'The Girl Before' Episode 1: Jane and Emma's stories intertwine amid revisiting trauma

Eerie similarities are seen between the new occupants of the house as the past intertwines with the present


                            'The Girl Before' Episode 1: Jane and Emma's stories intertwine amid revisiting trauma
Jessica Plummer as Emma Matthews, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Jane Cavendish in 'The Girl Before' (HBO Max)
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Spoilers for 'The Girl Before' Episode 1

HBO Max is back with an exciting new psychological thriller that is sure to hook audiences as the story unfolds. Titled  'The Girl Before', the show will see a mystifying architect Edward rent out his unique minimalist house that studies its tenants to two unsuspecting women. 

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Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, and Jessica Plummer in the lead, 'The Girl Before' is based on the book of the same name by  JP Delaney and follows the events of the past that are intertwined with the present. Everything is connected as the women learn that not all is as it seems. So read on to know what happened in the first episode of the HBO Max show.

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Episode 1 introduces us to the minimalistic, modern house built by the enigmatic architect Edward (David Oyelowo) who is looking for the perfect prospective match to rent it out to. We see Emma Matthews (Jessica Plummer) with her boyfriend Simon (Ben Hardy) as well as Jane Cavendish (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) show interest as they take a tour of the house. The seemingly perfect home though comes with a catch which is the multiple rules set by the architect that they have to abide by as well as the fact that their behaviors will be studied by the built-in system. As the different timelines are made clear Jane learns that the house has not been occupied for three years now, which Edward blames on him being very selective on who he chooses.

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Both Emma and Jane are looking for fresh starts and want to get away from their own houses and we learn that trauma related to their homes is the cause of their urgency to escape. Jane recently lost her baby daughter as she had a stillbirth while Emma was burgled and raped at knifepoint which makes them feel unsafe in their space. Despite the tough selection and interviews both get chosen and move into the house. Emma loves her new house but learns the disturbing truth of the death of Edward's wife and son in the house that was meant to be their family home. As her friend digs further another uncomfortable detail is noticed as she learns that she looks very much like his dead wife.

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Meanwhile, Jane also is shocked that the previous tenant had died three years ago in the house and looks into the matter as this fact was not disclosed to her. Blaming it on an accident, Edwards apologizes for not informing her. But she too, like Emma looks up who died and finds that Emma was the one who passed away here and notices that their features are startlingly similar. Although Edward says it's an accident we see him scrubbing the floor at the start which is incredibly suspicious. Add to it the fact that when Jane runs into Simon, he says the cause of Emma's death differs on who you ask setting up the mystery further. Emma and Jane were both drawn to the house due to personal trauma with the first episode weaving a tale of connected stories.

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All four episodes of 'The Girl Before' are available to stream on HBO Max.