A complete loss of subjective self-identity. Well, that sounds like a bushel of fucking sunshine, doesn’t it? Sonically, it’s “Mr. Sun (Miss Da Sun)” by Greetea Peng. The thing is you’re doing fine, right? That’s when you pipe in Tierra Whack’s “Pretty Ugly” until you’re left off imagining Daft Punk’s “Something About Us” and you realize the soundtrack to your life is more of something songs cannot sing a paeon unto. Though, if vengeance had a theme song, I would think this diamond needle on the mindfuckery finale of I May Destroy You (HBO) titled “Ego Death” would play just fine, Hi-Fidelity.
We open up just where we left off: outside of the Ego Death Bar. This is where Arabella’s (Michaela Coel) mind puzzle is taking shape. She stares through to her goal, not at it.
In the women’s bathroom, Bella’s shocked and shook. Terry (Weruche Opia) is standing by on their next move. Escaping into the next stall, her girl Bells is already two steps ahead, instructing Terry to put on a disguise. Now, T’s already thinking her girl is bonkers for surveilling the bar for so long, but Arabella knows that a criminal always returns to the scene of the crime. Her take on recidivism is a big risk, but Terry is down for the alliance as it is “spicy, blud.” They’re one out though. If Arabella’s the hook and Terry’s the line, who is the Sink Him?
Theo (Harriet Webb) makes the trio and now they wait for the rat to chase the cheese. In a white bob wig and a vinyl ensemble that would have Grace Jones envious, Bella sidles up to the bar and to David (Lewis Reeves). Terry wants to help and Theo knows exactly where thee actress can play her part.
At the bar, Arabella meets her assailant in the flesh and they lock eyes for the first time since that January 22nd night a year prior. He introduces himself as ‘Patrick’ and orders her a Gin and Tonic. As Terry is grinding up on his mate Tariq (Chin Nyenwe), David turns to slip something in Arabella’s drink. This is Theo’s time to shine.
As ‘Patrick’ blathers on about nothing of consequence to Arabella as she takes a few sips before tossing the drink, Theo snatches his drug and decamps to the Gentlemans’ room. Searching the stalls, she finds one, extracts a syringe, and takes this game to a whole new level, sucking his drug into it and not a moment too soon. Why? A ‘groggy’ Arabella enters with David. He kicks open each stall to make sure no one is present, but the present has yet to be delivered.
As if acting out a play, Arabella goes limp on the toilet, only to have him pick her up, slam her against the stall, cracking the glass, slipping off her knickers and putting them in his pocket as a keepsake. He proceeds to place her back on the toilet, facing him, and just as he’s about to undo his zipper, she tells him that a criminal always returns to the scene of their crime and asking him if the true criminal is he or she. Theo proceeds to stab him in the foot with his own medicine. She forces a kiss on him and though he begs for an exit, she holds the door shut until she lets him escape. Only now have they been formally introduced.
A scared and drugged David stumbles through the club and onto the street as Tariq follows him. The trio yuck it up in the stall, but that immediately turns to worry, as if he’s had too much, he’s a goner and if he’s had too little, he can go to the cops. Either way, Arabella’s drawers are filed in his jacket.
On the street, Tariq follows a very drugged and emasculated David. Tariq is worried, but David shoos him off. However, Three the Hard Way is on his fucking tail. All the way. Until he… fucking… drops. Even though Bella takes the evidence, she wants to see his dick. Terry thinks she’s out of her gourd, but she pulls it out and holds it. He wakes up and what proceeds is Arabella’s darkest desire. As Theo strangles him, Bells punches the fuck out of him until he chokes on his own blood (and the lack of oxygen.) PHEW! What. A. Rush!
Arabella takes the corpse with her on the train home and proceeds to put him under her bed. It may be a monster under her bed, but the hunt was good and well earned. She proceeds to write and post the last notes of her story on the wall, but she realizes they are stained with blood and her area rug ain’t getting any fucking cleaner.
The next morning, as Ben (Stephen Wight) tends to his trees, Bella stares off into the void. Upon being asked what is on the menu for the night, she asserts she’ll be at the old haunt that haunts her, haunting it. She opens the invite to him to watch and wait, but he declines, as he’s been doing. This time, it’s different, however.
Has this all been a fantasy? A proposed resolution to Arabella’s book? No, this can’t be it. It just can’t be.
That night at the bar, Bella notices Tariq and David palling it up. Heading into the Ladies’ room this time with T, Bella is about to buzz the fuzz. Terry puts her bestie in a stall and has her think this over. The police need evidence which Arabella cannot materialize… but what best friend doesn’t have an extra pin in their purse, an extra match for that cigarette, an extra plan for that man? The alliance in this scenario is still “spicy, blud.”
