Lisey’s Story is a horror-drama miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. King has written the series while Pablo Larraín has directed it. The series stars Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dane DeHaan and Joan Allen, alongside other cast members. Lisey’s Story episode 1 is titled Bool Hunt.
Lisey’s Story episode 1 recap
From the opening titles of Lisey’s Story episode 1 to its first shot, the audience is made well aware that this isn’t going to be like Stephen King’s other works. The miniseries, although described as a horror drama, is more personal to King than his other works. Apparently, it came into being after King was in the hospital and his wife packed up his studio – when he came home and saw all his work in boxes, he got a glimpse of what his studio would look like after his death.
So, anyway, Lisey’s Story episode 1 is beautifully gloomy and dark, but still breath-taking. The score in the background is haunting, and tells of darker things to come. We see Lisey Landon as she is melancholically drifting in a body of water, reminiscing about her husband, Scott Landon, who is apparently dead. She asks him, “Why are they so important to you?” Scott says that stories are all he has, and now he has her.
And then we see how Scott Landon was shot and almost killed during the inauguration of Horlicks. Lisey tearfully wakes up from sleep and then we see how all of his work is stowed away in boxes. She walks around inspecting the things around her belonging to Scott when she gets a call from Amanda.
We jump back and forth between the events of this day and its aftermath and the present in Lisey’s Story episode 1. After he was shot and taken to the hospital, Lisey went to see him in his hospital room – the doctors said that he was stable but still critical. However, inside, she found his bed empty and the water running in the bathroom sink. After she turned it off, she was surprised to see Scott back in bed and wet footprints going up to him.
We also meet two other characters in Lisey’s Story episode 1, Lisey’s two sisters Amanda and Darla. Amanda is going through a tough spot after learning that her ex-husband has married his mistress who he was cheating on her with. Amanda has a mental break and starts to slice her arm open (so, trigger warning) while on the phone with Lisey. Thus, she and Darla rush to her home. Darla gets there first and tends to her older sister and Lisey volunteers to stay with her for the night.
We also learn that when Amanda had tried to do this the last time, it was Scott who had helped her get off the ledge. That situation, however, is a bit tricky. Amanda reminisces about that time – Scott had come over to her house without Lisey and transferred into a catatonic Amanda’s mouth “water from the pool.” According to Scott, he had learnt it when he was a kid and apparently there’s nothing like it, at least not in this world. Then he had told her that they have to talk about Lisey.
In the present, Amanda tells Lisey about the sweet and refreshing water that Scott had given her to drink all those years back. Lisey is confused, obviously, and asks her what pool she’s talking about. Amanda tells her that she knows what she is talking about and then asks her whether she found the first clue of the treasure hunt.
We also meet Professor Roger Dashmiel, the guy who was hosting the opening ceremony at Horlicks. Unfortunately, though, Dashmiel is at Lisey’s house, blocking her path out, in order to get his hands on Scott’s unpublished works. After Lisey asks him to let her get out because of a family emergency and refuses to give him the papers, he says some despicable stuff to her. People might not have a hold on art, but holy shit that’s some next-level nastiness.
We later see him talking to Jim Dooley on the phone and discussing how Lisey won’t “give up the goods” and probably just wants Scott to be forgotten. Dashmiel then tells Jim in Lisey’s Story episode 1 that maybe they have to apply a little pressure since Jim is good at persuading people. He promises to get the papers and says that no woman is going to say no to him.
We also see a bit of Jim, sitting in a library and being very rough about Lisey and fawning over Scott. The way he speaks about the writer, it’s evident that he’s a bit obsessed. Okay, very obsessed. He scares the librarian and calls Lisey the b-word and then leaves.
Anyway, as Lisey finds the second clue of Scott’s little treasure hunt, she finds the number of a doctor in Amanda’s phone book. From there she gets to know that Scott had, three years ago, contacted the doctor to arrange something for Amanda, if she has a break with reality again, which he had guessed that she would. He had also devised a way to give him payments – Lisey basically has to do nothing. We get to know that Scott loved both of Lisey’s sisters very much and Lisey is, thus, emotional once again.
Both the sisters are present when Amanda is taken away and the latter is still in a catatonic state. Later in Lisey’s Story episode 1, our protagonist is contacted by Jim, who threatens very calmly that she has to give over Scott’s papers to Dashmiel or else he’ll come over and hurt her. Lisey, calmly, tells him to go F himself. We then see Jim very angry, thrashing and jumping around in his room.
Lisey remembers the day Scott was shot and he reminds her of something that she’d seen by the pool, something… demonic? Or was it something else? As she wonders, Jim gets a bit too close to a cardboard cutout of Scott.
Lisey’s Story episode 1 starts off with a kick. We see all the important players in the game, a little about the elusive and mysterious Scott and get a look into what to expect next. The series is gorgeous and looks beautiful and the performances are amazing too. However, with a star cast like this, that is to be expected.
However, that being said, Lisey’s Story episode 1 talks about a lot of different things and it feels like as the episodes will come, the story will feature too much for its own benefit. In the first episode itself, there seem to be supernatural and man-made threats as well as other themes such as self-harm, memories of the past and an unrelenting amount of back and forth. Only time will tell how this turns out.
Lisey’s Story is streaming on Apple TV+.