“There is some kinky-ass shit in this house,” says Destiny in the fourth episode of HBO’s “The Idol,” apparently assuming the role of this series’ viewers. “This shit is weird, scary shit.”
As the Weeknd’s Tedros tightens his grip on Lily-Rose Depp’s Jocelyn — both metaphorically and literally, with his hands around her waist in the studio — her managers, played by Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Hank Azaria, plot to save their troubled client from the predatory nightclub mogul.
At the beginning of the episode, Destiny (Randolph) and Chaim (Azaria) run through Tedros’ rap sheet, which is full of violence and abuse charges. Oh, and his real name is Mauricio Costello Jackson.
So Destiny heads to the house to observe his streaming-age Manson Family as Joss lays down vocal tracks with Mike Dean, playing himself. “I like not having to make decisions for myself… because I trust you,” Jocelyn tells Tedros, who gropes her from behind as she sings into the microphone, with the gang watching. To get a better vocal take out of Jocelyn, Tedros ties a scarf around her eyes and says he wants her to be “at the edge of cumming.” He lifts up her clothing and begins touching her as Jocelyn orgasms into the mic.
In another room, the possibly underaged Chloe (Suzanna Son) performs a song for Destiny and tells her how Tedros saved her life: she was living on the streets, addicted to heroin, when he took her in and gave her a place to sleep (which, before Jocelyn’s house, was his nightclub). Noticing that Tedros collects fucked-up singers like Pokémon, Destiny offers some sage advice: “This business is a crazy, corrupt fuckin’ place. Don’t let nothing… get in the way of your gift.”
Meanwhile, Tedros lurks in the shadows of Xander’s (Troye Sivan) room, listening to him sing in the shower. Tedros sneaks up on the creative director and yells “Boo!,” before mocking him: “You looked like a little bitch… what’d you think I was gonna butt-fuck you?” Tedros wants to know why Xander stopped singing — and he doesn’t buy the excuse that he tore his vocal cords. So Tedros puts the shock collar on Xander to learn the truth — that Jocelyn’s abusive mother made him sign a contract to not sing professionally. As he writhes in pain, Xander warns Tedros that Jocelyn “controls everything around her and everyone. And now she’s doing it to you.” Then he aims his words at Joss: “You’re more fucking disgusting, fucked up and depraved than your bitch cunt of a mother.” After Jocelyn orders Tedros to keep shocking him, Xander retracts his statements, saying he was lying, to stop the torture.
In a candid conversation with Destiny, Jocelyn acts as Tedros’ publicist, defending each of his crimes: “He was just trying to defend himself and then this girl… made it this whole thing like he had abused her.” In the next scene, Tedros wakes Jocelyn up with a great idea to sell tickets: go public about the abuse she suffered. So the pop star livestreams herself crying, promising her fans “there is a new Jocelyn coming.”
Elsewhere in the episode, Nikki (Jane Adams) offers Jocelyn’s backup dancer Dyanne (Jennie Kim) a record deal. After watching her outshine Jocelyn at the music video shoot for “World Class Sinners,” the label wants Dyanne to take Jocelyn’s comeback song for herself. Later that night, Chloe accidentally exposes the truth to Jocelyn: that Tedros told Dyanne to bring Jocelyn to the club, and that the three of them might be in a strange type of love (or manipulation) triangle. When Dyanne shows up to Joss’ house, she asks for permission to poach “World Class Sinners” for her first single, and Jocelyn gives her blessing while fighting through tears.
With a newfound distrust in Tedros, Jocelyn invites her ex-boyfriend Rob (Karl Glusman) over to the house. As a drunken Tedros attempts to intimidate Rob, he taunts, “You’re an actor, right? Every actor I know is a fucking f—–.” It’s not long before Jocelyn is having sex with her ex while Tedros listens at the door, crying in front of a portrait of Prince.
As Rob exits the house, Xander approaches him with a girl wearing a bikini, who claims to be a big fan. Xander insists the two of them take a photo, and the girl straddles Rob, who is clearly uncomfortable with the whole ordeal. As he leaves, he asks Xander to delete the photo, but surely it will be used as ammo. As we head into next week’s finale, it seems Tedros’ army has gained another soldier.