As Emma’s rape case leads to a notable reveal, Jane is dealing with Isabel’s death and trying to figure out if having a child with Edward is the best decision.

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As Emma’s rape case leads to a notable reveal, Jane is dealing with Isabel’s death and trying to figure out if having a child with Edward is the best decision.

Aired 12/19/2021
Network BBC/ HBO Max
Directed By Lisa Bruhlmann
Written By JP Delaney, Marissa Lestrade
Introduced This Episode
Amanda Daniela Pasquini
DI James Clarke Ian Conningham
DI Liz Willan Kayla Meikle


[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”FYI9KOFd” upload-date=”2022-03-25T04:57:59.000Z” name=”The Girl Before: Season 1 – Video Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)” description=”A review of the first season of “The Girl Before.”” player-type=”static”]

Emma – Amanda, Emma, DI Clarke, Edward

The struggle is real, and part of the struggle just comes from DI Clarke being so focused on taking down a criminal, poor Emma felt led by the nose. Thus a confession of rape which might have been a different incident, she pinned on the guy DI Clarke was trying to take down. Which, once that gets out, DI Clarke becomes distant, and Emma is harassed. Particularly due to the only way she wouldn’t get prosecuted would be by throwing Simon under the bus.

DI James Clarke (Ian Conningham) talking to Jane
DI James Clarke (Ian Conningham)

Luckily, while Edward becomes a bit hot and cold and not willing to live up to Emma’s expectations of what a relationship should be, Emma does have Amanda, the wife of her former boss. She is going through it with her husband since she believes he is cheating, possibly with Simon enabling him. But, together, they relax, have a liquid lunch, and when Amanda decides to get a tattoo, Emma uses that to frighten Edward, who flips out and rushes over to her place, as soon as he can, to confront her decision.

Thus following up on Edward’s conversation with Jane about his dislike of women with tattoos. Though I should note, just her teasing the idea makes him flip out and throw a bottle of wine. Well, the tattoo teasing and him realizing Emma is a mid-key slob.

Jane – Jane, Carol, Edward

For Jane, as much as Edward is a worry, partly due to the information Carol provides, what she strongly focuses on is trying to deal with the guilt of having a stillborn baby. This leads to her getting an advocate and, even though it isn’t explicitly said, you almost get the vibe that as much as Black Americans know Black women aren’t listened to and taken care of during pregnancy, it seems in the UK not much else is different. For while Jane expressed her worries, it seems they were ignored and not followed upon. Rather, she was given some pain medication and sent off.

This is why being pregnant with Edward’s kid is so frightening since, never mind the growing need to question who he was and how stingy he is with information, now there is this fear of going through the process and not having a baby again. Something that she is by no means ready for.

Edward – DI Clarke, Amanda, Edward, Jane, DI Willan, Simon

Once Jane is able to deal with why Isabel didn’t get to come to be, so does she find herself focusing on what to do with this child inside of her. She doesn’t mention the pregnancy to Edward, but she does dive into Emma’s life deeper and deeper. She does this by talking to Amanda, Simon, DI Clarke, and DI Willan just to get a grip on whether Emma’s death was an accident, was she hurt by Edward, maybe Simon, in terms of the trial, what happened after the rape accusation then her having to withdraw? All of this leads to her hitting the same roadblocks she does with Carol. The most damning information is unavailable, or something people are unwilling to give.

However, with DI Willan, she does learn Edward’s alibi when it comes to Emma’s death is Peter, who has been loyal to him since his wife was alive. Which likely will mean either Jane continuing to ask uncomfortable questions or realizing the answer she needs has been right in her face.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Again, what happened to Isabel’s father? Did she just get a sperm donor or something? What’s the story? Am I missing something?
  2. Where are Emma’s parents?
  3. Was Edward so blinded by the resemblance that he didn’t realize Emma was WAY TOO YOUNG for him?
  4. Considering Jane wasn’t really for the idea of a relationship and certainly not ready to try again for another child, why didn’t she have Edward wear a condom?
  5. Did the town Edward was planning ever become something?

