The New Look Episode 4 is here, and unlike the first two episodes, it’s another round of unconvincing storytelling. Much like the third episode, the fourth one falters because it doesn’t really have anything to say. Sure, there’s this idea of finding hope in the rubble, but the narrative feels tired and stretched out. So far, the show has been trying to play Christian Dior out as a hero while putting us on a repellent spin on Coco. While it works due to Juliette Binoche’s dedication, I’m not sure the show tells you enough about her. I understand she was an ambiguous character, but the show is not even remotely interested in knowing why.

Anyway, let’s take a detailed look at episode 4, which is titled ‘What a Difference,’ and recap what happened during it. Please be aware that the article is full of spoilers. Proceed with caution.

The New Look Episode 4 “What a Difference” Recap:

The episode opens up with Dior’s first introduction to the Clairyvont Madam Delayee, whom we briefly saw in the first episode. She is at a gathering with all of Dior’s friends and trying to instill hope in all of them after the war. The war has caused wreckage in all their lives, but Dior is not eager to take her help. She insists that he gives her a chance and insinuates that she sees a child in his vision. Dior takes her card and leaves.

On the other hand, Coco, who was warned by the leader of the French resistance to celebrate the Nazi’s going away, is all out for the celebration. It is her way to hide from the officials who have been on the lookout for French people who collaborated with the Germans during the war. The rounding of these collaborators is quite brutal, especially towards women. They are taken to the streets, shamed, and their heads are shaved. Coco is scared of being caught, but she is putting up a facade to avoid it. This part of the show allows us to revel in what kind of person she really is. In spite of being a champion in her field, she feels morally corrupt and selfish. However, soon enough, the French officials come knocking on her door at the Ritz and take her away.

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What is Lucein’s plan to save the fashion industry in Paris?

After the war, it was really tough for all businesses to start up. So, in order to bring the fashion industry back into the game, Lucien Lelong suggests that all the designers collaborate together to put up a single show at the Louvre. Since there is a scarcity of fabric in Paris, he introduces miniature dolls that these designers would dress instead of models. Most of the artists, including Jean Cocteau, Balenciaga, etc, agree. However, Pierre, who is not too eager about Luciel exploiting them, lays bare his plans of getting independent funding for Dior.  He later leaves the collaboration when Dior doesn’t stand along with him.

Coco is brought in by the French police and is thoroughly investigated. She lies through her teeth and threatens to get Churchill involved if they don’t let her go. Since the MI6 is also involved, they have to let her go. However, they decide to put an alternative plan in place to trap her. They get Coco’s nephew’s friend Oscar to introduce Malcom to her. Malcom, who is an undercover MI6 agent, poses as a journalist and says to Coco that they need to play her achievement over again for the readers so that the police are forced to let her be at peace. While initially apprehensive, she agrees to do the piece and invites him to her hotel room for a chat.

A still from The New Look Episode 4.
A still from The New Look Episode 4.

We see Dior sad, depressed, and unable to focus. When Herve visits him to take away his belongings, he tells Dior to be courteous and tells his father that Catherine is gone. He is lost with the event at the Louvre approaching and Luceil appointing him as the central figure. No info about his sister Catherine and what to tell his father really starts bothering him. All of this starts affecting him to an extent where he starts believing that he can no longer design anything.

He then visits his father and tells him about Catherine being in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. He expresses his worries that she might be dead, and they need to come to terms with it together. However, his father, instead blames him for not taking care of his young sister. We also get a slight hint of homophobia from him, which thankfully grounded Dior’s character a little more than what the show has managed to do thus far. 

Malcolm and Coco sit together when he starts questioning her about her involvement with a German official of the record. However, just before she can accept it, her nephew storms in and takes her away. Apparently, Oscar, who was pressurized by the MI6, drunk-dialed him and told him about what they were up to. We later see Oscar, who was promised freedom for framing Coco, shooting himself in the head. Was killing himself for Coco worth it, though? Not sure what to make of it.

The New Look Episode 4 “What a Difference” Recap:

Why does Dior plan to stay in Paris while Coco doesn’t?

Realizing that the officials are after her, Coco decides to self-exile herself. She, along with her nephew (who is not aware of her involvement with the Nazis), can be seen going beyond the Switzerland border.

Dior, who is unable to find hope in anything also decides to go away from Paris. However, before he can leave, he sees a little child in the footsteps of the church. This plods him to think of the Clairvoyant and what she saw of him.

He pays her a visit, and she is able to make him realize that Catherine is alive and he should not lose hope. She also insists that, in order to go forward in his life, he should create. So, instead of leaving Paris, he decides to go back to the studio and start working on the miniature dolls.

The ending of The New Look Episode 4, in a montage, shows us the success of the Theatre de La Mode that opened at the Louver on March 28th, 1945. Two pieces created by Christian Dior were the most liked and praised.

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The New Look Episode 4: IMDbRotten Tomatoes
The New Look Episode 4 Cast: Ben Mendelsohn, Juliette Binoche, Maisie Williams, John Malkovich, Claes Bang
Where to watch The New Look

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