Her manager, Destiny (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), tries to console her: “You’re having a human moment. We can take a break.” That break costs her a lot. Even though Nikki, the crass and cruel record label exec, promises Jocelyn she can come back the next day, the entire shoot is scrapped.
In its second episode, “The Idol” offers a deeper glimpse into Jocelyn’s recent trauma and the fallout from it. When her mother was sick, Jocelyn insisted she could still do her tour, but just before she was supposed to play Madison Square Garden she had a breakdown which involved, according to Nikki, “babbling” on a roof. Her team spent eight months attempting to get her healthy, and now she’s back in a precarious mental state.
In addition to offering up some back story, “The Idol,” in this hour, reveals itself to be a show split in two. On one side, there’s a narrative focused on Jocelyn and her attempt to emerge from her sorrow. On the other: There’s the whole Tedros situation. If you’re interested in the first and not so interested in the latter, you could turn off this episode just about halfway through.
Tedros just hovers over the action in the first half. After their night together, Jocelyn presents her team with their new remix of “World Class Sinner,” which mostly just features the addition of a lot of sex noises. Nikki rejects it, berating Jocelyn. When Jocelyn finally reaches Tedros to tell him how badly it went, he chides her for playing it because it’s not finished. She asks him to come over, but he says he can’t that night or the next.
He eventually does re-emerge after the video shoot, when she is at her lowest, bringing a group over to her house to party. Among them are Izaak (Moses Sumney), who started a flirtation with Leia on the night Jocelyn and Tedros met, and Chloe (Suzanna Son), a girl who immediately strips down and jumps in the pool.