The series is based on a teenage suicide case that was unlike any other in the state of Massachusetts. Conrod Roy III, lovingly known as Coco, committed suicide by breathing in carbon monoxide inside his locked truck. While Coco did suffer from depression and had attempted suicide before, the police found a hole in the story. Coco’s girlfriend, Michelle Carter, with whom he mostly exchanged texts, seemed to have influenced the teen to take his life. The Hulu series, “The Girl from Plainville” is a fictionalized retelling of the infamous case in which Elle Fanning plays the role of Michelle Carter, and Coco is played by Colton Ryan.
‘The Girl From Plainville’ Episode 4 Recap Summary
In the first three episodes of “The Girl from Plainville,” we learned how Michelle struggled with her social life. She wanted to be more than who she was, and the death of Coco allowed her to demand emotional support from her friends. She hoped to bring people close to her through her suffering and paint the image of the perfect lover who mourned the death of their partner every second. She replicated scenes from Glee to get the emotion right. In episode 4, we see what happens after her phone and laptop were confiscated by the police.
She had to seek a lawyer to defend her case. In the lawyer’s office, Michelle seemed to struggle to understand the reason for being charged. She continued to advocate that she was innocent and that if she had a word with Lynn Roy, Coco’s mother, she would be able to explain her side and solve the case. The lawyer forbade her from making any contact with Coco’s family. She was asked to not use the internet or any communication device during the case.
Meanwhile, the prosecutors were failing to understand the motive behind Michelle’s texts. Even though the texts were direct and clearly showed coercion, they wanted the case to be strong enough to not be dismissed since they were dealing with a gray area in the law.
Coco had first attempted suicide in 2012 when the thought of socializing in school, the lack of friends, and his parents’ divorce overwhelmed him. After swallowing the pills and realizing the effect, he called his mother for help. He was admitted to the hospital and was later committed to a mental institution. After spending the prescribed time at the institution, Coco returned home to his mother. Lynn wanted him to go to therapy sessions, but Coco was not interested in it. He thought that he felt better and did not require extra help. He spoke to Michelle after returning from the institute. He expressed his vulnerability. In Michelle, he found a friend, support, someone with whom he could discuss his thoughts, and someone who loved him for knowing who he was. Even though we know how it ended, the two teens were struggling in their respective lives and found solace in each other’s company.
Who Was Susie? And, How Did She Affect Michelle And Coco’s Relationship?
Coco was troubled by his family’s dynamics and did not have anyone to share his thoughts with, and Michelle felt rejected by people around her no matter what she did. The two were extremely lonely, and texting one another was their way of finding support, even though it was just virtual. Michelle was drawn toward Susie because she was the only person in her life with whom she could spend hours talking. She was genuinely interested in all that Michelle went through, and the lack of friends led Michelle to assume that their friendship was exclusive. She obsessively texted her and wanted to spend all her time with her, and that bothered Susie’s mother. Her mother could sense that Michelle had fallen in love with Susie, and she tried every possible way to avoid the scandalous affair.
Michelle expressed to Susie how she was in love with both Coco and her. She said “I love you” to both of them, but Susie said that it was different between them. But it was the same for Michelle. When Susie’s mother took away her phone, Michelle texted her multiple times and finally reached her place to check on her. Susie explained her situation and added that Michelle was obsessed with her, and she was not comfortable with it. She was not interested in women, and therefore, the relationship between them was mostly in Michelle’s head. She wanted Michelle to get over her because what she wanted was impossible. After losing Susie, she had only Coco by her side. When his grandfather gifted him a truck, he texted her that he was going to California. Michelle wanted him to take her along, and they both dreamt of their future together. They would run away from all their problems, and he would work on the boats while she would find a job for herself. They would buy a house for themselves and get married. She wanted to have children with him, and they would grow old together. In their dreams, they were happy and complete.
The police found a past case related to Coco. A few months before committing suicide, he had a physical altercation with his father. He was admitted to the hospital with a concussion while his father was arrested. His father was ordered by the court to attend counseling which he was yet to complete. The prosecutor, Katie Rayburn, was rattled by this, she knew that if the defense got to know about the incident, it would mean a clear win for them. The blame would fall on the night of the altercation and not on Michelle. They wanted it to be hidden from the jury. Meanwhile, Michelle was brought to the police station.
As the series progresses, the case continues to get more complicated. Even though we know the accused, there was a lot more at stake than what was assumed in the beginning. “The Girl in Plainville” seems unnecessarily stretched in parts, with numerous unwanted repetitions of the same facts. Hopefully, the series will pick up its pace with the unfolding of the court trial.