It might be too late to back away from The Idol now, and episode 4 takes the cake for creating more havoc in my mind than any other episode. But, I must admit, I have a more positive reaction to episode 4 than any of the previous ones, so I’m not utterly devastated that I had to stick around. When Leia says something along the lines of “it’s really messed up that we’re all just watching Jocelyn get abused and not saying anything,” I felt that and maybe I’m starting to see a little bit of the point the show is trying to make. Until now, it wasn’t the sleaze that was bothersome because that’s a common trait in HBO shows, but personally, I found it quite boring for such an interesting topic. Aesthetics and Lily-Rose Depp aside, there wasn’t much to anticipate, but episode 4 proves me wrong. It’s a terrifying episode that might ironically be proving the point of the show itself. If I’m reading it correctly.
What Happens In ‘The Idol’ Episode 4?
Tedros has taken over Jocelyn’s home, so much so that even the housekeepers find it strange and feel the urge to quit working for this bizarre man and his people. On the other hand, Destiny (or D) and Chime strategise over what they’re going to do to save their girl from this monster. D has found out through sources that Tedros has been to prison for abuse and violence back in 2012 and his real name is Mauricio Costello Jackson. In an attempt to make The Idol funny, D suggests they kill Tedros and be done with it. Chime slams down the idea immediately and tells D to be his eyes and ears in the Tedros, sorry, Jocelyn mansion for now. D’s definitely in for a treat, a very rotten one. In the meanwhile, Tedros cancels most of Jocelyn’s schedule for the day that Leia worked hard on curating. It’s interesting to see her fight back whenever she can even though she’s terrified of the man. She knows she’s the only sane one on Jocelyn’s side and she needs to stay there.
Mike Dean the genius music producer who only works with big stars finally arrives (shame it wasn’t fake news). It’s Tedros who welcomes him to Jocelyn’s house and she shows up only after they’re completely set up ready to do some recording. Jocelyn works on some new lyrics and they seem to imply that she’s happy that someone else has taken the wheel for her. Tedros encourages her to write more as it is Tedros himself she’s writing about. Tedros almost coddles Jocelyn in this session, making her happy and cheerful. D comes in at this point and makes friends with Chloe, the youngest and most naive of the lot of Tedros’ gang. She immediately takes a liking to D and gives away some of Tedros’ secrets. Chloe was picked off the streets by Tedros and given shelter in the club. She feels protected by him as do the rest of the people he’s taken under his wing, so he is able to push them to any level he pleases. D also finds out that Chloe is actually seventeen, a weak point for Tedros. In a heartwarming moment, D talks about how Chloe’s voice is special and if it gets out, people will be trying really hard to steal it from her, but she needs to remain true to herself always. It looks like D will be making it her mission to save all these young people from Tedros’ grasp.
Elsewhere, Dyanne is invited to sign a contract with Nikki and her company. She looks nervous and excited like she’s finally closer to achieving her dreams, but there’s something eerie about the whole situation. Maybe, she’s afraid things will turn out the way they did for Jocelyn. Or it’ll be much harder than it seems. Back in the house, D and Leia along with a ton of other people watch Jocelyn get blindfolded by Tedros so that he can bring out her real potential, this is followed by Tedros showing encouragement of a sexual nature, in front of the crowd, including Mike Dean’s team. Leia is the most uncomfortable about everything that’s happening. She opens up to Izaak about how she can’t believe that nobody said anything about Jocelyn being abused by Tedros and just kept watching because they would be making money at the end of the day. It sounds a bit similar to what was happening with Jocelyn’s mother in the picture, but Leia doesn’t seem to notice how familiar it all feels. Izaak is defensive about Tedros and tells Leia that Jocelyn is a star, meaning she belongs to the world and Tedros is just helping her live up to her potential. D lets Chime know that there’s a bunch of kids with Tedros and they all have their own thing going on with music, extremely talented. With Jocelyn, he’s trying to bring out a new sound for her and this is brought out by them being abusive towards each other.
Now things get really dark when Tedros hears Xander sing. Everyone was under the impression that Xander can’t sing anymore because he had a vocal cord injury. But the reality was that Jocelyn’s mother had made him sign a contract so he wouldn’t sing anymore. He was too talented in comparison to her own daughter, but at the same time, she was the one who had outed Xander when he was 13. Unfortunately, Xander hadn’t known at the time that it was her, so he moved in with Jocelyn and her mother, spending the rest of his life with them. Xander admits some of these things to Tedros in confidence, but Tedros uses it against him and “punishes” him for lying about Jocelyn by using a shock collar on him. It’s not entirely clear if Jocelyn really believes Xander is lying or if she just wants to see him punished for bad-mouthing her and her mother, but she encourages Tedros to shock him a lot! The second option does seem more probable and Xander’s words make it seem like Jocelyn is the one playing with Tedros now.
D tries to act like her usual self, giving inputs on Jocelyn’s music even with Tedros in the picture. Of course, she’s trying to make everything seem as natural as possible. She also finds out that Jocelyn knew about his charges, but she sees it all wrong and victimizes Tedros. On the other hand, Isaak cleans up Xander and essentially tells him to stay in his lane and do things in the Tedros way or he’ll be in big trouble. Tedros’ next big move is to make Jocelyn talk about her abuse in front of the whole world so that her concert tickets sell out. This will really bring a lot of sympathy towards her, and fans and non-fans will be more interested in her life than ever before. They have a party at night and Tedros is really annoying towards Leia, so she leaves the party and Jocelyn gets really mad at Tedros. Chloe, who has taken Molly, is in a daze and tells Jocelyn about Dyanne and how she lured Jocelyn into the club for Tedros. Dyanne shows up at the party so Chloe wonders if she’ll be upset over Jocelyn and Tedros’ relationship. Joss starts to cry and at the same time, Dyanne comes up to her and tells her about signing with her own company. On top of it all, “World Class Sinner” will not be Dyanne’s song if Joss isn’t okay with it. Joss says she would never come in between Dyanne and her career, so she gives her full approval.
At the end of the episode, Jocelyn calls over her ex-boyfriend Rob so that she can take revenge on Tedros and essentially show him who’s boss. I have to admit, when Abel tries to pretend he’s “cooler” than Rob, that was the best acting of his we saw in the whole show. While Rob and Joss are in the bedroom, Tedros bangs at the doors and cries outside. Finally, when Rob is leaving the house, Xander asks him to take a picture with one of his female friends. It looks like Xander is taking these pictures to protect Tedros? He might want to use these photos against Rob later on as revenge. Considering all that went down with Xander earlier, he might be closer to Tedros than ever before.
Before anything else, I can’t listen to “Take My Breath” the same way ever again. Now that that’s out of the picture, this week’s episode was much more up to the mark than anything else that’s come before. Chloe’s crocodile song was especially beautiful, and D’s dialogues are the best part of the show. It is still the objectifying lens in which Jocelyn is captured through the series that bothers me and I can’t help but imagine that without that, it might have had some potential to be a good show coming out of 2023. I’m looking forward to the finale of The Idol though, hoping to see a conclusion to the grotesque and a happy ending for the weak and innocent.