Check out our episode here! One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus
Friday, March 6
A reporter is interviewing two girls outside Bayview High School. There has been another death, reminding everyone of Simon Kelleher, the student who, in a bizarre form of revenge, tried to frame four of his classmates, Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy and Nate, for his murder, which was actually a suicide. One girl is deeply upset and worried that the school is cursed, the other is stoic and wonders if she should really be talking to the reporter. Ten weeks earlier on a Reddit subforum, Vengeance Is Mine, user Bayview2020 connects with user Darkestmind. They both knew Simon Kelleher and have a lot in common.
Monday, February 17
Maeve is sitting at her usual table at Café Contigo. Her phone keeps going off with texts from her sister, Bronwyn, with college suggestions. Still a junior at Bayview High, Maeve isn’t ready to make that decision, unlike her sister who had her Yale applications filled out in kindergarten. With Maeve is Knox Myers, her friend and former boyfriend. They mutually decided to break up when they realized they really weren’t romantically compatible. Addy is bustling about waiting tables, trying to get everyone served before Cal State Fullerton’s baseball season opener begins with Cooper debuting as starting pitcher. Nate comes in and sits with Maeve. Even though his relationship with Bronwyn is on-again-off-again, he has turned into a brother figure for Maeve. With them is Luis, Cooper’s best friend and Maeve's current crush whose family owns the café, and Phoebe, Maeve and Knox’s classmate and part time Café Contigo waitress. They’re all watching the game and Cooper is spectacular, but ultimately his team loses. Maeve tries not to see the loss as a sign of bad luck, but ultimately spends the evening thinking of her childhood leukemia and of Simon Kelleher. He's a memory most would like to forget; however, his death and failed revenge plans forged strong friendships within the Bayview Four and now they're all moving on with their lives.
Tuesday, February 18
After her father passed away, Phoebe, her mom, younger brother Owen and older sister Emma moved to a small apartment. The apartment is tiny and though they are physically closer together, as a family, they’ve never been further apart. Owen lives in his video games and Emma throws herself into tutoring. Where once Phoebe and Emma could read each other’s minds like twins, now they are like polite strangers. Emma drives Phoebe and her annoying friend Jules to school. Jules is crushing on Nate and would love to be there for him in his latest breakup with Bronwyn. ((Girl... no. Stop.)) As they pull into the school parking lot, Phoebe gets a text to meet someone at the bleachers. Dashing away from Emma and Jules, Phoebe meets up with Brandon, the hot superstar quarterback. He might be good on the field and fun to make out with, but in Phoebe’s words, he's "basically an asshole.” They are getting handsy when they both get a text from an unknown number... “Still missing About That? I know I am. Let’s play a new game” with a link. Brandon checks out the link. It's rules to a game of Truth or Dare. One person at a time will get a Truth or Dare text and will have 24 hours to reply. Pick Dare and a challenge will be issued; pick Truth and one of their secrets will be revealed. As Phoebe and Brandon start making out again, Phoebe gets another text. “Phoebe Lawton, you’re up first! Text back your choice: Should I reveal a Truth, or will you take a Dare?”
Wednesday, February 19
Heading from the mall and cutting through a construction site, Knox is on his way to his internship at Until Proven, the law office that helped Nate last year when he was falsely accused of Simon's murder. The office is busy with people at every desk, folders piled so high people can hide behind them, including Eli Kleinfelter. Knox idolizes Eli, and wants to learn his ways as he seems to have everything: good looks, good job, good woman, respect, intelligence - the works! But Eli doesn’t even know his name. Between tasks, Knox checks his phone. It's going crazy with group messages from his four older sisters. After a little while it stops, but then one message pops up from an unknown number.... “Tsk, no response from our first player. That means you forfeit. I expected better from you, Phoebe Lawton. No fun at all. Now I get to reveal one of your secrets in true About That style.” Knox waits in anticipation. Phoebe is an open book! She’s a social butterfly, everyone likes her, what could she have to hide? Another message pops up revealing that Phoebe slept with her sister's boyfriend. Knox is dumbfounded. He didn't even know that Emma has a boyfriend and didn't think that Phoebe would do something like that. Another message suggests that in the future, you should choose Dare.
