CBS All Access’ Tell Me a Story season one episode six premiering on December 6, 2018 is one of the show’s best episodes thus far. It’s also one of the most heartbreaking as it includes the exit of a key player in one of the central storylines.
Recap ahead so spoilers abound…you’ve been warned.
Tell Me a Story season one episode six catches up with psycho Nick (Billy Magnussen) who’s in a decent mood as he prepares sandwiches to pack for lunch. He watches messages from Laney pop up on Ethan’s phone. (Nick murdered Ethan in episode five.) Nick uses Ethan’s severed finger to respond to Laney, determined to keep her from getting suspicious about Ethan’s disappearance.
Over at Colleen’s place, Tim (Sam Jaeger) tells Colleen the fight she overheard between him and Kayla wasn’t the truth. Kayla believes her mother died because her dad was cheating, but he describes the marriage differently. They were drifting apart before Kayla’s mom died. It’s not all black and white, but Kayla doesn’t want to discuss the grey areas.
When Kayla (Danielle Campbell) arrives downstairs for breakfast, she completely ignores her dad. Colleen (Kim Cattrall) is sick and asks Kayla to handle the deliveries at the store. Colleen makes sure her granddaughter understands the weather’s turning cold, placing a red scarf around Kayla’s neck before she heads off to school.
Kayla and Laney (Paulina Singer) walk to school discussing Ethan along the way. Laney calls him her Prince Charming, but Kayla doesn’t share that opinion. Texts from Nick interrupt their chat, and Kayla heads off to meet up with her sort of boyfriend, following a trail of long-stemmed red roses on the sidewalk.
Nick’s in an amorous mood and doesn’t seem worried about public displays of affection. He’s called in sick to school and wants to spend the day with her, but Kayla’s concerned she’ll get in trouble. Seeing Nick’s disappointed reaction, Kayla changes her mind and agrees to play hooky from school.
Their day off includes getting a caricature done of Nick in the park. Kayla watches the artist and admits she didn’t realize what big ears Nick has…or what big eyes he has. “Says the girl with the wolf tattoo,” replies Nick.
Nick and Kayla relax on the grass, and Nick looks at Kayla’s drawings in her journal. He’s impressed, and she admits she wants to go to art school in Paris. He’d love to accompany her and work on his novel. He suggests they run away to Paris or anywhere, and Kayla laughs at him. He then confesses he loves her which takes Kayla by surprise. (She believes everyone who loves her dies.)
The awkward moment’s interrupted by texts from Colleen. Kayla forgot to open up the costume shop and her grandmother’s pissed. Kayla’s upset she forgot after Colleen asked her to do this one thing. She leaves Nick in the grass and heads off in a hurry.
Shortly thereafter, Kayla returns home and apologizes to Colleen. Colleen was forced to go to the shop to take care of the shipments, even though she’s ill. Kayla tries to smooth things over by showing her grandmother she stopped and bought soup and muffins.
Kayla reveals she skipped school and went to the park with the guy she’s been seeing. When Colleen asks how that went, Kayla, confused, replies, “Not good. He told me he loved me. How can he love me? He barely knows me.”
Kayla thinks the day’s been weird and she hates that she let her grandmother down. She hopes she’ll get a second chance. (Hasn’t her grandmother already given her third or even fourth chances at this point?)
After talking to Colleen, Kayla pays a visit to Nick. She breaks it off with him, telling him her mother just died and she has to stop running. She needs to begin dealing with her life and figure out everything in her personal life. “I need some time to breathe on my own,” explains Kayla.
Nick begs her not to push him away. She calls him amazing but simply can’t do this right now. After she walks away, Nick punches himself repeatedly in the face. He tosses a few items around his apartment in anger and then stares at himself in the mirror before slamming his head into it and cracking the glass into a million pieces.
