giovanni couldn’t be happier.

Arabella stumbles along the streets with Biago by her side. Their little journey takes them from public urination on her part to just chilling out and partially sobering up… on her part. Playing a song she would know, she’s impressed.

However, that’s nowhere near as impressed as she is when she finds Terry at her place with both Luigi and Giovanni all in. Take that as though wilt.

This arouses the curiosity in Bella as they retire to the living room, offering Biago a bump and a drink. Though refused and doing both herself, the backdrop of Daft Punk’s “Something About Us” sets the mood, and Biago isn’t exactly turned off.

Arabella goes in for the kill and wrests a kiss from her guest and before things are about to progress, she warns him that she’s on her period and that this would be a first for her, but he claims to not mind, but she wasn’t expecting. Un Periodo pesante.

With the towel lain in the other bedroom, Biago is ready to explore. A tender kiss from Biago’s lips meets Arabella’s as the tampon is removed by his hand. It is shown, which personally would be met with a bit of controversy by guys, but an open note to guys: FUCK OFF. It’s what happens and just because you have an aversion towards it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

This is underlined by pulling out a blood clot in its cylindrical state and rather than being disgusted, Biago is fascinated. It is Arabella with whom the mood has been lost. He wants to take her someplace though to make it up to her.

Truly, the only one maybe hurting is Terry, as once they are all done, both guys depart as if it was some hand-shake type understanding. Was it worth it to her all along?

Back on the streets, Biago is able to get Bella access to a sunrise on the beach. He wishes she wouldn’t poison her body with what she does, but that’s mainly because he likes her and he’s not exactly proud of what he supplies- he’s lost both his mother and sister to heroin overdoses.

As she writes him off as being a party pooper and him telling her not to come crying to him when shit goes down, they stare off into the sunrise above the waves as Daft Punk’s “Something About Us” takes us out.

The episode was great for a few reasons. In the scenarios, we’re given gradients of consent with both Terry and Arabella. We’re also given their tight nature until we see what ultimately separates them- two differing lusts for life. We’re also given Bella’s relationship with Biago and how it factors into it all thus far. Lastly, we’re reminded not to forget about the beauty of the ocean in all its calm because it doesn’t discriminate when tides turn.


Robert Kijowski
Robert Kijowski
Robert Kijowski is a script writer who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He's written for pop culture and film websites alike. You can hear him on Spotify (After the Credits) and reach out on Instagram, X or by English Carrier Pigeon.

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