Kiss Me First Season 1 Episode 6: You Can Never Go Home Recap

 

KMF106Shadowfax&Adrian

Adrian has decided to move on from team sports to a one on one battle with Leila. For all of his brave talk about wanting to play a high stakes game, he’s changed the rules at every turn to make sure the deck is stacked in his favor. Leila’s captivity at Adrian’s hands is different from anything we’ve seen before on Kiss Me First, and could be triggering for some viewers who aren’t expecting the sudden change in tone.

Someone, meaning Tippi, Force or Adrian, fished Leila out of the water after the end of episode 5, and tended to her injuries. The action moves back to London for the season finale, though it’s not clear in the beginning exactly where Leila is, other than being held hostage.

I appreciate that Kiss Me First once again shows Leila holding it together while she fights her battle, but needing to break down later. That’s the reality of being strong and good in a crisis. Leila isn’t a psychopath who fakes emotions like Adrian. She’s reserved. Her emotions are internalized, and sometimes deferred to a time when she can express them privately and safely.

For the grand finale, Adrian goes for kidnapping, assault and torture. During the precredits sequence we see Leila stripped down to her skivvies, lying on a mattress, strapped down, and hooked up to an IV that’s keeping her drugged. She rises to consciousness briefly when a bright light shines into her eyes, and struggles against her bindings, whimpering and complaining. Before long she’s drugged unconscious again.

After the title sequence the show moves to Leila’s house, where Jonty is sneaking in through the kitchen window. He can’t stand being left out of the loop any longer and needs to find out what’s happened to Leila. He finds Tess instead. She’s hoping that Jonty has news of Leila.

There was a bit of an odd time jump between episodes. Shouldn’t Tess have some idea of what happened to Leila since they were on the beach together? Or does she still think she can trust Tippi, Adrian and their hired hands to tell her the truth? Given how rushed and eventful this episode is, along with the time jump, this season would have been better off with another episode or two so they could flesh out the end of the story.

Jonty and Tess fill each other in on everything that happened while Tess was away. I could kiss them both, because this is the obvious and sensible thing to do first when characters are reunited, and they so rarely do it. Tess and Jonty are already better investigators than 95% of TV characters.

Next, Tess the Femme Fatale has to explain the psychology of Adrian the Sophisticated Super Villain to Jonty the Ingenue, which is just good old-fashioned fun. If you forgot that you were watching a noir, here’s your reminder.

KMF106Tess,Jonty&Myra'sAshes.png

She echoes Adrian’s speech from episode 5, asking if Jonty’s ever wanted to kill someone. She asks, “If you could make someone do anything to themselves, anything you like, to other people, too, why wouldn’t you?”

Between Tess’ crazy-eyed stare into the mirror and dreamy tone of voice, it seems certain that she has some people in mind. I’m reminded again of the way she left her father to suffer through his stroke. If you could passively kill someone who’d done terrible, secret things to you, would you? Would you feel remorse later?

Would you extend that power to strangers, once you’d gotten your revenge? Would you turn it into a game?

Jonty knows his answer to the question. He’s a “loafer, not a fighter.” Tess can’t believe he’s for real. They establish that he and Leila had a thing, and he wants to continue the thing, but he doesn’t want Tess in addition to Leila. I think Tess is relieved to hear that he’s not jonesing for a threesome, and she decides to trust him.

Tess appears to be sober and more stable. She’s off of Adrian’s roller coaster ride, and, after everything Leila went through for her, has the security of knowing that she has at least one person who’s there for her unconditionally. That’s not a cure, but sobriety and a healthy relationship or two can make a world of difference in anyone’s mental health. She’s tested Leila just about as far as you can test someone.

Jonty, Tess and the car that barely runs take a ride back out to Ruth Palmer’s house as they retrace Leila’s steps. Tess despairs of ever teaching Jonty the ways of the world, when she realizes just how much he shared with Adrian in their phone calls. Of course, Tess was the one who followed Adrian to the island, but we’re moving on from that, okay?

