Previously on The Girlfriend Experience, “Boundaries”
The Girlfriend Experience | S1E7: Access | Starring: Riley Keough, Paul Sparks, Paulino Nunes, Sabryn Rock | Director: Lodge Kerrigan
We start our episode with Christine continuing to receive harassing phone calls from Jack followed by a delivery of flowers. This immediately places the viewer in a heightened state of awareness. The look on her face when she arrives home and asks her doorman to walk with her only confirms that while she might appear cool on the outside, on the inside she’s actually very worried and proceeds to have security cameras installed inside her home.
Of course as much as the cameras are there for her safety she also uses it as an opportunity to study herself when she masturbating. She constantly studies all the angles of her interactions to generate the best result. We see this every time she’s with a new client and wins them over by figuring out what their wants are and how she can fit herself into that.
“What are my options?”
While out with a client we see that she’s being watched, and we’re introduced to Simon Burcher, a PI who proves to be the bane of Christine’s life for the remainder of the episode. After pressuring her newest client into introducing him to her as a friend and potential client, she sets up a pre interview of sorts and then decides to meet up with him at a hotel.
As she sits in the back of a cab, everything is quiet. The scenes, the people, even Christine herself. But what is not quiet is that feeling of instinct that we see come over her as she stares at the faceless men on the street. Later, instinct mixed with fear serves her well, after a couple of minutes in Simon Burcher’s company something feels a bit off and leads her to abruptly end the date. He was so confident in his ability to get her on tape it proves his undoing and leads to her being able to avoid any further self incrimination.
Just an Intern
At work, she continues to try and worm her way back into the XHP files and volunteers her services to Kayla, a co-worker who reminds her of her place within the office dynamic, namely she is not an employee just an intern. But Kayla returns later to ask for support locating missing XHP files. This involves sharing her password with Christine with terms and conditions, something we see Christine immediately violate. That night, though, after Kayla declines a shared cab ride with her the inevitable confrontation with Simon occurs.
After wondering throughout the episode who hired him – especially after we see him threaten Jacqueline (the madam from the earlier episodes) – we now know he was hired by Michael’s – her dead client who left her an inheritance – family. He was hired to dig up every piece of information he can find on her, including the fact that sister’s an ADA, who her family is, and threatening to expose all if she doesn’t make the call to the lawyers. As the episode draws to a close, we can feel Christine’s fear as Simon threatens to destroy her world.
This was a suspenseful episode with the introduction of Simon Burcher, which serves to illustrate just how many enemies Christine has made so far this season. Yes, he’s doing his job, but something seems off about a man willing to go so far as he did to get the job done. Every episode is well done and manages to fit so much into a half hour. Every word is spoken with intention and purpose while the visuals of this show have become a familiar constant. We move swiftly through scenes from Christine to Chelsea, intermixed with moments of opulence and normalcy. Kudos to the director for showing a woman using a tampon on screen. Little touches like this are important in normalizing societal reactions to female bodily functions.
The Girlfriend Experience S1E7 = 8.5/10