This situation calls for a bit of the ole’ charlie… and a good bit of it. It also helps that the Prodigy’s “Firestarter” flares up just as Bella’s nostrils do with a line… or several.
Arabella goes to David and is all in his face. She’s slightly worse than a club kid but more annoying for good reason. He actually takes notice. The hook is on the fish. Terry is grinding up on Tariq, the line is set.
While David orders two drinks for him and Arabella, spiking one, Arabella is in control. She bugs him high on cocaine and she is truly a fire starter (Drew Barrymore, eat your heart out.) While Terry grinds up on Tariq, Bella puts the moves on David and not in a sexy way. She has her swerve on and David takes her to the bathroom as T stops the dance and gets on her cellular.
In the bathroom, the same scenario is played out until Bells is splayed out and calls him by his name. Not ‘Patrick’ but rather David and knowing that he spiked her Gin. This scares him but arouses interest in him, as he gets violent with his prey. He tests her. Does she want something stronger? Does she cry? These are all the things he wants as he smashes her head against the glass, causing a crack as he pins her down.
Arabella’s eyes don’t waver. They don’t flinch. He spouts out some bullshite about how there are bigger problems in the world and an itty-bitty-wape isn’t her concerned as she’s one of the privileged. I believe the term he uses is “dumb, little whore.” She doesn’t flinch. She doesn’t waver. Staring a demon in the face is easier when you’ve already flagellated yourself for it. He means nothing to her. She’s bulletproof. Threats run off of her like raindrops.
This takes an interesting turn, as David now projects his violence and vitriol. He addresses ‘David’ (Arabella) as worthless and stupid and even swears to kill anybody that leaks that information out, even as he has her pinned. Though suddenly, he falls into her, sobbing. Though the police at Terry’s instance go into the bathroom, nobody is found.
Instead, David is in Arabella’s room. With Arabella. On her bed. Why would she let a rapist into her sanctum? Well, for very good reason. Everybody has a story.
It turns out David’s been in the clink for rape and every type you can think of. Rape is compulsory for him and Bella is basically taming a dragon. He feels that even being on her bed with her isn’t right. Arabella is titanium now and he’s scared because she isn’t. She wrested his power. Even when the cops knock on her door, she gives him a warm embrace before she breaks down… and breaks out her pad as she writes the final notes to post on her wall on how to finish her book.
Arabella is staring into the vacuity of space and listens to the one bird chirp as Ben tends to his garden. As per usual in this time-loop, he complains about it. He asks what’s on the menu for the night and Bella is still scouting out the Ego Death Bar, putting out a standing invitation to him, to which he declines. This has been done time and again.
That night, as Arabella stares through the depths of Hell through one plate of glass, she heads into the bathroom with Terry. Only this time, Terry admits that her time in Italy with her two ‘suitors’ was a goddamned setup. This is Terry accepting her fate due to decisions made.
Arabella kicks open each stall and sees something different. And what’s behind stall number one? She envisions the rape victim from episode two. Another? The teenage versions of her, Terry and Theo being giddy about fucking over a rapist. This leads her into walking hand in hand with Terry into the Ego Death Bar again. Except it’s vacant. It’s the day, not night.
The roles are changed and Arabella is now plying David with a good time as Tariq is dancing for Terry.
In that same stall, which is now kind of patched up due to the broken glass, Arabella makes out with David… and they proceed into her bedroom.
What follows next isn’t a fallowed type of sex, but rather something different. They are a homunculus. They fall together in ecstasy as their times cum.
This prompts the next morning when Arabella is once again hearing the loud chirp of Ben’s hated bird. Bella looks at David with sleepy eyes and isn’t afraid of waking up next to him. He’s now a proper gentleman and when she asks his naked ass to leave, he does. As does his bloody corpse underneath her bed, carrying her abortion bag as well.
Arabella proceeds to write and post the last few notes on her wall before going off to the sweetest scene of the crime again… Ben. When he again complains about the bird she can only muster the patented “Hmm.”
What’s on the menu tonight?
Bella is on her bed with a parcel, but she’s afraid to open it. T jumps on it and does the honors of peeling back the packaging. Bella instructs her to flip to the dedication page.
Your Birth Is My Birth
Your Death Is My Death
This Is Dedicated To
Terry, My Best Friend
In the comfort of their own space, Terry, Arabella, Kai (Tyler Luke Cunningham), Theo, Kwame (Paapa Essidue) and Ben peep Terry’s new on-screen acting job for a mobile commercial and cheer her on. All is right with the world. Speaking of which…
Arabella is later speaking at a book store, which Sion (Ellie James) is moderating. It’s independently published and it’s called January 22nd, with which Arabella starts with a sigh… the same sigh of contentment she had on that beach in Italy.