The Truth Will Out
When a major development in the murder investigation threatens to send Danny away from Green Grove for good, Danny and Kyle find a reason to work together and Jo and Lacey contemplate whether to reveal a major piece of evidence. Lacey's aloof and disapproving father, Samuel, arrives in town for Lacey's sister's birthday party hiding a major secret. Meanwhile, Danny is keeping his own secret from his best friends and realizes it may be time to come clean. And Rico is alerted to a shocking video that has the potential to destroy friendships and reputations.
It's an interesting approach, even if the stakes aren't as high as they tend to be with the murder mystery plot, as the episode still manages to wring genuine drama out of low-stakes relationship quarrels. Say what you will about the problems in the new relationship between Danny and Lacey (Kylie Bunbury), but I don't feel that either person is necessarily wrong for how they feel in their situation this week: it's easy to see why Danny would think Lacey is being unfair to him for things that are beyond his control, but she isn't exactly wrong for being freaked out about being stalked by jump-rope-wielding strangers in Danny Desai masks, especially when you take into consideration that this is a problem Danny created for himself by murdering his aunt in the first place. Sure, he was only a kid when he did it, and we don't know the full story about why, but Lacey goes into great detail about the ways in which Danny's actions five years ago continue to traumatize her today. Danny is doing his best to make amends for his past, but that's all he can really do. It's a complicated situation that only gets more difficult as the episode rolls on, particularly when taking the love triangle with Jo (Maddie Hasson) into consideration — well, a love square, if you count Rico's (Ashton Moio) own poorly-disguised feelings for Jo. “Docu-Trauma” is fairly dark, even with all the relationship drama.
So Lacey and Danny are doing the whole Romeo & Juliet romance, keeping things secret from Lacey's friends — and from Jo, whom Lacey worries would feel like a third wheel if she knew. The secrecy goes pretty well in the early going, until the couple decides to go on a late night picnic in the park, where they're confronted by the aforementioned jump-rope-wielding strangers in Danny Desai masks. They seem to have no other intention than to scare Danny, yet it's Lacey who's most spooked out by the encounter, prompting her to dial their relationship back. It's one of several blows to Danny this week, as he not only has to deal with the masked stalkers, he also has to deal with another prank in which his front lawn is littered with jump ropes. As a method of damage control, Danny approaches Cinema Club president Tyler Lewis, who is making a documentary on the effect of Danny's return to Green Grove. As we know from last week, Tyler is skilled at getting a party started, so Danny approaches him about helping get the word out about a party at the Desai household that night. Danny believes that the party will help rehab his public image. Tyler agrees to help on the condition that Danny agrees to an interview for the documentary. And just like that, the party is on.