Thursday, February 20th
Maeve is dwelling on the texts about Phoebe. They’ve never been friends, but know each other from the café. Maeve even has her number and thought about texting to see if she was okay, but thought it felt too nosy. Speaking of nosy, Maeve feels something dripping from her nose. It's blood. She rushes to the bathroom as cold dread fills her. Leukemia relapses always start with a nose bleed. She can’t do this again, so she heads to school determined to ignore it and not tell anyone about it, not even her parents. The school is buzzing about Phoebe’s truth. At lunch, Phoebe and Jules are sitting together and Emma is nowhere to be seen, but that isn’t unusual. Knox sits next to Maeve at her table. He can’t get his head around Emma having a boyfriend in the first place. One of Brandon’s friends, Sean, also an asshole, tries to stir up trouble, saying he wouldn't mind if Brandon shared Jules with him or even doubling up. Then he calls her a whore, but she insults him right back. Maeve doesn’t like what she is seeing and stands up for Phoebe, then Sean is sent to the principal's office. Phoebe stops by Maeve’s table on the way out, Lucy, a girl at Maeve's table, says she's going to tell Principal Gupta about the cell phone game, which would prompt her into instigating her no phone in school policy. Phoebe stops by the table and tells Lucy, “Don’t. You. Dare.”
Inside their tiny apartment, Phoebe is helping Owen prepare for the school spelling bee. Normally she wouldn’t bother but guilt over Emma and realizing Owen isn’t frozen at age 9 when their dad died spurred her to help him. Phoebe hasn’t seen Emma since her Truth was revealed. She's been ignoring her texts and sleeping at a friend's house. However, as Phoebe and Owen discuss the spelling and meaning of BIZARRE and BAZAAR, Emma comes home and she looks awful. Sensibly Owen goes to his room. Emma asks why Phoebe slept with Derek, a boy she met at Model UN over the summer and who dumped her when school started again, but Phoebe doesn’t have a good answer. She was drunk, yes, but alcohol doesn’t control her actions. She’s hurt about the rift between her and Emma after their father’s death and sleeping with Derek didn't help. Emma blows up. Derek was her first and only. He was special. Phoebe has had a few sexual partners, viewing sex as a natural extension of a relationship if it feels right. Emma never wants to speak to Phoebe or Derek again and then storms into their shared room. Phoebe leaves the apartment. Sitting in the park alone, Phoebe scrolls through her missed messages. Jules checked in. So did Maeve, which is a first. Brandon wants to hook up, so she deletes that text and his number, the jerk. There's another message from Unknown, too. The game is still on. As hurt as Phoebe is, she understands the pull of About That and this game of Truth or Dare, you can’t help being curious.
Saturday, February 22
Down in his basement, Knox is playing video games with his oldest sister Kiersten. Deciding to break for lunch after a pretty graphic kill, they head to Wing Zone, a chicken wing hot-spot with an inflatable chicken mascot on the roof which snooty locals love to complain about. On the way out, they run into their dad who is hiring more Until Proven exonerees since Nate is working out so wonderfully. Knox is jealous of the esteem his dad has of Nate, but it’s not Nate’s fault that he just isn’t the type of boy his dad likes or relates to. On the drive over to Wing Zone, Knox checks his phone waiting to see if a message from Unknown comes through. Nothing. As much as he shouldn’t care, he anticipates the next round of Truth or Dare. At Wing Zone there is an unusually large crowd outside. Someone has stuck the Bayview High Wildcat mascot's head on the head of the Wing Zone chicken. Matthias, the loner goth kid from school, is there and points out to Knox in not very subtle tones that someone was Dared (wink, wink) to do it. Suddenly, Knox’s phone is alive with messages. Unknown is congratulating Sean Murdock on a Dare well done. Sean is an asshole bully and Knox hates that he's getting all these accolades from their peers for a stupid dare.
