Dirty John: Season 1/ Episode 7 “Chivalry” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Debra and Mr. O'Neil talking about the car John just set on fire.
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“Chivalry” is half recap and half Mr. O’Neil maybe regretting taking Debra on as a client.

Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Alexandra Cunnigham, Lex Edness
Air Date 1/6/2019
Introduced This Episode
Ruth Lindsey Kraft

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No Line, And A Bottomless Pit: John

We’ve seen John do a lot for a con. As a child, he chewed glass, got hit by a car and as an adult he has stolen, and resold, drugs from terminal patients. Yet, this episode makes it clear there is no line John won’t cross, no such thing as rock bottom or something which is too low, even for him. Fun example: He had sex with his NA meeting guy so that he could keep taking drugs and skim some money. I mean, how is Debra supposed to take on this?


All I gotta say and ask is: Where is John’s parole officer? I know he did his time, but he hasn’t been out for more than a couple of months. How is he not having issues with the fact he is getting in trouble with the law again? Did I miss something?

Explanations, In Case You Need It: John, Debra, Ruth

Ruth (Lindsey Kraft) scaring Debra.
Ruth (Lindsey Kraft)

Were you wondering who that woman was who popped into Debra’s house? It was a woman named Ruth that John did drugs with, or dealt drugs to. How about the incident which left him on the floor vomiting? Well, seemingly that wasn’t Debra’s doing. John just took a drug made for terminal cancer patients which was just a bit too strong and he nearly overdosed.

Oh, and in case you wondered about that scar on John’s sternum? Self-caused. The man, throughout the episode, is shown to be crazier than we can imagine and capable of far more than any human being should be.


I’ve heard drug addicts are capable of a lot of things for a fix, but John has heightened my expectations. The amount of planning he does, how he chooses his victims and accomplices, it’s that kind of social intelligence that leads you to question your online interactions. Take John’s ability to track and stalk Debra. Yes, the program looked simple, but it was recording calls, tracking bank transactions, and with the security system he got her to install? It pushes you to think the people with the tin hats weren’t crazy but ahead of their time.

Just consider this, John is not a rich man nor is he perhaps the smartest. But, despite that, he has found a system which works. Yeah, he got put in jail because of it before, but look how John is gaming the system now. Unlike most criminals, he gets better with each mistake and more cunning. Making the fact he goes after weak and vulnerable women and men all the more villainous.

Divorce Proceedings: Mr. O’Neil, Debra, John

John trying to win back Debra, with a thinly veiled threat.
John: I wish it didn’t have to end this way.

Mr. O’Neil may not have really understood what he got himself into. Yes, he was informed John was a piece of work, but didn’t know Debra would make his job harder. How? Well, despite paying the man at least $30,000 to represent her, she decides to skip seeking his counsel. You know, rather than talk to him about John sending a photo to her clients, with a message attached, she meets with John directly. Now, I’ll give her props for not doing it in her home, but public, but that undermines everything she said previously.

But, let’s not also bring about how John might be slipping as well. He decides to set Debra’s car on dire, and gets caught on camera. When interrogated about this, he tries to play the victim to the evil Debra who is controlling his life. It doesn’t take, but it continues to lead you to wonder where is his parole officer? He just got brought in for arson; he should be going back to jail.


I think we’re coming to the point of having to read what is the truth. It is so hard to imagine someone getting away with all this. And while, yeah, it is going to reveal the ending, I don’t know how much more craziness I can take before needing to know where entertainment and the truth separate.

On The Fence

  1. I think we’re coming to the point where they have built John to seem like an unstoppable madman. In doing so, it pushes the need to learn the truth for it is hard to say what could be an embellishment and what is the truth now. For bad enough the decisions of Debra for most of this series, but now John’s past is matching her idiocy.

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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode Information

Season 1/ Episode 8 “This Young Woman Fought Like Hell”

The fate of Debra’s family, with John on a warpath, is revealed in the finale and let’s just say nothing goes to trial.

Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Alexandra Cunningham
Air Date 1/13/2019

Season 1/ Episode 7 “Chivalry”

“Chivalry” is half recap and half Mr. O’Neil maybe regretting taking Debra on as a client.

Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Alexandra Cunnigham, Lex Edness
Air Date 1/6/2019
Introduced This Episode
Ruth Lindsey Kraft

Season 1/ Episode 6 “One Shoe”

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

Season 1/ Episode 5 “Lord High Executioner”

This episode focuses on John’s childhood, his sister and, you guessed it, Debra trying to conjure up the faith that John can & will change.

Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Christopher Goffard
Air Date 12/23/2018
Introduced This Episode
Denise Joelle Carter
John’s Dad Shea Whigham

Season 1/ Episode 4 “Shrapnel”

We go through the final days of Cindi, Toby’s mom, as Debra decides to confront John about what she knows.

Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Alexandra Cunningham, Sinead Daly
Air Date 12/16/2018
Introduced This Episode
Cindi Katrina Bowden
Bobby Joe Tippett

Season 1/ Episode 3 “Remember It Was Me”

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

Season 1/ Episode 2 “Red Flags and Parades”

As Veronica digs deeper and deeper into John’s past, Debra tries to maintain blissful ignorance as long as she can.

Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Evan Wright
Air Date 12/2/2018
Introduced This Episode
Toby Kevin Zegers
Arlene Jean Smart
Private Investigator Judy Reyes

Season 1/ Episode 1 “Approachable Dreams”

Dirty John ends its first episode definitely hooking you and making you want to spoil the ending with reading the real story.

Creator Christopher Goddard, Alexandra Cunningham
Director(s) Jeffrey Reiner
Writer(s) Alexandra Cunningham
Air Date 11/25/2018

11/15/2018 (On Demand)

Genre(s) Mystery, Drama
Good If You Like Watching Men Who Go From The Perfect Match To The Spawn of Satan

Volatile Mother/ Daughter Relationships

Introduced This Episode
Debra Connie Britton
Veronica “Ronnie” Juno Temple
Terra Julia Garner
John Eric Bana

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