Under the Bridge, Episode(s) 1 & 2 Recap and Ending Explained: “Under the Bridge” (2024) is an eight-part Hulu true crime miniseries based on the late Canadian author Rebecca Godfrey’s 2005 book of the same name. Created by actor and filmmaker Quinn Shephard (“Not Okay”), “Under the Bridge” revolves around the disappearance and brutal murder of an adolescent girl in the sleepy town of Saanich in British Columbia, Canada. “The Girlfriend Experience” fame Riley Keough plays the writer Rebbecca Godfrey, and “Killers of the Flower Moon” fame Lily Gladstone plays Cam Bentland, the local police officer investigating the case. 

The murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk and the subsequent trial attracted media scrutiny, leading to conversations about bullying, racism, and youth violence. “Under the Bridge” episodes 1 and 2 show in fragments the horrific events that unfolded on November 14th, 1997. It also establishes the characters of Rebecca and Cam, whose vantage points are pivotal to comprehending the profoundly tragic fate of Reena Virk. Now, let’s delve into the detailed recap of “Under the Bridge” episodes 1 and 2. Spoilers Ahead. 

Under the Bridge Episode 1 “Looking Glass” Recap: 

Who is Reena Virk? 

“Under the Bridge” episode 1 opens with the voiceover of Rebeca Godfrey (Riley Keough), who speaks of the recurring motif in the fairy tales: girls getting punished. But in this true story, unlike in a fairy tale, danger takes an unprecedented form. While Rebecca delivers her solemn observations, she drives into the small town of Saanich, past the infamous Craigflower bridge, under which an incident happened that would haunt the town and the country for years. 

It is November 14, 1997, and 14-year-old Reena Virk (Vritika Gupta) is picked up after school by her uncle, Raj (Anoop Desai). The way Reena is sitting alone, with girls around her talking in groups of two or more, gives the feeling that she is an outcast of sorts. As a girl of Indian origin, raised in the tradition of Jehovah’s Witnesses, life must be hard for Reena in the predominantly white town of Saanich. Raj gives his niece a CD of American rapper BIggie’s songs, which she jubilantly listens to in the car. During the drive, when the name Josephine comes up, the expression on the uncle’s face changes. When Raj asks Reena to focus on her family rather than the ‘Seven Oaks girls,’ she asks him to stop the car and instantly gets out of it. 

Who is Josephine Bell? 

Reena visits her friend, Dusty (Aiyana Goodfellow), at Seven Oaks, an at-risk and homeless youth facility. The duo visits Josephine Bell (Chloe Guidry) in her room, where she is with her best friend, Kelly Ellard (Izzy G.). Later, Rebeca describes Josephine’s features as “delicate as a doll,” but the girl is known for possessing a mean streak. Josephine harbors fantasies of being a gangster. Al Capone and John Gotti are her heroes. She is also the leader of CMC (Crip Mafia Cartel). Crip is a member of a Los Angeles Street Gang, often sung about in songs of rappers like Snoop Dogg. 

It’s apparent that Reena seeks Josephine’s attention, although the latter doesn’t accept Reena as a member of her circle. Josephine doesn’t invite Reena when the trio goes to a party at Connor Field’s house. Connor is an older kid with a pet Iguana, whose parties freely flow with booze and weed. After the three leave, Reena takes Josephine’s address book/journal from her room to enact her revenge. 

Why did Josephine invite Reena to hang out with her? 

Author Rebecca Godfrey returns from New York to her hometown, Saanich. She is there to write a book about the girls of Victoria, British Columbia. Rebecca is back home after a long time. While her father rejoices at his daughter’s arrival, the conversation between Rebecca and her mother exudes mild resentment. Meanwhile, Reena calls the contacts in Josephine’s journal, including Connor, and says nasty things about her: her eyebrows are fake, she is a slut, she has AIDS, and so on. Back at Connor’s dwelling, Josephine feels humiliated when Connor repeats what Reena said about her. 

