Culture

Spoilers ahead.

Tonight, we learned why Fezco never made it to Lexi’s play.

At home, he’s ready to leave – he even had Faye iron his dress shirt and he’s got a whole bouquet of roses set – but Custer is here causing a major delay. He tells Fez that the cops found Mouse’s body, but Faye says he’s lying. (Custer told her that Laurie, head drug dealer, was the one that killed Mouse.) As the conversation gets more and more intense, Ashtray gets more and more suspicious. Ultimately, he takes the knife he’s been hiding in his sleeve and stabs Custer right in the neck, killing him. Fez takes Custer’s phone and dumps it in a giant soda.

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Insert wholesome break: We get a montage of Fez and Lexi’s phone conversations. They talk about their plans for the future. For him, it’s living on a farm with animals “like some Little House on the Prairie-type shit” (surprisingly, Lexi has never heard of the show) and for her, it’s balancing three kids with her writing career. They talk about the pitfalls of social media, the things they have in common, and why they’re glad they became friends.

Back at Lexi’s play, Cassie, freshly humiliated and dumped by Nate, storms the stage. She mocks her sister for “unpacking all of her trauma” and “judging all of us” in front of the whole school. Rue and Jules are cringing in the audience, and, at this point, so are we. When Cassie won’t stop, her mother Suze even gets on stage to put an end to her antics, unsuccessfully. People start booing Cassie. Even Maddy starts to call out details of Cassie and Nate’s relationship from her seat. Lexi is in tears.

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When Cassie’s infamous merry-go-round scene is revisited in the play, Cassie screams and tackles the actress off of her carousel horse. Maddy runs to the stage to beat Cassie up, with Kat and BB on her tail. She chases Cassie into the hallways of the school then grabs her by her straight blonde hair and throws her head against A. BRICK. WALL.

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Rue then reveals that a few days ago, she visited Elliot and told him that he might’ve accidentally saved her life. She forgives him. She hasn’t talked to Jules yet though; it’s going to take her some more time. Dominic Fike, the singer-actor playing Elliot, has his musical moment and plays Rue a song he’s working on. As he plucks on his guitar, he sings in the hook, “Think you may be my only friend / I’d give my all to see you shine again / I hope it was worth it in the end.” When Elliot asks if they can still be friends, Rue reminds him that they’re no good for each other.

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After Cassie’s disruption, Lexi is in shambles. But thanks to a sweet pep talk from Bobbi and her sparkly green eyeliner, Lexi gets up to face her cast backstage. Following Rue’s lead, the audience starts chanting Lexi’s name and helps her rebuild her confidence. Before resuming the show, Lexi apologizes to the crowd and even quotes something Fez told her about her play: “Sometimes people need to get their feelings hurt.”

Speaking of, back at Fez’s place, he tells Ash that he’s going to take the fall for him and assume the blame for Custer’s death when the cops arrive. Fez orders his little bro to wash the blood off his hands to prove his innocence, but Ash instead brings his stash of weapons with him to the bathroom and loads up.

Meanwhile, Nate drives full speed ahead – while loading his own gun – to his dad’s warehouse. He finds Cal drinking around with a few scantily clad guests. Nate asks him if he’s happier living here. After some goading, Cal admits he is “in some ways.” Now, Nate doesn’t think that’s fair. He tells the whole group that when he was 11 years old, he found videos of Cal’s sexual exploits and started having nightmares of his dad doing to him what he did to those hookers on tape. Cal tries his best to apologize; he says he loves his son and should’ve kept him safe but he didn’t, and that’s his biggest regret. Nate, however, is set on revenge. He takes out his gun and reveals a flash drive that has “everything” on it. The cops arrive – Nate led them there – and they arrest Cal.

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The local authorities are busy tonight. In another part of town, a SWAT team raids Fez’s home. As they storm through the house, Fez is still banging on the door to get Ash out of the bathroom, but he won’t listen, he’s too stubbornly loyal. Ash starts shooting at the SWAT team and they shoot back. In the crossfire, Fez gets hit in the side and drops to the ground in the hallway. An officer opens the bathroom door and finds Ash faking being unconscious, but he gets up and shoots the cop. Once he’s down, the red light of another SWAT member’s gun laser centers on Ash’s forehead. He’s shot and killed.

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“I was in the hall when you died,” the next scene begins, featuring a flashback of young Rue reading a speech at her father’s funeral. It’s a clear parallel to Fez’s own tragedy of watching his own little brother perish in the raid.

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Present-day Rue is reliving this moment as a scene in Lexi’s play. She’s moved, teary-eyed in her chair. Later on, she’ll call Lexi to tell her, “I thought your play was really beautiful,” and they make plans to hang out again. It’s a sweet moment, considering how the two have noticeably grown apart despite being thick as thieves when they were kids. “I think your play was the first time I was able to look at my life and not hate myself,” Rue tells Lexi. She later adds that watching it “meant the world” to her. They talk about their dads, how they miss them, and how often they think about them. Rue says Lexi’s absent father is probably trying to get better for her because he loves her. As they embrace, we cut to Lexi’s play ending on a similar tableau.

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Over in the girls’ bathroom, Cassie is disheveled. Maddy is icing the bruises on her feet with a coke can. Cassie reveals that Nate had broken up with her before she even got on the stage earlier tonight. Maddy warns her that “this is just the beginning.”

As the auditorium clears out, Jules approaches Rue and tells her she loves her and misses her so much. Without saying anything, Rue kisses her on the head and leaves as a tear rolls down Jules’ cheek. It doesn’t seem like they’ll be getting back together soon.

In a pensive narration, Rue reflects on Jules being her first love. She also reveals that she ends up staying clean for the rest of the school year. She doesn’t know how long it will last, but she’ll keep trying. She remembers something Ali told her: “The thought of maybe being a good person is what keeps me trying to be a good person.” She thinks there might be some truth to that after all.

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