“Poker Face” Season 1, Episode 1 Review

Story posted February 1, 2023 in

If “Orange is the New Black” and “Knives Out” had a baby it would be the new Peacock original series “Poker Face.”

The opening sequence of events in the episode is a maid at a casino cleaning the presidential sweet and finding something she should not have seen on a guest’s laptop.

Rightfully so, she takes a picture of the laptop and goes to show her boss. Shortly after that, boom, she winds up dead.

Then a time jump occurs earlier that day and the audience meets character Charlie Cale, played by Natasha Lyonne. Cale has a special talent of knowing when people are lying.

It is also revealed in the first episode that she used to use this skill to beat professional gamblers at poker, but when a casino owner could not figure out how she was winning he deemed her a cheater and she became blackballed.

However, he offered her a job as a waitress and she became friends with the woman who is murdered at the beginning of the episode, Natalie, played by Dascha Polanco.

At the beginning of the work day, Cale realizes that Natalie is a victim of domestic violence. Cale invites her to stay with her that night but Natalie declines.

Later that night, Sterling Frost Jr. played by Adrien Brody, the manager of the hotel and the casino owner's son, asks Cale to talk. He is trying to get her to assist him in scamming one of the richest players at the casino.

While they are talking, Cale receives a call from Natalie but misses it. The next morning is when Natalie turns up dead along with her husband.

Now everything is caught up, and the story is back in present time.

Using her power and her new alliance with Frost, Cale sets out to find the truth, which in part is revealed by the end of the episode.

However, it is never revealed what Natalie saw on the laptop. As this is what initiates the whole conflict it is frustrating to get to the end of the episode and still not know.

Besides that, the storyline of the episode was very engaging and gave a new spin on a modern day mystery.

The show is directed by Rian Johnson who also directed “Knives Out” and “Glass Onion.” This series has a similar feel to both movies which is very aesthetic and vibey.

Recently it has felt like so many mystery style movies and shows have come out, and been disappointing. However, this show has the same prestige about it that “Knives Out” does.

“Poker Face” is definitely a show you will not be able to forget about, not that you would want to.

Along with the show's phenomenal story and directing, the cast is incredible. Natasha Lyonne does a great job portraying her character as a quirky loner.

Honestly, any show Lyonne is in is worth the watch just to hear her voice. She has such a distinguished raspiness to her New York accent.

Also this is not the first time that Lyonne and Polanco have acted together. They both starred in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”

This series has a 98% on rotten tomatoes and rightfully so. With the great story and fantastic acting there is nothing to not like, besides the fact that the audience does not find out what Natalie saw.

There is a lot of potential for what will happen the rest of the season, and will definitely keep watchers coming back to find out more about Cale.

Rating: 4/5

Savannah Swartz is a second-year communications major. To contact her, email sms9072@psu.edu.