Love & Death Episode 4: Written by David E Kelley & directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, ‘Love & Death’ tells the gruesome tale of the infamous axe murderer from Wylie. Its three-episode premiere established the church-going, suburban neighborhood of the Montgomery & Gore families, whose lives were shattered after the murder. The episodes explored how sexual repression under the strict moral code motivated two adults to conspire against their spouses. The frowned-upon-ness of their actions gave them an exhilarating feeling until reality kicked in.

The premiere primarily delved into the mirage of happy marriage leading to the actual day of the spine-chilling murder. Now the fourth episode follows the aftermath of Betty Gore’s murder. It shows the initial period and how Candy, Allan, and others responded to this shocking death.

*spoilers ahead* 

Love & Death Episode 4 Recap:

Episode 4: Do No Evil

The third episode ended with Betty Gore (Lily Rabe) coming out to her living room with an axe. It hinted at the looming danger between her and Candy (Elizabeth Olsen), which bursts out in the new episode. Betty starts off by saying that she does not want Candy to see her husband again. Candy tries to convince her that she wouldn’t. She decides to calm down Betty and makes her keep the axe down. But Betty stays resentful, even while bringing a towel for Candy to wrap the swimsuit in.

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Anyhow, Candy puts her hand on Betty’s shoulder, trying to show support – also to take another go at convincing Betty that her affair with Allan (Jesse Plemons) is a thing of the past. However, Betty eventually pushes Candy forcefully onto their washing machine. She keeps repeating that Candy can’t have Allan. She holds the Axe and approaches Candy. Allan keeps calling the landline, but no one picks up.

Sometime later, we see Candy walking out of the house with completely soaked hair and a bloodspot on her forehead. She walks up to her car and starts driving back to her house. A girl rings the Gores’ doorbell and receives no response. Meanwhile, the dogs keep barking outside the bathroom window.

Candy, still under the shock of what transpired, drives back home, shivering. She takes out her clothes and throws them into the washing machine to get cleaned. She takes a shower, where we see a shot that was earlier juxtaposed with the time right after she had sex with Allan for the first time. The show builds a connection to how she struggles to process both these amoral acts. After the shower, Candy cleans her toenails and her forehead to destroy any sign of blood on her body. Afterward, she drives to the church, unsure what to feel or say or think, and tears up on her way there.

At the church, Candy feigns ignorance about what happened at Betty’s house. She pretends that she is late because she went to Target to get Father’s Day cards for Pat (Patrick Fugit). Candy says – that’s when she realized her watch had stopped working and then rushed right to the church. She takes her kids & Alisa and drives to Walmart to buy some greeting cards. Upon returning home, she rings Pat to have enough money to take Alisa to a movie with them. She tells Pat the exact lie that she told the church people.

Then, her friend & business partner, Sherry (Krysten Ritter), arrives at her home to grab the card table. Candy panics and blurts out something strange. Sherry senses something strange but does not point it out right away. Allan keeps trying to reach Betty, but no one picks up the phone. Later, at night, while having dinner with his colleagues, he finally calls his neighbor, Richard (Aaron Jay Rome), and asks him to check by ringing their doorbell to see if she opens the door.

Since no one answers, Richard says Betty might be out. But Allan remains restless and, soon after, asks Richard if their car is still in the driveway. He notices it in the garage, but with the garage door open. That never happens. Allan calls Candy’s home, who has just returned from the cinema with Pat and the kids. She pretends to be unaware of Betty’s whereabouts and lies about a change in plans for Alisa’s stay at their place.

Krysten Ritter, Elizabeth Olsen in Love & Death Episode 4 (Photograph by Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max)

Finally, Allan decides to ask his neighbors to walk up to his house and find one or the other way to get in. The neighbors enter the house and look around with their torches. One of them eventually notices some bloodstains and gets spooked. Inside a room, they see Betty’s newborn with some blood and take him away. Another one of them finally looks into the bathroom and notices Betty’s dead body lying in a pool of blood. The wall is filled with blood droplets, and it spooks everyone. When Allan calls, they muster the courage to reveal that Betty is dead.

Allan calls Candy at that hour to share that Betty has been shot. He is concerned since he does not even own a gun. He asks Candy to let Alisa stay at their place until he returns but not to say anything about Betty’s death to her. The police cars soon arrive at the Gores’ house. Police Chief Abbott walks up to the gnarly crime scene and believes that it is an act of some cult. He calls Allan and asks if he knows anyone was at their house during the day. Allan says that Candy visited, but that’s about it. A forensics officer arrives and clicks the picture of the dead body and the scene.

By the next morning, the Forensics team figures out that a gun wound did not kill Betty. The weapon was too strange, plus there were signs of a struggle everywhere. So, it was considered a crime of circumstance. Looking at the small footprints, the officer does not think a man did it, but a woman or a kid might have done it. Soon after, Allan drives back home and laments being away on a trip. When he breaks the news to Alisa and hugs her, Candy joins them. Olsen seamlessly channels her confused mix of feelings, including remorse.

Later at the church, Candy asks Don Crowder (Tom Pelphrey) whether she will be considered a suspect since she was last at the crime scene. “That’s how they suspect in TV shows,” she says. The writing gives a look into how these small-town people base their ideas on the pop culture available to them. Anyhow, Don believes it is highly unlikely and believes it is an act of some big man.

The crowd, meanwhile, gossips about how the axe murder seems brutally close to how Nicholson attacks Duvall’s character in The Shining. Turns out, the news about this film was right on top of the sofa-side table – making people form theories about an inspired murder.

Nevertheless, the police believe that the murder was not premeditated and was a spontaneous act considering the signs of struggle. Candy still hides the truth and walks the lonely road of immense guilt. Back at the Gores’ house, Betty’s mother, Bertha, thinks that her daughter was murdered because of a cult’s belief. She also considers the Marriage Encounter to be a cult. It seems like pretending not to have any marital issues was a norm, especially back then. Thus, it created more issues due to prolonged silence instead of talking out the conflicts to form a mature way out. Anyhow, Bertha comes face to face with her daughter’s killer and yet, stays miles apart from knowing the truth.

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Love & Death Episode 4 Ending Explained:

While the Montgomerys celebrate Father’s Day by opening greeting cards, they receive a call from the police station. Candy answers and decides to go to the station by herself. She drives and then walks up to the chief’s room, almost trying to control her urge to burst out in rage or tears. Candy recounts the exact story with specifically thought-out details to keep herself away from the needle of suspicion. She says that she was at the Gores’ house for about 15 minutes and shares the details of her appearance. Back at home, she cancels one of her plans with Sherry.

In the church, Ron Adams calls the murder as something against god’s will and an act of a monster. Candy silently digests all that is being said about her. Later, the police have a conversation with Allan about any possible enemies of Betty. They also ask him whether either of them had extramarital affairs. Allan shares that Betty had with her student when he had gone away for work in the past. But he does not talk about his affair with Betty. Maybe because this lie keeps making him question his conscience, he calls the chief, later at night, back from his home and says that he did have an affair with Candy Montgomery.

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Love & Death Episode 4 Show Cast -Elizabeth Olsen, Jesse Plemons, Patrick Fugit, Olivia Grace Applegate
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