Thursday, February 27
Bronwyn is back in town and hanging out with Maeve at the café. Maeve isn’t going to tell Bronwyn about her nosebleed or the second one as it will ruin her visit. It’ll be okay… just don't think about it. They’re talking about Nate and how Bronwyn still loves him but thinks they are broken up for good this time. Sure Bronwyn, that's what they all say. Awkwardly she heads to a mathletes reunion with Evan, the guy she dated when she and Nate broke up for a little while last year. He wrote bad poetry and pined for her after they broke up. Yikes. After Bronwyn leaves, Maeve gets her laptop out and looks up Simon's old social media usernames. She finds his Vengeance Is Mine forum has moved URLs and a user called Darkestmind has been talking with a user called Jellyfish. Just then, Luis comes in and sits with Maeve and the flirting is strong! He even asks about her boyfriend, Knox, but he's an ex and now just a friend. Luis raises an interested eyebrow at this information. His father calls him to work in the kitchen and Maeve is about to go back to her laptop when Phoebe stops at her table. Maeve offers her shoulder to cry on or just to do something together. Phoebe points out Luis likes her and she should do something about it. Maeve also shows Phoebe the Vengeance Is Mine thread, but when Maeve refreshes the page, most of the thread is gone. Only one post remains and in it, Darkestmind claims to be the one responsible for the new fans at Bayview High.
Friday, February 28
Sitting alone in the room she and Emma share, Phoebe dwells on her mistake with Derek, her relationship with Emma which she desperately wants back and her dad. Phoebe texts Jules, hoping to make plans for that evening to have some normality. As she leaves their room, there is a knock at the door, which is strange as they hadn’t buzzed anyone in. After checking the peephole, Phoebe shoos Owen to his room and lets Brandon in. Brandon is an absolute asshole and tries to force himself on Phoebe, saying that it’s his right and she should submit. Slapping him and shouting for him to get out, he leaves. That night, the café is heaving. Ashton's having a pre-bachelorette party with all her friends, including Cooper, so half the town has turned up to see him. Nate and Bronwyn are there and getting along very well again, though things start to cool when Evan turns up uninvited and then Jules comes in, straddles Nate, and kisses the bejesus out of him. From the curtained entryway someone snaps a picture and as Jules leaves, she mouths to Phoebe, always take the Dare.
Friday, March 6
A reporter is interviewing Principal Gupta about the death of a student. The reporter wants to link the death to the reputation of gossip at Bayview High but Principal Gupta states the school has changed and operates a zero gossip and bullying policy. It’s a very different school from 18 months ago.
Monday, March 2
At the Until Proven office, Eli finally asks Knox his name after he shows some administrative initiative. Continuing about his intern work, grabbing coffee, ordering pizza, sorting death threat mail... wait, what? Eli gets death threats regularly, there’s even a folder for them, but this is the first Knox has ever opened. He’s shaken but more concerned for Eli. After his shift, Knox goes to the café to hang out with Maeve. When he gets there, he notices a large bruise on Maeve’s arm, but she dismisses it and tells him about the new revenge forum she’s found which deletes posts after a few hours. She’s going to monitor it as she thinks it could be linked to Unknown’s Truth or Dare game. As they are talking, Owen stops by for takeout and says hi. Maeve has gotten to know him a little since becoming friends with Phoebe. As Owen leaves, an intense looking guy walks in and starts asking for Phoebe. The situation gets tense, Luis and his brother Manny come out of the kitchen, muscles rippling, and the guy leaves. Just then, Maeve gets a text. Probably Bronwyn. Nope, “Maeve Rojas, you’re up next! Text back your choice: Should I reveal a Truth, or will you take a Dare?”
Tuesday, March 3
The next day Maeve is sitting in the café, thinking about the text from Unknown and finding another bruise, another symptom of her leukemia returning. She tried to set up some tests with her doctor without her parents knowing, but as a minor, she needs their consent. Luis interrupts her for an outing, taking her to the arboretum. They stroll along and Luis makes it very obvious he likes-likes her but Maeve mucks it up. Later that evening with time to respond to Unknown nearly up, Maeve calls Knox. She wants to look into how someone would hide their number. She gets a ping from a notification service that there are new posts in the Vengeance is Mine forum. User Jellyfish has finally calmed down, but Darkestmind is very active and their phrasing is near exact to Unknown's texts. With five minutes left before her decision time is up, Knox asks what she is going to do. Maeve doesn’t want to play the game.
