Apple TV+’s ‘High Desert’ follows Peggy Newman on her journey to become a private investigator. She is an addict, has recently lost her mother, is loathed by her siblings, and is trying to get a divorce from her husband, who is in prison. She has a lot going on in her life, a lot of trauma and grief to deal with, but she also has to have a job that pays well, especially if she wants to save her mother’s house from being sold off. This is when Peggy comes across Guru Bob and the mystery of his disappeared wife. If you are curious about what happened to her, here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD
What Happened to Donatella Scarborough?
Peggy finds Guru Bob through her co-worker, Tammy, who is in love with him and wants to marry him because she thinks he is rich. For Peggy, Bob is the perfect opportunity to make a lot of money quickly and save her mother’s house, whose mortgage must be paid off as soon as possible. She notices the stolen painting in Bob’s house and hopes to get a finder’s fee for returning it to the authorities. It would bring in millions to Bruce Harvey’s agency, and she would get her percentage from it. However, that’s not the only thing about Bob that can bring her money.
Peggy discovers that Bob was married to Donatella Scarborough, who mysteriously disappeared one day, never to be seen again. Soon after it happened, Bob had a meltdown on TV, which led him to quit his job and become the “guru” he is now. Still, nothing ever came to light about what happened to Donatella. While Bob doesn’t seem too bothered by this mystery, her family is intent on finding the truth. It turns out that Donatella’s family put up a reward of 70k for whoever came forward with concrete information about her daughter or solved her case. This gets Peggy’s attention, and she believes she can solve the case. If she needs those paintings, she will have to spend a lot of time with Bob, anyway, so why not take a crack at the mystery and see if she can win the reward.
Peggy doesn’t know anything about Donatella as of now, but she discovers that Harvey has tried to solve the case but failed. He tells Peggy that all evidence in her case points to her running away. Her bank account was wiped out, and her car was found abandoned in Mexico. There was no evidence of foul play, which leads to the most logical conclusion: Donatella left of her own volition and doesn’t want to be found. Still, this is just a theory, which can be discarded when new evidence comes to light.
By far, Peggy has noticed quite a few things about Bob. She knows there are more paintings in his stash than the ones on display in his house. She knows that Bob owes a lot of money to the father-daughter gangster duo, and they will stop at nothing to get it out of him. This is why Bob is so desperate to sell the pieces. Seeing how badly Bob is wound up with the gangsters, could it be that Donatella knew about it, or worse, she was the one who got involved in all this in the first place and left Bob behind to clean up her mess?
For now, it all seems to revolve around the paintings. The ones Bob talks about had been stolen years ago, and there was no sign of them until now. Harvey believes they might be fakes, so he wants Peggy to confirm they are real before taking any action. At the moment, Peggy believes they are real because she really wants to. But she hasn’t had the chance to look at them more closely. What if Harvey is right? What if those paintings are forgeries?
Perhaps, Donatella knew about the forgeries, but she sold them off as real and landed in trouble with some dangerous people. Maybe the father-daughter duo was one of her clients who paid millions for a painting that later turned out to be a fake. When Donatella disappeared, they turned towards Bob to get their money back. But then, Bob is making the same mistake of selling the forgeries as real ones. So, maybe, he has no idea they are fakes. Or perhaps, he’s that stupid.
Considering all this, there are two possibilities. The first, as suggested by Harvey, is that she ran away. She knew she couldn’t pay off the gangsters, so instead of sticking around to be terrorized by them, she decided to leave for go. The second possibility is that some other disgruntled client got to her and killed her. We cannot ignore the possibility of Bob’s involvement in all of this, but for now, there is little to no evidence pointing toward it. So, he could be paying for his wife’s actions.
Read More: Is Rupert Friend’s Bob Scarborough, aka Guru Bob, Based on a Real Person?