Would it be apt to call this episode of Black Cake the ‘price of secrets’? We had read somewhere that the body keeps memories of secrets, and your health always conveys when that is something dangerous. That is why this episode felt surreal in some aspects. Here is a recap of it.
What is the rest of Covey’s story?
Unlike what happened at the end of the third episode, Covey does not walk in front of a moving bus. Gibbs sees her, and they both meet, though she tells him not to call her Covey. From hereon, Covey will be referred to as Eleanor. They go to Eleanor’s house, and she tells Gibbs everything, except the part where she was sexually assaulted in Scotland. Eleanor is scared that Gibbs would see her differently, and she would once again risk losing him if that happened. Eleanor never forgot Gibbs, and even he was unable to get over her in all the time they spent apart from each other. Both of them decide to resume their relationship, though Eleanor wants to take things slower this time. They find that they are as much in love as before, but when someone from Eleanor’s past recognizes her as Coventina, she tells Gibbs that perhaps they should break up. She doesn’t want to live in London because she will always be scared of being recognized by someone from her past. But Gibbs tells her that they can both get married and leave the city to build a life somewhere else. That is when Covey becomes Eleanor permanently, and Gibbs takes on the identity of Bert. They settle in America, and Benny and Byron are their children. Life went well for the family, except that Eleanor’s secrets continued to affect her.
At a family dinner one time, Bert accidentally called Eleanor Covey, and that brought back all the memories for her. Bert wants to tell their children the truth, but Eleanor doesn’t want them to feel betrayed, which she feels would damage their relationship irreparably. That is why they never told their children anything, though Eleanor admits that it was the weight of her secrets that took that toll on her health, which is why she is revealing everything now that she is on her deathbed.
What caused a rift in the family?
There is still some recording left on the tapes, though Benny and Byron are not ready to hear it yet. But from what they have heard so far, Benny is feeling particularly manipulated since her choices and her life were never accepted by her family. She feels that after everything her parents went through, they should have been the first ones to stand by her side.
Eight years ago, Benny brought her girlfriend home for Thanksgiving. Her family had welcomed her with open arms, but when the topic diverted to Benny’s culinary school, things had gone downhill. Benny had dropped out without telling her parents, and she was working at a cafe to gain some real-world experience. Bert is angry since it was his money that was spent on the school, and he is unable to understand his daughter’s recklessness. Also, he finally lets out how he doesn’t really understand Benny’s relationship with Joan. To be honest, it is difficult to pick sides in this scene. Benny wanted to follow her dreams, but it is also understandable where Bert is coming from. Everything that they had faced in life was for their kids to be able to live well, and Benny simply seemed to be making some wrong decisions. There is no excuse for the homophobia, but it felt a little disrespectful how Benny was making her decisions while using her father’s money and not even telling him what she was going to do. There was a certain bit of entitlement there that couldn’t be excused. After the dinner, Benny breaks up with her girlfriend because she blames her for putting her in a spot and asking to meet her family. Benny was an escapist at the time.
What is Covey’s last secret?
After the fallout, Eleanor continues reaching out to Benny, but she simply ignores her. In the meantime, Benny meets a famous artist called Steve Dwyer, and they instantly hit it off. Steve is sweet, and he supports Benny’s career. It isn’t long before they end up moving in together, which is when the manipulations start. Benny starts wearing her hair differently than Steve asked her to, and that is when the couple runs into Joan at a theater. Joan notices the changes in Benny, and she wishes the best for her and her family, which ends up angering Steve. He picks a fight with Benny over some perceived slight, and that is the first time he gets violent with her.
Steve apologizes to Benny the next day, and she forgives him. What Benny doesn’t realize at that time is that he is isolating her from her friends and family. She is desperate to be with him because he is the only one who has supported her unconditionally, which she hasn’t experienced to date from anyone else. However, what she is missing is that the support was simply a manipulation tactic. When Benny learns that her father has passed away, she wants to go to the funeral. Benny regrets not talking to him all this time, and she is getting ready to go, but Steve doesn’t let her. He says that he is the only family she needs, and she shouldn’t be looking anywhere else for that. When Benny refuses to listen to him, he hits her.
During the ending of Black Cake episode 4, Benny attends her father’s funeral, but she never got out of the car. When she is telling all this to Byron, she confesses that she was embarrassed to meet her family with a busted eye. She did not want them to think that after rejecting them all, this was the position she had landed in. Years later, she knew better that she had not been by her brother’s side when he needed her the most. Both the siblings make up and hear the rest of the recording left behind by their mother, where she tells them that they have a sister, and even Bert does not know about this. Perhaps after what happened to Covey in Scotland, she got pregnant, and she probably gave up the child for adoption. This is the last secret she is telling her kids.
What would a happy ending to this story look like? Will all of Covey’s children meet each other and become a happy family, or is it simply about tracing your family’s history to understand your own present? That is the answer we are waiting for.