Phoebe is waiting for Emma at school so they can both head to Owen’s spelling bee. A girl who is friends with bullies Sean and Brandon, Monica, points out to Phoebe an ad on the notice board. It’s one for Emma’s tutoring but this one has been doctored offering a threesome service and Phoebe's Instagram handle. Phoebe is trying not to react when Emma reaches past, gives Monica a look and tells her she’s trash, no sorry, she's in the way of the trash. Ha! At the spelling bee, Phoebe checks her Instagram account. It’s inundated with DMs and sleazy comments. She deletes them all, except the one from Derek who wants to talk. At home, there seems to be an easy truce, but when Owen comes in begging Phoebe to invite Knox over to play video games and mentions how Brandon came by, there is a misunderstanding about Brandon and Emma and Phoebe. Emma storms out, Owen is upset his family is so broken and Phoebe doesn’t know what to do. Suddenly there's a text from Unknown. Maeve hasn’t played the game and a secret is revealed. Oh… Ohhhhh! This is bad. Phoebe tries to call Maeve but can’t get through.
Working late at Until Proven and having left his phone in the copy room, Knox hasn’t seen Maeve’s Truth. There are hundreds of texts, but before reading them, he returns Maeve’s missed call. She’s crying and full of apologies, Maeve said she only talked to one person and that was Bronwyn who wouldn’t say anything and there is context! What is it Maeve? “Maeve Rojas dumped Knox Myers because he can’t get it up.” Knox hangs up on her. He feels sick and shaken. Leaving Until Proven with a confused Eli in his wake, Knox texts Maeve back telling her to go to hell.
Wednesday, March 4
School is not fun. Maeve is getting disgusting comments from assholes like Sean but Knox is taking the brunt of it with a defaced locker and posters everywhere. He won’t talk to Maeve, but she desperately wants to apologize. Phoebe tells her to not give Unknown attention anymore and block the number. She reaches for her phone to do just that. Later, sitting in the café, Maeve is distracted and doesn’t realize it’s closing time. Before Mr. Santos leaves, he offers to make her any dish she wants; however, Luis steps in to cook for her instead, but she has to help. The scallions and the sexual tension are heating up, and they finally kiss! Yay! And are interrupted by dear Manny. Embarrassed about mauling Luis's face, Maeve runs out. And she didn’t get dinner…
Thursday, March 5
Phoebe is having a good day. Emma is sick so there's no awkwardness at breakfast and she gets the car! She’s looking cute in her favorite skirt and spending some time with Jules, who actually is an asshole so that’s not so great. Phoebe sees all the posters and bullying Knox is dealing with and feels sorry for him. She hates the gendered double standards, she’s slut-shamed for having sex and he’s shamed for not having sex, yet Derek and Maeve seem to be fine. With a flash decision, Phoebe suggests she and Knox cut health class last period and head to the mall for coffee. She tells him about Derek getting in touch and generally they have a nice time. As they leave, they run into Jules and Monica. A few ugly comments and evil glances later, Phoebe heads to the car and cries for fifteen minutes at the loss of her childhood friend. Knox heads to Until Proven via the construction site shortcut again. On her way home, fire trucks and police cars fly past her. ((Cue the sirens!!))
Sitting with Addy and Phoebe, Maeve is helping construct favors for Ashton and Eli's wedding and getting advice about Luis. Both Addy and Phoebe think she needs to go for it, and she probably didn’t maul him. Ashton comes in with the mail, chats for a few minutes and goes to get changed. Addy had received a brochure for a summer camp counselor position in South America teaching English to kids. She wants to look into teaching and thinks this will be a great opportunity plus... travel! She invites Maeve along, and she really wants to go, but she's not sure if she’ll make it… Ashton comes rushing back in, puts the TV on where the local news are reporting an accident at a construction site next to the mall. One teen injured, one dead. Ashton calls Eli who confirms Knox is okay, but in the hospital. The boy who died is Brandon Weber. Phoebe faints. At the hospital, Knox is a mess. He's covered in bruises and cuts and has a concussion. On the news, Sean is saying that Brandon fell and he saved Knox who was running after Brandon by punching him in the face. Knox doesn’t remember what happened, but knows that’s not true. Face punches aren't for safety.
