I Am The Night: “The Matador” ramps up the drama, but when will we know the truth? (Recap)


In episode 4 of the TNT Miniseries I Am The Night, “The Matador”, tabloid reporter Jay Singletary (Chris Pine) closes in on a theory he’s had for years.

“The Matador” is the most beautiful episode of I Am The Night  thus far. Beautiful shots of Dr. Hodel’s and Corinna Hodel Huntington’s homes are spread throughout. The score is also wonderful as Fauna Hodel (India Eisley) is still searching for answers about her biological mother. Corinna Hodel Huntington (Connie Neilsen) hosts an art happening that Jay and Fauna will not soon forget.

The point of the series is to find out what happened to Fauna’s biological mother, Tamar, at least I’m lead to believe that, and while I can tell you that at the end of this episode, we still don’t know, I can tell that we’re close.

While Singletary was blotto in the last episode, he purchased a magazine about The Black Dahlia. He went home and compared the injuries in the Elizabeth Short case to the ones inflicted upon the prostitute he found in the morgue in the first episode. They’re strikingly similar.

Jay joins his old war buddy Ohlis for lunch in a diner, where Ohlis is back on the beat for protecting Jay in the previous episode. He says that will still never make the two of them equal for how Jay saved his life in Korea. Ohlis’ partner is “the oldest beat cop in the city” and he asks him about Elizabeth Short and if he thinks it’s possible that there’s a copycat of her murderer.

Meanwhile, Fauna is riding with Terrence to the place where they found Nero’s body. A homeless man tells the two of them that he saw a white man in a Buick at the scene. Sepp drives a Buick. Terrence becomes freaked out once he has a feeling Fauna is involved in Nero’s death. When Fauna returns to her aunt’s house, her cousin Tina accuses her of being a “fast mover” re: her staying at Terrence’s the night before. Then, someone rings the door bell and it was a white man with an invitation to her step-grandmother’s “Happening”. Additionally, Fauna discovers that Jimmie Lee is coming to town that night.

After harassing Peter about George Hodel, Jay arrives at the happening. It’s exactly what you would imagine a rich person’s party in the ’60s might be like. Weird projections on the walls, people dressed up in all sorts of weird outfits, living installations, probably A LOT of drugs going around and of course, a performance art piece by Corinna herself.

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The scene where Corinna is performing is probably one of the most interesting in the episode, because of how it’s shot and because of its similarity to real performance art pieces that I’ve seen in reality. Corinna sits still on a chair and an assistant drops a bag of scissors on the floor. Then the audience takes turns and cuts her dress apart. Fauna won’t do it when the scissors are handed to her and Corinna leaves the room. After this she has an argument with Fauna about whether or not she knows what “avant-garde” means and other such pretentious nonsense. While this is happening, Fauna steals Corinna’s address book and discovers she’s in Hawaii.

Fauna tries to leave but gets knocked out by Sepp, who has the creepy mask with him. Singletary isn’t far behind and pulls Fauna away and then proceeds to beat Sepp to death. They take his body out of the house in a wheelbarrow, through the art installation and no one notices. They bury him in the same place Nero is buried. Then Fauna goes to Jay’s house and sees him pass out drunk on his couch, when previously he was drinking straight from a bottle while driving. His alcoholism reminds her of Jimmie Lee. The next morning she wakes him up by pouring a bucket of water on his head.

Jay then goes to Sepp’s house to attempt to get information. There’s a knock on the door while he’s there, which freaks Jay out originally, but it ends up being someone with an invitation to another event, an art opening of paintings from George Hodel’s collection. He takes it. While this is happening, Fauna is watching Jimmie Lee sing. After Jimmie Lee comes off stage, Fauna tries to get information about Hodel from Jimmie Lee, but only gets slapped in the face. Fauna only wants to know the truth.

The episode concludes with Singletary at the exhibit. He approaches Corinna, who has called him several times but never admits it, and she tells security that he’s bothering her. He outruns them and ends up in a room full of paintings George owns that all have women in pieces, all that are similar to the way Elizabeth Short (The Black Dahlia) was cut into pieces when she was murdered.

We still don’t know all we need to know, but we’re getting there and I’m pretty sure that our next episode will take us with Jay and Fauna to Hawaii, since it’s title is “Aloha”. We’ll see what happens there soon in our next recap.

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