Tell Me Lies: Season 1/ Episode 4 “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Bree talking to Evan about being in foster care

“Tell Me Lies” shifts focus to Bree as she achieves a major goal, and Stephen tries to achieve one of his. All while Lucy is confused about their relationship.

“Tell Me Lies” shifts focus to Bree as she achieves a major goal, and Stephen tries to achieve one of his. All while Lucy is confused about their relationship.

Aired (Hulu) 9/14/2022
Director(s) Sam Boyd
Writer(s) Sinead Daly
Introduced This Episode
Tim Tyriq Withers
Max Edmund Donovan

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


A Façade Which Only Works Well On Campus – Stephen, Lucy, Diana

Stephen’s desire to become a lawyer mean he needs to attach himself to a good law firm to build his resume, win history, and justify this dream salary he wants. Luckily for him, people are interested, and Diana’s family has a home in New York City he can stay in, which allows him to save money. However, the charm which has hooked Lucy, despite how rude he can be, doesn’t work on an interviewer when he gets a little too cheeky for her taste.

Add in insecurities about not coming from money or having a network where he feels he would just have to show up to get hired, and Stephen bombs. He lies about that to Lucy to maintain the façade of him being the junior who has it all together, but there are moments he starts to reveal that he isn’t capable of being this detached bad boy all the time. He has issues.

Lucy after discovering a used condom in Stephen's trash
“Lucy after discovering a used condom in Stephen’s trash,” Tell Me Lies, “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket,” directed by Sam Boyd, 2022, (Hulu)

But, only Diana seems allowed to see the full extent of that. She gets the truth of how it went, gets to console Stephen, and you’re pushed to think while Lucy is a thing for Stephen, she is by no means the one.

In The Pursuit of Normalcy, I Come Off Boring – Tim, Evan, Bree, Lucy, Pippa, Drew

Bree gets the Wrigley treatment in terms of having a notable amount of focus put on her. With that, we see her lose her virginity to Tim, Tim becomes distant once he learns he was her first, and Bree becomes a bit disillusioned by sex. With Tim, sex seemingly wasn’t about her pleasure whatsoever. He would pump, dump, and then drop to her side. It’s nothing like Pippa’s lies about sex or Lucy romanticizing what sex is like with the right person.

Tim (Tyriq Withers) dressed as a priest for halloween
“Tim (Tyriq Withers) dressed as a priest for halloween,” Tell Me Lies, “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket,” directed by Sam Boyd, 2022, (Hulu)

So, with that in mind, since Drew apologized and comes off likable again, Bree tries to hook up with him, but he melts in her hand, and while he at least is nice outside of sexual situations, it still isn’t what she was hoping for. Enter Evan, newly single, who has seen Bree naked for his art class and didn’t make it weird. She appreciated that and this level of comfort they can have that allows her to open up about being in foster care. She hasn’t talked about it to Lucy or Pippa, yet here is Evan, someone she knows but hasn’t talked much with, learning about the thing she hides to appear normal.

Speaking of appearing normal, or at least trying to push the idea everything is fine, Pippa is starting to get weird around Lucy. Lucy isn’t sure if it deals with Wrigley, Lucy talking about Stephen or Drew, maybe there is some unspoken competition or what, but she checks in since something feels off and she can’t put her finger on it. Pippa reassures her wholeheartedly that nothing is wrong, and Lucy is one of her best friends. This allows Lucy to set aside the energy needed to question her relationship with Pippa and focus wholly on Stephen.

The Heart and Mind Aren’t Always In Sync – Max, Stephen, Lucy, Diana

Stephen is currently ejaculating inside Lucy, who is on the pill and using condoms with Diana. Multiple times Lucy sees condoms around and even finds a used one in Stephen’s bathroom. With that, her friends encourage her to check out Max, the veteran from the last episode, who was into her. So she goes to his family’s business, chats him up, sees if he is still interested, and he says that ship has passed.

Max (Edmund Donovan) at his family's bar talking to Lucy
“Max (Edmund Donovan) at his family’s bar talking to Lucy,” Tell Me Lies, “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket,” directed by Sam Boyd, 2022, (Hulu)

But that was a joke, and it seems he is down to meet up, and Lucy is quite excited.

Things To Note

Episode Content

  • Dialog: Usual Cursing
  • Violence: N/A
  • Sexual Content: Bree having sex with Tim, hand job with Drew, and upper body nudity – for Evan’s art class. Also, Lucy and Stephen having sex.
  • Miscellaneous: Usual drinking and drug use

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. So does no one have friends from back home? Doesn’t Lucy have a sister who should be checking on her?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Lucy torn between Max and Stephen
  2. Diana finding out about Lucy
  3. Drew or Pippa slipping up and telling Bree the truth



Understanding How Far Stephen’s Charm Extends

As shown by how he treats Diana and Lucy, and likely why he focuses just on them, Stephen does have the mind of, I don’t want to say, a predator because that’s not the right word. However, he can sense who he can manipulate with his set of skills and charm. At first, with the interviewer in New York, it did work on her, but part of Stephen’s assumed charm is that he is the lovable ass****. Now, maybe in a romantic environment, that can work, but in a job environment? No one wants to work with an ass****. Never mind, hire one.

