‘Tell Me Lies’ Episodes 1, 2 And 3: Recap And Ending, Explained – Whose Pictures Were Stephen Looking At?


“Tell Me Lies” takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride as it explores Lucy Albright and Stephen DeMarco’s relationship. The series revolves around two timelines: one is in 2015 at her best friend Bree’s engagement party; the other is in 2007 when Lucy started attending Baird College. Lucy is no longer with Stephen, and her friends worry that she might find it difficult to face him at the engagement party after four years. But she was certain that she would never go down “Stephen’s rabbit hole” again. Is Lucy truly over her ex-lover, about whom she continues to dream? What led to their separation after sharing a steaming hot relationship?

Spoilers Ahead

‘Tell Me Lies’ Episodes 1, 2, And 3 Recap And Ending

Lucy chose to not encourage her boyfriend, Mark, when he showed interest in joining her at the engagement party. She explained to her friends that he was too busy to join them. Maybe Lucy anticipated something going down at the party, which is why she kept him away, or she simply wanted to face Stephen all by herself. Does that mean that Lucy failed to get over him? It does seem so in the beginning. At Bree’s party, she looks around, waiting and hoping to catch a glimpse of Stephen. As he arrived, he smiled at Lucy from a distance, and her mind was clogged by their memories together.

On the day Lucy was moving into her college dormitory, she broke up with her then-boyfriend. While he wanted to put up a fight for their relationship, Lucy wanted it to end. Her mother was surprised at her daughter’s lack of emotions and criticized her for not being “the sweet girl” that she used to be. Lucy and her mother do not have a healthy relationship. After losing her father, her mother always tried to manipulate her by stating that her father would disapprove of her actions. College was a breath of fresh air for Lucy, away from her mother and the negativity. The first person she was introduced to at college was her roommate, Macy. She was cheerful and friendly. She introduced Lucy to her friends, Pippa and Bree, who were staying across the hallway. Pippa was the decision maker of the group and had access to all the parties organized on campus. She was going around with the popular sportsman senior of the college, Wrigley. Stephen was Wrigley’s friend, and she noticed him on her first day at college. There was something about the way he constantly looked at her that she could not get out of her mind. At a party that evening, Stephen approached her and managed to charm her. He had a way with words. There was intimate tension building between them, and she could sense it. They were interrupted by her friends, and as it turned out, Macy knew Stephen from her hometown. The next morning, Pippa informed Lucy that Stephen was interested in her, but Lucy was not sure if she wanted to consider him. She had trouble holding on to her interest, and Stephen did not seem as charming as he did the previous night.

Lucy’s college experience took a turn when Macy met with an accident, or at least that is what it seemed to be at first glance. Lucy knew she struggled with her emotions, but the death of Macy made her realize how there was a clear difference between the way she processed her emotions and the way her friends did. It was during this time that Stephen found his way into Lucy’s life, but he was a man who could not be trusted. He could spin a web of lies in a minute, but he was too smart to get caught in the process. In the three episodes, we understand Lucy and her relationship with Stephen, along with their friends.

Understanding Lucy: How Macy’s Death Affected Her?

From the three episodes, we can conclude that the death of Lucy’s father affected her to the extent that she barely knew what she felt most of the time. She was in a relationship with her high school boyfriend for two years, but she did not love him. She was with him because most of her peers had boyfriends. She failed to feel passionate about anyone or anything. She was looking for something to overwhelm her because, as an adult, she struggled to feel excited. This tells us why she would eventually be attracted to Stephen. The overwhelming toxicity did manage to make her feel, even though the feeling changed from passion to distrust and uncertainty.

When her friends asked her about her mother, she said that she had lost her privilege of being called “Mom,” and therefore, her number was saved only with her initials. We do not know if there was any particular incident that bittered her relationship with her mother or if it was just the way her mother treated her. She was tired of her mother using her father to justify her every action. She loved her father enough to be affected by the thought that he might not have been proud of the woman she grew up to be. After listening to a voice message left by her mother, Lucy decided to spend the day alone in her room. Macy asked her to join her at a party, but Lucy rejected her invitation. Macy added that she was a terrible driver, and a company would be helpful, but she declined her offer. The next morning, she noticed that Macy had not returned. She later learned from Bree that Macy had met with an accident while returning from the party and lost her life. Initially, Lucy could not help but blame herself for Macy’s death, thinking that she could have saved her life if she had accompanied her. But Pippa and Bree stopped her from blaming herself for an accident she could not have helped. She got drunk at a party to deal with her emotions, and that was when she met Stephen again. He helped her get back to her dorm and slept beside her to give her company. Lucy was embarrassed by her behavior the previous night, but she found comfort in Stephen. They kissed, and he wanted to make out with her, but she decided to take it slow.