Tess, being Tess, stands in the middle of Ruth’s long driveway when Ruth drives toward her, making Ruth stop. Ruth gets out and tells Tess that it’s a private road and that she’s beautiful. She is beautiful, but it’s an odd reaction. Is she Adrian’s usual type? Is there a history with someone who looks like Tess?

Tess recognizes Ruth. Then she explains that she’s got some issues, but she’s the only one left from the suicide cult who’s able to rescue Leila. She says that at least 3 members are dead. Calumny and Denier are the only confirmed deaths. Who does she think is the third, Kyle or Jack?

Ruth remembers Leila. She says that Leila thought they had something in common, but she was wrong. Ruth is saying that she’s never killed anyone, even though she went to prison for murdering her husband. Either she’s lying, or she was framed by Adrian.

Ruth asks if Leila found what she was looking for. Tess says that Leila was looking for her, and she’s found, but now Leila needs to be rescued from Adrian, Ruth’s son. Ruth deflects and suggests that Tess has been misled or imagined things. Tess says that she, “wasn’t imagining it when your precious son tried to get someone to drown me at your horrible house in Croatia. I wasn’t imagining that he used your game to groom and kill my friends.”

And, whoops, that sounds like grounds for lawsuits. This is no longer a friendly conversation. Ruth walks up close to Tess and lifts up her head by putting her fingers under Tess’ chin. She says, “You really are a perfect thing. I would have loved a little girl. But I don’t have any children. So you see, whatever you think I’ve done, can’t be true.”

Tess is startled by the manhandling, but counters by taking out the black box. Ruth is interested again and wants to know where it came from. She denies sending it, but does tell Tess that it’s a base protocol box. There are only 4 left in the world. She really wants to get her hands on it, but Tess keeps it and leaves.

Ruth is stoic like Leila, but slippery and manipulative like Adrian. I’m not sure you can trust much that she says. Like Adrian, half or more of it seems to be vague and misleading in ways designed to encourage others to tell their secrets or act against their own best interests. The rest goes in circles and doesn’t reveal much, or consists of backhanded insults. The way she went straight to objectifying Tess was creepy.

But the key statement in this conversation is “I would’ve loved a little girl. But I don’t have any children. So whatever you think I’ve done can’t be true.”

Tess hasn’t accused Ruth of doing anything, or of having a daughter. She brought up her son, Adrian. Ruth’s entire argument is made up of non-sequiturs and irrelevant information that sound on the surface like they are pertinent to the situation.

Ruth carefully worded her statement about children in the present tense. That doesn’t mean she never had any children. Saying she would’ve loved a little girl doesn’t even mean she never had a daughter. Think of all of the ways you could end that sentence. I would’ve loved a little girl if… mine hadn’t been such a disappointment… if I hadn’t given mine up for adoption… if my heart weren’t made of stone…

As for not having any children now, all that means is that she and Adrian have legally disowned each other. Maybe the theories that Adrian is already dead and lives on as an AI are correct. Maybe he called her mummy, but he wasn’t hers. He was just a child she acquired because of his computer aptitude. He did say that he was “found”.

Leila wakes up again. This time, Adrian is there, still in the form of his game avatar, while she looks like herself in real life. He sounds as reasonable as ever on the surface, asking how she is, being understanding when she’s angry. Leila stays true to herself, threatening to find him when she escapes and make him pay for killing her friends. He points out that they were really his friends, and flashes a moment of Tippi desperately complaining that he was supposed to pick her.

Then Adrian gets down to his real purpose. While the others were a bit boring, Adrian has always found Leila interesting. He wants to give her something in return- Absolution, because she needs it. She needs to feel everything she did, then she’ll be able to change for the good.

She’s suddenly on a stormy sea, with her mother a distance away, calling to her. Her mother’s voice becomes worried, asking what Leila has done to her. Then Myra becomes frantic and she screams in pain before she dies.

Tess wakes up with nightmares and asks to slept next to Jonty. He lets her into bed. They decide that they have to try talking to other people about Leila, maybe the police, tomorrow.

Jack is in the hospital, in a coma, while Jocasta still circles Azana Planet in her sleep. Jack talks to Force in his sleep. The maid, Daisy, is the only one who’s there for him at the hospital.

