The Act season 1, episode 2 recap: Teeth

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The Act — ” ” — Dee Dee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette), Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King) shown. (Photo by: Brownie Harris / Hulu)

The second episode of The Act brings Gypsy’s medical history into question and gives Gypsy an opportunity to break away from her mom.

The second episode of The Act opens back at the crime scene at Dee Dee’s house on Jun 14, 2015. Neighbors have gathered around the two detectives and are frantic, worried about where Gypsy could be. They start listing the diseases and medical issues they believe Gypsy has (to the best of their memories).

Back to 2009. Gypsy is in the kitchen on the laptop in the middle of the night watching a beauty vlogger and drinking Coke straight from the liter bottle and eating frosting out of the container. After a bit, she puts the frosting spoon in her mouth and reacts in pain. It’s hard to tell if something hit her teeth or her lip.

She ends her session there and packs up her snacks, deletes her browsing history and heads out of the room.

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The next morning, Dee Dee checks the mail and gets incredibly excited by the contents of one of the letters. She runs inside and shows the letter to Gypsy. Gypsy has won an organizations “Child of the Year” award—Dee Dee had sent in a nomination.

The prospect of people coming to see her has Gypsy excited. She wants to dress up like a princess and make friends. Her mom tells her that that’ll be able to happen and reaches out and touches the side of Gypsy’s face.

Gypsy gasps and briefly touches toward the back of her jaw, perhaps she has a cavity after all the sugar she’s been eating all of a sudden.

Dee Dee has Gypsy open her mouth and asks Gypsy how long her teeth have been hurting. It’s been a little while, but Gypsy thought it’d go away if she brushed harder. Not knowing about the sugar Gypsy has been eating, Dee Dee suspects it must be connected to a new underlying condition.

After asking if Gypsy’s throat and stomach hurt (to which Gypsy nods in agreement), Dee Dee says she knows what it is and goes off to her pill closet.

Later, Gypsy is taken to a children’s hospital by her mom to meet with Dr. Harley. Dee Dee tells him about Gypsy’s teeth and pulls out a thick binder of Gypsy’s medical history. She thinks Gypsy’s acid reflux has returned and is ruining her teeth.

As Dr. Harley starts to call a gastroenterologist (Dr. Chandra) to look at Gypsy, Dee Dee spots his prescription pad on a counter and casually places her binder on top of it so she can swipe it.

Dr. Chandra says Gypsy’s dentist should have caught this issue before it got this bad. She suggests Dee Dee make an urgent dental appointment.

Dee Dee brushes off the suggestion, saying that she’ll go to the dentist, but she wants to fix the acid reflux first. Dr. Chandra seems to be suspicious of reflux being the real cause of the tooth decay, asking how much food Gypsy takes through her mouth versus her feeding tube in her stomach.

Dee Dee takes the opportunity to reemphasize that Gypsy never has candy because she’s allergic to candy. (Don’t lie to your doctors, kids.)

Dr. Chandra then does a test of Gypsy’s ability to swallow and asks Dee Dee when the surgery to have Gypsy’s salivary glands removed was. As Dee Dee searches her binder, Dr. Chandra says it can just be an estimate, clearly a little suspicious about whether or not the salivary glands were actually removed.

After a bit, Dr. Chandra just asks to see the binder, which Dee Dee promptly closes and says that the records the doctor wants were lost during the hurricane.

The doctor moves on and turns to Gypsy to tell her that feeding tubes don’t have to be permanent. But before the doctor can say more, Dee Dee is suddenly more concerned with the dental emergency and rushes Gypsy out.

This cuts to doctors Chandra and Harley talking later, with Dr. Chandra asking if Harley had ever seen Gypsy’s full medical records. He also gives the hurricane reasoning. Chandra is skeptical, asking if Harley had been able to confirm any of Gypsy’s medical history.

The Act quickly moves on to Dee Dee and Gypsy sitting outside of a pharmacy. Gypsy looks at posters of women in bathing suits, pondering life without a feeding tube in her stomach. Her mom, meanwhile, is forging prescriptions.

When Gypsy asks her mom about Dr. Chandra being right about the tube, Dee Dee tells her that people like to paint rosy colors on things that, in reality, aren’t very pretty.

Cut directly to authorities examining Dee Dee’s stab wounds in 2015.

Outside, Shelly, Mel, and Lacey speculate on who would want to kill Dee Dee and why. Lacey posits that maybe whoever killed Dee Dee was after Gypsy, not Dee Dee. This makes Mel think that maybe Lacey knows more than she’s saying.