High Desert (Season 1), Episode 6: High Desert is slowly trying to flesh out its black humor. While Peggy is getting increasingly desperate to reshape her life, she is also getting pulled back by her bad habits. Be it her addiction or Denny’s robbery attempts – these keep her from getting further in her journey. Bruce is still trying to bring his business back on track. While Carol continues to help her with her small requests, Peggy tries to find answers for Donatella’s disappearance.
High Desert (Season 1), Episode 6 Recap:
Episode 6: A Nod Is Not a Hello
The sixth episode begins with Guru Bob (Rupert Friend) running away from his house. He is being followed by Heather (Julia Rickert) and Arman (Carlo Rota) for delaying their work. Guru Bob had earlier tricked them into buying a fake painting. Now he says he has a new buyer for it since he thinks Peggy’s (Patricia Arquette) buyer is a genuine one. In reality, Peggy herself was trying to trick Bob into getting money for her own work.
Arman questions Bob as to whether he is trying to run away from this problem. Bob tries to change the man’s mind, saying that the buyer, named James Kachel, is in Florence. The Guru is not aware yet that Peggy fooled him into thinking this man is an actual buyer. He tries calling Peggy, but she does not take his call.
At the time, Peggy had come to join Bruce, (Brad Garrett) to meet Owen (Eric Peterson) in Pioneertown. Owen does not want to make a deal with these P.I.s anymore. Peggy convinces him otherwise by saying that his mother has already agreed to the deal. Then she shows Bruce the finger that her dog threw up before. She suspects it belongs to Donatella and is determined to prove the same.
Bruce is still apprehensive about expecting reward money for finding Dona. Still, even if they need to prove that the finger is hers, they will need a few days. But Peggy is restless. So, she decides to find it out by the next day.
Peggy asks Bruce to remove the nail from that found finger. Then, she goes to the tanning salon that belongs to Dona’s brother, Nick (Carmine Giovinazoo). Peggy shows the nail to an employee, expecting some details about the bearer but to her surprise, she does not get any.
Since this plan does not work out, Peggy decides to meet Nick directly to entice him with an offer. She keeps rambling about this and that – only to get his DNA sample. She gives him a lollypop and takes it back to check whether his saliva sample matches with what is, possibly, Dona’s finger.
In Bruce’s office, Peggy talks about a father and a daughter (Arman and Heather) wanting money from Guru Bob. She thinks Dona’s art is the reason for her disappearance. Bruce is as worried as always about where her search will lead them.
Peggy goes to Carol’s house to get evidence photos about a case that she was actually supposed to work on. Earlier, Bruce told her to snoop on a man’s wife to find out about her affair. Apparently, that woman was having an affair with another woman. Before speaking with Peggy, Carol notices Cooper (Jayden Gomez) taking away her car but does not object to it.
After her chat with Carol, Peggy goes home and takes some pills. She suddenly remembers that she is supposed to go for a urine test. She calls the treatment center to learn that Mary will not be there and then rushes. This is because she is that worried her test results will end up positive.
At the center, Peggy finds Mary, even though it is her off day. She refuses to let Peggy have the pills. No matter how much Peggy talks about the mental health issues, Mary does not budge. She tries to get it from somewhere else and even asks for a joint, if not the pills.
Later, Peggy returns to Pioneertown, where Bruce has set up his office with his assistant and William (Kellen Joseph) as the tech help. She shares the evidence photos that Carol helped her out with. Then, she goes out to find Owen, having brought an actual model of a cannon. Owen explains he did it because Peggy told his mother about someone being shot out of a cannon on the President’s Day Weekend Show. Peggy meant it only as a metaphor.
The day coincides with Owen’s mother’s birthday. It makes Peggy realize that Owen is doing everything to gain his mother’s approval. She says that she won’t get thrown out of that cannon, no matter what. She warns him about getting too deep into the Elektra syndrome.
Peggy walks towards their usual stage to find Ginger (Bernadette Peters) reciting some lines from her script. She heavily criticizes it. But soon after, in her hazy mental state, she starts seeing Ginger as her own mother and vents about her issues. Within moments, she brings herself back to reality – this isn’t her mother, this is just an actress improvising her lines. Peggy realizes that maybe she will never get to say the things she wanted to say to her mother.
High Desert (Season 1), Episode 6 Ending, Explained:
Since Peggy refuses to take his calls, Bob sends her a voice message to entice her, saying that he has some stock of OxyContin. Peggy drives there to get dragged by Heather. She gets tied to a chair next to Bob’s, who gets angry at her lie about the buyer.
Since Heather approaches to shoot her, Peggy starts listing the reasons as to why she cannot be shot. She then tells Arman that she has a buyer for the counterfeit painting. Arman thinks she is bluffing because no genuine buyer would buy a counterfeit.
To get out of this problem, Peggy says that she has put a tracker on Arman and Heather’s car and knows where they live. It does not threaten them as much as she thought it would. So, to rescue herself, she says that she will procure $250,000 from Kachel within two days.
Back at home, Peggy does not say anything about this to Denny. She then e-mails Kachel a photo of that painting. In a video call with him, she sees someone named Ethan in the background, who does not respond to her. She looks genuinely emotional. I guess we will learn who Ethan is in the coming episodes.
Meanwhile, Nick suddenly realizes that the woman who introduced herself is not Sylvia Plath as she had claimed. He goes to the washroom to find out that one of his paintings has been stolen. So, he wakes his brother Leo (Michael Masini) up from a tanning bed to get a hold of Sylvia, aka Peggy, at the earliest.