Which pushes the need to question if Stephen is better at being a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in the ocean?

The Difference Between Lucy and Diana For Stephen

It’s not 100% clear yet what Lucy is supposed to be to Stephen. Is she a backup for when Diana realizes Stephen ain’t s***? Is he trying to prove that he is still desirable outside of Diana? Could Lucy be a means of him learning how to adapt to not just the wealthy like Diana but the middle class? What exactly is the end goal here is hard to say since Stephen is rather cut off when it comes to Lucy, and unlike Evan, or Wrigley, we haven’t heard him talk about his relationships much with third parties.

Heck, from what it seems, Evan and Wrigley are aware of what Stephen is doing, but bro code has them keeping their mouths shut. Yet, while for Lucy, you can fathom she might be a plaything, with Diana, that might be the real deal. In many ways, she seems like his first, maybe only love. There may even be this dependency in the form of, since Stephen doesn’t have a good relationship with his mom and isn’t necessarily emotionally available to his friends, like many men, he uses his relationship to get all of what he needs as a person.

Diana is his therapist, source of affection, validator, and counselor. These are all things which, based on the romanticized version of relationships many of us have, we think our partners should be – our everything. Yet, because Diana has boundaries, pushes back on Stephen thinking she can be taken for granted, even if it only happened once; Stephen is both trying to get Diana back while having Lucy there in case he fails. Which makes him come off less like a bad boy with issues and more so like a pathetic man who probably needs to get his life together.

Getting To Know Bree Better

Like with Wrigley, we don’t learn much about Bree, but we get enough to know she had a life before Lucy and Stephen. However, I think with Wrigley, they didn’t really give us much beyond his learning disability. Most of what we got through him bolstered the desire to know Pippa more, with all her lies and secrets.

With Bree, it was different since it felt personal. We got to see her have sex for the first time, be disenchanted by it, lie about it, and hope for better, and in her talking to Evan, I really feel like we got to know her. She talks about being in foster care and wanting to feel this sense of being normal and in pursuit of that potentially becoming boring, which is one of the realest things presented in “Tell Me Lies.” At least since Lucy made it clear crying over Macy was a weird idea since they had known each other for a few days.

But, alongside telling us about her past and seeing how it affected her, it also gave us an idea of how she and Evan came to be. One intimate conversation, him not perving out when seeing her be a nude model for his class, it opened her up. On top of that, considering Evan seems a bit aimless, this could be another case of setting up a supporting character for a future episode.

Max Messing With Lucy

While it was a short moment, the idea of Max rejecting Lucy, the lead character, was shocking. Not in a laughing kind of way, but in such a way you feel taken back by it. Luckily for her, it was a joke, but the way the situation played out, it definitely shows Max is going to be someone who, like Stephen, but less toxic, may get into Lucy’s head a bit.

On The Fence

Wishing For More Out Of Lucy Than Worrying About Stephen

The perfect representation of Stephen and Lucy's relationship. Him looking elsewhere with a tight grip on her
“The perfect representation of Stephen and Lucy’s relationship. Him looking elsewhere with a tight grip on her,” Tell Me Lies, “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket,” directed by Sam Boyd, 2022, (Hulu)

At this point, it seems Lucy’s life is slowly being swallowed by Stephen. Her education, while we see her in scenes going to class, getting grades and critiques, is a minuscule part of her life. Everything is either about being with Stephen or reacting to what Stephen does or doesn’t do. It’s sad because Lucy was so interesting as an individual in the first few episodes, but you can see that slipping away because of this relationship and her being dickmatized.

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  1. John Doe what makes you say so? Lucy could very well also be practising coitus interruptus. Can’t protect her from stds though😅

  2. Just finished episode 4.Feeling bad for Lucy’s vulnerability in love. She surrenders herself to Stephen completely- physically and even mentally(he even gaslights her)- so far as to go on the contraceptive pill so that Stephen can enjoy her in all possible ways and flood semen deep inside her vagina every time. This man doesn’t deserve that pleasure having fucked around with Diana(for whom he is concerned and “uses condoms”) but uses Lucy as a cumdump to satisfy all his lust for her curves. I hope she leaves him to find a man who not only fills her insides with semen but also fills her heart with joy and care. Hoping she doesn’t catch an STD after all that unprotected intercourse

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