Dirty John: Season 1/ Episode 3 “Remember It Was Me” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

We get to meet John’s ex-wife Tonia, his friends, and get to see how deep Debra’s commitment to benefit of the doubt.

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We get to meet John’s ex-wife Tonia, his friends, and get to see how deep Debra’s commitment to benefit of the doubt.

Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Diana Son
Air Date 12/9/2018
Introduced This Episode
Tonia Sprague Grayden
Paula Linara Washington

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The Ex: Tonia, John

Tonia (Sprague Grayden) talking to John in their kitchen.
Tonia (Sprague Grayden)

The episode mixes us seeing Debra knowing the truth and meeting Tonia. She was John’s previous wife and even had two daughters with her. In fact, she is also the reason he was able to become a nurse – an anesthesiologist specifically. Yet, she was also the one who presented his last major setback. For with her friend seeing John steal medicine from a patient, her throwing out said drugs so her life wouldn’t go down the drain, so began the beginning of the end for those two. Also, she is the reason for a good part of John’s rap sheet. Though, even if you exclude her, it still is quite long.

Stop Questioning The Evidence: Debra, Veronica, P.I. Verga (Judy Reyes), Paula, John

Whether it is Paula, Debra’s attorney, running down John’s rap sheet or the private Investigator Veronica hired, it is clear Debra is in serious danger. Add in there isn’t a prenup and it makes Veronica truly frightened. I’m talking beyond the ability to criticize and call her mother foolish. Yet, what can she do? John has surveillance at their safety deposit box, at her office, and she probably moved her money into a joint account. Where can she go, how can she run, and will she ever have the opportunity to do so?

RUN FOREST RUN!: Debra, John, Veronica

John sick on the floor.

I want you to imagine this man you married, thought you loved, is a con man. Someone who took advantage of you being in love with the idea of love. A person who was in the process of alienating you from your own family, and was doing well, being someone who you know is violent, will stalk you, is an ex-con, and has been buying parts to assemble a gun.

Luckily for Debra, John is an addict, and possibly a fool, and be it her doing something to his food, or something miraculous, John gets sick. Thus Debra gets the opportunity to move her stuff out of the house and, with Veronica, drive off somewhere.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Will we see Tonia in the present day at all?


Tonia and John’s Friends

While John has been an ass verbally, hearing what Tonia went through, us seeing the rage behind many of his charges, it made the threat of his being so much more real. Then comes the factor his friends add into this. As said by Sofia Quintero notes,

Which helps you understand how guys like John get to continue the games he plays. Men enable, and even validate the behavior, shown by them giving John a nickname, and don’t warn or protect other people. Instead, as Quintero notes, they laugh and stand by them. Looking the victim dead in the eye, even smiling on video, as they know someone’s life will be potentially ruined.

On The Fence

Debra Consistently Trying To Give This Man Benefit of the Doubt

It’s hard to watch someone like Debra make excuses, for nearly the entire episode, despite the mounting evidence she sees. In fact, it is the kind of thing which makes you want to stop watching because she taps on that line between being entertainingly naive to you wanting to see how the real Debra was. Just to see if you are going too far.

For that reminder this was a real person, it acts like a leash holding you back from saying something cruel. Because, so many red flags went up and just watching this sometimes is like – urgh. So imagine being someone seeing this go down in real time. It leaves you with this mixed reaction of appreciating how you can experience such immense frustration yet wondering if it is healthy to considering it makes you want to yell at your screen.

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