Destiny (Da'Vine Joy Randolph)
"Destiny (Da'Vine Joy Randolph)," The Idol, "Stars Belong To The World," directed by Sam Levinson, 2023, (HBO)

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Plot Recap

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He’s Dangerous, But He Might Be Talented – Destiny, Tedros, Chloe, Izaak, Jocelyn, Chaim

The more Destiny learns about Tedros, the less she trusts him. From learning he pulled a Rick James on one of his exes, him being to prison, and maybe even was pimping? It is agreed between Chaim and her that he needs to have eyes on him, and Destiny, for a little more than a week, spends her days at Jocelyn’s house, and she is a bit shocked by what she sees.

First off, she meets Tedros’ people, from Izaak to Chloe. She notes Izaak has the voice of an angel and Chloe? Destiny really likes Chloe. Her innocence, her lyrics, and her story? Destiny falls for that girl, hook, line, and sinker. Especially as she realizes Chloe is either 17 or barely 18 and was formerly homeless and a heroin addict. It just makes her feel for the child ever the more.

Now, as for Jocelyn? Destiny can’t deny Tedros is bringing notable music out of her that is catchy, and he is helping her cultivate her own sound. However, the way he does it, even in front of company, by feeling up and messing around with Jocelyn and his brand of pushing her to her limits? Destiny isn’t comfortable with that, and her saying that they should have Tedros killed remains something she likely isn’t joking about.

Power Play – Nikki, Dyanne, Jocelyn, Xander, Leia, Izaak, Tedros

As Jocelyn makes new music, her label, Magistrate Records, is already moving on. Nikki has signed Dyanne, with no sign of Tedros handling contract negotiations, and Nikki even offers Jocelyn’s song to Dyanne. This may not be the only betrayal in Jocelyn’s life, however. Leia continues to butt heads with Tedros, and while Tedros doesn’t have the power, or isn’t given the power, to fire Leia, the amount of verbal abuse and even exploiting her feelings towards Izaak to mess with her leaves Leia exasperated. Yes, at least one time, Jocelyn does say something, but more often than not, she doesn’t.

However, the person who experiences the worst of what Tedros has to offer is Xander. When Tedros learns Xander can sing, so comes a slew of questions of why he stopped. There is mention of damaged vocal cords, which clearly is a lie, and then Xander mentions Julianne, Jocelyn’s mom, as the reason.

With him doing that, a trial, which includes forcing Xander into a shock collar, is had, with Izaak being a sort of enforcer. During this trial, Xander is questioned, and as he blames Julianne for why he stopped singing, he accuses her of all kinds of horrible things. Jocelyn claims he lies, and Tedros shocks him. This goes on for a while, and it seems that despite Julianne outing Xander and potentially ruining his career, Xander is eventually broken and becomes obedient in following the narrative Jocelyn, and in extension, Tedros, wants out there. Even though, within a day, Tedros does have Jocelyn admit on social media that her mom abused her for 22 years, starting when she was 3.

A Reminder Of Who Runs Things Around Here – Rob, Jocelyn, Tedros, Chloe, Xander

Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp)
“Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp),” The Idol, “Stars Belong To The World,” directed by Sam Levinson, 2023, (HBO)

While Jocelyn has allowed herself to believe Tedros’ previous convictions weren’t his fault entirely and has excused a lot of his behavior, Chloe revealing that Tedros used Dyanne to get her to the club, that Dyanne liked Tedros, and Dyanne didn’t expect Tedros and Jocelyn to have sex? That snaps something in Jocelyn. It forces her to remind Tedros who is in power, so she calls her ex-Rob.

He cheated on her but still holds a soft space in her heart, and he even worries about her after seeing her confession about her mom online. However, Jocelyn doesn’t want to talk but have sex and make it clear to Tedros that he can mean everything and nothing to her at a moment’s notice.

So, in retaliation, it appears Xander is sent to take a picture of Rob with one of the girls in Tedros’ entourage who is barely dressed and, considering Chloe being barely legal, if not 17, who knows if the girl on Rob’s lap, who tries to make out, if not have sex with him on the stairs, isn’t part of a setup to keep Rob from ever returning.

Review

Highlights

Destiny

Destiny’s reaction and how she handles all that is going on in Jocelyn’s household, I could imagine, becoming a slew of memes and .gifs that will likely outlive the conversations about the show—from her talking about how freaky some things are, to her talking about killing Tedros, to her reactions to Jocelyn’s music? Da’Vine Joy Randolph is figuring out a way to play a serious character while, low-key, acting a fool.

