Truth Be Told Season 2, Episode 1 recap: Other People’s Tears are Only Water

Episode 1. Octavia Spencer in “Truth Be Told,” premiering August 20, 2021 on Apple TV+.
Episode 1. Octavia Spencer in “Truth Be Told,” premiering August 20, 2021 on Apple TV+. /

Truth Be Told has finally returned for another season, and this time Octavia Spencer is joined by another notable actress in Kate Hudson. It doesn’t take long for Truth Be Told Season 2 to introduce us to Hudson’s character, Micah Keith.

The premiere episode, “Other People’s Tears are Only Water,” opens with a rather creepy sequence straight out of Hereditary with a man fiddling around with a dollhouse in a dimly lit workshop. We quickly realize that the dollhouse he’s creating is a replica of Micah’s house, where she is practicing a speech in her bedroom. But instead of retiring to her fancy, comfortable bed to sleep in, Micah seeks refuge under a blanket in the backseat of her car.

It’s not hard to find out why. Throughout the first hour of Truth Be Told Season 2, it’s established that while Micah is now a world-famous author, renowned lifestyle guru, and CEO of an international wellness company called Shelter, she comes from a life on the streets.

Micah returns town to surprise her childhood best friend and true crime podcaster Poppy Parnell (Spencer), hiding at the local bar that Poppy and her family frequent. Reunited, Poppy and Micah catch up and have a fun night reminiscing on their past with Poppy’s family, which includes her father Shreve Scoville (Ron Cephas Jones), her sisters Desiree (Tracie Thoms) and Cydie (Haneefah Wood), and Shreve’s young wife Lillian (Tami Roman).

The Micah Keith Experience is scheduled for its big opening event at a local art gallery. Poppy, of course, attends with her husband Ingram Rhoades (Michael Beach) to celebrate her friend’s success. Micah is proud to show off the exhibit and the original glass-encased manuscript of her novel Discard, complete with Poppy’s editorial notes. She also introduces Poppy to her secondhand at Shelter, Ivy Abbott (Alona Tal).

While attending the event, Poppy runs into Micah’s husband and another close friend of hers, Joshua Keith (Jason O’Mara). Joshua is also celebrating a recent success with his new documentary about the Sons of Ivar. He implies something might be amiss between him and Micah and promises to tell Poppy the details later, in private.

Truth Be Told Season 2
Episode 1. Kate Hudson and Octavia Spencer in Truth Be Told Season 2 premiering August 20, 2021 on Apple TV+. /

Truth Be Told Season 2, Episode 1 recap: Tragedy strikes

Once the event is over, Poppy and Ingram walk Micah to Josh’s studio, and they catch up on their ups and downs over the years. Micah is impressed with Poppy’s podcast Reconsidered and everything she’s done with the Warren Cave case.

While she’s made an obvious impact, complete with a bus driving by that has Poppy’s face plastered to the side of it, Poppy also points out that some people think she marks the death of journalism. Micah assures Poppy that she gets it. Her work at Shelter has also caused a stir, earning her a legion of haters, many of whom think she’s a “witch.”

At Micah’s, Poppy breaks off from the trio to find a bathroom. Instead, she finds something horrifying. Drawn to the red glow of the darkroom, Poppy opens the door and discovers Josh’s dead body, another dead man strewn out on top of him. Both are naked and sitting on top of a large pool of blood—Poppy screams, drawing Ingram and Micah toward her, where they share in the gruesome sight.

The cops and medics swarm the place shortly after. Poppy comes face-to-face with Inspector Aames (David Lyons), who immediately draws a line from Joshua’s death to the Sons of Ivar, who apparently aren’t happy with his documentary. Poppy tries to comfort Micah, who asks the EMTs for a lock of hair. Interesting.

MORE: Octavia Spencer and Kate Hudson on How Truth Be Told Season 2 Explores a “More Personal” Story

Later, at Micah’s house, Poppy meets her assistant, Ramon (Anthony Lee Medina). They discuss potential suspects with the cops. Ramon mentions Micah’s former stalker, but Micah claims the “stalker” is just an obsessed fan who got too passionate and not someone to worry about. Micah is less concerned with her safety than Poppy would like, as she even tells the cops to leave.

Leaving Micah unprotected doesn’t sit right with Poppy, so she turns to Markus Killebrew, the cop who helped her with Warren Cave’s case in Season 1. Markus has his own problems to deal with now that he’s no longer a cop. The first scene we see him in this season is him being harassed by some local police. His wife, Zarina (Merle Dandridge), comes to the rescue on her way to work, courteously reminding the officers that their daughter Trini (Mychala Lee) is inside filming the entire interaction.

Poppy convinces Markus to be the new security officer for Micah since he now runs a private firm. Ramon introduces him to Shelter, getting him acquainted with they run things. Markus learns that Micah has an entire room full of hate mail, so she definitely underplayed the amount of vitriol aimed toward her and her “coven” at Shelter.

Outside of everything regarding Micah and Joshua, Poppy also has things at home to take care of, namely her father’s illness. If you recall from the first season, Shreve is sick and starting to become forgetful. Poppy pulled many strings to get him into a clinical trial, but her father still hasn’t told her sisters or Lillian about his illness. He worries about how Lillian will handle it, specifically, as he doesn’t want her to leave him.

Truth Be Told Season 2
Episode 1. Mekhi Phifer and Merle Dandridge in Truth Be Told Season 2 premiering August 20, 2021 on Apple TV+. /

Truth Be Told Season 2, Episode 1 recap: Micah wants Poppy to focus her podcast on Joshua’s murder

When Poppy and Micah meet up again, Micah has a new request for her old friend. She wants her to find out what happened to Joshua by using her podcast. Micah doesn’t trust the cops to tell her the entire truth. Considering everything that happened with the Cave case, Poppy is understandably wary of doing it again, “Seeking answers is never a straight line.”

Still, Poppy reaches out to her podcast partner Noa (Katherine LaNasa) and asks her to start digging quietly.

It doesn’t take long to realize Micah has a point. Ingram calls Poppy to inform her that he received a tip from someone at the SFPD. The cops are already closing the case, labeling it a murder-suicide with Joshua pinned as the murderer. Pissed, Poppy confronts Inspector Aames about his lazy police work. What about Micah’s stalker? The hate mail? The Sons of Ivar?

Aames claims she won’t destroy him the way she did his mentor Owen cave. Poppy assures him that she won’t have to because he and his entire department will come out looking like fools once she starts an investigation.

Truth Be Told Season 2
Episode 1. Kate Hudson and Octavia Spencer in Truth Be Told Season 2 premiering August 20, 2021 on Apple TV+. /

Truth Be Told Season 2, Episode 1 recap: Poppy makes a big decision

That night, a distressed Micah returns to her old stomping grounds in the back alleys lined with addicts and the homeless. Micah buys drugs from some shady dude in an alcove. She calls Poppy to tell her that they closed the case and admits where she is. Poppy tells her that’s not the answer and encourages her to come home. Instead of taking drugs, Micah does go to Poppy and hands them over.

Realizing that she doesn’t really have a choice, Poppy agrees to do the podcast, so long as she and Micah remain honest with each other the entire time, no matter what. And in the final moments of the episode, Poppy starts recording the first new episode of Reconsidered as we return to the strange dollhouse workshop from the episode’s beginning.

Behind the dollhouse is a bulletin board crowded with photographs of Poppy and Micah. Who is this guy? Did he murder Joshua? What is his relationship with Micah, if there is one? Is he Micah’s stalker?

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New episodes of Truth Be Told Season 2 premiere Fridays on Apple TV+ through October 22.