Sunday, March 15
A reporter interviews Brandon’s father who calls for accountability. “There’s always someone responsible.” One day later, on the Reddit subforum Vengeance is Mine, Darkestmind has started a thread. They are calling out Bayview2020 who is ghosting them. Darkestmind threatens to let everything go up in flames, just to watch them burn.
Monday, March 16
Emma and Phoebe have been giving Knox rides from school in the week since the accident. Knox is feeling better but still looks beat up. Sean is acting like his best friend which is disconcerting and confusing. Phoebe went to Brandon’s funeral and didn’t recognize the person described in the eulogy. On the way home from school, Phoebe asks Knox over to play video games with her brother. While he’s off being owned by an 11 year old, Phoebe goes into her and Emma’s bedroom. Emma is sitting on her bed, laptop open, crying, with a tumbler of "water." Emma insists it’s only water. She never drinks, but she’s slurring a little. Owen kicks Knox’s butt, but during one session something triggers a memory for Knox. It’s of Sean holding his phone videoing something at the construction site and he shouts at Knox for being there. Strange.
Tuesday, March 17
Knox is bored and restless, so decides he's going to hang with Phoebe at the café while she’s at work and get some of the Santos family's excellent food. Thankfully Maeve has been avoiding the restaurant like the plague for some reason so that’s one conversation he does not have to deal with. Before heading out, he hears his parents talking. His dad is helping the investigation of the construction site and can’t figure out why the supports holding up the building would give. His mom also makes some comments about not letting Brandon get away so lightly with what he did. They both infer Brandon has done some bad stuff and it’s been hushed up. When he asks them, his mom shoots him down. At the café, Phoebe isn’t working, but Sean is there for takeout, ugggh. He high-fives Knox and calls him “my man” and it’s awful and uncomfortable and he needs to stop. Knox tries to borrow Sean’s phone to secretly see if there are any incriminating videos from the night of the accident but no luck. As Knox is sitting at the counter, the Intense Guy who was asking for Phoebe earlier walks in, sits down and scopes the place out for a while before leaving. Knox is once again left with an uneasy feeling that he’s missing something.
Thursday, March 19
At Goodwin Field at Cal State Fullerton, Maeve is sitting with Kris, Cooper's boyfriend, and his Nonny watching Cooper pitch. Feeling a nosebleed coming on, she dashes to the bathrooms until it passes. On her way out she spots Luis talking with Sean, Jules and Monica who is practically draping herself over him like a human cloak. When he sees Maeve he comes over to talk, but she is jealous and angry after seeing him with Monica. He gets her number so he can send her some files to send to Knox. He says she can delete his number or whatever after, since she is acting so weird, and leaves her to head back into the stadium. As Maeve is standing there, her nose starts to bleed again. This time Nate spots her, grabs her and sits her down. He persuades her to finally tell her parents about her leukemia symptoms returning. She agrees. She tells him he must get his head out of his ass and sort things out with Bronwyn and he just laughs. He and Bronwyn are endgame. It might take a while, but they’ll be together.
Friday, March 20
Maeve has asked Phoebe and Knox to meet her at lunch. She had some stuff to deal with so didn’t get a chance until that morning to look at the files Luis sent her. They’re from Sean’s phone. Since he's actually friends with Sean instead of face-punch friends with him, it was easy for him to get the videos that Knox failed to get earlier. They watch the video of Brandon standing in the construction site ready to jump. Sean, Jules and Monica are cheering him on. Brandon complains that his Dare isn’t as good as theirs. Then he jumps and falls and doesn’t make a sound. The video shows the ground and Sean, Jules and Monica sound frantic until Sean says “What the fuck are you doing here, Myers?” before cutting out. It doesn’t trigger any memories, but should they do something with that video? It only proves Sean, Jules and Monica are liars and reveals the Truth or Dare game getting everyone in trouble. Maeve defers to their judgement and admits she is on her way to the doctors for tests. She might not be around much depending how things go so it’s really up to them. Phoebe leaves when it becomes obvious that Knox and Maeve need to talk. On her way out she spots Matthias who has a message from Emma. She's sick and has taken the car home. So after school Phoebe walks home and gets a phone call from her mom, Emma who lost her phone over a week ago can’t be reached and she was meant to do a restaurant walkthrough for Ashton and Eli's wedding rehearsal dinner. Where is she? Passed out drunk in bed after drinking half a tumbler of neat gin is where. What has made Emma spiral? Did she see the Instagram messages from Derek when she borrowed Phoebe’s phone? In a drunken mumble, Emma asks if Phoebe loves him? Who? Derek? And then says “I didn’t think he’d keep going” before passing out.
