Meanwhile, Ariel continues to be slightly suspicious of Adam, but when he gives her Dixie Chicks tickets to use on her mom’s birthday, she thinks he’s pretty cool. (Lifetime, where trust can be bought with country music.) When I say he gives her tickets, I really mean he gives her one ticket and says he’ll surprise her mom with the other one. But of course he doesn’t do that and Dana never meets Ariel at the concert. Instead, it turns into a date between Ariel and Ben while Dana sits sadly at home thinking her daughter doesn’t care about her birthday. Muahahaha, the evil plan is working!
Here’s where Ariel shows that her creeper-meter is broken when Ben admits to taking secret photos of her, and she thinks it’s sweet enough to kiss him. This is after she’s witnessed him throwing a fit in a coffee shop and almost getting hit by a car because he has tunnel vision and color blindness. Those things could be acceptable if he didn’t also take the creepy photos. When you add creepy photos into the mix, everything becomes a red flag.
While this is happening, Adam comes over to Dana’s house as if the Dixie Chicks tickets never existed. (And did they really? I mean, it’s 2014.) It would be helpful if after all this Dana and Ariel had a discussion about the concert and Adam and all that jazz, because they would discover that he was manipulating them. But I guess that never comes up. I guess they get a little distracted, because not only does Dana have sex with Adam without remembering it and continue to see him, but Uncle Cam dies. What a coincidence that he got sick after eating breakfast meant for Dana. We learn later that his heart pills made it worse. If only they knew about that, or about the fact that Adam also paid a neighbor kid off to keep quiet about his dog dropping dead.
After the funeral, Dana gets sick and collapses, and just as Ariel’s going to call 911, Adam appears and tells her not to. And somehow the mother is still incapable of understanding what’s happening. She tells Ariel to leave and let Adam take care of her. And Ariel does, but not before taking food samples, because she’s finally pieced together what’s probably happening. I swear, it’s like all the yelling I do at the television accomplishes nothing. Unfortunately when she has the food checked out at the vet’s office where her uncle worked, they don’t find anything suspicious.
Meanwhile, Dana finally realizes Adam is a professional creeper when she wakes up unable to see or walk and notices that he’s packing her suitcase to take her on a trip. A trip to a remote cabin, to be exact. I think I need to start keeping a running tally of how many remote cabins Lifetime villains use to do villain things. It’s pretty much every movie.
Meanwhile (Lifetime seems to be sponsored by that word), Ariel notices that Ben’s eye is bleeding. As somebody who understands how eyes work, she knows that’s not supposed to happen, so she rushes him to the doctor, who reveals that Ben’s eye problems were caused by a tuberculosis drug in his system that he doesn’t remember taking. What a coincidence that Adam’s mother died of tuberculosis. We quickly learn that Adam’s favorite pastime is drugging people, from his late first wife to his stepson to Dana to his dog. They discover the dog part when the neighbor kid fesses up and they test the corpse for drugs.
So it looks like we’ve got another Munchausen by Proxy movie on our hands. Ariel doesn’t understand what that is, so she obviously never watched The Good Mother. As always happens in Lifetime movies when the villain is mentally unstable, it’s not until the very end that Adam shows the true extent of his mental instability. We see a flashback to his childhood being raised by parents suffering from Cheesy Southern Accent Syndrome. And suddenly he’s talking with a Southern accent as well. Dana’s “WTF” face really says it all.
After conducting a rapid fire investigation like only a couple of Lifetime youngsters could, Ariel and Ben figure out where Adam’s taken Dana. When they get there, Adam tries to choke Ariel, but she’s a surprise badass who knees him in the balls and then proceeds to beat him up until the police arrive. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shout “You go, girl!” Even if it did take her way too long to fully realize Adam was a Creepy McCreeperson. And even if she thought Ben taking secret photos was cute. I’m willing to overlook it.
But really, these heroines need to watch more Lifetime movies and learn something.