Hulu’s ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ is a mystery drama that finds 9 unlikely people coming together at an exclusive retreat to battle their demons. Their treatment is led by the mysterious Masha, who has an explosive history of her own and uses experimental treatments on her unwitting patrons. In episode 4, we begin to get some clues as to what some of these treatments might be, and the so-far unexplored characters of Lars and Carmel begin to slowly be revealed. Let’s take a look at all that goes down in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ episode 4. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 4 Recap
The episode opens with a flashback where Masha, in her “previous life” as a successful corporate CEO, is shot at whilst getting into her car in a seemingly empty parking lot. Back in the present, Masha comes to her senses and finds herself facing the group, who are waiting for her to tell them whether she’s been giving them drugs without their consent. She reveals that she has, in fact, been giving them microdoses of psilocybin, a hallucinogen also known as magic mushrooms. As the guests protest, she quickly points out all the health benefits of the drug and how it has helped Tony wean off his addiction to painkillers.
Despite telling the group that whoever is unhappy with ingesting drugs can leave, all of them decide to stay and have wildly different reactions to the drugs. While Heather and Napoleon reconnect, and for the first time in years, begin to communicate and share their emotions, Tony is traumatized by memories of his violent past where he unwittingly was responsible for the death of a man who picked a fight with him.
Jessica is intrigued by the alleged drug therapy and actively asks for more drugs. To her surprise and apparent delight, she is told that she and her husband Ben will be given MDMA (a psychoactive recreational drug) to help work through their marital issues. The day’s sessions focus on venting out bottled-up feelings, and we see Francis and Carmel both release explosive anger on a lifesized martial arts practice doll in which they picture the men that wronged them.
Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 4 Ending: Who is Trying to Kill Masha?
The night ends with the group united and happy, gathered around a campfire. Seeing their reaction to the drugs, Masha decides to increase their dosage despite Delilah’s protests. As the group gets ready to celebrate the Marconis’ daughter Zoe’s 21st birthday, Masha leaves them and heads back into her office, which she is shocked to see has been broken into. She cautiously walks in and begins to pick up the pieces of a ceramic pot seemingly broken by the intruder. She then notices a message stuck on the wall of her office that says, “It’s Good to Die.”
Over the last few episodes, Masha has been receiving veiled threats on her phone, including a message saying that this is her last week on earth. While the group remains blissfully unaware, she has shared her concerns with Delilah and Yao, who also seem to be at a loss as to who it might be. Increasingly, Masha feels that the person threatening her is actually within Tranquillum House, and the shocking finale of episode 4 proves that.
The ominous message posted on her wall seems to spell Masha’s impending doom and gives the feeling that it will happen very soon. We don’t know enough of her backstory to know of the specific enemies she made, but there are a few possibilities here. One likely adversary who could be trying to hurt, kill, or maybe just threaten Masha could be a past client who suffered due to her experimental treatments and now wants revenge. Masha seems to be quite comfortable with giving her patients treatments (and drugs) without their knowledge, and there is a good chance that this has led to disastrous consequences, at least on one past occasion. The person threatening her could be a past patient or also a family member of someone she harmed.
Another potential adversary could be someone within Masha’s ranks, and the most likely candidate seems Delilah, who is revealed to be bipolar and is also jealous of Masha and Yao’s relationship. Considering Delilah has not been taking her medication and seems visibly angry at Masha for going ahead with her experimental therapies, it is possible that Masha’s loyal subordinate is actually her tormenter. Lastly, we still do not know why Masha was originally shot, and it is highly possible that the person who first tried to kill her has now tracked her down in her new persona of a “healer” and wants to finish the job. However, why they are also tormenting Masha remains a mystery.
Why is Lars at the Retreat?
Lars’ motives are finally revealed and turn out to be quite shocking. His clandestine phone calls are explained when Masha tells the group that he is, in fact, an investigative journalist who is seemingly undercover at Tranquillum House in order to do an explosive and revealing piece on the mysterious retreat. Despite Lars being surprised at Masha having known all along about his secret motives, he cannot help himself and blames her for using drug micro-dosing and experimental therapies as an excuse to earn “gobs of money.” To this, Masha calmly replies that Lars, too, is using her retreat and the story he might get out of it could potentially win him a Pulitzer Prize for journalism.
Initially thinking of himself as an outsider who doesn’t need therapy or help, Lars now begins to question whether he is truly a part of the group and is battling demons as severe as those of the eight other Tranquillum House guests. Since Masha has selected him, like she selects all her other patients, it definitely looks like Lars also has specific issues that have resulted in him getting admitted to Tranquillum House and that his underlying investigative motives might not be the only reason he’s there.