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)

Back to 2009. Gypsy is at the fridge, about to drink Coke again, but stops when she sees the letter about the Child of the Year award. Instead, she goes to brush her teeth. As she does so, her brushing causes one of her teeth to fall out and into the sink.

The next morning, as Dee Dee and Gypsy, go over to Mel’s house. Gypsy goes to hang out with Lacey and her friends. When they see her teeth, she’s forced to admit that she’s been sneaking sugar. When Lacey is surprised about Gypsy not having an allergic reaction, Gypsy says she must just be growing out of it.

In her office, Dr. Chandra is making call after call to hospitals and doctors to find out more about Gypsy’s medical history. She doesn’t seem to be getting any answers. Finally, she places a call to Children and Family Services, who sends Allison Granger to Dee Dee’s house.

Seeing the representative pull up, Dee Dee rushes Gypsy to the bathroom and gives her sleeping pills.

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Allison tells Dee Dee that a member of the community has concerns about Gypsy’s safety. Allison asks a few questions and Dee Dee shows her around the house. Allison asks to see Gypsy and Dee Dee wheels out a heavily sedated Gypsy, saying that the 15-year-old Gypsy has the mind of a seven-year-old.

Allison asks Dee Dee to leave the room, but Dee Dee makes the excuse of needing to be close in case Gypsy has a seizure in order to stay in the doorway.

Gypsy, speaking slowly due to the medication, answers Allison’s questions. As Dee Dee watches and listens from the next room, she starts to panic, seeing the stolen prescription pad sitting on the end table next to Gypsy.

Just then, Allison calls Dee Dee in because the spellings of Dee Dee’s full name on her address and social security card are different. Dee Dee blames it on (of course) Katrina and general government mistakes. She uses this opportunity to grab the prescription pad, flip it over and use it as a normal note pad to ask for Allison’s contact information.

Allison concludes her visit and heads out. As she leaves, Dee Dee tries to get her to say who called in the report, but Allison doesn’t say. Dee Dee spots Mel across the street and clearly thinks she’s to blame.

Dee Dee goes back to Gypsy’s side and starts to cry.

The Act then cuts to Dee Dee putting translucent sheets over the windows to keep people from seeing into her house.

Next, Dee Dee goes over to Mel’s house and confronts her. Mel says that she’d never call child services, knowing how much Dee Dee does for Gypsy. Dee Dee breaks down, terrified that she’ll have to move again. Mel calms her down by saying it’s just someone nosey and Dee Dee shouldn’t worry about it.

At the dentist, Gypsy starts to cry and panic when the dentist mentions that they’ll have to do extractions. But they give her anesthetic and she falls asleep. Next, she wakes up at home in her bed.

Gypsy climbs out of bed, wheels herself to the bathroom looks in the mirror and starts crying when she sees the extent of the bruising due to the work they had to do on her mouth and the number of teeth they had to remove.

Painfully, The Act then cuts back to the letter about Gypsy being named Child of the Year.  Dee Dee is trying to get Gypsy excited about it again, but Gypsy (who has to mostly communicate by writing on a white board) only wants to know if she’ll have teeth in time.

Dee Dee says Gypsy is pretty anyway, but Gypsy says she knows what pretty is and lashes out. Dee Dee yells that Gypsy is going to the event.

Right then, Dr. Chandra calls to check in on Gypsy and ask if Dee Dee needs any help or anything taken off of her shoulders (meanwhile, Dr. Chandra sits in front of a slew of notes on Gypsy’s possible medical history). In the background, Gypsy tries to get her mom to ask about getting her feeding tube removed.

Dr. Chandra offers to change Gypsy’s feeding tube (something Dee Dee usually does) and talk about underlying causes for the acid reflux. Really, Dr. Chandra is looking for any reason that will get Dee Dee to bring Gypsy in.

Dee Dee seems to agree to let Dr. Chandra’s nurse set up an appointment, but she quickly hangs up after that agreement is made.

The Act moves on to the Child of the Year ceremony where Dee Dee puts a bow and lip gloss on a dour Gypsy, who still doesn’t have replacement teeth. But, just before Gypsy has to go on stage, Dee Dee hands her teeth for her to put in.

When Gypsy asks why her mom didn’t give them to her earlier, Dee Dee makes the excuse of them being rushed all day and they had just come in that morning. Gypsy doesn’t seem happy with that reasoning.

Gypsy is finally called out on stage in front of the cheering crowd. In addition to the award, Dee Dee is presented with a check for $5,000.

After Dee Dee gives an emotional speech about how she was born to be Gypsy’s mom, Gypsy takes the mic and the two of them sing a cute, impromptu rendition of “I’ll Be There.” The roar of the crowd takes The Act back to Dr. Chandra’s office.

Just as Dr. Chandra calls Gypsy in, a nurse just happens to need Dee Dee to fill out more forms that keep her from going in with Gypsy.

In the room, Dr. Chandra and Gypsy talk about Gypsy’s new teeth. After Dr. Chandra asks if this has allowed Gypsy to eat more instead of using the tube, Gypsy says that she still mostly uses the tube. Gypsy also brings up that she’s allergic to sugar, which Dr. Chandra quickly asks about, wondering how Gypsy knows that.

Dr. Chandra reveals that she spoke to an ER doctor who doesn’t think Gypsy is allergic to sugar. In fact, Dr. Chandra doesn’t think so either—she offers Gypsy a Coke to prove her point. She also says that, maybe, they’ll discover sugar isn’t the only thing Gypsy can do that she didn’t think she could do.

Gypsy immediately gets nervous, not wanting to go against her mom. Dr. Chandra tells her to just take one sip, and then she’ll take care of the rest, implying that she knows that some (or most) of what Dee Dee says isn’t true.

But Gypsy says her mom needs her. She doesn’t take the Coke.

Right on cue, Dee Dee comes in the room. Dr. Chandra sets to work replacing the feeding tube.

Back in 2015, the detectives go through Dee Dee’s medicine closet.

Lacey, after mentioning to her mom that Gypsy would talk about some weird things that blurred the lines between fantasy and reality, finally talks to the detectives. She tells them Gypsy said she had a secret Facebook account that she might have used to make friends (with men, romantically).

Lacey said it was hard to tell what was Gypsy’s imagination versus what was real, but it’s possible Gypsy had a secret boyfriend.

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The Act wraps up its second episode with Gypsy looking over her growing pile of stuffed animals (one of which she gets for every doctor visit) while “I’ll Be There” plays in another room.

The Act continues next week on Hulu. What do you think the breaking point is going to be for Gypsy? Or do you think Gypsy is innocent and this mysterious boyfriend is to blame? Let us know all your thoughts on The Act in the comments.