After a sexually explicit Episode 2, Tedros made more headway into Jocelyn’s life. Her team did an abysmal job of keeping her close. Instead, he found an in-roads while boosting her confidence. To this point, The Idol has not asked much of Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye apart from his songwriting. However, Episode 3, “Daybreak,” puts Jocelyn and Tedros’ blooming relationship center stage. Sam Levinson directs The Idol – “Daybreak.”
The Recap – The Idol – “Daybreak”
Tedros (The Weeknd) wakes Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) and tells her they’re going shopping. Leia (Rachel Sennott) drives a top-down convertible while Tedros performs cunnilingus on Jocelyn. They pull over, and Jocelyn gets mobbed by fans as she steps into a shop.
While Tedros dresses down a salesperson for looking at Jocelyn, Leia calls Chaim (Hank Azaria). She tells him that Tedros took over and is firing staff members. Chaim and Destiny (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) are pissed Leia let Jocelyn go shopping at a time like this.
Finkelstein (Eli Roth) calls and complains about being shut out of the conversations. He’s worried Jocelyn cannot go on another tour and is changing the one song selling tickets. Chaim pretends to be in the studio to smooth things over and promises two new songs.
At the store, Jocelyn calls out Tedros for saying she has bad style. He tells her she’s had better taste recently, so she calls him gay. He responds by pushing her into a changing room, and they have sex. The whole store hears them. Before he finishes, she walks away. He finishes in the changing room by himself.
They leave the stores on Rodeo drive. When they get to the house, Chaim and Destiny are waiting. Chaim and Tedros size each other up and turn on the charm. As Chaim and Destiny try to find out more about Tedros, he drops that Mike Dean is coming to work with them. Chaim tells them they have two weeks for three songs.
At the end of the meeting, Chaim and Destiny walk past Leia. They tell her they love Tedros and his vibe. She looks back at Tedros and Jocelyn, who are already having sex again. Destiny and Chaim reveal they’re worried for Jocelyn when they get to the car. Nikki gets the music video shoot done with Dyanne (Jeannie Ruby Jane).
Chloe (Suzanna Son) and Jocelyn discuss Joss’ mother. Chloe gives her a series of questions, composing piano music as she goes. They grow closer through Jocelyn sharing her grief.
Xander (Troye Sivan) and Tedros talk about creative design. Tedros tells him it’s all wrong, and Xander agrees. He thinks that everything about Jocelyn is manufactured. To sell her as sexy, he would take the leaked photo of her post-sex and make it the album cover. They do coke.
Izaak (Moses Sumney) records music while Joscelyn listens. He cuts off the music and asks Jocelyn to sing. When she says no, the crew in the room tells her Tedros would get mad. Experiences, good or bad, help artists. Jocelyn disagrees.
Chloe brings up Robert Plant writing a great love song after his son’s death. Even through loss, Plant created something that saved lives. If the experience can create meaningful art, opportunities to make that shift should be taken. Jocelyn begins to test the theory on the group. After a couple of dares, she tells Izaak to kiss her. He refuses because of Tedros.
Jocelyn joins the house guests on the porch for dinner. She ranks everyone, especially Tedros, for helping her find a new family. Tedros tells Xander to pitch the idea from earlier. Leia tries to shoot it down, and Jocelyn wants to think about it. Tedros begins pushing her to do it, reminding her that risks are how you break the mold.
Xavier and Tedros begin pushing her to write her own music. They ask why she’s not writing for herself, and she tells them they know why. She does not find herself relatable. Tedros questions her on that. They begin talking about her Mom in front of everyone.
She begins to reveal details about her mom. Jocelyn’s mother abused her, using a hairbrush to beat her for years. The only thing that stopped her was the chemo. Tedros confronts Xander for letting it happen. He denies it, and Jocelyn thinks that Xander was there for her.
Tedros asks if Jocelyn thinks she’s stuck because she does not have the motivation. He follows up, asking if she misses the abuse. Tedros promises they will take that trauma and use it to make something special. He tells her to get her mother’s hairbrush.
She picks up the hairbrush and returns to Tedros. She hands it over. They embrace as she gets down. Over a montage, he uses it on her. She ranks him for taking care of her.
Episode Breakdown – The Idol – “Daybreak”
It’s rather clear that “Daybreak” wants to be the messiest version of The Idol possible. At times, there’s no question it’s hilarious, such as cutting from cunnilingus in the car to Rachel Sennott rolling her eyes with discomfort. Yet then, the sequence of outright abuse meant to control Jocelyn is quite the dramatic moment. The two extremes seem to fit in the context of this show, but they are barley holding this thing together.
Levinson and Tesfaye use “Daybreak” to flesh out the questions surrounding Tedros’ cult-like following and Jocelyn’s mother. Both appear based on rules that dominate and subject. Tedros’ followers will do as he asks until it directly opposes what Tedros wants. Meanwhile, Jocelyn’s mother dominated the singer with a mechanism of control. Both are prime examples of systemic abuse feeling commonplace. Already, Jocelyn and Xaxander have fallen under Tedros’ spell.
This time, “Daybreak” features the least amount of Jocelyn’s old entourage. However, this ensures we understand the control that Tedros has already gained. He continues to gain power within the group, and while Leia remains staunchly against him, Tedros feels inevitable.
The choice to leave Leia out of the loop on Tedros was a curious one by Chaim and Destiny. On paper, it makes sense. Leia has not proven herself trustworthy to this point. Maybe she would break under pressure. At the same time, the light of Chaim and Desti y recusing her from the situation. This would be helpful to Leia. Time will tell if this was the right move.
Unfortunately, the thing that hurts this episode is the inconsistent tonal shifts. Moving from drama to extreme comedy devalues both. This is still a difficult show to watch, and it’s becoming tiresome to watch. We’re at an odd point in the show, and while the series could be saved, if it keeps down this path we’ve gone too far into relishing nihilistic masochism.