Another death threat has come in for Eli and by the looks of the typography it’s the same person who sent the last one. Great. These death threats still shake Knox a little. He stays late to help Eli as it’s only one week to his wedding to Ashton and he's always got so much work to do. On the way home Knox stops by Nate’s house to drop off his coat he left at Until Proven. When Knox goes into Nate’s room he finds him looking at photos from the construction site, trying to help Knox’s dad piece things together. ((Oh! And Stan is there! Yes, the actual lizard is doing well.)) There looks to be missing joists, but that can’t be so. The original construction company cut corners but not to that degree and the rubble doesn’t match the deterioration. When Knox gets home, his dad is pouring over the site blueprints. His dad makes some snide remarks about work ethic and sticking with things, this makes Knox mad and he lashes out and accuses his dad of liking Nate more. It all boils over until his dad basically dismisses him. Knox heads up to his room remembering something Nate said about the site. “If you were totally paranoid, you’d almost think somebody messed with the landing.”
Monday, March 23
Knox has summoned Maeve and Phoebe for a secret meeting at lunch. He tells them his theory about the construction site but is met with skepticism. Phoebe suggests waiting for the conclusion to the investigation. Maeve is just about to turn the PingMe notifications for the discussion board back on when her phone rings. It’s her Oncologist with the results from her blood tests. She’s all clear! No leukemia! But, her iron is low, causing the bruising and nosebleeds, so she’s getting a prescription for vitamins. As the lunch bell rings, she shoots off texts to her parents but also to Luis, apologizing and asking to talk.
Thursday, March 26
On the way out of school, Phoebe stops by the bathroom and sees graffiti slandering her. Jules walks in and her eyes flick to the graffiti, so she probably wrote it. Phoebe hasn’t talked to Jules since seeing the video and Phoebe makes some pointed comments about Sean missing Brandon, which he doesn't appear to at all. How it could have been any of them? Jules looks fairly vacant and pretty much agrees with everything Phoebe says, but snaps out in time for a bitchy comment. After school Phoebe has her shift at the café but it’s slow so Mr. Santos lets her leave early, which is fortunate as a stranger left a cryptic and aggressively direct note telling her to stop ghosting them and meet at the park at 5:30. Knox, Maeve and Luis suggest it might be Derek, try and describe the Intense Guy who has been around the café a few times. Then they all decide to go for a stakeout.
They turned up half an hour late to the stakeout because of traffic but the guy is still there. From the car, no one can be totally sure if it's the Intense Guy and Phoebe can’t tell if it’s Derek. Going incognito by borrowing Knox’s hoodie (which smells really nice), she and Knox head to the children’s play area to hide in the playhouse to get a better line of sight. This leaves Maeve and Luis alone for the first time since the kitchen face-maul, sure they’ve texted but not been alone. Maeve confesses she likes Luis and has for a while, and Luis confesses the same. When the Intense Guy starts to leave, heading straight for them, Maeve grabs Luis who is craning to see the Guy better and the traditional distraction make out session begins. Phoebe catches them, knocking on the window and giving a cheery wave, which gives them enough time to set themselves to right before Knox climbs in the car, too. Phoebe tells them it’s definitely not Derek and she has no idea who he is. They notice the Intense Guy getting into a car, so they tail him!
Knox and Maeve are sitting in his kitchen after hours of tailing. They have a license plate and registration, an address and a name: David Jackson. If they match to Intense Guy remains to be seen. As they’re searching Google and social media, Maeve gets a PingMe notification, the Vengeance is Mine forum has a new post from Darkestmind. “Fuck you, Phoebe, for not showing up. Yeah I used your name. WE HAD A DEAL.” Darkestmind and Intense Guy are one and the same, so he’s also Unknown? Did he arrange Brandon’s death? Who is he? Knox tells Maeve about the conversation he overheard between his parents and Brandon getting off lightly about something. Well, Knox’s parents are out and his mom's laptop is just sitting there… As they try to locate potential files about Brandon, a car pulls into the drive. it’s just Kiersten. While Knox distracts his sister, Maeve emails the potential Brandon files to herself.
