The seventh episode of The Changeling follows Lillian, who visits a shoddy hotel and records a message for Apollo. The episode is now streaming on Apple TV+.
Lillian has been trying to contact Apollo for the past three days. She visits the Elk Hotel, a rather notorious place built for immigrants. A man named Lester works at the desk of the hotel. His job is to distinguish between gang members and murderers and prostitutes, drug dealers, johns, and pimps.
Lillian is here to revise a deal. She checks in as Lily Ann instead of Lillian. She doesn’t need Apollo’s forgiveness; she needs her own, and it is behind Room No. 205, where she has been before. This room holds a secret of hers.
Lillian remembers her time in Uganda and wonders if she has been responsible for changing the course of her family. She claims that no god of hers will bring her this pain and removes the pendant she is wearing.
Lillian begins recording a message for Apollo. She talks about her love for America, how much she believed in this place, and her love for Apollo.
It starts raining. Lillian continues with her message. She lets Apollo know that she got the true feeling of happiness and contentment only when Apollo was born. However, she always wondered if she was enough.
Talking about her husband, Brian, he was wounded by a mother who hated him. The betrayal of the mother is something he could never get past. It is said that kids are destined to repeat their parents, and Brian, too, chose a woman who couldn’t love him.
Brian and Lillian navigated their lives where they loved each other and hated each other at the same time. The lights go out, and Lillian finds herself walking in the hallway.
She comforts a dying man in another room who is longing for his mother. She even sings the song he wanted to hear before dying. After covering the body, she leaves. It is shown that there was no one on that bed.
Back in her room, Lillian gets back to her message. Lillian confesses that Apollo felt that Brian didn’t want him, but it was the opposite. Brian wanted Apollo too much.
Brian had found a receipt from the Elk Hotel. Lillian claimed that she didn’t know where that bill came from. Brian suspected that Lillian is having an affair with her boss, Charles Blackwood.
Brian and Lillian split up. Lillian was petrified that Brian would rip her baby away from her. Brian had begun comparing Lillian to his mother. Brian didn’t like the idea of someone else raising his son. Lillian continued to wonder why Brian would think she was having an affair.
Brian had claimed that if he can’t have his son, then no one can. One fine day, Lillian comes back home and finds Brian trying to drown Apollo to death. She knocks Brian out.
Later, Lillian tried to take her life at the Elk Hotel. An older Lillian appeared and stopped her from doing so. The older Lillian talks some sense into the young Lillian, who decides not to kill herself for her son.
She makes a deal with God. Lillian is ready to do everything for her son, but she wants to get away with what she has done. The deal Lillian makes that day sees Apollo paying the price for it 35 years later.
Lillian finds the answer to her problem in the form of a suitcase. It is hinted that Lillian had killed Brian. She packed Brian’s dead body in a suitcase and threw it into the water.
The now-closed Elk Hotel has a book of guests lying there. It has Lillian’s name as Lily Ann, along with the name of Charles Blackwood, which suggests that Lillian might have had an affair.
- The Changeling offers a very dull episode that struggles to stick to its path. The big twist it is exploring could have been covered in a few minutes rather than having an entire episode dedicated to it. Furthermore, there is another filler inside the episode, making things more frustrating.
- A viewer will find themselves distracted more than once. Though Adina Porter is a great actor, her monologue fails to keep a viewer tuned. LaValle’s narration continues to talk about the plot in mystery, but it never hits the right note with the audience, who are already having a hard time figuring out everything happening on screen.
- The Changeling seems to have complicated a simple plot way too far. There are times when it goes in circles too. For an episode right before the finale, it should have been on par with the previous episode.
- The episode largely hints that it is metaphorical and takes place in Lillian’s mind, most probably. The dying man and Lester are being played by the same actors who play Brian and Charles Blackwood. However, the episode withholds most of the information, forcing viewers to connect the dots rather than giving them something concrete.
The Changeling season 1 episode 7
Michael Francis Williams
Also Read: The Changeling season 1 episode 6 recap & review: Aftermath