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Deception 1x4 “Don’t Be a Dummy” Recaplet

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Everybody deals with the fallout from last week’s revelation; everybody finds a new place to live; Motorcycle is indebted to the Senator.

For what it’s worth I’m still listening to that song from last week, so, good call. I just wish that song — these actors, these characters, that pilot — were half as respectfully or lovingly used as this spiraling piece of crap once deserved. It’s like they built this beautiful thing out of clay and then before it dried they handed it over to some monster who got to smush and crush it any way he wanted, except he didn’t want anything in particular, because he is a monster and his main thing is smush-and-crushing. And I realize that’s network, and I realize that’s especially NBC, but goddamn is it gross to watch something beautiful get smushed and crushed like this, week after week.

Haverstock is revealed — over Sofia’s amazing objections — as Mia’s father within the first five seconds of the episode. To his credit, Julian supports Joanna’s glacial journey to this realization out of pure desire for transparency and not really any other agenda. By the end, Sofia’s thrown a glass or two and Joanna’s very nearly raised her voice. Have no fear, she blames herself — and hangs around the house to properly feel bad about it, inches away from the people she’s I guess destroyed by gingerly pointing out that they obviously hid a pregnancy.

The FBI notices that Edward was randomly watching Ben Preswick get run over by a bus, which they Occam’s Razor into thinking he was involved in the death, because why else — besides them both being characters on a more-and-more incredibly contrived show — would he just happen to be there? Will goes to Edward’s house to charm him about it, wearing a hoodie and trying to Good Cop him — suddenly, because they are bros suddenly — but although Edward likes him for no reason at all, what can you do? He was just contrivedly standing there.

After apparently hours on a motorcycle, Mia finds herself with Kyle in a friend’s empty vacation home tomorrow, which is now today. She and the leathery pile of orange sinew known as Motorcycle get very blush-face about changing clothes together, as if they have just met, and dress up/act like assholes.

This apparently necessitates Sofia dressing up like a cat burglar from The Matrix, grabbing a bunch of cash, and waltzing out to a “spin class” — to which Joanna follows her — in Harlem. Should Joanna figure out the why of this? Not according to Will, who calls her a titular “dummy,” because he is awful. Because she actually is a dummy, Joanna attempts to infiltrate Sofia’s Harlem connection by claiming to have lost a ferret.

Will’s only plan is to sexually aggress Sofia on the street like a fucking rapist, and meanwhile Joanna attempts to explain ferrets to a person who has never heard of them, which guy immediately pulls a knife on her also for no reason. Who is impressed by this? Will. But they connect the lines to the heroin overdose, which makes Sofia the main suspect. Then Will makes a bunch of problems for no reason about Joanna finding Mia.

…Who is doing fine dressing up in the same asshole outfits and going to Trader Joe’s with Motorcycle in an endless asshole-fun musical montage. I can’t even talk about Mia anymore. They are dressed like clowns, like actual clowns. What a stupid way to burn.

Edward with Robert, and Julian with Haverstock, spend almost an entire act desperately trying to make Haverstock being Mia’s father an interesting plotpoint — “Am I a rapist, or was she just a slutty teen plus I was in love with her for real?” — but the upshot is that Haverstock maybe still has the golf club Edward maybe used to kill that girl he killed that time. Robert can’t go after his ex-BFF for knocking up his slutty daughter because Haverstock has Edward’s fate in his hands. Which is confusing for Edward, who now thinks he is a murderer some more.

Mia is honestly reacting to all this stuff pretty realistically, when she’s not acting out in ridiculous clich├ęd ways, so — despite all Motorcycle’s blue-collar protestations — she takes his virtue handily. Luckily Joanna, who is no longer following Sofia like yesterday, has NYPD’s Gabe’s support because randomly he doesn’t respect or trust Will.

Julian randomly offers to drive Joanna to Jersey because they are back in love or something. When her phone rings on the drive, she literally asks Julian to answer it for her, because while she is an undercover cop she is for one moment the stupidest person alive. Will’s problem with this? She’s with Julian. So Will takes the title again.

Meanwhile Sofia gets a favor out of Robert simply by crying over the fact that she got burned for lying about her kid in the first place; her concerns stop being the ones I care about because I love her and start being the main ones of the show regardless, because that is some shit.

While Haverstock saves Motorcycle from a random cop encounter that exists only so that this plotpoint will happen, Joanna somehow convinces Mia to go stay with Julian by being super weird. Julian tells Mia about Vivian’s plan to kidnap her, but leaves the weirder stuff for the morning. Edward tries again to send Samantha and the girls out of state, promising he killed that girl that time who he didn’t kill but thinks he killed.

Sofia has a very short, very crazy, very drunk talk with Joanna about everything that has happened this episode, and Joanna is kind of horrible to her about it, so Sofia calls her a dick and throws her out of the house and it’s awesome. Joanna’s first act is to tell Will that he was right about how dumb she is; her second move is to go stay with Julian, because they are all three right. She is a dummy, and she deserves nothing.

You know what’s an actual good show? Being Human on Syfy. You don’t hear about it much, and it has a lot of signifiers that say you wouldn’t like it, but it’s both technically better and actually better than this in every way you can think of. Give it a shot. NBC numbers are better than cable, but that’s only because people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing watch NBC. Same reason CBS is top of the meaningless ratings, same reason the album charts are dictated by Walmart and only recognize country music. It’s not that they’re dumber than you, or even that there are more of them: It’s that this industry makes decisions based on obsolete information. This ruined show is proof.

Next Week: Julian hits on Joanna and Haverstock tells Mia the big secret, but Joanna’s identity issues intersect with that horrible blogger’s situation in a very intense way that apparently has to do with a bakery mafia.

— Jacob Clifton