The Big Door Prize S1E5: Trina

Over four episodes, we’ve explored Dusty and Cass’ marriage, and how Morpho’s predictions of their potential has exposed a lot of the cracks in a previously placid facade. But their daughter Trina has mostly been lurking in the background, offering up the occasional bit of backtalk to her parents, or sharing a warm moment with Jacob, the twin brother of her late boyfriend, Kolton. We know Kolton’s death has had an effect on her. We know she’s now secretly in a relationship with Jacob. But all we get are glimpses, until this episode, which dives right in.

We open on Trina smashing the sign on the roof of Georgio’s, the Italian restaurant-slash-laser tag emporium she works at. Not the giant fiberglass pile of spaghetti and, for some reason, hockey stick that graces the top of the establishment, but just the G and the O, so it now reads “Orgio’s.” Georgio is furious, both because of the damage to his property, and because he needs to have the play on “orgy” explained to him. “It’s not even accessible humor!”

Georgio backs off, because it’s the day after Kolton’s funeral (this was a flashback), but more because he has an obvious crush on Cass and wants to look like the good guy and show up Dusty. But in the show’s present day, Trina’s still feeling like her friends just see her as “this tragic widow” and she feels guilty about something she can’t talk to her parents about, and won’t talk to Father Reuben (who it turns out is the school counselor, and not just a priest who shows up now and again to offer counsel to agnostic teens, as it previously seemed) about.

Meanwhile, the town is still reeling from Morpho. Principal Pat fires the basketball coach after his card reads “cheater.” “But I’m only cheating on my wife!” And she’s upset with Dusty for getting his unfinished tattoo on school grounds from the school nurse (her card said “tattoo artist,” so even Dusty isn’t immune to believing Morpho’s predictions, although he also assumed as a nurse, she’d be good with needles.)

But she also suggests Dusty surprise Cass with a weekend away. At what turns out to be the landlocked town’s cruise ship-themed B&B run by Cass’ ex-stepmom Martha, who left because she didn’t want kids. But she’s gracious, and seems sincerely apologetic that Cass got stuck with the smallest room in the place, and Cass and Dusty flirt and seem to be having a good time.

But naturally, things get awkward quickly, as they get propositioned for a threesome by a woman who decided her Morpho card (“explorer”) meant she should explore her sexual fantasies with little to no involvement from her obliging husband. The awkward threesome attempt and everything that leads up to it is pretty standard sitcom shtick, but post-shenanigans, Cass runs into Martha again, and the two open up. Cass’ mom always told her she was the reason Martha left, and told Martha Cass didn’t want to continue a relationship. Of course, she was lying to both of them. 

But that leaves Trina alone on what would have been Kolton’s (and is Jacob’s) birthday. Jacob’s stuck spending time with his dad, Beau, and doesn’t want to subject her to that. Her school friends still “don’t know how to be around her” and are conspicuously not inviting her to parties. And her parents, only finally starting to pay attention to each other’s issues, are oblivious to hers. 

She can only take an empty house for so long, so she goes to Jacob’s anyway. They make morbid jokes about Kolton, and then open up to the fact that, while the whole town sees him as an angel (and it’s hard not to), he wasn’t always the best brother, or the best boyfriend, and that fact pushes Trina and Jacob together in the first place.

Then they go downstairs for movie night with Beau — who’s been checked out since Kolton’s death and has recently been trying to overcompensate. After some father-son-son’s-secret-girlfriend awkwardness, Beau opens up to Trina. He feels like he didn’t really know his son that well, and that he could have been a better father to him, and now it’s too late to fix that. 

Trina opens up in kind, and admits that she could have been a better girlfriend to Kolton. Her Morpho card didn’t say “potter,” as she’s been telling everyone. It said “liar.” But she decides to be honest, and tells Beau she cheated on his son, although not with who. Beau doesn’t take it well, and throws Trina out. Jacob plays dumb, but that just means he can’t even pretend to be friends with Trina, and the secret of his relationship with her is going to hit even harder when it does eventually come out.

Stray potential:
• While this was Trina’s episode, I feel like it still could have used more Trina. Her parents’ misadventures were amusing, but took up a lot of time in the episode, and we still don’t know much more about Trina than we did when it started. Here’s hoping we get more focus. 

• The blue dots on Dusty’s ass haven’t been mentioned since the first episode, but they are back, and have gone from three to five to seven, and we still have no explanation as to what they could possibly mean.

• It looks like we’ve stopped ending episodes with Morpho card reveals, but this one ends with a strange, striking sequence we’ll likely get an explanation for in next week’s episode, “Beau.”

• A leftover note from last week that it was hard to talk about without spoiling the ending. Father Reuben was inspired to be a priest years earlier… by Morpho. So how long has this thing been around? How many towns and lives has it upended? The show has been good at quietly setting up more mysteries, and given it’s based on a book and not making things up as it goes, we’re looking forward to seeing a well-thought-out resolution. (Although it’s not clear where the story might go in season two, which Apple TV has already signed on for.)