At dinner, Reena seems to be estranged from her mom, Suman Virk (Archie Panjab), and dad, Manjit Virk (Ezra Faroque Khan). Suman reprimands her daughter for nail polish, calling it ‘wearing makeup.’ When Reena receives a call from Josephine inviting her to the party, she immediately leaves the home, much to the dismay of her parents. Upon meeting Josephine, Reena understands why she was invited. She runs away while Josephine and the gang try to ‘teach her a lesson.’ Reena runs towards the bus stop, calls her home from a telephone booth, and assures them she will be home soon. But the bullies round her up and take her below the Craigflower bridge. As Reena is forcefully taken down the bridge, up above the sky, they see an exploded satellite falling towards Earth. 

Why does Rebecca visit Seven Oaks?

A couple of days later, Reena’s dad, Manjit, and her uncle, Raj, come to the local police chief’s office to file a complaint about Reena’s disappearance. They meet Cam Bentland (Lily Gladstone) to report on this. But Cam and her male colleague perceive it as a mere runaway case. Particularly, when Seven Oaks is mentioned, the police officers don’t look very concerned. But when the male colleague uses the local police slang for such troubled girls (‘Bic Girls’), Cam has a change of heart and inquires more about Reena’s activities before her disappearance. 

Rebecca asks her dad to borrow his car to visit the girls at Seven Oaks. At Seven Oaks, Rebecca introduces herself as a student writing an essay to the supervisor and requests to talk to some of the girls. Josephine interrupts the conversation to ask the supervisor if there are any news reports on Reena. Rebecca tells Josephine and Dusty that she is writing a book on the ‘misunderstood girls of Victoria.’ She also leaves her number with them if they feel like talking. When Josephine learns Rebecca is from New York, she takes Rebecca to her room. 

What does Connor say about Reena Virk?

Rebecca smokes with the girls, while Josephine shares her fantasy of working for the mob. When the topic of Reena comes up, they say it’s common for girls to go missing in their town. They also mention the police word for them (Bics), like the lighters, because they are ‘disposable.’ At the Virk household, Suman is convinced that their daughter, Reena, has run away. She tries to throw away Reena’s things despite dad Manjit’s objection. Suman receives a call asking for Reena. But when Suman asks who’s calling, she only hears heavy breathing on the other end. 

Cam Bentland visits Connor Field’s home. After mildly intimidating Connor, he says there was a fight under the bridge on the 14th Friday night. He also says Josephine called him, telling him CMC will take care of Reena. Rumor around the town teenagers is that Reena might be ‘floating around somewhere.’ Alarmed by what she just heard, Cam takes this up with her adoptive dad and police chief, Roy Bentland (Matt Craven). Cam’s brother and fellow police officer, Scott, only laughs at the thought that a bunch of 14-year-old girls murdered someone. But Cam is determined to look into it and asks permission to search the gorge.

Under the Bridge Episode 2 Explained
A still from “Under the Bridge” Episode 1

Under the Bridge Episode 1 “Looking Glass” Ending Explained:

Does the dive team find anything in the gorge?

Earlier, Cam speaks to Roy about moving to the Vancouver Major Crimes Unit. Roy wonders if Cam is projecting this simple disappearance case into a murder case just to impress Vancouver PD. Nevertheless, he gives her permission to coordinate a dive unit. Though the search doesn’t lead to Reena’s corpse, they find underwear, which Suman confirms that it belongs to Reena. When Cam leaves the Virk household, Suman suggests to her husband that their daughter might be found. At the school, the teenagers, especially Josephine, Kelly, and Dusty, are concerned about the search in the gorge. 

Cam decides to call in the six teens – among which five girls who call themselves members of the Crip Mafia Cartel (CMC) – for questioning. The group of teenagers called to questioning also includes a boy named Warren Glowatski (Javon Walton). When Cam goes to pick up Josephine at Seven Oaks, the girl puts up an act, asking Cam to get her Gotti’s lawyer. While Josephine and Warren’s parents aren’t available, the rest of the kids’ parents are agitated about police picking up their kids from school and holding them at the station for questioning. Since Josephine has no one to call, she calls Rebecca. Rebecca sneaks into the holding cell at the station, saying Cam is her friend. 

What does the CCTV footage show?

