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The 5 best episodes of Peacock's 'Poker Face'
Look, the entire show is great. But which episodes stood out the most?
The hit mystery series Poker Face has wrapped up Season 1 on Peacock and it’s been a killer success, with episodes hovering around the top of Nielsen streaming charts for several straight weeks. We are already pumped for Season 2, but since we’ve got some time before Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne buy back in for more mysteries, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Poker Face episodes in the meantime.
The pilot’s a great place to start of course, and every episode is amazing with how they craft a new howdunit scenario in a new setting, but these are just our favorites, our 11/10’s let’s say. So from rock star murder mysteries, near-death experiences on a snowy mountain, and throwback special effects deaths of yore, here are the Poker Face stories we'd recommend sampling if you want to get a feel before diving in for a full binge.
The band at the center of "Rest in Metal," Doxxxology, led by Ruby Ruin (Chloë Sevigny), was on a low note when they finally think they’ve recreated the magic from their decades-old one hit wonder “Staplehead.” Hey, they say 99 percent of artists quit just before writing their big hit, right?
When one of the bandmates is accidentally killed, Charlie Cale notices something’s off beat. "Rest in Metal" manages to throw clues right in your face, while you haven’t the slightest idea how they tie. And they do tie. Every line of dialogue both drums up drama, harmonizes the characterizations, and allows Chloë Sevigny’s performance to shine as Ruby. Not to mention there’s an awesome chase scene that makes "Rest in Metal" a Poker Face staple.
Start your engines for one of the most subversive episodes of Poker Face yet. A rivalry between amateur race car talents has been revving up for generations, and someone’s at risk of racing their last lap. As usual, the episode is full of winding roads, but "The Future of the Sport" sets itself apart with the buy-in you have for the character’s competitiveness and the race car setting the episode was able to capture. If you haven’t been to one of these races, it all of a sudden feels like a must-hit bucket list item, because you feel like you’re actually there. Don’t run a red light, this and more great episodes are around the bend.
As the only episode directed by Natasha Lyonne, we’d say it was worth the wait to see her put her trademark vibe on the series. "The Orpheus Syndrome" begins with a fast pace, and while by Episode 8 you know the opening scene isn’t as it seems, you’re compelled to know why. Laura (Cherry Jones) watches helplessly as her husband Max (Tim Russ) looks her in the eyes and commits suicide. Blaming herself for his death, Laura asks her old friend and practical visual effects wizard Arthur Liptin (Nick Nolte) to create a model head of her husband so she could somehow eliminate any guiltiness she had. Grief can poison the mind, and Charlie Cale knew just when to walk in after 30 years of buildup for this climax. Is there a lesson? Yes, smile because you’re on camera.
"Escape from Sh*t Mountain" was a landslide victory for Natasha Lyonne and Rian Johnson. The indisputably insufferably intoxicated Trey Mendez (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is under house arrest when a storm disconnects his ankle bracelet giving him the chance to go driving on slippery roads. Oh dear. Charlie Cale makes an unexpected appearance in the chaos causing someone to take the word a**hole to new heights on the mountain as she unravels how deep they’ve dug their problems. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has had so many roles being the good guy, so it was incredible seeing him pull off a character so deeply terrible. As Charlie Cale tries to get herself out of her potentially worst pickle yet, she’ll have to hope she can "Escape from Sh*t Mountain" without falling into a Cliff.
Charlie Cale finds herself a fish out of water when Cliff finally catches up to her. Her meeting with Sterling Frost, Sr. (Ron Perlman) has been building all season, and everyone’s all in. "The Hook" proves that with Poker Face, you come for the howdunnit, but you stay for Charlie Cale. It delivers so much about her backstory, why we should care, and who she wants to become. When the chips are down, where can she go for help? "The Hook" reels us in by building suspense all while sprinkling in the classics of a great Poker Face episode. Blues Traveler would be proud. We can’t wait for more.