Warning: There are descriptions of violence and language that may be disturbing in this episode.
Now that we're in episode 7 of Hulu's The Act, things are starting to get very intense for the fictionalized versions of Gypsy and Nick (Joey King and Calum Worthy) as they continue their escape after Dee Dee's (Patricia Arquette) murder. We open back on the bus from the end of episode 6, where Gypsy has regained her optimism. She says she’s excited to meet Nick's mom (Juliette Lewis) and starts making plans to see the new Star Wars movie “as soon as it comes out” in December, placing us in mid-2015 ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When Nick agrees to see the movie months from now, Gypsy seems to be getting everything she’s ever wanted. But of course, that’s not what actually happened to Nick and Gypsy after the murder.
Once in Wisconsin, Nick’s mom picks the duo up and while Gypsy is cheery and hoping to make a good impression, Mom is gruff and already annoyed. “Well, I’m missing my meeting for this, but I suppose it’s better than you staying in a homeless shelter,” she gripes. Apparently, Nick told his mother that’s where Gypsy was living — he also told her that Gypsy’s mom had kicked her out. Talk of her mother instantly darkens Gypsy’s mood, much faster than any of the more brusque comments from Nick’s mom.
They make it home, and the cracks in her fairytale keep growing. Nick’s parents aren’t warm and welcoming. They seem barely affected by the fact that she’s there and ask her not to drink his dad's beer. Nick gleefully takes Gypsy’s bags upstairs to his attic, which looks like a gross, young dude’s messy room, complete with old pizza slices resting on end tables. She’s concerned until Nick shows her a full closet with her name on it; it literally has a green piece of paper that says "Gypsy Rose" taped to it. That seems to placate her.
Then comes time to eat, which starts a whole new set of cracks. There’s no food in the cupboards, and Nick says he usually eats when he gets pizza from work, but he's not working today so they'll just have to wait. Gypsy becomes immediately irate, saying that mothers are supposed to feed their children. For all the problems Gypsy had with her mother, she did feed her… through a feeding tube she didn’t need, but it still happened. Nick suggests they take money from their nest egg to get some donuts, but that’s not acceptable to Gypsy. “That money is for our future. Our wedding, our home. Not pizza and donuts,” she says.
Her solution? Pull an old Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette) special: Petty theft at the grocery store. Using an electric scooter, they make their way around the store, looking for opportunities to lift boxes of mashed potato mix. When Nick distracts a clerk so Gypsy can steal, the weight of their murder coupled with the use of Dee Dee's old tricks gets to Gypsy and she thinks she sees Dee Dee across the aisle. She doesn't, but the guilt just continues to manifest itself as the episode progresses.
At the house, Nick’s mom brings up her mom again and suggests they patch things up. Gypsy says they can’t, which drives Nick’s mom to say her mother is crazy. This upsets Gypsy because, though she was desperate to get away from her mother, she never stopped loving her. So she quickly jumps to her defense, listing all the nice things Dee Dee did for her, like buying stuffed animals when she went to the doctor and taking her to comic book conventions every year.
Nick’s parents try to change the subject to something they think is funny — one time Nick left raw hamburger meat in their trunk in the summer. But the mention of raw hamburger meat just creates an even more visceral image of the Blanchard murder scene. Gypsy feels ill and asks for medicine, but Nick says they don’t have any (not a reality she's used to at all, after living with Dee Dee her whole life). Gypsy begins to cry and asks to go home. She starts bargaining ways that they could go back and frame someone else for the murder. Her concern quickly shifts to the fact that no one seems to know Dee Dee's body is just laying there in the house. Nick comes up with a plan: Gypsy should write a Facebook message about the murder on their joint account so someone will take care of Dee Dee's body.
Nick types in, “Dee Dee is dead!” Gypsy thinks it doesn’t sound enough like a real murderer (something Nick is), so she types in something additional. Cut to Lacey (AnnaSophia Robb), who’s now a full-on adult. She sees the “That Bitch is dead!” Facebook message after work and immediately starts investigating with her mom (Chloe Sevigny).
Not knowing that Lacey is on the case, Gypsy decides they have to send something more attention-grabbing because the comments don't seem concerned enough. She decides they need a message that "Victor," rather than Nick, might say. She comes up with: “I fucken SLASHED THAT FAT PIG AND RAPED HER SWEET DAUGHTER… HER SCREAM WAS SO FUCKEN LOUD LOL.” What’s most chilling is how quickly Gypsy comes up with the message this dark and disturbing — and it’s even worse that she seems to think this is what her boyfriend’s sexual alter ego would do. As if confirming that this is exactly who “Victor” is, Nick edits the post, adding “INNOCENT” ahead of “SWEET DAUGHTER” before giving Gypsy the go-ahead to send. Just one problem (among a string of major problems): Gypsy didn’t turn off the location tagging before sending. Of course, detectives have other ways of tracing these things whether they make it easy or not (I.P. addresses are a thing!), but leaving the location tag on is a pretty big mistake.
Still, Nick tries to save face and convince Gypsy the message will work. He explains that he was arrested once (totally new information to Gypsy, and all of us), but calls it was a “misunderstanding." The main point, he insists, is that the police couldn’t find his browser history. But the thing about murder is that it kind of changes the stakes a bit.
Back at the Blanchard house, the police arrive to look for Dee Dee and Gypsy. The sound of Dee Dee’s demise, the phone alarm ringing to the tune of “Three Blind Mice,” leads them to her body. Minutes later, they’ve tracked the alarming Facebook post straight to Nick’s hometown: Big Bend, Wisconsin.
