The Act season 1, episode 6 recap: A Whole New World

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The Act — “A Whole New World” – Episode 106 — While Gypsy and Nick are on the run, flashbacks to a much younger Dee Dee reveal how trauma with her own mother set her up for conflict with Gypsy. Nick Godejohn (Calum Worthy) and Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King), shown. (Photo by: Brownie Harris/Hulu)

This episode of The Act gives us a glimpse into the early days of Gypsy’s life. A contentious relationship between Dee Dee and her mother, Emma, gives some insight into the life that Gypsy has been leading.

Episode six of The Act opens shortly after where the last episode left off. There are screams as Dee Dee calls out to Gypsy combined with the sounds of Dee Dee being murdered.

The Act then transitions back to 1991 and Dee Dee’s screams as she gives birth to Gypsy. During the birth, the doctors worry there’s an umbilical cord problem and then the baby isn’t crying right away after being born. Dee Dee is clearly already very, very worried about Gypsy, even though doctors continue to tell her everything is fine (the baby does start to cry after not too long).

As Dee Dee holds Gypsy, she’s so focused on her baby that she ignores (perhaps intentionally) the nurse asking for the father’s name.

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Then, Dee Dee’s mom Emma comes in and immediately takes over. Emma acts like Dee Dee doesn’t know anything and can’t possibly handle being a mother. She tells the nurse exactly what she wants to happen next (measured and weighed, then fed, then given her first bath). She won’t let Dee Dee do anything.

Present day: Nick and Gypsy leave Gypsy’s house and take a cab to the inn where Nick has been staying.

The room is a mess (apparently Victor didn’t have time to clean up). It’s the first of many signs for Gypsy that this isn’t turning into the fantasy she imagined it’d be. She sits on the couch and takes some pills to calm her nerves. Then, she looks at her suitcase and smiles.

As if trying to recapture the magic they had online, Gypsy changes into a colorful wig and grabs a camcorder. She records as she and Nick dive into a role-play and have sex.

After, the two cuddle in bed and talk about their plan to go back to Wisconsin to be where Nick lives. Gypsy asks Nick about details about Wisconsin (scenery, exciting aspects, etc.), but Nick can’t offer up more information than the fact that his boss is nice. Gypsy seems disappointed as her fantasy escape again takes a hit.

Back in 1991, Dee Dee can’t get a crying Gypsy to eat and Dee Dee is paranoid that something is wrong with Gypsy.

Emma takes the baby and Gypsy immediately calms down. Emma tells Dee Dee that there’s nothing wrong with Gypsy, she’s just feeling how agitated Dee Dee is and is awake too late at night. Dee Dee doesn’t believe her and takes Gypsy back. Dee Dee says they’re going to go to the doctor. Alone.

Cut to the doctor’s office where Emma has decided that she’ll join Dee Dee and Gypsy.

The doctor says Gypsy has “failure to thrive” but says it’s nothing to worry about. It just means Gypsy is underweight, but infants usually grow out of it. Dee Dee gets emotional, thinking she’s doing things wrong. The doctor reassures her and gives her a schedule to help Gypsy get back on track.

Well, he tries to give it to Dee Dee, but Emma keeps butting in and asserting herself as the person who does all the work with Gypsy. She keeps subtly blaming Dee Dee for any problems with Gypsy.

Back home, Dee Dee is consumed with sticking to the doctor’s schedule for Gypsy. Emma keeps trying to take over by sending Dee Dee to bed, saying she can feed Gypsy while Dee Dee rests. But Dee Dee forced Emma to leave so she can feed Gypsy by herself.

In the present, Nick and Gypsy get breakfast after checking out of their room. As they eat, two police officers come in the diner and Gypsy again panics. She reminds Nick that they still have the knife with them. Gypsy fumbles for her pills and drops them on the ground. One of the officers comes over and picks it up and gives it back to her. He walks away without much incident.

Still, Gypsy grabs her stuff hastily and says they need to leave.

After, they talk about what to do with the knife. They decide to mail it to themselves in Wisconsin so they can get rid of it later without having to have it with them at the bus station.

It’s 1993 now and Dee Dee is filming Gypsy as Dee Dee’s cousin, Janet, cooks in the background. Dee Dee is so focused on Gypsy that she doesn’t hear the knock on the door or Emma calling her name.

The police have come to arrest Dee Dee for felony check fraud (she had written a check from her grandfather’s checkbook and he’s pressing charges). As the police put Dee Dee in handcuffs, Emma, inexplicably, brings Gypsy into the room to watch her mom taken away by the police. Gypsy starts to cry.

The Act cuts straight to Dee Dee’s sentencing. She’s given six months in jail.

As Dee Dee’s being led from the courtroom, Emma condescendingly accuses Dee Dee of using Gypsy to try to get the judge to feel bad for her. Dee Dee then tries to say goodbye to Gypsy, but Emma won’t let her. Dee Dee then says that Emma could have put the money together for her bond, but wouldn’t.

Emma tells Dee Dee that “the only way out is through.”

Dee Dee, as she’s pulled from the room, begs Emma over and over again to follow the doctor’s schedule for care for Gypsy. Emma, unconvincingly, says she will.

Nick and Gypsy get to the bus station only to find out that there’s no ticket for Gypsy. Nick says he must have made a mistake and forgotten to get her one. There are no more seats on that day’s bus, so they have to wait two days for another bus to Wisconsin. Gypsy has Nick pay for tickets on that next bus as she walks away. It’s another hit to her dream.