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Fool Me Once- Episode 1 Recap

Fool Me Once is a British limited series adapted from Harlan Coben’s 2016 novel of the same name. It follows a newly-widowed lady named Maya Stern who caught her dead husband on a nanny cam. Starring Michelle Keegan, Richard Armitage and Adeel Akhtar.

Streaming on Netflix

Fool Me Once- Episode 1 Summary & Recap

Back from the dead

The story starts off in 1996, where some kids in high school danced around another boy at night around a campfire. The boy started shaking uncontrollably and things fell silent.

Back in the present day, ex-army officer, Maya Stern (Michelle Keegan) just lost her husband, Joe Burkett (Richard Armitage). She is now newly-widowed with her very young daughter Lily. Joe passed after being shot on his chest. According to Maya, on the night of the murder, two guys on motorbikes tried to rob her; and when both she and Joe did not give in, they shot Joe. Maya has been pressuring Detective Sami Kierce (Adeel Akhtar) to find the murderer.

After the funeral, Maya’s friend, Eva gifted her a digital frame with a hidden nanny cam. Maya’s nanny, Izabella takes care of Lily when Maya’s at work, and Joe’s family has known Izabella and her family for a long time. 

The next day, when Maya checks the nanny cam, she saw a man intruding into the house and carrying Lily. When this man turned to his side profile, Maya was shocked to see that the man was indeed Joe. Izabella happened to arrive that morning, and Maya immediately questioned her about it. Izabella seemed stunned for words and proceeded to pepper-spray Maya and took the SD card of the nanny cam.

Maya told Detective Sami that she recognized the gun model that was used to kill Joe.

Internal problems

Unfortunately, when Maya tried to inform Detective Sami, she did not have the SD card as proof. People like Detective Sami and Maya’s mother-in-law, Judith seems to think that Maya is just grieving and seeing things. This is also because Maya recently lost her sister, Claire Walker (Natalie Anderson) to a murder.

After her sister’s passing, Maya wants to be there for Claire’s children, but Claire’s husband Eddie does not seem to be a fan of Maya’s. After failing to see Izabella, Maya tried to support her niece, Abby’s football match. But Maya caused quite a scene with Abby’s coach, and Eddie got even angrier at her. 

Meanwhile, Detective Sami seems to be struggling from his own issues. After talking to his fiancé, Molly, he lost control of his car and skidded into a fence. He told his boss, Pam that it was because of a cat. Concerned about his past drinking habits, Pam placed another junior officer, Marty McGregor (Dino Fetscher) on Joe’s murder case. Sami got Marty to examine the bullet that was used to shoot Joe.


Maya confronting Judith, Joe's mother. Photo: Netflix


Later that day, Maya found out that Izabella went to see Judith and so, she tried to get Judith to hold her babysitter. Unfortunately, when Maya arrived, Izabella was already on the way out  with another man named Luca. Maya got into a car chase with them but Izabella managed to disappear into the woods.

Angry, Maya took out her frustrations on Judith. The conversation revealed a lot of deep-rooted issues int heir relationship. Joe’s family is extremely wealthy and Maya had always felt like Judith did not find her worthy of Joe.

When Maya got back, she Detective Sami and Marty was there. The two shared that the bullet used to shoot Joe was shot from the same gun that killed Maya’s sister, Claire. 

Izabella deleted the footage of Joe on the nanny cam SD card while Judith visits Joe’s grave again. Beside Joe’s grave is one of Joe’s brother, Andrew Burkett who died in 1996. He seemed to be the boy in the beginning of the series.

Additional Observations From Episode 1

  • Detective Sami took Maya’s gun from her house to have it tested.
  • Maya did not identify Joe’s body after his death. Joe’s mother, Judith was the one who did it but she insinuated that the body wasn’t particularly recognizable.
  • Detective Sami texts a person called Nicole.

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