It’s all about splitting and coming back this week on Dear Edward, the Apple TV+ series about the tangled web of grief in the wake of a plane crash.
In the episode, entitled “Paper Covers Rock,” Edward acts out at school and is rewarded with a crisis or two he wasn’t aware were coming his way. Plus, Linda goes into labor, Lacey is clueless, Dee Dee doesn’t want group to end, Adriana and Kojo don’t want their time together to end, and Steve and Amanda don’t want their affair to end.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, your Apple TV+ reviewer is anxious for this dreadful series to end. (The good news is, the end is nigh.)
Dear Edward recap: ‘Paper Covers Rock’
Season 1, episode 9: Edward (played by Colin O’Brien) is in the principal’s office. He threw a piano down a flight of stairs in last week’s episode because his friend Shay (Eva Ariel Binder) finally got tired of his narcissistic cruelty and said they couldn’t be friends anymore. (We’ll see how long that lasts, incidentally. I get the feeling the show’s writers won’t actually punish our pint-size hero, even if he deserves it.)
The principal manages to compliment Edward while expelling him. “You’re probably the smartest kid at this school,” he says. (Sure thing man, whatever you say. I love a show about a prodigy where we get zero evidence of his genius. Just take it on faith, this idiot is smart, OK?)
Edward escapes out the window when the principal leaves the room for a minute to get the little horror some cake (not a joke), further proving the school leader’s genius. Edward gets home in time for his aunt Lacey’s (Taylor Schilling) pregnant houseguest, Linda (Amy Forsyth), to go into labor. Improbably, they let him ride to the airport with her, which gives him flashbacks to the plane crash that killed his mother, father and brother Jordan.
Guilt and letters
Lacey finds him eventually at the hospital and finally realizes the kid is maybe beyond conventional help. She calls John (Carter Hudson) to come watch Edward while she sits with Linda, and his far-more-chill reaction to Edward’s little crime spree is exactly what the kid needs. Edward tries to explain to John that he’s grieving extra hard these days. Why? Because he remembered that he only got his seat on the plane because he beat Jordan in a game of rock paper scissors.
John makes him feel better, though. And while he’s holed up in John’s office, Edward finds all the letters people have been writing to him these last few weeks since his miraculous survival of the crash. John and Lacey made a judgment call to keep the letters away from Edward.
(This is particularly bad stuff, and I don’t buy any of it. One of the other people who lost someone in the crash writes to a 10-year-old to say he can’t go on living anymore. A Chinese school child somehow got Edward’s address and wrote asking to be friends with him. No. No. No. No. This is a boy. No one would ask a boy for this kind of emotional catharsis and clarity. No. Absolutely not. I fundamentally do not accept this version of events.)
We can’t stop the grief party
Meanwhile, grieving society gal Dee Dee (Connie Britton) realizes the end of the airline’s payments for their grief group is near. So she starts hatching a plan to continue it on her own. She invites everyone to a party to distract from the pain of having a fight with her daughter Zoe (Audrey Corsa) over her husband, Charlie (Ted Koch). She finally decides to stop putting it off and goes to confront Zoe. Then she explains that Charlie was gay and lied to them, and they failed her as parents. It goes OK.
Steve (Ivan Shaw) decides to do something to memorialize his dead brother Brent (James Chen). So he asks Amanda (Brittany S. Hall) to help him make the recipe for soup dumplings that Brent tried to give him before he died in the plane crash. It takes them about three minutes before they’re having sex in his kitchen.
Kojo (Idris Debrand) and his niece, Becks (Khloe Bruno), are finally getting on a plane to go back to his home country, Ghana. Adriana (Anna Uzele), who had been housing them ever since Becks’ mom died in the plane crash, misses them. So she resorts to extreme measures to catch them before they depart. She gets the Transportation Security Administration to detain them so she can say goodbye.
This is as good as Dear Edward gets, folks
This is actually a pretty good, moving scene. The Kojo/Adrianna stuff doesn’t always work, but when it does it’s basically the best Dear Edward has to offer. Kojo explaining in a cramped and ugly little detainee room about the beauty of Ghana, as we see what he’s describing, is the first time this crew has had a cinematic idea that’s worked as well as they hoped (though they over-crank the musical underpinning, as usual).
Adrianna leaves, feeling defeated, and we’re given the distinct impression that if she wins her election tomorrow, she won’t be joining them in Ghana anytime soon.
If Dear Edward was just about these characters, you could have a lot of fun with the cliffhanger version of this as the season ends. But if Apple TV+ wants the show to continue, the writers can’t take the more elegant route out of this cul-de-sac. This is the only part of the show I’m remotely curious about how they wrap up next week.
Watch Dear Edward on Apple TV+
New episodes of Dear Edward arrive every Friday on Apple TV+.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.