'Grand Army' Episode 8: Joey's rape case crumbles as authorities say there isn't enough evidence to pursue
Joey imagines what Luke and George must have said. For instance, accusing her of calling it rape because she was 'embarrassed' about having an orgy with them in the backseat of a cab
The opening sequence of Episode 8 is a deft bit of film magic as Joey confronts the harsh truth about her case in the state attorney's office. With George, Luke and Tim sticking to their mutually corroborating stories, it is Joey's words against theirs. The rape kit analysis isn't conclusive which essentially makes the state unsure they can win.
Joey is retraumatized once more even as she is deciding to move to a private school because she can't bear to go back to Grand Army. In her words, she has lost everything and the ones who raped her have lost nothing.
The sequence sees her imagining what Luke and George must have said. For instance, accusing her of calling it rape because she was "embarrassed" about having an orgy with them in the backseat of a cab, while Tim who witnessed the rape saying, "it's just Joey being Joey".
We see her talking to the therapist who talks about the "imperfect justice system" but a lot of it is white noise to Joey who feels like her nightmare has no end. You see the boys dressing up according to the 80s dress code in school and celebrating being out of trouble, though Tim shoves them away because he is still not OK with lying for them. Anna continues to try to act as if everything is normal when it obviously is not. We also see George and Luke subtly make homophobic jabs at Sid, which he returns in kind saying he is never going to feel safe getting into a cab with them.
We see Leila continue to struggle with her insecurities around who she is as her essay is deemed not "personal" enough and in her drama audition, Meera calls her out for not feeling the script but "pretending". Leila's inner world is very vividly portrayed in the comic book dream sequences. But in the real world, she is flotsam clinging to anything that gives her a shape she can identify with.
We have already seen her create a program of atonement based on the rabbi's advice. But in this episode, even the rabbi has had enough of her clinginess and demands she be given a magic formula to make everything okay, ASAP. The rabbi essentially tells her that she is a spiritual advisor and can't do what a therapist can and offers resources for this. But Leila, rejected once again, storms off in a huff.
We also see Jayson struggle with taking Owen's place. He becomes involved in organizing a sit-in for Owen protesting Grand Army School's "zero-tolerance" policy. But when his dad hears of it, his advice is to keep out of politics and concentrate on getting into Julliard because that way he could "help his community more". It is a startling reminder that parental advice to keep their children safe is one more way in which real change is aborted.
We see even Dom slip up in this episode and almost be expelled for cheating as per the "no tolerance policy" because she hasn't had time to study for a test. John Ellis makes it worse by trying to give her $300, which a proud girl like her refuses to accept. She turns him down rudely and he backs away from her. All this makes the sham marriage the perfect option in her eyes because Dom has reached the end of her tether.
It is a look into the economic realities that get in the way of having a normal life. Dom should be out having fun and studying but instead, she is being asked to deal with adult problems.
The shining star of the episode however is undoubtedly Sid in the way he gets his parents to talk to him despite their reluctance. It is a powerful moment when he refuses to be hidden away because they are ashamed of him.
'Grand Army' premiered on Netflix on October 16.