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‘Poker Face’ Gave Us a Great Setup for Season 2

Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne) and Cliff (Benjamin Bratt) in a casino in Poker FAce

From the start of Peacock’s Poker Face, we weren’t sure where the series was going to go. The first episode brought us into Charlie Cale’s (Natasha Lyonne) life as she was working at a casino, and it all came crashing down around here when her friend was killed. She realized that Sterling Frost Jr. (Adrian Brody) was behind it, and with his suicide, she knew she had to go on the run.

From there, Cliff (Benjamin Bratt) made it is his mission to find and kill Charlie after what she did to the Frost family (despite her not doing anything wrong), but he was doing it for Sterling Sr. (Ron Perlman). And so throughout the season, whenever we would think that Charlie was safe from the Frost family and Cliff, they’d pop back into her life and she’d have to find a way to get away from them.

That all led to the season 1 finale. In episode 9, Charlie ended up almost dead in a ditch because of what Trey (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) did. Luckily, Charlie made it out, thinking that the world thought she was dead, and that she was finally free from Sterling Frost and Cliff. The joke was on Charlie, though—it was just the beginning.

As we saw in the beginning of the finale, Cliff wasn’t going to instantly murder Charlie for all the chaos she put him through, but it also wasn’t really his decision to not do it. And the upset throughout the episode and the fighting between Cliff and Sterling set a tone for season 2 that was unexpected.

What is Cliff up to?

The episode started with us going on Cliff’s journey throughout Charlie’s life on the run. We saw him living in hotels, struggling to figure out where Charlie was, and basically growing sour on Sterling Frost for how he’d been forced to live. He hated it, and it was made clear over and over again, so when he did finally find Charlie, he was ready to kill her. But Sterling wanted to see Charlie and speak with her.

It was another knife in Cliff’s back because he thought his whole goal was to just kill her and move on, but the reality was that it was never in the plans for Sterling. So, Cliff’s time was wasted all because Sterling just wanted to talk to Charlie, and it resulted in Cliff betraying Sterling. So, while I thought that season 1 would end either with Charlie staring at Cliff and us not knowing what was going to happen with Sterling, or just more of the same chase in season 2, I was surprised instead.

A new family has a price on Charlie, and she’s going to have to navigate what she wants out of it all.

What does this mean for Charlie?

I think that we’re still going to get the Columbo vibe from Charlie in season 2. She’ll still have her murders to solve, and she’ll still be running around on her own, but I do think she’ll be more connected to Rhea Perlman’s Beatrix Hasp, who we met over the phone in the finale.

Whatever showrunners Lilla and Nora Zuckerman have in store for us, alongside series creator Rian Johnson, I’m in. Poker Face has become my new favorite television series, and I can’t wait to see what season 2 brings Charlie Cale.

(featured image: Peacock)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.