First thing in the morning, Saul Green, from Azana, knocks on the door, then takes Jonty and Tess to an Azana office building where he says they’ll do something about Leila. After making them wait 45 minutes, Saul brings in Tracey, who deals with corporate resolutions. Saul and Tracey sound disturbingly like Adrian: (Saul) “There are millions of teammates throughout the Azana world. All so precious. It’s civilization, actually. And we look after it. So, When something has occurred we want to, you know, react. And something has, hasn’t it?” (Tracey) “With Leila?”

I’m not sure they could say Leila’s name with more distaste. They go through the crimes Leila is accused of, the gospel according to Adrian. Jack/Jocasta’s beating has now been added to the list. There is conveniently no security footage available from that high rent/high security apartment. Leila’s visit to Cyril’s mom after his death is now also somehow a cause of his death.

The icing on the cake is Tippi’s live interview with Tracey, in which she has a black eye and seems very subdued and scared. Her real name is Tomiko Teshima and she lives in Berlin. She came to Azana because she didn’t know where else to go. Shadowfax has created this death cult and used the members for her evil purposes. She can make them do anything. ANYTHING!!! ☠️☠️☠️

KMF106TomikoKMF106TessJonty&Myra'sAshesRound2

Tess and Jonty have heard enough and go home. The urn with Myra’s ashes is in the wrong place on the mantle. They realize that the house was searched while they were gone, and is probably bugged now. Well, Tess realizes it. Jonty works on being the plucky comic relief, while Tess takes over as the brains of the operation. There’s a car sitting outside, watching the house. Now they’re sure that Adrian’s framed Leila.

Leila wakes up, no longer strapped to the mattress, but with a sense collar on that she can’t remove. Adrian has “improved” his device so that it’s perfect for torture. He can force pain, pleasure and hallucinations on her all he wants. She remains defiant, calling him names and daring him to kill her.

Adrian uses the opportunity of a captive audience to philosophize villain monologue some more:

The world is so f–ked up that we don’t even notice anymore. Or if we do, it’s gone, in a moment, because of all the other s–t that’s crowding along behind. Life is mostly trivial drudgery. It’s drone stuff. It’s wanking, spending, procreating. You see, what I do, what I do instead, is poetry, really. And I kept thinking I’d found someone who got as big a kick out of this as me. But always, always disappointment. And then, blow me down, an anonymous frump from Rotherhithe. It’s you. [Leila: No] Are you sure? Are you really sure, Shadowfax? Because you do stick around, don’t you? Who knows? Maybe I’ll do good, next time.

Two out of three of the boring, drone activities of life are related to sex. He may or may not be asexual, but sex is mechanical for him at the very least. He’s quite misogynist, and makes a habit of insulting the looks of the women. I don’t know if he’s attracted to men besides being misogynist, but we’ve rarely heard more than a mild insult toward the men, including Jocasta/Jack. Most of them were about Force’s inability to control his anger and violent tendencies.

He’s still rewriting reality in his head to fit what he wants. He’s been in control of Azana Planet and his own life so completely for so long that he wants to dictate it in every situation. He assumes that if he tells Leila that she stuck around for the game and for him instead of to rescue Tess, she’ll eventually start to believe him, because so many young women have such low self-images that he can generally get them to doubt themselves and reality without much work. He’s already convinced himself it’s true.

Leila, as usual, isn’t interested in his theories. She tells him that he’s “a sad little boy whose mum let him down.” He shocks her using the collar, and says they share that experience.

He does something to the sense band as he asks Leila if Myra stared into her eyes as she died. Leila looks straight at him and says she hates “her”, then looks shocked and surprised at what she said. She was going to say something about Adrian, but the sense collar short circuited her brain.

While Leila has a normal amount of anger and resentment toward her mother for dying and leaving her alone, we’ve never been given the indication that Leila hates her. Mostly, she just seems to miss Myra, and be a little overwhelmed that she performed an assisted suicide.

Adrian asks her to hold on a minute. Leila looks ill. Adrian decides that now would be a good time to make her laugh uncontrollably. While she laughs, Adrian screams at her for not appreciating all of the work that’s gone into their current scenario. He doesn’t understand why she won’t play.