At the same time, dinner at the Godejohn house begins just as Nick’s father is checking the mail. The knife Gypsy and Nick sent themselves arrives and Gypsy immediately wants to hide it, only Nick isn’t willing to help her because “it’s chicken night” and he doesn’t seem to agree with Gypsy that “chicken can wait.” Gypsy is looking for the lake to throw the knife into, but Nick thinks it’s too dark to go to the lake, totally missing the point that darkness is generally where people who commit murders go to dispose of evidence.
His oblivious reaction is the last straw and Gypsy explodes because their happily ever after, well, sucks. “I’m trying to get us free,” she yells, right before Nick’s mother comes out and finds her yelling “No, no, no” and shaking her fists at him. Mom starts to suspect that something weird is going on (and she is, of course, right).
Gypsy and Nick finally go to bed, but Gypsy finds a list of things Nick is trying to remind himself to do for her (open doors, feed her, etc.). That, plus the fight, make it seem like she’s about to tell him this fairytale is over, but before she can, the cops arrive at the Godejohn house.
They are trapped because Nick's window is nailed shut “ever since I tried to jump out of it.” Gypsy brushes right past that devastating detail because the cops are coming and pulls Nick into the closet so they can hide. But because Nick’s parents are innocent and assume this is all some big misunderstanding, they willingly open the door for the police that are surrounding the house and cooperate immediately.
The police are concerned that Gypsy was brought into the house under duress, but both parents say that Gypsy came into the house willingly. That changes the nature of the situation for the police, it seems, and they search the house for Gypsy and Nick as the duo promise to get married after all this and furiously whisper, attempting to get their story straight.
“You saved me. You did. We didn’t do anything wrong. You’re a hero. You’re my hero,” Gypsy manages through tears. Seconds later, they are found, arrested, and separated for interviews, which turns out to be their undoing.
At the police station, Gypsy is interviewed by the detective who found her mother and pretends to be surprised when he tells her that her mother is dead. The detective clearly thinks she’s lying, likely because he's got their clumsily hidden evidence on his side, so he asks what happened with her mom. “Why would you think it was me? I have always loved my mom. My mom and are I best friends,” she whimpers. The detective says he has no doubt that she loved her mom, but he still thinks she killed Dee Dee. She denies it.
Nick’s interview includes a lot more truth. He says that he did stab Dee Dee but that he only did it for Gypsy, otherwise "I'd never do it." He attempts to explain the situation that Gypsy was in, but leaves out crucial details, like the fact that Gypsy was held prisoner and forced to have medical procedures she didn’t need. Instead, he leads with Dee Dee telling everyone Gypsy was 16 and then simply declares that he saved her. He says this all very matter of factly, as if this version of events will keep him from being held responsible. “Honestly, there’s actually multiple personalities within myself,” he adds, clarifying that he wasn’t officially diagnosed but used to take medication because he heard voices in his head. “But now somehow, it’s part of myself.” In real life, Nick was also never publicly confirmed to have "multiple personalities."
What's more though, is that Nick’s extreme honesty also extends to Gypsy, and he tells the detective that Gypsy asked him to kill her mother.
In Nick’s mom’s interview, we hear all the evidence the police found (the Facebook post and the knife). She’s appalled at how nonchalant both Nick and Gypsy were, but she’s focused on Gypsy’s angle, saying, “She’s a beast.” Meanwhile, Gypsy is trying to lie for both of them, professing that Nick didn’t kill her mom and that she didn’t know Nick was going to kill her mom. Little does she know, Nick already told them everything.
Hours later, the detective is trying to wear Gypsy down. Her meek question as the detective leaves the room is a final plea for freedom: “Will I be able to see the new Star Wars movie when it comes out?” “We’ll see,” he says, knowing there’s no way she’s going to get out of this without punishment.
We skip to Gypsy’s day in court. At home, Lacey and her mom are flabbergasted that Gypsy can walk, seeming to feel that Gypsy was somehow part of Dee Dee’s deception. They have no idea how legitimately complicated the situation actually was. But for now, that's all we get.
In the episode’s final moments, the prosecutor reads off the circumstances of the case. Gypsy is accused of conspiring with Nick to kill her mother, the penalty for which is life in prison or death. Those are the last words we hear as Gypsy begins to weep openly, finally realizing that not only was Nick not the dream man she thought he was, but that even if he was perfect, their future was out the window for good.
The town of Springfield holds a vigil for Dee Dee and Gypsy, between Dee Dee being found and Gypsy getting caught, unaware of the truth of the gruesome, complex situation.
During Nick’s police interview, the thing he was arrested for comes to light: The detective claims he was caught masturbating in public at a McDonalds for nine hours. It's just one of many ways the episode drives home how many problems this person had before he met Gypsy.
When Nick's dad hears that Gypsy's mom might be "crazy," he starts going off about how Nick should be careful about Gypsy. “That’s the kinda thing Dr. Phil calls a vicious cycle," he says, completely unaware that he's being extremely cruel by doing so and perhaps giving some insight into Nick's upbringing.
"I thought when he got the job at the pizza place, things were really turning around," says Nick's mom after he's arrested. Though there are multiple facets to this story, it's details like this that prove it's not one about villains and heroes — it's a complex web of desperate people with very complicated problems. And in a way, that's what makes it even harder to watch.