Lucy knew Macy for barely a couple of days. She was tired of how people expected her to grieve over her death even after it had been some time. She was frustrated by how many continued to offer flowers outside her room for Macy. She knew that her frustration might sound offensive, but it was what she felt. When Macy’s parents left her their daughter’s makeup kit, she wore her lipstick on her date with Stephen. Though later, Bree and Pippa expressed how wearing a dead girl’s makeup seemed wrong. But Lucy was unaffected. She did not feel there was anything wrong with putting on Macy’s makeup, and she refused to feel bad about it. She once wrote a story inspired by her life, but her classmates felt that the protagonist, Liz, seemed to be a sociopath. Even though the man she was dating, Parker, was suffocating her in their relationship, the readers felt that the way she treated him was cold and extreme. To side with her protagonist, Lucy stated that one does not simply shut off their feelings, implying that the fact that she expressed very little was a result of her past loss.

Whose Pictures Were Stephen Looking At? What Does It Indicate?

It is evident from the three episodes that Stephen cannot be trusted. He can be the most empathetic person at one moment and lie about himself at the next moment. During one of his classes in college, he discussed how soft power is everything in the world to maintain diplomatic ties. He knew how to make his lovers yearn for his affection, and he enjoyed playing mind games with them. He wanted to become a lawyer, and deceit was something he practiced in everyday life. Even though he was charming Lucy, he was also trying to get back with his ex-girlfriend, Diana. To the world around them, they were no longer together, but Diana could not deny the fact that Stephen continued to affect her. Diana broke up with Stephen after she found that he was cheating on her. She could not forgive him for his actions, and he refused to accept defeat. He had to win her over; it was almost a challenge for him. And Lucy was the freshman he had his eyes on. While he tried to prove his loyalty to Diana, he continued to spend nights with Lucy. When it came to emotional support, he tended to seek help from Diana. After receiving a stressful call from his mother, he rushed to meet his ex-lover.

When Lucy learned about Diana from her friends, she knew they were no longer together. She realized Diana was this picture-perfect woman who was academically gifted and also a philanthropist. It was after talking to Diana that Lucy went straight from the party to Stephen’s room to spend the night with him. Diana was a threat, and Lucy did not wish to be out of the game. Most relationships were extremely toxic. Pippa even stated that no matter how exhaustive it was, one had to act like they were not interested in the men they liked since that was attractive. Though some managed to understand that there was a life beyond college where fun was not enough for a relationship to survive, others did not. The girls decided to not let the men they liked know about their feelings and instead always made them feel like there was a threat. Stephen wanted Lucy to be with other men as well since it was her first year in college, and he did not wish to bind her to a relationship. Later, when Lucy indirectly tried to find out if he was sleeping with other women, he managed to make her feel special without giving much away. With Stephen, it was almost impossible to deduce what he was thinking about. Later, at the end of episode three, we see Stephen go through his picture collection, and amidst the pictures of him and Diana, there were pictures of Macy.

While we were aware of the fact that Macy and Stephen knew each other before college, their relationship was not known. The pictures indicate moments of intimacy, and maybe it was her relationship with Stephen that Macy wanted to share with Lucy, but she got distracted, and they never had that conversation. Drew, Wringley’s brother, blamed himself for Macy’s accident, stating that his car crossed hers, but he chose to not stop. He believed if he had stopped and helped her out, she might have survived. The guilt consumed Drew, and he struggled to live with it. Stephen knew what Drew had done that night and had asked him to keep it a secret to protect himself from the police. What is strange is how well Stephen knew Macy, but he barely ever shared a word about her. Was he involved in Macy’s death? Did he cheat on Diana with Macy, or was she someone he had been with before college? Hopefully, we will find out all about it soon.

See More: ‘Tell Me Lies’ Episodes 4 & 5: Recap & Ending, Explained – Did Lucy & Stephen’s Family Affect Their Personalities?

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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