Cam is asked to look at the CCTV footage from the bus station on Friday, the 14th of November. It shows a group of teens forcefully taking Reena down the bridge. Despite the pixellated, grainy image, Josephine’s blonde hair makes it easy to identify her. The teenagers leave after a while. But the footage also shows a disoriented and violently attacked Reena emerging from under the bridge walking across the bridge to the bus stop. “Under the Bridge,” episode 1, “Looking Glass,” ends with Rebecca meeting Josephine at the holding cell, where the latter asks, “Can you keep a secret?” 

Under the Bridge Episode 2 “The John Gotti of Seven Oaks” Recap: 

Why did the police release the teens?

“Under the Bridge” episode 2, “The John Gotti of Seven Oaks,” opens eight months earlier to the events of November 1997. It is March 10th, 1997 – Reena’s birthday. Reena hopes she will get something special at breakfast but only gets the regular, simple meal. Jehovah’s Witnesses refrain from celebrating birthdays, and Reena’s mother, Suman, reiterates that belief. In the present, Cam needs to let go of all the teenagers since there is no possible homicide. Cam mildly objects that they need to at least question the teens about what they did to Reena under the bridge. But it’s the middle of the night, and holding them at the station will only backfire against the police. 

When Josephine leaves with Rebecca, Cam sees both of them. Police Chief Roy gives Cam a dressing down. He says Cam embarrassed the local police by turning a runaway case into a homicide. As a father, Roy is against his adoptive daughter Cam moving out of their town. He finds it a paradise and wonders why she would leave such a peaceful life. After getting Josephine out, Rebecca asks about the secret she was going to tell her. Rebecca takes the girl to a diner. She asks Josephine about her parents. Josephine’s mom had to choose between her boyfriend and her daughter. Unfortunately, she chose the boyfriend, leaving Josephine at Seven Oaks. There’s no dad in the picture. 

What does Josephine say about the ‘secret’?

The waiter who takes their order knows Rebecca. He says he was in Rebecca’s brother’s (Gabe) class. When the guy leaves, Josephine questions about Gabe. Rebecca says Gabe is her brother, and he has passed away and doesn’t want to talk about it further. When Rebecca brings up the topic of the ‘secret,’ Josephine says Reena isn’t her friend and that she taught her a lesson. Josephine even promises to take Rebecca to the place and explain what happened. In exchange, Josephine asks Rebecca to take her to New York and make her the ‘star’ of the book she is writing. 

Cam visits Rebecca at her place. They have a drink, and Cam questions why Rebecca showed up in the middle of her investigation. Rebecca briefly mentions her book project. There is an unspoken tension in their dynamics. Perhaps there’s a tragedy in their shared past that made Rebecca leave the town. Suman Virk checks her mail envelopes, and one of them is from the Crown Prosecutor and addressed to her husband, Manjit. For some reason, she hides the envelope. 

Later, Cam visits the Virks and shows her the photos of CCTV footage, where Reena is last seen walking across the bridge. Dad Manjit feels assured that his daughter is alive. Cam questions if there’s some issue in their household that would have made her leave them. The question hurts the parents, and Manjit points to Josephine in the photo and equates her with the ‘devil.’ He also tells Cam that the Seven Oaks girls, who all hail from broken homes, ruined Reena’s life. Mom Suman also mentions the mysterious caller calling their house after Reena’s disappearance. 

Why did Reena gravitate towards the Seven Oaks girls? 

In the past, however, Reena sought out the friendship of the ‘cool girls’ of Seven Oaks. Reena’s race and appearance make her an easy target for the bullies. She is called a ‘beast’ due to her hairy legs. Demeaned and alone on her birthday, Reena goes to the shop to buy some razors. There, she comes across Josephine, who selects the razors for her. To Reena’s eyes, Josephine looks badass, and the girl even casually invites Reena to a party. 

Back at home, Reena is caught shaving her legs by her mom, Suman. Driven by religious beliefs, she advises her daughter about renouncing worldly desires and so on, without acknowledging that Reena is just an anxious teenager seeking validation among her peers. Later at night, Reena sneaks out of her home to attend the party. While sneaking out, she comes across her uncle, Raj. He gives her a present, although such things are forbidden in their home. Raj is a cool uncle who understands Reena’s desires as a teenager and just asks her to be home as soon as possible. 