Leila can’t be beaten while she’s still conscious. She stands up and invites Adrian into the game to join her. She slowly, seductively removes her clothes, taunting him with his inability to satisfy a real life woman like her. The game background around her becomes bubbling, hot lava. Adrian begs her to stop ruining his game scenario. He shocks her continuously, but she pretends that it’s a turn on, while still insulting him and doing her provocative striptease.

Finally, Adrian can’t take it anymore and let’s the scenario crumble. She wakes up in a bedroom at Mr Adam’s house, hooked up to various medical machines. Someone was in the room monitoring her condition, but left. Leila pulls off all of the device hook ups, then lies on the floor and cries out of sheer exhaustion and relief.

KMF106Azul&Leila

When Leila leaves Mr Adams’ house, she’s in one of her own clean outfits. Adrian had one picked up while her house was searched. She goes to Azul and falls into her surrogate dad’s arms, crying. Azul is the best surrogate parent anyone could ever want in a crisis, and knows exactly what to do. Leila probably should have brought him in on the whole caper when Force came to town.

He feeds her and brings out the black base protocol box, which Tess hid with him. When Leila finds out who he got it from, she wants to run straight home. Azul stops her, warning her that Tess told him that people are watching and it’s life or death.

Then he asks her what kind of life or death problems a white girl like her could have.

I’m going to overlook the fact that he thinks white girls can’t have real problems, since the whole world has decided to undermine the power white women have gained by pretending that now they are power mad, don’t know their place and don’t know how good they have it. Also the writers said it, not Azul. He’s better and more respectful of Leila than that. Especially since he knows her mother DIED not long ago. And that Leila is alone in the world, without the privileges and protections that having rich white male relatives gives to white women, even in the most feminist countries in the world.

Once Leila tells Azul her possibly life or death story about the suicide cult she just escaped from after being held hostage and drugged for several days, he calls Tess and Jonty to let them know that he no longer has a job available because his old waitress came back. Get it?

Jonty and Tess are rested up and ready for adventure. Once Tess explains the secret code to Jonty, they pack up their gear and stealthily take the back alleys to Azul’s Cafe, where they then stealthily go in the front door. Still working on the spy skills.

Tess and Leila have a tearful reunion. Leila even calls Tess “you silly cow”, like she and her mother used to call each other. For the first time, Tess is the grown up. She holds and comforts Leila, then interprets for Jonty when he catches up, because he only speaks BOY, not normal human apology language. With Tess’ help, Leila forgives Jonty. Group hug time!

mv5bnzdkztbkotmtymiyni00n2q0ltljngmtytfmnmm4y2uwnjdmxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyodq3mjm4mtc-_v1_

Azul doesn’t waste time ordering them to figure out a plan and get the heck out of his restaurant, because it’s kind of an obvious place to look for them. But, proving he’s surrogate dad of the year, he gives them the keys to his van.

Meanwhile, Azana pulls out all the stops to try to find Leila and get the base protocol box back. Who’s controlling Azana: Ruth or Adrian? Beats me.

News report:

Reporter: Computer giant Azana International faces investigation following revelations their gaming platform unwittingly hosted a cult involved in the deaths of several young players. Police widened their search for Leila Evans, believed to be the leader of the illegal group, as victims spoke out.

Tomiko/Tippi:We used to meet in Red Pill and it was beautiful. Then we started dying. She had a box. Some kind of special box. She can make us do anything.

Saul: I’m sorry to say, it seems there may be a number of victims worldwide. I want to reassure everyone that we are doing our utmost to find this illegal environment and shut it down forever, making Azana Planet safe again for all users.

The trio takes Azul’s van back to Mr Adam’s house. Adrian’s computer set up is still in the bedroom where he held Leila hostage. Tess asks what Adrian did to her, clearly fearing sexual assault, but Leila says he only messed with her head. Which isn’t completely true, because he also drugged her, which is a form of assault.