That evening, Nick slips onto a bar stool a seat away from Tim. He asks Tim if he’s okay after Tim fails to respond to when he says he’s heard the place is pretty good. Tim apologizes, saying it’s been a bad day. He then agrees the place is good but adds that he has to say that since he’s the chef. They introduce themselves with a handshake, and Nick reveals he’s an English teacher at Westside. When Tim says his daughter goes there, Nick flashes his gorgeous smile and asks for her name.
Moving on to the siblings and their dysfunctional mother… Madeline (Polly Draper) serves her son, Gabe (Davi Santos), breakfast but Hannah (Dania Ramirez) remains in her room. Richard’s gone to make arrangements for Gabe and Hannah’s trip to Puerto Rico so it’s just Madeline and Gabe sharing a morning meal.
Upstairs, Hannah’s packing and Madeline brings her some aspirin, sure she’s suffering from a hangover after all the beers the prior evening. Madeline wants to know the real story about her daughter’s injuries, but Hannah doesn’t want to talk about it.
Madeline hands Hannah her old childhood bear and Hannah breaks out in a huge smile. Madeline admits she took the bear when Hannah was 10 after Hannah said she’d outgrown her stuffed friend. She’s kept the bear since then as a way of remembering her daughter. Madeline confesses she’s had multiple breakdowns and was treated for manic depression. She knows it’s not an excuse but wants Hannah to understand what she was going through. “Back then I believed you and Gabe were better off without me,” explains Madeline.
Madeline leaves and Gabe shows his sister his new outfit, courtesy of Richard’s closet. He’s packed a bag of Richard’s clothes and Hannah laughs about how he looks in Richard’s stuff. They hear a car pull up, but quickly figure out it’s not Richard. When the doorbell rings, they beg their mom not to open it. She agrees and takes them into a room, assuring them she’ll handle it.
The two visitors flash badges and claim to be detectives from the NYPD. Madeline’s calm when they ask to speak with her son, lying that she hasn’t seen him or her daughter in years. She invites them in and asks what her children have done. They explain they’re investigating the murder of Gabe’s roommate who was found stabbed and tortured. They warn her aiding and abetting are serious offenses.
Gabe and Hannah try to listen through the closed door. They figure out the conversation in the living room has stopped right before Madeline opens the door. The detectives are with her and she tells her children they have to go back to New York. She doesn’t want to be part of a murder investigation, claiming it’s because she can’t do that to Richard.
Madeline takes one of the detectives upstairs to get Gabe and Hannah’s bags.
The detectives take Gabe and Hannah away in handcuffs. Gabe’s devastated their mother did this to them after he was convinced she would help out. Inside the unmarked cop car, Gabe apologizes to Hannah for bringing them to see their mom.
The cops pull over not far down the road and go through Hannah’s bag in the trunk. They call someone, alerting whoever’s on the phone they have the money. Hannah and Gabe realize these aren’t cops and realize they’re going to have to attempt to escape.
The fake cops hit the road again and after driving for hours, Hannah whispers to Gabe in the backseat that they have to do something. She notices the passenger is nodding off and tells Gabe to distract them. Gabe says he has to pee and asks if they can stop.
While he’s talking, Hannah maneuvers her arms so that they’re cuffed in front of her. She hits the driver on the back of the head and then chokes him as he swerves all over the road. She keeps up the attack as the car crashes through the guardrail and rolls down an embankment, flipping over multiple times before settling on its roof.
The final major storyline begins with Jordan (James Wolk) confirming he doesn’t have any experience with firearms, accidentally pulling the trigger during a YouTube training video. Fortunately, the only thing he hits with the bullet is his refrigerator. Face still black and blue, he retrieves the gun and looks unsure of his next action.
Brothers Eddie (Paul Wesley) and Mitch (Michael Raymond-James) have tossed away the stinky severed pig’s head, and Eddie is still very much on edge. He’s worried because Jordan has his gun, and his brother hands him $4,000 so he can leave town with his girlfriend, Carla (Justine Cotsonas). Mitch really believes this will blow over soon, and Eddie and his girl decide they’ll take off for Florida that night.
With one final hug and a warning to take care, Mitch heads out, leaving Eddie and Carla to pack. They seem genuinely in love even though Eddie believes Carla’s much too good for him.