Phoebe meanwhile is standing glaring at the working dishwasher. It’s a horrible reminder that her dad was locked in a battle of wills with their old one that never worked. She checks her mom’s liquor cabinet and finds the sole bottle gone, Emma must have it. Going to check on her and the probable mess she’s made, Phoebe finds her sister unconscious and convulsing. Moving her to her side, Emma vomits everywhere, her lips turn blue and her breaths too shallow. Owen runs in at the noise. Phoebe shouts at him to call 911 and say it’s alcohol poisoning. When the ambulance is on its way, Owen asks who poisoned Emma. That is a very good question.
Friday, March 27
Phoebe calls Maeve with an update on Emma. She’s going to be fine but there is talk of rehab. She’s not awake yet to tell anyone what’s happening with her. With all that going on Maeve didn’t want to put more pressure on Phoebe with the Darkestmind posts. And she hasn’t had time to get into Mrs. Myer’s files yet. On a brighter note, Bronwyn is home for Ashton and Eli’s wedding. She’s mad that Maeve kept her possible relapse a secret, but gets over that quickly and says since Nate persuaded Maeve to tell her parents about her symptoms returning, she’s been talking to him and watching movies with him every night. Aww.
On another stakeout, Maeve and Knox are sitting in a dingy coffee shop opposite the David Jackson house. Maeve has her laptop out, trying to open the files from Mrs. Myers. She finally gets one file open, but she's not sure if it’s relevant. As the headline, SETTLEMENT ON BEHALF OF EAGLE GRANITE MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, EASTLAND CA pops up, Maeve decides to dig into her bag for her phone to show Knox a picture of the menacing note Intense Guy left for Phoebe. Knox realizes the typography is the same as the death threats Eli has been getting! Pulling up his Google Drive, Knox manages to get some data. Darkestmind aka Intense Guy aka Unknown aka Death Threat Guy is Jared Jackson, whose mother killed herself by accident with sleeping pills one Christmas, who is the son of David Jackson, now deceased, younger brother to Officer Ray Jackson a policeman currently in jail awaiting trial for assisting in blackmailing and framing seventeen innocent people of drug possession. Eli is prosecuting Sergeant D’Agostino, who is at the center of the blackmailing and framing scandal. Jared knew D’Agostino through a mentoring program and did so well he got a job at a local construction company. But what has that got to do with Phoebe? They try to call Eli but he has his phone turned off so he can get married in peace. As they contemplate their next steps, Jared leaves the house and Maeve gets a PingMe. A new post on Vengeance is Mine from Darkestmind says, “Tick-tock, time’s up. Guess I’ll just fucking do it myself.”
Hurrying into Maeve’s car, they tear off after Jared. Knox pulls out her laptop to check the documents Maeve was able to open. Wow. They’re damning. Lance Weber, Brandon’s dad, admitted that a few years ago on Bring Your Child to Work Day, his then 13 year old son had been found on one of the machines for at least five minutes. Shortly after, Andrew Lawton, Phoebe's dad, was crushed by a slab of granite that fell from that same piece of machinery. Knox thinks Phoebe may have been in on Brandon’s death as revenge but Maeve doesn’t think so, Phoebe seemed genuinely shocked and she had been hooking up with Brandon. Would someone be that bent on vengeance? Because Maeve has been having to drive like a NASCAR driver to keep up with Jared, she doesn’t realize that they are outside the restaurant where Eli and Ashton are having their wedding rehearsal after party.
