Dirty John: Season 1/ Episode 6 “One Shoe” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

The more we jump to the past, the more scared we should be for not just Debra, but also Veronica as well.

The more we jump to the past, the more scared we should be for not just Debra, but also Veronica as well.

Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Alexandra Cunningham, Kevin J. Hynes
Air Date 12/30/2018
Introduced This Episode
John Dzialo Alan Ruck
Dennis Damon Gupton
Mr. O’Neil Jeff Perry
Melissa Hannah Barefoot

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Venturing Back To The Past: Dennis, Tonia, Melissa, John

We venture once more into the past, and we dive into how John ended up getting arrested, and shortly put into jail, in Ohio. It began with Tonia reporting him, Dennis being one of the few who was willing to take on coming after John thoroughly, and Melissa delivering what should have been the finishing blow. However, thanks to the correction system having some form of leniency, the years John should have been in jail became months. Also, since John seems to know the legal system, he was able to transfer his life to California. Thus leading to the events of what we saw in the last episode with his sister.

However, in this episode, we get the added detail that Dennis warned his counterpart of John’s arrival. So, when the cops are called, it seems John maybe handled as the threat he is.


It truly is amazing sometimes the things a person can get away with. Taking note there are likely some things embellished for the sake of good TV, let’s assume a lot of what is brought up is fact. Now, I can’t say if John faking an overdose to go on the run is real. Also, I can’t say whether he tried to climb up into an elevator to escape cops and paramedics, I just don’t have the interest to do that kind of digging. However, the fact the real John possibly did something close to all that, yet was still released, even allowed to leave the state? Apparently, our criminal justice system is worse than I thought.

Scare Tactics: Veronica, John, Debra, John Dzialo

With Debra, cautiously, trying to get from under John’s thumb, she tries to see what ways she can do so. One way is by trying to use her lawyer, John Dzialo, to get a postnup in place. You know, to protect Debra’s assets. That idea doesn’t go over well with John M and thus, also taking note John D doesn’t find a way to undo his rap sheet, John M fires John D.

Now, it should be noted John D is intimidated by John M. Yet, despite that issue, he decides to attempt to contact Debra directly. This leads to Debra getting John D involved in ways he may not have been briefed on. What I mean by that is, Debra reads the letter and talks to John D about helping her find another lawyer. However, what Debra also does is show John M the letter, and thus John D gets his life threatened by John M. I should note, this will help Debra’s case down the line but also has left a man a bit shaken.

Oh, and I almost forgot about Veronica. Yeah, despite the badass she came off as for most of the season, she doesn’t do anything to retaliate against John. She doesn’t retaliate for getting her fired, for spitting on her birth certificate and not even when he says she should kill herself. All that mouth, we learn, doesn’t have much in the way of bite behind it.


John Dzialo (Alan Ruck) who was acting as a lawyer for John and Debra.
John Dzialo (Alan Ruck)

I’m so disappointed in Veronica. Granted, Veronica is probably barely 100 pounds, doesn’t own a gun, and while smart, she can’t take on a full grown man physically. Yet, I was expecting her to do something. I mean, sure, she couldn’t do anything too drastic for John would perhaps take it out on her mom but her sending some silly little video? That was all she could come up with? I felt seriously let down by her.

She isn’t the only one I was let down by, however. Debra putting John D in danger was kind of foolish. Yes, him being threatened, as said, could help her case. But the problem is for me, you know this man is crazy, and if he feels someone is taking money from him, he can be potentially violent. After all, he is a drug addict and losing access to money means someone is threatening a steady flow of him getting his supply.

So I’m hoping, off-screen, she prepped John D for this. I can’t say John M is just going to let go $25,000 not being returned to him. Never mind the fact Debra took out more than that for possibly another lawyer. Perhaps pushing John M to think maybe John D is still involved and billing Debra directly to avoid him.

A Knight In Bullet Proof Armor: Mr. O’Neil, Debra

It has become clear through flashbacks and the present that not just anyone can take on John. You have to be strong-willed, fearless, and also a knight of shining armor to his victim(s). Enter from stage left: Mr. O’Neil. He is someone recommended by John D to take Debra’s case, and he seems willing and ready to get his hands dirty. The only question is, does he truly know what he is in for?


Mr. O'Neil (Jeff Perry) letting Debra know it isn't her fault she got conned.
Mr. O’Neil (Jeff Perry): When a bank gets robbed, you don’t blame the bank.

There are two episodes after this, and it seems Mr. O’Neil is speeding right towards putting John on trial! But John looks like he is going to fight back, try to con a courtroom, so this should be very interesting. I must say though, Debra deciding to tell John M, while in an environment she has a limited ability to run, that she is going to leave and divorce him was stupid. Yeah, the man isn’t working so when could Debra easily slip away is a valid question. Yet, considering Debra was starting to seem like she had some wits about her, that trip made it look we spoke too soon.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. So are we just not going to see Judy Reyes’ character ever again?


  1. Debra fooling us and showing she was biding her time to sock it to John.
  2. O’Neil seems like he means business.

Low Point

  1. Veronica’s comeback for John’s harassment was beneath her. At least in terms of what we expected from someone with so much mouth.

On The Fence

  1. While the flashbacks help flesh out John’s life, honestly I’d like some Debra or Veronica flashbacks. John’s backstory is fleshed out, and so is Arlane’s at this point. What about the other characters?

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