Leila asks for quiet so that she can work. She’s going to take down Adrian now. She pulls out the base protocol box and opens it up, then reconfigures the parts and plugs it into the Azana Planet set up. Leila has developed the confidence and the determination to fully use her talents against Adrian this time, no holding back. She spends hours coding. Tess falls asleep. Leila covers her with a blanket and says, “I love you.” Ruth Palmer watches the code changes on her wall screen.

When Leila is finished, she sets Red Pill to “public” and meets Adrian in another forested area that she created and set to “public”. She’s made sure that Ruth is still watching. No more secret meetings with no witnesses.

She goes in as Shadowfax, but with a new look that she created for herself. Adrian complements her work, and asks if she wants to run away with him. They each bring up the fallen cult members. Their discussion of Force is kept vague enough that his status isn’t revealed, which usually means the character is alive.

Then Leila gets to the subject she really wants to bring up. It’s her turn to villain monologue:

Adrian: “This is nice. Just the two of us.”

Leila: “Oh, we’re not alone. Everybody’s watching.”

Adrian: “They’ll think you made me up. You can do anything nowadays.”

Leila: “Yes, but… She knows you’re real. Don’t you want to tell Mummy how you violated me? How she made you crazy, right? After everything you did for her. Making her happy by making her rich. Maybe even killing her nasty, little hubby. She just abandoned you. You had to go back where you came from, didn’t you? I bet that was pretty s–tty. Don’t you want to speak to her? She’s right here. Poor little Adrian Palmer. Go on. It’s been such a long time. You’ve been trying so hard to f–k her.”

Adrian: “No. No, that’s not what it was about.”

Leila: “Yes, it is. It’s another level. Goodbye, Adrian. Go f–k yourself.”

She disappears.

Adrian looks out at Ruth: “See what you’ve done?”

Ruth, crying: “I’m sorry.”

Ruth’s screen switches back to the waterfalls and gorges scene from Croatia as Adrian logs out, then the screen switches to Azana Planet rising.

Leila, Tess and Jonty leave Mr Adams’ house. Leila tells Tess that he was a good teacher and thanks his spirit for his help. She’s having a hard time with having accidentally gotten him killed.

Jocasta’s avatar blazes out of existence from its place in orbit around Azana Planet. Jack begins to wake up from his coma. Daisy is still there, by his bedside.

Leila, Tess and Jonty take a bus to… somewhere. They’re on the run from Leila’s murder charges. Leila thinks about her mom. Adrian calls her on the phone. He’s angry with her for making him talk to Ruth. NOW he’s coming for her, since she’s hurt him so badly. He senses that Leila isn’t taking his threats seriously.

Adrian: “You think you’ve won? Hmm. Let’s call it a draw. Anyway, a new adventure’s coming. High level of difficulty this time. See you around, Shadowfax.”

KMF106Tess&LeilaonBus


 

I can finally say it, after sitting on this tidbit for the entire season’s worth of recaps– Jonty was practicing the Taxi Driver speech in episode 1 because the main character, Bickle (Robert DeNiro), who he was quoting, is an antihero who is dubiously seen as a hero and as a villain. It was only an accident of fate and timing that had Bickle killing people the world saw as bad people, instead of a corrupt senator, who they would have seen as good.

Adrian and Leila are both seen as heroes and villains in Kiss Me First, depending on which character’s perspective you’re using, or as Tippi said, which character’s truth matters to you.

I think there’s a remote chance that this is a Fight Club situation and Leila is Adrian/ Ruth’s biological daughter without knowing it. We know nothing of Leila’s father, and she doesn’t look like her mother, Myra. Ruth Palmer says that she doesn’t have a son, but would’ve loved to have had a little girl. Adrian pretends to be Leila’s missing father. Leila looks more like Ruth than Myra. Leila is a math and computer prodigy, like Adrian. Azul asks if Myra is from around there, but he doesn’t ask where Leila’s from.

It’s possible that Ruth’s son was intersex and they didn’t know it until he was older, then sent him away when he had corrective surgery. That’s foreshadowed by Jack/Jocasta’s situation. It’s also possible that Adrian/Leila was kidnapped when she was little, and Ruth thinks she’s dead.

