Tell Me A Story series premiere recap: Chapter 1: Hope


CBS All Access celebrated Halloween by premiering psychological thriller, Tell Me A Story–and it’s not what you’d expect.

Tell Me A Story premiered its series on Halloween night and it was off to an intriguing start. The Vampire Diaries EP Kevin Williamson brought forth a dark take on classic fairytales in this series, and while it didn’t dive into it completely in the first episode, there were subtle hints of The Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.

While I’m not completely convinced that this series will take off, I do see the potential for it to get spookier, more frightening, and for the plot and characters to develop a bit more–so I’m not writing it off just yet. In the series premiere, we met an assortment of characters one of which includes who we presume to be the modern-day Red Riding Hood, Kayla Sherman (Danielle Campbell).

Her mother passed away about a year, and now her and her father, Tim (Sam Jaeger) have moved in with her grandmother (Kim Cattrall) and made the trek from Oakland to New York City. It’s a huge adjustment for Kayla given that she has a whole new city to learn about, no friends, and a completely new school.

This sets up Kayla to be a rebellious teenager who doesn’t care much for rules. In fact, on her first day of school, she befriends a girl named Laney, and the two of them use their fake IDs to get into a club. It’s while she’s intoxicated with Molly and alcohol that she meets a man named Nick (Billy Magnussen), who she sleeps with later that night.

Credit: CBS All Access

After they do their thing, he starts asking her about a wolf tattoo she has, and while initially, it seems like she was really into Nick, something changes at that moment and she jets out of there despite him insisting they meet again.

It’s a tad bit awkward considering the next day at school she learns that her substitute teacher is none other than Nick, who had no idea she was a high schooler. The moment their eyes meet is reminiscent of the Ezra and Aria moment in Pretty Little Liars who had a similar experience.

Tell Me A Story continues to dive into the other characters of which one is a gay man named Gabe. He works as a dancer at the club that Nick and Kayla met at and is all about that cocaine life. One night he goes out with his roommate, Billy, and things take a dark turn.

When Gabe catches Billy stealing money from someone’s wallet and is caught, a scuffle between the man and Billy leads to the man falling and hit his head on the corner of a table. Billy doesn’t stick around to handle the situation, which leaves Gabe to clean up the literal bloody mess.

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Gabe ends up calling his sister, Hannah (Dania Ramirez), who he hasn’t spoken with in over four years to come and help him. Why no one called 9-1-1 at any point fails me, but hey let’s roll with it.

When she shows up to the hotel room, she has them clean up the hotel room to make sure no fingerprints were left behind.

I’m curious to see where this goes because the security cameras caught the both of them leaving the hotel, and let’s just say Gabe looks awfully suspicious.

And then we have Jordan (James Wolk) who lives with his girlfriend, Beth (Spencer Grammar). It seems like the relationship is a bit rocky, and it doesn’t help that he wants children and she doesn’t, which is clear from the negative pregnancy test results.

Beth is skeptical of the world and the direction it’s headed in which is she why she is hesitant to bring more children into it. But one morning she wakes up to realize that everything has changed, and she wants to commit to this relationship and is ready to go all in.

Ditching a political rally they were heading to, she takes Jordan to a jewelry store and proposes to him in front of it, and then the happy couple goes in to buy rings. At that moment it becomes clear something is about to go very wrong, and it does.

Backtracking to the beginning of the episode, there is a group of three men who wear pig masks and commit robberies, and one of them is The Vampire Diaries Paul Wesley, who plays a bartender named Eddie. At first, it seems like everything is going to be okay, and the robbers will come and take what they want and leave.

But then Beth’s phone starts ringing, and the security guard takes it as an opportunity to gun down one of the men. As shots are fired, the three men escape, and we still are led to believe that everyone is going to make it out alive, everyone except for Beth, who was shot right in the gut.

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And just like that, Jordan loses the love of his life, the woman who finally came around and was ready to live out their happily ever after. Sigh. Tell Me A Story is off to one heck of a start (but whether or not it will get better is yet to be seen).

New episodes of Tell Me A Story will release every Thursday on CBS All Access.