The Idol Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Double Fantasy

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When you start too high, you risk having nowhere to go, but on the flip side, there is nowhere to go up.

The Idol Season 1 did not have the best premiere, but on  The Idol Season 1 Episode 2, the show delivered a signature Sam Levinson hour where every minute, word, and act felt calculated.

Another significant day had arrived, and while many people were counting on it to go well, no one rode herself harder than Jocelyn.

 L - Xander and Jocelyn - The Idol

We finally learned why Joss took that break for nearly a year, and it was sad to see a girl so lost without her mother.

I miss my mom


Much was unknown about Joss' mom, but based on how much Jocelyn missed her, she must have been a good mom. She was Joss' support system in a world that would seek to break her.

Joss - The Idol Season 1 Episode 2

Events on The Idol Season 1 Episode 1 primarily took place at Jocelyn's house, taking us through a typical day of a pop star looking to make a grand comeback.

This hour's next setting was a music video set where a lot was happening so fast; if you blinked, you could have missed some of the most important details.

This particular scene made the show feel like something from Sam Levinson. He has a way of getting the most out of a setting like he did on Euphoria Season 2 Episode 1. While it was not on the same scale, it was eerily similar.

Before getting to the music video set, Joss had tried to get her team behind the idea of using the new version of World Class Sinner, but it backfired on her quite badly. That was not a better version of the original, but she didn't deserve such harsh critique.

Nikki: You guys are enabling her. There's obviously something a bit off. Not all oars are in the water--
D: The girl's mother died
Nikki: So, my mother's dead. Is your mother alive?
D: You are somethin' else.
Nikki: People die.

Jane Adams (Actor) - The Idol Season 1 Episode 2

However, it was understandable why Nikki went hard on her. Nikki is a Suit. And like most Suits, she has almost zero appreciation for art or the work that goes into making it.

Nikki: You guys are enabling her. There's obviously something a bit off. Not all oars are in the water--
D: The girl's mother died
Nikki: So, my mother's dead. Is your mother alive?
D: You are somethin' else.
Nikki: People die.

Everything for her is seen through zeros-shaped glasses; the more zeros, the better.

Jocelyn had been pumping out mediocre pop hits before her mother had the audacity to get cancer (it's not me, I felt like that was what Nikki thought), and since that wheel was working just fine, there was no need to improve it.

Might the song have been better if they'd cut out most of the breathing and moaning? Sure. Even Tedros knew it wasn't ready.

I like all the breathing in it.


Leia, Joss, and Xander - The Idol Season 1 Episode 2

The Idol Season 1 revealed that having been in the industry for a really long time, Jocelyn had a rough idea of how she was viewed, mainly by Nikki.

She had one shot with World Class Sinner, or she was done. She had to bring her A-game, even if it meant literally breaking her joints. She numbed herself through the pain, but one can only push the human body so far.

As she tried to nail down the takes, a lot was also happening around her.

For starters, The Suit was making her move. She was looking for the next big thing if Joss didn't work out.

DaVine (Actor) - The Idol Season 1 Episode 2

Joss didn't know what could happen if she was not deemed productive enough. I had a feeling her mother handled that side of the business to make sure that no one made moves against her little girl but with her gone, who could stop Nikki?

She was ready to sign Dayanne so fast it was unnerving, actually.

The world was also watching that set through Vanity Fair.

In her way, Talia broke into the inner circle, and a conversation with Xander revealed that he was also a singer and dancer but nowhere at Jocelyn's level.

Xander: This has been the last five years of my life. I'm in hell.
Talia: I mean, you could always go back to singing and dancing.
Xander: My big moment? Three episodes?

 Joss and Xander - The Idol Season 1 Episode 2

It begged the question of whether he was also using her, hoping to become famous by association.

Chaim was becoming more restless with every passing minute because, as a manager, all he saw was an investment that hadn't been making the returns he anticipated. He, too, was ready to jump ship.

Joss tried to explain herself to Talia, knowing how much power she carried with that little notebook and a pen. She was the one who would introduce Joss back to the world again.

One can never guess what these Vanity Fair articles will look like, but they have the power to destroy a career.

Hari Nef (Actor) - The Idol Season 1 Episode 2

She witnessed Jocelyn's struggle firsthand, and that could go either way. She could write a sympathetic piece and have the world rally around Joss or destroy Joss by claiming she was past her prime and couldn't handle the pressure.

It must be nerve-wracking to have someone hold such power over your life.

Joss' team was not the strongest, and a chain is as strong as its weakest link. A weak team leaves a way for bad players to slither through.

Tedros was a bad player, and it was visible on The Idol Season 1 Episode 1 how much he needed whatever he was working towards with Joss to succeed.

Tedros - The Idol Season 1 Episode 2

He had no limits and could go as far as he wanted. While Joss' team controlled her, Tedros owned his people.

He manipulated their entire life to the extent of training them how to be sexually appealing by literally shocking them into submission. Was that the price Izaak had to pay to be "seen"?

Chloe couldn't go for a swim without getting his okay. He had crossed their personal boundaries on sex and nudity such that Chloe thought it was normal to just walk around butt naked in a stranger's house.

It was no secret that Jocelyn's sexual appetites were twisted, and Tedros preyed on that. It was one of his tools of control.

Suzanna Son (Actor) - The Idol Season 1 Episode 2

Chloe voyeuristically watched everything go down; it didn't seem new. It was like it had happened to her, and she'd been taught to like it. Through sex, a lot of gassing up, and a plan, Tedros had found a way into Joss' world.

Joss and her friends ending up in his club were not by coincidence. Dayanne had taken them there intentionally.

Dayanne: So, is she a better fuck than me?
Tedros: Baby, nobody's a better fuck than you.
Dayanne: You didn't tell me it was a setup.
Tedros: A setup?
Dayanne: You said it would be good for the club.

Chloe began to play that song as if on cue; Izaak keeping Leia busy, among others, were not random acts. It was all planned.

It didn't seem like Joss stood a chance. Leia and D seemed the most attentive to her needs, but there were people more powerful than they were in Joss' team. It didn't appear like there was much they could do.

"Double Fantasy" was a significant upgrade from the series premiere. It did a great job peeling back the layers and filling in some missing pieces, strengthening The Idol as an HBO product.

What did you think? What will Talia's piece look like?

Did you like Joss, Leia, and Izaak singing together?

Join the conversation in the comments section.

Double Fantasy Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.7 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

Denis Kimathi was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on X.

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The Idol Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Nikki: You guys are enabling her. There's obviously something a bit off. Not all oars are in the water--
D: The girl's mother died
Nikki: So, my mother's dead. Is your mother alive?
D: You are somethin' else.
Nikki: People die.

I miss my mom