What Could Happen Next

  1. While we saw Edward flip out, a part of me still wants to question if he killed Emma or not. But, we’re going to find out as the next episode is the series finale.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Traumatic emotions are like water. They have a knack of locating the cracks and finding a way out.
— Carol



Jane Dealing With Having A Stillborn Child

With the last episode, The Girl Before explored what it meant to be raped and seek justice, and this episode focuses on Jane’s need to have someone, besides herself, be responsible for the death of Isabel. Now, we’re missing a whole lot of detail about the father, his genes, or even Jane’s parent’s genes, to get the full background. However, we know and can see the struggle Jane has gone through trying to figure everything she might have done wrong, and now trying to find a 3rd party, like the midwives, who should have seen and reported something.

In a way, it shows, as much as many non-American countries and their citizens may tout the value and benefits of their healthcare system, it seems no matter where a Black woman goes, they don’t receive the care they deserve. Which is a sad thing to watch this program acknowledge.

The Need For Control & In Defense Of Edward

I don’t know why, but I still feel like there is a certain level of misdirection. Maybe it is because I don’t want Edward to be a bad guy or because he is a Black man, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Yet, I honestly don’t trust Carol’s full presumption of who Edward is or Emma’s witnesses since they all seem sketchy.

To me, is Edward weird? Absolutely. The trauma of his wife and child dying still haunt him to this day, and I think he keeps trying to relive what they had as a coping mechanism. Also, I should note I do not excuse him throwing that wine bottle of Emma’s or breaking the teapot Simon gave her.

However, I feel his need for control is understood and a tad bit justified. Just in him noting how things are “for us” when talking to either Emma or Jane (they blend in together so well), you get an understanding there and then. He is a Black man being asked to potentially design a town. Edward needs to be hyperfocused on his craft, for there is no road paved for him, no mentor, no leg up, family connections – none of that. So as much as he wants to date, have sex, and not be alone, he needs to do that within certain parameters.

Also, let’s be real, for him to get ahead, it isn’t just about his image but whoever he is with. He can’t be with a woman with a bunch of tattoos, a drinking problem like Emma, or someone who, again like Emma, hides things and is messy. Never mind is so insecure, or just plain ole dependent, she can’t handle being separated too long without starting to come apart at the seams. But, as noted above, that is his fault for being with a woman younger than him and not on his level.

Hence why he and Jane mostly work. She is mature, has her own life and friends, and while she has trauma, like Edward, she is processing it, and maybe not in the best way, but in a way that allows them to still operate in society. And I think she gets, far more than Emma, that having the sense of control brings Edward peace, structure, and calm for it is one less thing to think or worry about. Hence her need to ask a ton of people about Edward and Emma, for it is such a challenge to, as it is for me, set aside the logical reasoning to accept he could be a murderer.

On The Fence

The Investigation Into Emma’s Death

Edward and Jane talking

I’m glad this is only 4 episodes. When watching this episode, I had to legit ask myself am I tired or getting bored because I felt like I watched an hour and saw I only watched 20 minutes. Which I blame on us not really being steered in the direction of maybe, or maybe not, Edward is psychopathic. Which, even with my little theories and trying to add the layer of why he needs to feel in control, it doesn’t take away the show wants you to damn him and let that be it.

And yes, Peter does come off like the kind of creep you can imagine being jealous of Edward and wanting to do as he does. But we barely focus on Peter. Hence, I keep wondering if there is some misdirection here, but we’ll find out soon.

[ninja_tables id=”62552″]

Emma and Jane looking at each other
The Girl Before: Season 1/ Episode 3 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Jane Dealing With Having A Stillborn Child
The Need For Control & In Defense Of Edward
The Investigation Into Emma's Death

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