Reena finds the Seven Oaks trio at the party—Josephine, Kelly, and Dusty—playing with an Ouija board. They call for the spirit of Biggie, the rapper who was assassinated on March 9th. Reena blurts out that it’s her birthday. When Dusty wishes her ‘Happy Birthday,’ she feels some recognition and hopes for a sense of camaraderie. It’s definitely not what Reena found on November 14th, 1997.

What is Josephine’s secret? 

After meeting Josephine at the diner the previous night, Rebecca visits Seven Oaks the following morning. Josephine and Dusty take her to the Craigflower Bridge. Josephine explains the chain of events that led to Reena’s beating. She put a cigarette out between Reena’s eyes, and then everyone jumped on her. After kicking Reena for a while, the teenagers went their way. But Josephine says she waited until Reena came up the bridge. Finally, Josephine matter-of-factly confesses that she pushed Reena down the bridge. 

The arrogant manner in which Josephine confesses to killing Reena shocks both Rebecca and Dusty. Dusty leaves them and breaks down. Among the Seven Oaks girls, Dusty was close to Reena. She harbors guilt for not intervening and helping Reena that day. It’s why she has been calling Reena’s house, hoping to hear her friend’s voice. Elsewhere, a group of birdwatchers follow a Great Blue Heron to find a body washed up in the lake. 

Under the Bridge Episode 2 Recap
Chloe Guidry as Josephine Bell in “Under the Bridge” episode 2

Under the Bridge Episode 2, “The John Gotti of Seven Oaks” Ending Explained:

What does Dusty say to Cam?

Cam visits Seven Oaks and finds Dusty. After pulling the phone records, it’s apparent that the caller calling the Virk household is someone from Seven Oaks. Though Dusty is nervous and fidgety, she maintains a code of silence. Perhaps she still believes Reena is alive and Josephine’s words were only a sick joke. Soon, Cam receives a message on the radio and calls to confirm that they have found Reena’s corpse. When Cam confronts Dusty with this fresh news, the girl breaks her silence. 

Meanwhile, Josephine takes Rebecca to a party at Connor’s house. After much deliberation, Rebecca gets into the house. Inside, she takes the phone and tries to report what Josephine said when she is interrupted by Warren. He offers her a drink, and he looks like a good kid, though he was also brought into the station in connection with Reena’s disappearance. Cam asks her dad, Roy, to convey the bad news to the Virks. She feels guilty for giving the parents false hope by showing them the pics of CCTV footage. At the Virk household, Suman gives the envelope to her husband, Manjit. It informs that Manjit’s criminal record has been expunged. At this point, it’s not clear what he was accused of. But, the couple feels relieved, although the feeling is short-lived since Roy is at their front door.

Is Josephine the sole perpetrator in Reena Virk’s murder? 

Based on the CCTV footage timestamps, Cam seems that the teenagers left the bridge at 11:22 p.m. Reena came from under the bridge at 11:47. So at exactly 11:47, Cam starts driving from the bridge towards Seven Oaks. It takes her 17 minutes – going above the speed limit and jumping red lights – to reach the place at 12:04 a.m. Josephine has a strong alibi of being at Seven Oaks before curfew time (midnight). Therefore, it’s evident that Josephine wouldn’t have waited till 11:47 to follow and kill Reena. It only makes the case complicated. Was Reena attacked by someone else, and that person bragged about it to Josephine?

“Under the Bridge” episode 2, “The John Gotti of Seven Oaks,” ends with everyone at the party looking at a news report of Reena’s body being discovered. Looking at the news, Josephine is surprised to see the report of Reena’s death, although her friend Kelly seems nonchalant. We have to wait and see what actually happened after Reena came out from under the bridge.

Read More: Everything Coming to Hulu in April 2024

Under the Bridge Episode 1 & 2 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Under the Bridge Episode 1 & 2 Cast: Riley Keough, Lily Gladstone, Vritika Gupta, Archie Panjabi, Izzy G, Ezra Faroque Khan, Chloe Guidry, Aiyana Goodfellow, and Javon Walton

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