High Desert (Season 1) Episode 4: The three-episode premiere of ‘High Desert’ introduces us to Peggy’s conflict. While trying to make a living, she also feels the need to process the grief of her mother, Rosalyn’s death. She meets an actress who is a spitting image of her mother. So, she decides to use it as a way to work out her difficult emotions.

Peggy’s siblings kept forcing her to earn enough for their mother’s property, which they otherwise planned to sell. Peggy found out about a private investigator and decided to consider it as her vocation due to her deduction skills.

Now the fourth episode shows Peggy investigating further into Donatella’s disappearance. Despite Denny’s return from prison, she does not let him go back to the way things were.

*Spoilers Ahead*

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

High Desert (Season 1) Episode 4 Recap:

“Get Judy off the Bed”

The episode begins with an incident from Peggy’s past in 1986. Her father walks out of the house to get in a car with a woman he is having an affair. Peggy (played by Harlow Jane) throws his suitcase on the ground and approaches the woman to spit abuse at her. Peggy does not appreciate her father giving her mother’s necklace to that woman.

Since the woman does not respond to Peggy’s satisfaction, she tries to snatch the necklace. Her father starts driving the car, and the woman closes the car window. So, the pearls from that necklace fall down on the road. Seeing Peggy’s outrage, Rosalyn (played by Bernadette Peters) tries to cheer her up. We see a clear sign of a strong bond between the mother and the daughter.

Back in the present, Peggy (played by Patricia Arquette) returns home to find her about-to-be ex-husband Denny (played by Matt Dillon). Apparently, he got an early release due to the technicality of his case. At the time, he was wearing his mother’s kimono and treating the house as in the old days. She tells him to take it off and leave the house immediately.

Denny keeps sipping his well-grounded coffee, thinking Peggy’s anger would settle soon. It doesn’t. He talks about taking a fall for their operation. She reminds him that it was over a decade before – also that he got arrested again, twice. He did not give a chance to another way of life either. So, he can’t expect things to go back to the way they were. He still does not back off from his attempt to persuade her. So, she agrees to have a meal with him.

At the restaurant, Peggy shares news about her new vocation as a private investigator, working at Bruce’s (played by Brad Garett) practice. She believes she is indispensable because of the business she brings to the table. Denny says that she is destined for bigger and better things. He feigns remorse for his past mistakes and shares his recent experience with a martial art form of meditation.

Denny asks her to rejoin him in his venture. He also reveals that he sold some of Rosalyn’s property for his business ideas. It enrages Peggy since that money could have helped her pay off the mortgage. He keeps trying to convince her to partner with him. She pays no heed to those ideas and wants to lead her life as a P.I. She also wants to just get done with him by getting a divorce.

Back at home, Peggy takes some pills to fall asleep. The next day, at Bruce’s office, she calls Tammy (played by Susan Park). Tammy thanks her for helping out with the matter of stealing Owen’s (played by Eric Peterson) money. But she isn’t happy that Peggy almost went on a date with her ex, Guru Bob (Rupert Friend).

High Desert (Season 1) Episode 4 Recap & Ending, Explained
Bernadette Peters and Harlow Jane in “High Desert,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Peggy cuts the call and gets back to Bruce about finding Bob’s missing wife. He does not consider it a good idea and isn’t certain that there is still a reward for it. He is more concerned about his business, which is struggling to stay afloat. She thinks he is letting a lucrative deal pass by for something negligible. He does not care. He just wants guaranteed money since, otherwise, he would have to cease his practice.

Since Bruce had an IT emergency, Peggy finds a guy who can help out. Bruce, however, is worried that he will even lose his house if he does not get money at the earliest. She is hopeful that a lofty payment is just around the corner.

Peggy goes to Carol’s (played by Weruche Opia) house but thinks her car might be bugged. So, Carol shares her findings in a lower voice. Peggy thinks Bob murdered his wife – Donatella. Carol says that she found where his wife’s family is because of their rap sheet.

Why does Peggy go to the tanning spa?

To check out if the reward is still active, Peggy drives to the tanning spa of Gatchis, i.e., Donatella’s family. She meets the proprietor Nick (Dona’s brother) and introduces herself as Sylvia Plath. She tempts him into earning some bucks for his pain and suffering. Furthermore, she says she can build a case with her lawyers for a billion-dollar settlement.

While Nick buys into Peggy’s idea, he believes Bob couldn’t have killed Donatella. He shares that she spent most of her money on going to an art school and wasn’t good as a businessperson. He shows Peggy a painting and says that Dona painted it. Peggy recognizes that it is Magritte’s painting, which featured his wife. She also finds a parrot in that room, who probably repeats something he had heard.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

What does Peggy find in the tanning spa?

So, Peggy finds out that Donatella made replicas of masterpieces and used Bob to sell them to mobsters. While speaking with Carol, she praises Donatella’s painting skills. She also believes that the bird knows more than what it told her back then. They discuss a theory that Nick killed his sister.

Peggy obtains the missing person’s report for Dona, where she abuses Bob. Carol decides to get hold of that bird to get to the bottom of this matter. Then they talk about how her siblings are only trying to gain from their mother’s property and their lack of feelings toward her.

High Desert (Season 1) Episode 4 Ending Explained:

Why does Peggy ask Dianne to come to Pioneertown?

Peggy calls Dianne (played by Christine Taylor) to meet at Pioneertown. She blackmails, sharing something bad from Dianne’s past with her family – to ensure that she will certainly come there. Later, in the town, Peggy talks with Ginger about other town members. Ginger reveals that she has been single for 34 years. Peggy offers her a chance to make some money by playing an art supplier.

Diane arrives at Pioneertown and realizes that Peggy lied to her before. Anyhow, she enters the saloon set and meets Ginger. She gets taken aback since Ginger looks exactly like Rosalyn. Peggy tells Dianne to work out her feelings toward Rosalyn by enacting a scene. She asks Ginger to play dead, and Dianne starts to open up about what she feels toward their bereaved mother. She talks about how her mother abandoned her ambition of dancing after their dad left.

While Dianne rarely met Rosalyn before her death, she wanted to be successful so that Rosalyn would return to her optimistic self. She apologizes for being distant. Ginger snaps out of her role and says that she forgives Dianne – for being selfish. It enrages Dianne, and she finds this idea of therapy counter-productive.

Why does Peggy meet Denny in his motel room?

Peggy takes Ginger to meet Bob in the role of a wealthy art supplier. Ginger pretends to be one, and Peggy tries to convince the Guru that she is legit. On their ride back, Bruce calls her and says that he may need to announce bankruptcy because of the dire state of their business. She asks for a time of a few days to not let that happen. Later at night, she shows up at Denny’s motel room and asks him to find the guru bastard to kill his wife.

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High Desert (Season 1), Episode 4 Links: IMDb Wikipedia
High Desert (Season 1), Episode 4 Cast: Patricia Arquette, Bernadette Peters, Brad Garrett, Weruche Opia, Matt Dillon, Christine Taylor, Rupert Friend
Where to watch High Desert

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