Why is no one picking up their damn phones!? Knox and Maeve are sitting in the car, watching Jared in his and getting understandably frustrated with people not conforming to Gen Z stereotypes. Jared suddenly gets out of his car and pulls a backpack on his shoulder. Knox climbs out of the car and starts recording him on his phone. Maeve follows. Jared goes down the side of the restaurant and throws the backpack under the wooden deck of the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner after party is happening. When he’s gone, Knox tries to reach for the backpack but he is too broad, so Maeve crawls under the deck and grabs it. Inside is metal and wires. It must be a bomb. Oh shit! Luckily the park is behind the restaurant so Knox runs into it with the backpack, Maeve following behind, and with the greatest throw he has ever done, flings the bag in the field. There’s a commotion from behind the bushes, Nate and Bronwyn were out for a stroll. With no time to explain, they scream at them to run. Just as they reach the restaurant and people are pouring out at the commotion, the bomb goes off.
Phoebe is at the hospital having fallen asleep in her sister's room. Emma hasn’t stirred. The nurse comes in, and Phoebe follows her out for some water, and decides to finally text Derek back. At the nurses' station, they are complaining about a full waiting room after the bomb explosion. Wait! What bomb? The nurses explain what happened and say that luckily, only one boy was injured. Phoebe races downstairs to find that the waiting room is packed and the media are outside. Inside she spots everyone but Eli, Ashton, Knox and Nate. Addy explains what happened. Knox is with Eli, Ashton and the police, and Nate basically acted like a shield and took a lot of shrapnel in his arm, keeping Bronwyn safe since they were closer to the explosion. As she is being told that the police caught the person responsible, Derek calls her back. He wants to be with her, they had something special, blah, blah, blah. Phoebe can’t believe it. No they didn’t have something special and who did he talk to for it to come out? His answer stuns her. He told Emma the very next day. As he is telling her this, Phoebe gets urgent texts from her mom to get to Emma’s room. There is a Detective who wants to ask her some questions. Jared Jackson told the police that he was working with Phoebe. She told him about their father's death and wanted vengeance against Brandon and, in return, she would help him with his revenge scheme. All of this is news to Phoebe and she is stunned. Then someone speaks up saying it was her. It’s Emma. She was the one communicating with Jared and she told him she was Phoebe because she was pissed about her sleeping with her boyfriend, but everything went too far and he wouldn’t stop it when she asked. They need a lawyer.
Saturday, March 28
Eli and Ashton’s wedding goes off perfectly. It’s the antidote they all need. Phoebe couldn’t go because of the ongoing investigation and Knox is concerned for her, so he pops by with some wedding cake. Knox walks to Phoebe’s, her mother opens the door and he hands her a piece of paper with a list of good lawyers given to him by Eli. He can't be involved obviously. Phoebe's mom tells Knox Phoebe's on the roof terrace. Gah! Heights! Knox hates heights but he braves it for Phoebe. She’s been crying and is wracked with guilt and eats the cake while sobbing. She and Knox share a very hot and heavy kiss, after which Knox is happy to report all systems function wink, wink, and for the first time in days, Phoebe laughs. When he gets home, his dad is waiting up. He tells Knox he is proud of him and they hug it out.
Wednesday, April 1
It’s the first day back at school and Phoebe is dreading it. She’s had some messages from Knox and Maeve. Then, she bumps into Jules. They reach an understanding of sorts and admit they should have talked to and supported each other. That evening, Phoebe is sitting with Emma, their mom and their lawyer going over details of what exactly happened. Emma was upset after Derek told her about the hookup, then she found paperwork about their dad's accident, which pushed her over the edge. Yes, she helped plan the game; she was going to get her vengeance first and then they would move on to Jared's, but she didn’t know that it was about killing Eli. She only knew it had something to do with Jared’s brother. Emma pretended she was Phoebe because she was so mad at her sister, thinking she didn’t care about her. Emma asked Jared to stop after the first text. She deleted their text app, broke her phone and never made contact with him after February 19th. This is problematic as the messages between “Phoebe” and Jared don’t stop there.
What?! The lawyer shows Emma and Phoebe the text transcripts and something makes alarm bells ring. “The more bazaar the better right?? Lol” Emma doesn’t LOL. Emma doesn’t use double question marks. Emma didn’t have a memorable moment of misspelling bizarre. Owen did. The one person who sees and hears everything, who networked their phones and computers, who saw the divide in the family. Handing the transcript back, Emma tells her lawyer it is obviously a product of a disillusioned mind, that Jared must have been using a dummy account to text himself, and nobody can prove anything differently.