Poker Face Episode 8 Recap: The Orpheus Syndrome

Image Credit: Karolina Wojtasik/Peacock

The eighth episode of Peacock’s thriller series ‘Poker Face,’ titled ‘The Orpheus Syndrome,’ follows Laura, the head of a famed practical effects studio and production house named LAM. Her life turns around when her ex-husband Max apparently kills himself. She reaches out to their mutual friend Arthur, who agrees to make a sculpture of Max to comfort Laura. Charlie Cale, who works as an assistant to the sculptor, realizes that Laura has been lying, which leads her to unravel the mystery behind two shocking deaths. The enthralling episode ends with startling developments one after the other. Let us share our detailed take on the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Poker Face Episode 8 Recap

‘The Orpheus Syndrome’ begins with an unsettled Max jumping from the terrace of Laura’s house to the ground, killing himself. Laura goes to the sculptor and her former business partner Arthur to share her grief concerning her ex-husband’s death. She asks Arthur whether he can make a sculpture of Max for her to seek forgiveness. Arthur, thinking that his friend is in immense grief, agrees to do the same. It is revealed that Max discovered video footage of a crime Laura committed. He asked her to come clean about the crime to Arthur, only for her to poison her ex-husband. Before dying due to the poison’s effects, Max jumps from the terrace so that his face will get distorted.

Since Laura needs Max’s face to open his computer and delete the footage, she pretends to grieve immensely so that Arthur will agree to make the sculpture. She uses Arthur’s creation to open Max’s computer, deletes the digital copy of the footage, and calls LAM’s archivist Raoul to bring the physical copy to her. A few days before Max’s death, Charlie joined Arthur as his assistant. He talked to her about the death of actress Lily, who drowned in a water tank while filming Arthur’s film. Arthur has been believing that he indirectly killed her, which led him to leave LAM and live as a hermit in his studio.

Arthur calls Raoul the day he finishes Max’s sculpture to deliver the footage of his unfinished film. The archivist delivers the same when Charlie sets out to deliver the sculpture of Max to Laura. The sculptor watches the footage and finds out that Laura turned off the emergency bulb that indicated any distress Lily felt inside the water tank. He realizes that Laura killed Lily and not him. He confronts Laura about the same, who comes clean to his friend about killing the actress. Fearing that Arthur will expose her, Laura kills him using a poisoned beverage, the same way she poisons Max.

Poker Face Episode 8 Ending: How Does Charlie Solve Max and Arthur’s Murders?

Charlie suspects Laura of wrongdoing from their first meeting during which the latter asks Arthur to make a sculpture of Max. After his confrontation with Laura, Arthur returns to his studio without knowing that he was poisoned by his friend. Charlie finds him dead and notices a few pebbles, which are similar to the ones that cover the grounds of Laura’s house, attached to a tire of the sculptor’s car. She goes to Laura and talks to her about the two deaths, only for the latter to lie that she didn’t kill both of them. Charlie notices the lie and realizes that she killed them, leading her to find evidence to solve the murders.

Image Credit: Karolina Wojtasik/Peacock

When Charlie returns to Arthur’s studio, Raoul informs her that Laura wanted the same footage he delivered to the sculptor. She theorizes that whatever Arthur saw in the footage led him to Laura and his death. Since they don’t find the reels of the same, Raoul proposes watching it using Max’s account, which needs face recognition to become accessible. Charlie perceives that Max’s sculpture was commissioned for Laura to open the account and delete the digital copy of the footage. Meanwhile, Laura arrives at the studio to garner all the film reels at the place to destroy them and ensure there aren’t any copies of the footage of her paving the way for Lily’s death.

Charlie knows that Arthur would have hidden the evidence somewhere in the studio and notices film reels on a Medusa sculpture. Although the sculpture is taken to LAM’s office for the company’s 40th-anniversary celebration, she uses Raoul’s ID card to enter into the same and retrieves the reels from Medusa’s hair. She screens the reels during the event, exposing Laura. Usually, pieces of evidence lead Charlie to the killers. In Laura’s case, she lies about not killing Max and Arthur, making Charlie realize that she is indeed the killer. The human lie detector then connects the available dots related to Arthur, Laura, and Max to discover the motive of the murderer.

Why Does Laura Kill Herself?

Although Laura kills Max and Arthur, she commits the murders to protect the reputation of herself and LAM, the company they built together. After killing them both, guilt takes hold of her. During the anniversary event, she hallucinates that Max and Arthur are alive. These hallucinations blur her sense of reality, making her respond to two imaginary beings. That’s the reason why she gets frightened seeing an imaginary Arthur among the crowd and Max’s sculpture turning alive for her ex-husband to appear before her. The guilt manifests in her through the hallucinations, making her surrender to the same.

When Laura has to kill Max, she chooses the most painless way for him. She poisons him and lets him know that he wouldn’t need to suffer for a bit. She chooses poison because she may not be able to tolerate witnessing him having a painful death. Thus, Max’s fall from the terrace and the subsequent death startles her immensely. Her shock gets combined with her guilt, making her hallucinate Max falling from a corridor of the company. To avoid another shock, Laura jumps to save her imaginary ex-husband, killing herself in the process.

When Charlie exposes Laura in front of her well-wishers, colleagues, and friends, her guilt must have aggravated immensely, making her unable to differentiate between her hallucinations and reality. Therefore, her suicide can be seen as a result of Charlie’s efforts to solve Max and Arthur’s murders.

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