Low Points

The Weekend’s Songs This Episode

That “Jealous Guy” song was unnecessary and furthers the idea The Weeknd is throwing scrap songs onto “The Idol” just to get them out there and potentially make a buck.

On The Fence

Did Tedros Break Xander

While it was appreciated that Xander got some level of development, mainly in exploring why his relationship with Jocelyn, and her mom, is complicated, the torture scene and Xander potentially setting up Rob scene leads to mixed feelings. It is understood, via Destiny, Tedros isn’t above torture, but Jocelyn being part of it, defending her mom, and outright rejecting what Xander says and forcing him to lie?

These are the kind of moments that leave you to question what was the goal of “The Idol” overall?

Leia Becoming The Show’s Meg

It’s understood Leia is supposed to be the sane one in Jocelyn’s house, but is she going to expand beyond that? Will she just become someone constantly verbally abused by Tedros with no one really batting an eye? Heck, will Jocelyn, actually do or say something notable to stop the abuse, or is it that, like Xander, there is far more to Jocelyn and Leia’s relationship, and what she is allowing Tedros to do is to punish Leia without directly having to take any heat?

Dyanne’s Storyline

Dyanne (Jennie Kim)
“Dyanne (Jennie Kim),” The Idol, “Stars Belong To The World,” directed by Sam Levinson, 2023, (HBO)

Is it possible that too much is going on at once, and Levinson doesn’t know how to give equal value to all stories? Dyanne taking Jocelyn’s song, slowly but surely inheriting her career, feels like it should be bigger. What Nikki is doing shouldn’t be treated almost as an afterthought, as it appears she is building up to potentially dropping Jocelyn in light of her inability to perform.

Never mind, Dyanne appears to be part of Tedros’ cult, yet she isn’t checking in, he isn’t doing the contract negotiations or acting in some manager capacity? Also, Chloe, Izaak, no one is talking to her about going to Magistrate and her potential record deal?

General Information

This section Includes information about the Director, Writer, and Cast.

More From The Series
Previous Episode: Season 1/ Episode 3 Next Episode: Season 1/ Episode 5
Release Date (HBO) June 25, 2023
Director(s) Sam Levinson
Writer(s) Sam Levinson
Newly Noted Characters and Cast
Rob Karl Glusman
Previously Noted Characters and Cast
Destiny Da’Vine Joy Randolph
Tedros Abel Tesfaye
Chloe Suzanna Son
Izaak Moses Sumney
Jocelyn Lily-Rose Depp
Chaim Hank Azaria
Nikki Jane Adams
Dyanne Jennie Kim
Leia Rachel Sennott
Xander Troye Sivan

Collected Quote(s)

There are two types of people: The ones that support you and the ones that are obstacles.
— Izaak (Quoting Tedros)

FAQs

What is the name of Jocelyn’s Mother?

Julianne

Why did Xander stop singing?

Xander (Troye Sivan)

The public answer was damage to his vocal cords, but he claims Julianne made him sign a contract to never sing again

How long did Tedros go to prison for?

Tedros went to prison for six years, and his charges range from pimping, kidnapping, domestic violence, torture, and more.

What is the name of Jocelyn’s record label?

Magistrate Records

How old is Chloe?

She hesitates but says she is 18

How did Tedros find Chloe?

Tedros found Chloe when she was on the streets, addicted to heroin

What is the name of the makeup line Jocelyn and Leia were planning?

Half-Magic

What is Tedros’ Real Name?

Mauricio Costello Jackson

When did Xander come out?

Xander was outed when he was 13

How old is Jocelyn?

25 years old

When did Xander move into Jocelyn’s home?

When he was 14, roughly a year after Julianne outed him

Why did Rob and Jocelyn break up?

Rob (Karl Glusman)

Because Rob cheated on Jocelyn with his co-star

Destiny (Da'Vine Joy Randolph)
The Idol: Season 1/ Episode 4 “Stars Belong To The World” – Recap and Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
“The Idol” remains very divisive. As much as you want to praise Lily-Rose Depp’s performance, she is challenged by the writing. While you sometimes want to praise The Weeknd, he repeatedly slips off the tightrope he walks on and lands into campy territory. And while there are talented musicians all around, their work is drowned out to the point you can forget this is a series about music artists.
Highlights
Destiny
Disputable
The Weekend’s Songs This Episode
Did Tedros Break Xander
Leia Becoming The Show’s Meg
Dyanne’s Storyline
73

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