Or Leila could be related to Adrian and Ruth. She could be Ruth’s daughter who was lost, given up for adoption or kidnapped. Myra could have been Ruth’s sister, making Adrian her cousin, or the mistress of one of Ruth’s husbands, making Adrian her half brother. Both could have been Ruth’s children, and Adrian was Leila’s brother who died in childhood. Then Leila became obsessed with him, taking on his personality as a side personality to her own.

Or, Adrian still could be alive, but locked in a mental institution, in prison, in hiding because of his crimes or because he’s disfigured in some way and refuses to appear in public. He could have scopophobia, the fear of being looked at. If he’s not a dissociated personality of either Leila’s or Ruth’s, then I think that scopophobia will be part of the explanation for why we never see him, should we get a season 2. He’s pretty clearly dealing with some major childhood trauma. No matter what else is true, the minute or so of video that he showed us made it clear that Ruth treated Adrian like a tiny slave child who called her mummy, but she wouldn’t acknowledge him publicly. Being kept in the closet like that does a number on an adult’s head. It’s devastating for a child.

He could also be the AI version of Adrian that the real Adrian set in motion before he died. The ghost in the machine. Or it could be that Ruth set up Adrian as a test avatar while she was developing the program, and gave it too much power and ability to learn. It could have become able to control the program and then able to leave it. Once it could leave Azana Planet and use the entire web, anything became possible for it. “Adrian” could have faked the video footage of “his” childhood that “he” showed Leila.

The interesting aspect to me is that who or whatever Adrian is, he didn’t create a flesh and blood skin for himself when he was holding Leila hostage and had her in the realistic VR skin.  He kept his animated avatar throughout. That suggests that either she’d recognize him, he’s uncomfortable with his appearance, or he’s dissociated from his body because of trauma.

Whether Adrian is an AI or human, he could have given himself the fake appearance of a human body, the way he might have for the childhood videos. The fact that he didn’t, and is adamant about saving his followers from bad sexual situations, even if he later kills them, hints at something truly terrible happening to him.

Given the way that Adrian reacts to sex, nudity, and prostitution, my guess is that he was sexually abused by his step father, and possibly forced to perform sex acts for his stepdad’s friends. Denier’s relationship with his foster parent was likely a mirror of Adrian’s with his stepfather. Adrian eventually murdered his stepfather in retaliation, and framed his mother for allowing the abuse to happen, just the way Denier murdered his foster-father and Adrian framed Leila for encouraging Denier.

Adrian saves the women he thinks are victims (Tess, Calumny’s mother, maybe Tippi), but he doesn’t like liars and abusers, like Calumny’s dad and (he assumes) Leila. He was especially vicious toward Denier’s sexual abuser, and heartless toward Jocasta/Jack, a gay (trans?) boy who lied.

I believe he wanted to punish Tess for what she did to her father, but he saw her as a victim at the same time. She really was his favorite before Leila, but he won’t allow himself to have nice things. He killed his abusive stepfather, but feels guilty for the act. His stepfather probably paid more attention to him than Ruth, and was more affectionate, on the surface. I think Adrian, like Ben, killed his stepfather when he was still very young. His stepfather was probably the only person who treated him with any sort of warmth, yet he was also his abuser, and so abusive that it drove Adrian to murder.

That internal conflict could have led to a psychotic break within Adrian’s mind, and now he uses these death cults to reenact similar situations, trying to make sense of a senseless scenario, trying to absolve himself of guilt, the way he promised to absolve Leila, and trying to punish himself, the way he punished almost everyone. Everyone in the cult had parent issues. He tried to convince Leila that she had parent issues where none existed, going so far as to insert the emotions he thought she should feel.

I think that the origin story that makes the most sense is that Adrian is a child that Ruth acquired from his parents because he was a computer prodigy. She had him raised in seclusion at a very private estate and never connected herself to him on any legal documents. Anyone who noticed him thought he was the servants’ child. She pushed him to work, hard, from a very young age, and he created Azana Planet almost singlehandedly. She then took credit for it, including putting her name on every single financial document.

