Fatal Attraction Episode 1, 2, and 3 Recap: Dan and Alex’s Affair Ends in Murder

Paramount+’s ‘Fatal Attraction’ is a modern retelling of the 1987 film of the same name. The series tells the story of Dan Gallagher (Joshua Jackson) as his torrid but brief affair with co-worker Alexandra “Alex” Forrest (Lizzy Caplan) proves to be his undoing. The show’s first three episodes dropped together, providing viewers with a look at Dan’s life leading up to his affair with Alex and its eventual outcome. However, not all loose threads add up as Alex’s attraction quickly turns into obsession, leading to drastic choices affecting herself and Dan. Episode 3’s ending must have left viewers puzzled about some of the incidents, and here is an explanation about them. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Fatal Attraction Episode 1, 2, and 3 Recap

The first episode, titled ‘Pilot,’ opens with Dan Gallagher, a criminal who is presented in front of the judges for his parole hearing. We learn that Dan has been in prison for almost ten years for the murder of a woman named Alexandra “Alex” Forrest. Dan admits to murdering her but shows remorse for his actions. Dan expresses a desire to reconnect with his family if he is paroled. The judges approve Dan’s request for parole due to his good behavior in prison, and he is released. Later, Dan’s daughter, Ellen Gallagher, who attended the hearing, speaks with her therapist about her complicated feelings about Dan.

Meanwhile, we see Dan’s life ten years before his imprisonment as he works as a District Attorney in Los Angeles District Court’s crimes division. Dan is a hot-shot lawyer on his way to being appointed as a judge at a very young age. He is happily married to Beth Gallagher and has a young daughter, Ellen, whom he loves a lot. At work, Dan is mentored by his father’s friend, Mike Gerard. However, we quickly learn that Mike is not opposed to making morally questionable choices to win cases. Dan’s friends and family throw him a birthday party where everyone talks about his impending appointment as a judge.

The next day, Dan learns he will not be appointed judge as someone paid to get the seat. Dan is enraged and disappointed at the news. Later, a chance encounter leads Dan to meet Alex Forrest, who works in the Victims Service Bureau under Dan’s friend, Conchita Lewis. Dan and Alex flirt with each other and share a few drinks. However, while driving home drunk, Dan crashes his car. He asks for Mike’s help covering the crime and gets away with a DUI. The episode ends in the present day, where Dan meets Ellen in a cafe and denies killing Alex. However, Ellen feels Dan is lying to her since she attended the hearing.

The second episode, titled ‘The Movie in Your Mind,’ opens with Dan and Alex meeting for a dinner date, where they bond over their unresolved feelings for their fathers. However, they are forced to leave when the smoke detectors set off the water sprinkler system, making Dan and Alex wet. Dan stays in Alex’s house until his clothes dry, and their attraction becomes palpable sexual tension. Dan leaves but quickly returns and hooks up with Alex.

Dan and Alex have sex a few more times while Dan’s wife and daughter are out of town. However, Alex acts possessive when Dan does not spend the night. In the present day, Ellen continues to work through her issues in therapy and contemplates meeting Dan. However, she changes her mind and observes him from a nearby cafe. In the past timeline, Dan is working on an assault case where the victim – Tracy Simpson, is in a coma. He needs someone to stay with the victim and take her statement when she regains consciousness. As a result, Dan appoints Alex at the hospital with Conchita’s help.

Later, Alex reveals that Tracy woke up and identified her attackers, leading to another sexual encounter between Dan and Alex. In the present day, Dan reunites with Mike and attempts to reopen his case to prove his innocence. Mike agrees to help Dan and digs up the latter’s case file. In the past timeline, Dan sleeps with Alex but tries to return to his family. Alex becomes distraught and consumes sleeping pills. As a result, Dan is forced to take Alex to the ER and spend the night with her.

The third episode, titled ‘The Watchful Heart,’ opens with a look at Alex’s life shortly before she met Dan. We learn that she has mental health issues and is obsessed with her therapist despite changing cities. Later, Alex listens to one of Dan’s closing arguments in court and becomes attracted to him. In the present day, Dan looks for apartments with Ellen’s help but quickly makes her uncomfortable. We see Alex and Dan’s brief affair from Alex’s perspective until the point Dan tries to end things between them. However, Alex leaves a threatening message for Dan over the phone, as she has clearly become obsessed with him.

Fatal Attraction Episode 3 Ending: Why Did Dan End Things With Alex? Did Dan Kill Alex?

The third episode shows events from Alex’s perspective, and it slowly becomes evident that she manipulated events to kick-start her affair with Dan. Eventually, Alex successfully seduces Dan without him realizing it. However, when Dan starts to distance himself from Alex, she starts acting obsessive and also shows up at Dan’s house and leaves him a threatening message. Meanwhile, Dan learns that Alex fakes Tracy’s statement after he receives a call from the hospital where the latter is admitted. The hospital spokesperson revealed that Tracy passed away and was brain dead. Tracy never regained consciousness until her death. After Dan learns the truth about Tracy’s statement, he goes to Alex’s apartment and confronts her.

Dan ends things between him and Alex and warns her to stay away from his personal life and family. Moreover, Dan threatens to destroy Alex’s career if she meddles with his life again. In the end, Alex throws acid over Dan’s car as her obsession and longing to be with Dan become more evident. Ultimately, Dan and Alex’s romance turns sour by the end of the third obsession, and it will inevitably lead to Alex’s death. However, as Dan reveals in the first episode, he did not kill Alex and was likely framed for her murder. The episode ends with Dan trying to reopen his case’s investigation but does not receive the assistance of Detective Earl Booker. Hence, it will be interesting to see if Dan is actually innocent and succeeds in proving it.

Read More: Is Fatal Attraction Based on a True Story?