The Act season 1, episode 4 recap: Stay Inside

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The Act — “Stay Inside” – Episode 104 — Gypsy’s getting older and Dee Dee is forced to new legal maneuvers to keep control of her “little girl.” But Dee Dee’s limited by her own health problems, and Gypsy goes to greater lengths than ever to connect with men and experience a sexual awakening. Dee Dee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette) and Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King), shown. (Photo by: Brownie Harris/Hulu)

This episode of The Act sees Gypsy sneaking around behind her mother’s back to try to feel like a normal girl her age. Meanwhile, Dee Dee grasps for any reason to keep Gypsy dependent on her.

This episode of The Act opens in 2013, two years after the events of the last episode. Dee Dee catches Gypsy lustfully watching an attractive young man who is mowing their lawn and takes Gyspy to give her a bath.

As her mother bathes her, Gypsy is clearly tired of being treated like a baby. When Dee Dee tries to get Gypsy to sing with her, Gypsy gets out of the bathtub. That’s when Dee Dee notices that Gypsy has gotten her period and is getting blood on the bathroom rug. Gypsy gives a slight smile as her mother gets worked up about having to clean the mess up.

Later, Dee Dee is getting checked out by her doctor as Gypsy looks on. Dee Dee has high blood sugar and her doctor is very concerned—they’re putting her on insulin to try to manage the issue.

Gypsy is worried. Dee Dee tries to reassure her. However, the doctor is brutally honest and says that Dee Dee is very sick and type 2 diabetes could result in Dee Dee dying.

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Dee Dee seems to take an odd enjoyment in telling Gypsy that she’ll need Gypsy’s help with injections every. single. day. Gypsy is very squeamish with needles and cringes as the doctor shows her how to inject Dee Dee.

Back home, Dee Dee is celebrating Gypsy’s birthday with her. Gypsy makes a quip about the fact that she’s finally turning 18, but it’s hard to keep track. Dee Dee sticks to a story saying there was a typo on the card Gypsy saw that said 1991. Gypsy, she claims, was actually born in 1995.

Anyway, Dee Dee is very excited about the present she got for Gypsy—two guinea pigs. Gypsy loves them. Dee Dee goes to take a nap, leaving Gypsy to play with her new pets. Quietly, Gypsy decides to take them outside.

Across the street, Lacey drives up to Mel’s house (back from college) and, seeing Gypsy wave from Dee Dee’s porch, asks Mel how those two are doing. Lacey decides to go over and talk to Gypsy.

As they talk, Lacey tells Gypsy about how she met a new guy through online dating. Lacey tries to talk about the new guy, but Gypsy just wants to see the website. As Lacey shows her the site and the guys on it, they spot the guy who was mowing Gypsy’s lawn (Matt). This seems to really get Gypsy’s interest.

Inside, Dee Dee gets a call from a strange man (Rod) wanting to wish Gypsy a happy birthday. Dee Dee lies and tells him that Gypsy doesn’t know it’s her birthday (Dee Dee doesn’t want Gypsy to get anxious about how many years she has left).

Rod pushes back, trying to get more info, but Dee Dee gets another call and takes it. It’s the hospital calling about the discrepancy between Gypsy’s birth year in her file versus on her Medicaid card. In order to do the procedure they have a schedule, they need Gypsy (since she’s 18) to come in and give consent for the procedure herself. Or, they need guardianship papers proving Dee Dee can call the shots.

Dee Dee ends the conversation quickly when she hears Gypsy and Lacey outside laughing. Dee Dee criticizes Gypsy for bringing her pets outside and Lacey then uses this moment to excuse herself and head home.

Back inside, Dee Dee yells at Gypsy, saying she shouldn’t be outside without Dee Dee and shouldn’t be talking about men with Lacey. Dee Dee then puts Gypsy in a corner while calling Gypsy a bad daughter who doesn’t respect her mother.

That night, Gypsy sneaks out of bed and steals more money. It looks like she’s be siphoning one $20 bill at a time, saving it in her own hiding spot.

The Act transitions to Gypsy and Dee Dee sitting down with a lawyer, Myra, at a law office in the mall to talk about legal guardianship. They’ll need a doctor to sign off on Gypsy’s condition(s) and get through a hearing.

Myra asks Gypsy a few questions to get a feel on whether legal guardianship is necessary. She asks about whether Gypsy can read and write and what she’d do in various medical situations if her mom wasn’t around. Each time Gypsy answers in a way that is too independent, Dee Dee gives her a look or squeezes her arm.

Myra then explains that, for legal guardianship, a judge will have to be convinced that Gypsy is incapacitated and can’t think for herself. Being in a wheelchair isn’t enough of a reason (to Dee Dee’s surprise).

Based on the questions she just asks Gypsy, Myra says there’s no way a judge would award Dee Dee guardianship.

Dee Dee meekly gets up and wheels Gypsy away. As they walk through the mall, Dee Dee starts listing reasons why they need the guardianship papers. She’s making it seem like, if Gypsy doesn’t lie, they could wind up homeless and without Medicaid or any money. Dee Dee then starts whining, saying no one cares about her.

Just then, Dee Dee starts to feel sick, so she sits in a massage chair in the middle of the mall. (Her ankle is red and she seems fatigued.) Gypsy offers to do the shopping for them by herself and, after a little resistance, Dee Dee lets her go.

Gypsy rounds a corner and sees a stand selling laptops. She gets very excited when they have one cheap enough for her to buy. She quickly buys it, goes out to the car and hides the laptop under the seat.

When she gets back into the mall, she’s called to the security desk where her mother is really feeling tired and sick. They need to go home.

Back home, Gypsy (reluctantly) gives Dee Dee her insulin injection. That night, Gypsy gets her laptop and signs up for the dating site that Lacey showed her.

The next day, Gypsy and Dee Dee leave the house and overhear Lacey and Mel arguing. Lacey is leaving in a huff. Dee Dee goes up to her and asks to talk (Dee Dee still sounds pretty lethargic). Dee Dee is mad at Lacey for talking to Gypsy about men and sex, even though Lacey says she didn’t say anything like that. As Dee Dee starts to tell Lacey to stay away from Gypsy, Dee Dee passes out in the street.