Impulse Ep. 7: A look at 7 quotes from ‘He Said, She Said’


Henry pushes herself to the limit to take down the Boones in Impulse. Lucas starts to question Clay’s story. Jenna turns to Henry for advice. CW: Sexual Assault

Episode seven of Impulse takes a different tactic from those previous by spending significant time on Clay’s (Tanner Stine) storyline as well as Henry’s (Maddie Hasson) within the same 24 hours.

Picking up from the end of episode six, Henry throws a rock through a window in the Boone house out of frustration following her confrontation with Clay and later teams up with an unlikely ally. Meanwhile, Clay throws a house party and considers whether Henry could’ve been telling the truth.

A day later, the two come face-to-face again with devastating consequences. Here’s a breakdown of seven quotes from the intense episode:

Related Story: Impulse Ep. 6: An unflinching look at intimacy after assault

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1. “Was I good to you?”

Unable to stop thinking about what Henry said, Clay awkwardly asks his ex-girlfriend Patty Yang (Genevieve Kang) whether he had ever forced her to do something she didn’t want to. Patty assures him she didn’t do anything she didn’t want to because “that’s not who [she] is.”

Clay is visibly relieved, which, of course, he shouldn’t be. First, not assaulting one person doesn’t mean you didn’t assault another person. Second, Patty’s very problematic reasoning is basically that she wouldn’t have let Clay do something that she didn’t want because she’s not “easy.”

That kind of victim blaming fits right in with Clay’s argument that Henry wanted something to happen because she kissed him. Furthermore, Patty doesn’t even consider what could have happened if she had wanted Clay not to do something, and he hadn’t listened. She completely takes it for granted that she would’ve been able to stop him.

2. “Well, I’m 5’6″, so…”

As she is walking back from the Boones’ house, Henry is stopped by Anna (Enuka Okuma), who offers her a ride home. It quickly becomes apparent that getting Henry out of the cold night air was not Anna’s only motivation, and Henry sassily offers her height as an alibi for vandalism.

The two begin having a real conversation, though, when Henry realizes in horror that she sentenced Amos Miller (Gordon Harper) to death when she reluctantly lied about him being the person attacked Clay. Henry has a panic attack, and Anna realizes Henry might be the key to cracking the case. Anna reveals that she is on to Bill (David James Elliott) but doesn’t have anything to nail him with.

While seemingly opposites, Anna and Henry make a good team because they both bring something the other needs. Henry has Jenna for support, but she doesn’t want to put Jenna in danger. That’s something she doesn’t have to worry about with Anna.

Meanwhile, Anna has no support from her colleagues, who are in league with Bill. Ironically, Henry, though flippant, is one of the few people in Reston to show Anna respect and hear her out.

3. “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

Given everything that happens, it can be hard to remember that much of episodes six and seven take place within the same day. Between the time Josh (Amadeus Serafini) picks Henry up from school in the afternoon and Anna drops Henry off at home that night, she has three panic attacks and confronts Clay.

When Henry finally gets to her room, she just wants to try to rest. Jenna is unaware of what’s happened, but she immediately senses something is up. Once Henry says she’s okay, though, Jenna decides to try opening up about her uncomfortable night with Zach (Gabriel Darku).

Jenna has a hard time letting people in as was seen in episode four, and sex is a pretty uncomfortable subject for most people, anyway. However, Jenna lets herself be vulnerable, which is a testament to how much she trusts Henry. She initiates the conversation and trusts that Henry will be there for her.

After the day Henry’s had, it’s a testament to how much she’s grown to care for Jenna, that she provides exactly the kind of support Jenna needs. Additionally, it’s great to see a drama that explores the awkwardness of consensual teen sex instead of just pretending everyone’s first time is magical.

4. “You know I read in the paper that a young Mennonite OD’d.”

While Anna promises not to tell Cleo (Missi Pyle) about the rock incident, Henry realizes that she can use the situation to her advantage and get access to Bill. Fortunately, Bill is not quite as smart as he is sinister and fails to realize that Henry is recording her “apology.”

But he’s not dumb either. He talks around Amos’ death but refuses to admit to anything, so Anna and Henry are left without concrete evidence. Thus begins phase two in Impulse.

5. “Who cares if you can handle it?” 

When Cleo decides to invite the Boones over for dinner to smooth things over, Henry is horrified and tries unsuccessfully to talk her out of it. However, after Anna reveals that Henry’s recording isn’t enough to nail Bill, Henry realizes that she can use the dinner to her advantage.

Anna, unaware of the assault, doesn’t try to talk Henry out of it. Jenna, unaware of the op Henry is running against Bill, does quite ardently. She is desperate to protect Henry from a family “made up entirely of people capable of murder.” However, on a deeper level, she is also desperate to protect Henry from herself.

Henry stiltedly insists that the situation is fine because she “can handle it.” But Jenna is ready with the solid counterpoint that Henry’s ability to sit through the dinner is irrelevant. Henry “shouldn’t have to” in the first place. Ultimately, Henry remains committed to her selfless but self-destructive plan, and the pain in Jenna’s voice is evident when she realizes can’t save Henry from herself.

6. “I am so sorry.”

Lucas (Craig Arnold) was very, very far from a likable character in the pilot after kidnapping Henry. And frankly, who knows what he would’ve done if she hadn’t escaped. Lucas killed Amos because he believed he was responsible for paralyzing his brother.

However, after overhearing Henry confront Clay about the assault, Lucas begins to question whether he could’ve been misreading the situation from the beginning. The look on Henry’s face when he later asks her if she was telling the truth is all the confirmation he needs.

I still don’t like Lucas, but he is a more sympathetic and empathetic person than I had initially thought. Lucas’ apology doesn’t make up for what he did to Henry or what Clay did, but it clearly affects Henry. She’s mostly shocked, but I think she also appreciates that someone other than Jenna recognizes her pain in Impulse.

7. “He hurt me, Mom!”

After going through so many imaginable trials and keeping so much to herself, Henry finally reaches her breaking point when Clay demands an apology from her for making him think he assaulted her. It takes all of Henry’s strength just to make it up the stairs and away from everyone, and even then, she still tries to protect her mom from the truth when Cleo runs after her.

Next: Impulse: Four ways the pilot addresses rape culture

However, Cleo rightly refuses to leave Henry alone. Unable to handle the pressure any longer, Henry starts to reveal what really happened in Clay’s truck in what is definitely one of Impulse‘s most excruciating scenes to watch. Henry is so emotional that Cleo can’t understand what she’s talking about.

Before Henry can elaborate, she seizes. Cleo desperately cries out for help as she cradles her daughter, who she realizes in agony she hasn’t been paying enough attention to.