A short while later in bed, Eddie apologizes for dragging her into this mess. Their small talk involves a sharing of secrets, including Eddie revealing he once dreamed of being a NASCAR driver. He’s over it now and realizes he’s stuck making a series of wrong choices. Carla promises him things will be better in Florida.
Carla dresses and lays out her plans for the remainder of the day. She’s going to pack and pick up her final paycheck at the club. She suggests hitting the road late so they won’t be stuck in traffic. As she’s talking, Eddie finds a gun in his drawer under his clothes.
Mitch meets up with Sam (Dorian Missick) and explains the dead woman’s boyfriend is hounding Eddie. Sam’s pissed Mitch didn’t come to him sooner, but he also understands it’s too risky right now to kill Jordan. Mitch once again demands the money and Sam confirms he’s having a problem getting his hands on it. He promises he’s still good for it and makes Mitch agree to call him if he hears from Jordan.
Returning home, the worst-case scenario plays out as Mitch’s wife, Shelley (Tonya Glanz), has already discovered he took $4,000 from their bank account. She’s furious and he explains Eddie needed the money. She calls Eddie a piece of sh*t and reminds him that was their entire savings. Mitch says Eddie needed it more than them right now, and Shelley’s angry he always puts Eddie first.
Later as Carla makes dinner and continues to ignore Mitch, Jordan spies on them through the window. Mitch says he can’t turn his back on Eddie, and Carla asks if he took into consideration they’re trying to improve their situation and buy a different house.
Much later Mitch is asleep in front of the TV when Carla wakes him up, positive there’s someone in the house. She’s sure the intruder’s in the living room and Mitch picks up a metal bucket as he slowly moves through the house. He and Carla make it into the living room and find the front door is wide open.
Carla screams when she sees someone standing on the sidewalk in front of the house wearing a wolf mask. Mitch races outside but Jordan’s no longer standing there. He’s made it to his car and revs his engine as Mitch yells, “F*ck you!” while standing in the middle of the street. Jordan speeds toward him and Mitch barely jumps out of the way in time to avoid being run over.
Over at his place, Eddie prepares for the road trip and snorts some cocaine while finishing packing. There’s a knock at his door and he grabs his gun, slowly moving through the small trailer as he attempts to figure out who’s outside. He finally yanks open the door and no one’s standing there. He closes the door, locks it, and makes it to his couch, unnerved, when the knock comes again. He stands, gun ready, but doesn’t move toward the door. His phone rings and Jordan says, “I know you’re in there. Tell me the name of the third pig.”
Eddie once again admits no one was supposed to die during the robbery. Jordan assures him if he gives up the name of the third pig, he’ll go away. Eddie claims he can’t, and Jordan warns him that he won’t stop. Eddie in turn warns Jordan he has a gun and will use it. Jordan hangs up, and Eddie slams the phone down out of frustration.
The doorknob jiggles and Eddie walks toward it, gun aimed and ready to fire. (Oh no…this is definitely not going to end well.) He sees a shadow outside on the porch and fires three shots. He opens the door and Carla’s outside bleeding from the chest and mouth. (Told you so.) Devastated, Eddie can only say her name and repeat the word no.
Jordan walks up and raises his wolf mask. He removes it as he looks down at Eddie bent over his dying girlfriend. Eddie gets to his knees and is ready to shoot Jordan while Jordan’s also raised his weapon and is ready to kill Eddie. “No one was supposed to die,” cries Eddie. Jordan lowers his weapon, but Eddie keeps his raised. “I’m sorry,” says Eddie through tears. He places the gun to his temple and fires as Jordan cries out, “No!”
Eddie falls to the ground just inches from Carla’s dead body.
- Interview with Tell Me a Story Stars Paul Wesley and James Wolk
- Tell Me a Story Season 1 Episode 3 “Greed” Recap
- Tell Me a Story Season 1 Episode 4 “Rage” Recap
- Tell Me a Story Season 1 Episode 5 “Madness” Recap