She figured that he was too young to understand what she’d done and was a nobody with no money or power anyway. She forgot about his technological skills, which he used to ruin her life first, and to take control of the fortune that’s rightfully his. After having been raised in seclusion by such a cold woman and hurt so badly, Adrian developed scopophobia, in addition to his other issues. That’s why he stays out of sight and lives in the shadows. He forces Ruth to live in the kind of isolation that she once forced on him.

Adrian can’t manipulate Leila the way he’s manipulated everyone else because she doesn’t have the emotional buttons that he depends on pushing. These are the buttons installed in girls by the modern Western culture that teaches us that women are never good enough and must always defer to men and put the needs of others above their own needs. They are the counterpoint to the toxic masculinity buttons installed in boys, which we see Adrian push in Force, Denier and Calumny.

He pushes each of the boys to believe that violence, of one kind or another, is the only answer, rather than using communication skills and asking for help, skills which code as female in our culture. He pushes Tess and Tippi into very feminine roles: seeking out friends, doing his real world communicating for him, cooking for the rest of the group and basing self worth on it.

Adrian is sure that Leila’s big issue is her mother’s death, and doesn’t know what to do with her when he finds that she’s not overly burdened with guilt or mixed feelings about her mother, beyond what any normal person would feel. She wants someone to talk to about her mother, a normal human reaction, but there’s nothing toxic in that need for him to exploit.

Rather, Leila’s season 1 emotional arc is about saving Tess and bringing the warrior skills she has in the Azana world into the real world. Leila works through her feelings about not being able to save her mother by saving Tess from herself and from Adrian. By saving Tess, Leila proves that she can be a positive force in the world, not just someone who ends life. In the process, Leila discovers what she’s capable of, learns to believe in herself, and makes connections in the real world.

Adrian inadvertently gave Tess and Leila what he promised Red Pill would do for them. Tess now has a real friend who has stuck with her through the tough times and believes in her. She has someone who loves her no matter what, the unconditional support her family never gave her. That support will carry her through future tough times, helping to keep her from falling quite so low.

The TV Tropes page for Kiss Me First has some interesting insights.

As of today, 9/21/18, Kiss Me First hasn’t been cancelled or renewed for season 2. With TV shows, I usually assume that no news is good news for the first 6-8 months, then I get worried that the show is quietly fading into oblivion. Almost all Netflix shows get 2 seasons, so there’s still hope.

As we stand now, Force is MIA, presumed alive by me. He was a double agent for the second half of the season, so there’s no way of telling which way he’ll go next season. Violence is a part of life for him, so I don’t think that someone hurting him (Leila) or him hurting them (Jack) defines his future feelings about them. Knowing Adrian, Force and Jack are in the same hospital, in which case Force won’t be able to keep himself from visiting Jack.

Jack is waking up from a coma after a severe beating by Force, his internet boyfriend, for lying about his identity. Jack can tell the police that Leila’s innocent, but then he incriminates Force, unless he lies and says it was a stranger who broke in. There’s no way to know yet how Jack will react to Force from now on. He could be understanding and forgiving or he could be angry/scared and get a restraining order against Force. But both he and Force are alone in the world, so that’s a powerful motivation to resume their friendship.

Tippi has gone to work for Azana in some capacity. The last time we saw her in person, Leila had left her lying on the ground after they fought in episode 5. Tippi made her way back to London and got the top execs at Azana to listen to her story and take her seriously with very little proof. Either Ruth or Adrian is behind her newfound fame. Either way, for the moment, Tippi is still useful and chosen. Maybe she’ll become Ruth’s adorable little girl who will be sweet and not outshine or challenge Mummy’s rule in any way. Maybe she’ll continue to be one of Adrian’s frontmen/henchmen in the real world.

Ruth seems to still be a prisoner in her own home. Adrian keeps her on a tight leash. I’m sure she got a message with instructions around the same time that Adrian called Leila, but Ruth’s wasn’t so personal. Maybe Ruth wanted the base protocol box so that she could use it to take down Adrian in her own way, to get him out of her life. That would explain why he would be so desperate to get it back, even though he gave it to Leila in the first place. He wants to get it before Ruth does.

Jonty is just happy to be here, wherever here is. He’s learned that it’s best if he follows orders.

 

Images courtesy of Netflix.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.