While being treated to a gripping Lifetime thriller itself is fairly surprising, it’s especially astonishing when the same production pulls a truly fantastic romance out of nowhere. It isn’t your typical boy meets girl, and luck treats them kindly kind of love story, of course. But what struck me as most impressive is how Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story sees the characters’ inner workings through a splendidly clear lens. Vicky and Casey White’s story isn’t something your sweetest dreams of love are made of. Something ardently sincere, however, can coexist with something very obviously explosive. And without justifying the latter using the former, Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story explores the volatile nuances of a tragic love story between an inmate and a corrections officer.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
When you’re watching a show or a movie set primarily in prison, more often than not, you’re watching it from the perspective of the inmates. And subsequently, there’s something about the lives of cops, guards, and corrections officers that you inadvertently end up acknowledging as a privilege. That privilege is freedom. The privilege to walk out of the prison boundary—to go home—to feed their pets and take care of the people important to them. If we were watching Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story from a prisoner’s perspective, we’d probably find Vicky’s life to be mundane yet not something to complain about overly. But there’s always more to a person’s everyday mundanity than just a familiar repetition of a pattern. 56 years old, divorced, not much of a social life, a dog she loves, an ex-husband afflicted with Parkinson’s to take care of, and an overbearing mother hunting for men to set her up with—doesn’t really scream a good life now, does it? But that’s the kind of life Vicky is stuck in. The overwhelming loneliness, hopelessness, and fatigue of being stuck in a rut that Wendi McLendon-Covey exudes through her performance as the infamous prison corrections officer tells you all that you need to know about Vicky’s state of mind. Something wickedly hopeful turns up when a new inmate with a rap sheet for days brings an unexpected spark of romance to Vicky’s tedious existence.
How Does Vicky White And Casey White’s Romance Blossom?
The way we flinch at the thought of something as odd as a corrections officer falling in love with an unstable inmate may be justified by our innate sense of right and wrong, but people hardly ever care enough to take a deeper look. At the end of the day, anybody is capable of anything if the circumstances are dire enough. While her engulfing sense of loneliness and depression may not validate her breaking the law to forge a more intimate connection with Casey White, these happen to be the deciding factors in identifying the reasons behind the choices that Vicky makes. For a woman who hasn’t had a brush with anything resembling romance in a long time, it proves to be a challenge for Vicky to deny the affection and attention Casey is showering her with. And once she crosses the line and starts to reciprocate, it’s a slippery slope to a far darker path. What you wouldn’t immediately expect from a romance such as the one that’s been brewing between Casey and Vicky is sincerity. But, surprisingly, their relationship isn’t lacking in that department. The wretched longing when Casey is transferred to another prison is evident in Vicky. And being away from her proves to be so difficult for Casey that he pleads guilty to a murder charge just so that he can get back to the prison where she works. However questionable the source and however dangerous the circumstances, with Casey, Vicky feels as though she’s a teenager getting swept off her feet. If anything, being unfamiliar with genuine affection all her life makes her even more vulnerable to it all.
How Did Vicky White Die? Did Casey White Get Caught By The Police?
Chasing Alex Murdaugh’s nuanced character study in Murdaugh Murders with a fitting analysis of Vicky White’s emotional condition in Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story, Lifetime, for once, seems to be steady in maintaining a certain quality to their thrillers. If the crippling fear of loneliness had a face, it would be Vicky White. You could argue that she had a caring mother and an ex-husband who, however snarky his remarks, had her best interest at heart. But nothing fills the void that eats her up. It’s when Tommy passes that it truly hits her, though. Tommy was a sense of purpose that kept her going. You can’t help but wonder if the random shots she fired at the tree were meant for herself. It doesn’t help that Tommy’s death, coupled with the devastating impact of the last conversation she had with him, catapulted the kind of rapid decline in her mental health that she just couldn’t pull herself out of. It’s only natural that a woman who’s terrified that no one will attend her funeral would be desperate enough to stoop so low that she’d break the law and break her boyfriend out of prison.
The Vicky we knew before Casey came into her life was far from irresponsible, let alone reckless in the slightest. A multiple-time employee of the year and a reliable caregiver of a disabled person who’d likely left her life broken—Vicky wouldn’t have struck you as someone who’d sell her house at a loss, abandon her mom and her dog, and take early retirement from a job where she’s adored and respected. All of it so she could have a shot at being loved the way she’s always wanted to be. Now, Casey has never even been able to pretend to be anything close to stable. The out-of-the-blue prison escape attempt with a shiv to a guard’s neck can vouch for how unreliable the guy really is. And it’s not even that Vicky’s blind to it all, especially considering she’s the one who’s repeatedly trying to keep him out of trouble. But she’d rather take her chances with desecrating the vows she took as an enforcer of the law and ruining her reputation by breaking Casey out and making a run for it. The journey, as expected, is bumpy. But you don’t see the fire die out in Vicky.
Even with the multiple car changes, keeping Casey from giving in to his destructive instincts, and the humbling stress of staying under the radar, Vicky and Casey seem to be just as hopeful about their future together as they were when their relationship took off. Unaware that the US marshals on their tail are one step ahead of them, the otherwise shrewd Vicky proves just how far she’s strayed from who she truly is. Vicky and Casey were never supposed to be the couple that she’d envisioned. If a stir-crazy Casey’s fit of rage in the motel is any hint, they were headed towards a chaotic relationship that would’ve destroyed Vicky’s life even further. What kept the engine of this relationship running was Vicky’s hope that a touch of love and kindness would change Casey for the better. The dream of sitting by the purple sky-clad lake with the love of her life was always meant to stay a dream.
With the Canadian border almost within reach, Casey and Vicky’s car, chased by a fleet of police vehicles, crashed into another car. Even though a fatally wounded Vicky shoots herself to death, the ending sequence does give her love the gift of one of her dreams coming true. Casey’s not the same man anymore. As he howls in fear for Vicky’s life, even though he’s surrounded by cops, Casey proves just how big of an impact she had on him. If the real Vicky White shared the fictional one’s fear of having a lonely funeral, I hope she rests well knowing that her funeral was attended by over 150 mourners. She left behind a grieving mother and a dog, both of whom she regretted abandoning.