Warning: This article contains spoilers from the second episode of HBO’s “The Idol,” titled “Double Fantasy,” available for streaming on Max.
The second episode of “The Idol” has arrived, and it raises the stakes following a controversial series premiere. Pop star Jocelyn experiences a troubled video shoot and later indulges in a night of debauchery with her love interest, cult leader Tedros, and his followers. This episode is filled with explicit content and intense industry drama, sure to spark online discussions.
This episode becomes difficult to watch when you consider the off-screen drama that almost ruined the show. Director Amy Seimetz left the series in 2022 during reshoots and changes in creative direction, including reports that Tedros felt the show focused too much on a “female perspective.”
The episode begins with Jocelyn gathering her team to listen to a sexually charged remix of her song, but her vision is overruled by record executive Nikki Katz. Nikki reminds Jocelyn of her canceled tour and mental health struggles, emphasizing the team’s investment in her comeback. Jocelyn continues working on the remix alone, reminiscing about her night with Tedros.
The episode then follows the intense music video shoot for Jocelyn’s song “Freak.” Jocelyn’s mental state deteriorates as she faces pressure from her team, dissatisfaction with the creative direction, and memories of her late mother. She pleads to delay the shoot but is convinced by her co-manager Chaim to continue, fearing the team will see her as too erratic to tour.
During the shoot, Jocelyn breaks down multiple times, enduring physical and emotional pain. Backup dancer Dyanne is approached by Nikki, who hopes to foster Dyanne’s talent in case Jocelyn fails.
After a successful performance, Jocelyn is devastated to discover that the take cannot be used. Nikki sends her home, urging her to take a break. Nikki also decides to film the music video with Dyanne instead.
Meanwhile, Tedros reveals his role as a cult leader, organizing a party filled with sex and drugs at Jocelyn’s mansion. Jocelyn invites him over after the video shoot, and he brings his friends along.
The episode takes a controversial turn as Jocelyn’s personal assistant Leia indulges in drugs and rough sex. Jocelyn and Tedros engage in explicit sexual acts, with Tedros narrating his fantasies. The scene features nudity, explicit dialogue, and voyeurism.
In the morning, Tedros suggests moving in with Jocelyn, and she agrees. As Chloe plays the piano, the group gathers around her, singing a song with lyrics hinting at a dysfunctional family dynamic.
This episode showcases explicit sexual content and focuses on Jocelyn pleasing Tedros. The real-life involvement of singer Tesfaye likely influenced the creative choices, despite potential criticism.
The episode concludes with Leia expressing concern about what lies ahead, hinting at future conflicts.