If you thought the first two episodes of Lisey’s Story on Apple TV were confusing, I’m here to tell you this one is a little more straightforward, yet will still continue to confuse you. We have learned to expect the unexpected from the mind of Stephen King and this is no different. In the previous episode, Lisey (Julianne Moore) dives further into her memories of Scott (Clive Owen) and Jim (Dane DeHaan) makes an uncomfortable visit to the Landon home. In episode three, “Under the Yum-Yum Tree,” Lisey thinks back to her and Scott’s honeymoon and Scott’s childhood horrors.
DISCLAIMER: These are recaps and, by nature, will have spoilers. If you haven’t gotten the chance to catch up on Lisey’s Story, I highly suggest you do so! It can be found here on Apple TV.
TW: Self-harm, abuse, graphic violence, child abuse
“Under the Yum-Yum” tree opens as Jim gazes into the eyes of his Scott Landon cutout. It then jumps to Lisey, who, along with her shovel, is heading off to visit Amanda (Joan Allen) when Darla (Jennifer Jason Leigh) calls. The two bicker over Lisey’s absence which puts Lisey herself into a mood. At the Greenlawn Rehab, Darla tries to talk more with Amanda. She realizes that Amanda’s body feels different and in Amanda’s world, we see her diving into the pool of water.
Lisey arrives at Amanda’s with her shovel and the cops in tow. The officer shares what information they could pull up on Jim. It turns out a few years ago; he assaulted a professor with a pie for believing that the “Cult of Landon” was just another fandom gone too intense. Lisey recognizes that this pie was from one of his novels. Scott had tons of fans and most were harmless. But it seems like Jim, who shares an overly obsessed video with other fans, might be the worst of them all.
As the video is playing for Lisey, we get a glimpse into Jim’s life. How Scott’s books changed his life and how upsetting it is that Scott died. Jim goes on to say that if Scott’s other work could be found and published, he would win awards even after his death. The video just continues to show how obsessed Jim is with Scott and how he can believe that the “Cult of Landon” is his one and only person who truly understands him.
Lisey starts going through Amanda’s house, collecting the items Darla asked for. She finds Amanda’s stash of Oreos (and boy, is that a stash). She also finds the cedar box from Scott’s last bool. The same one she has been pressuring Darla to ask Amanda about. So instead of heading off to see Amanda and Darla, Lisey returns home to open the box. Inside she finds photographs of herself and Scott and one of Amanda and Scott with someone else ripped out.
Lisey also finds a postcard that takes her back into another flashback to their honeymoon. King really loves his creepy hotels. The two share lunch together before heading off on a hike in the snow. They find themselves at a clearing and cuddle together under a large tree. Scott shares with her how he has visions and that is what he uses for his novels. They also discuss Scott’s childhood and we get another flashback within a flashback.
A young Scott (Sebastian Eugene Hansen) watches as his father (Michael Pitt) beats his older brother. It’s pretty clear that his father isn’t all there and sees this mysterious bad in Paul (Clark Furlong) and what he refers to as ‘the gone’ in Scott. Their father keeps telling Scott to jump off the barn and uses the abuse against Paul as an incentive. When he does end up jumping, his father praises him for doing so. The three sit down soon afterward and discuss that what their father was doing to Paul is known as a blood-bool.
Their father believes that one day Scott will leave and never come back. Paul tries to tell him something and their father shuts him down. He knows what is happening and he isn’t going to let it. He truly believes that he is helping the boys. Things seem to be going better until Paul mentions that he can’t return to Booya Moon anymore. He doesn’t know why. Scott offers to take him there to get cleaned up, which prompts the dad to comment about how Scott must be a hotshot. He sends the boys off to get cleaned up and we see a tub of water overrunning.
Lisey tries to get more answers from Scott about his childhood, asking if his father drank. Scott blames all of this on the bad and that by cutting Paul and then himself, his father was able to release the bad. Regardless Scott truly believes that his father loved them. He then goes on to tell Lisey about the bool hunts he and Paul had. We see one particular one that Scott refers to as his favorite. How it went on for hours and how Paul gave him something to look forward to with every step.
Finally, young Scott finds his prize, a bottle of soda. He sits down with Paul and the two make a wish before enjoying the soda. Scott wants to bookmobile to return this summer, but Paul’s wish isn’t as wholesome. Instead, he wants their father to get electrocuted at work and die. Lisey tries to get Scott to open up more about Paul and how and when he died, but Scott struggles.
Water is filling up around them and finally, Lisey realizes. She beings to panic, but Scott tells her not to worry. In the next moment, they are transported to what Scott refers to as Sweetheart Hill. He warns her to be quiet. In the present, we see Lisey push back these memories like she doesn’t want to relive them. We return to the flashback and time jumps forward. We see Lisey and Scott back under the tree and the water is gone. In the car, they decide that when they talk about the trip, they can share how beautiful the snow was and how much fun they had.
Lisey also tells Scott that they will never talk about the stuff with his brother and where they went. She tells him that she can’t deal with it. It explains why in the present, Lisey is choosing to suppress some of these memories. Outside, we see Jim drive-by Lisey’s to find the police keeping watch.
“Under the Yum-Yum Tree” jumps back to Amanda, who is removing her bandages to find that all of her cuts have been healed. In the other place, we see Scott call out to Amanda. In the real world, Amanda wanders off and finds a pair of surgical scissors. While we don’t see her cutting herself, it is heavily implied that she is. What we do see is her back in the other world screaming out.
Back at Lisey’s house, she continues to go through the cedar box. She finds a crocheted piece with a tag that says, “Babyluv- Bunny will help you. Bool!” from Scott. It then jumps to Jim, who arrives at a barn. Using a car battery to build some type of bomb before calling Lisey’s house. He gets the voicemail and the only thing we hear is that he believes he and Lisey had an understanding.
At Greenlawn Rehab, Darla returns to check up on Amanda and is horrified about what she finds. It turns out our hunch was right; Amanda did use the scissors to self-harm. Lisey arrives outside and hears the commotion from inside and on Amanda’s arm reads, “help me, Lisey.” A bit later, Lisey, Darla and Dr. Alberness (Omar Metwally) visit Amanda’s room. He shows her where Amanda must have pushed her arm against the wall to make an imprint of the message.
Lisey asks Darla to grab the stuff out of her car. Outside Darla finds the Oreos, PJs and spots the shovel as well. Inside, we see Lisey spot a shovel in the fish tank. This shovel seems to invoke feelings in everyone. Lisey then sits down and shows the crocheted item to Amanda. She refers to it as a delight and knows that Amanda knows it. It turns out the piece was a part of an afghan that Scott used in his office. Lisey realizes that Amanda is the bunny Scott was referring to.
Amanda finally speaks to Lisey but can only tell her that she wants to come home. That Lisey knows where she is and that she needs to bring her home. In the other place, Amanda calls out that she wants to go home before being shushed by the others. She calls out to Scott as well, who shushes her. The screaming seems to have drawn what the others refer to as the long boy.
When Amanda stops responding to Lisey in the real world, Lisey becomes frustrated. She tells Amanda that Booya Moon isn’t real no matter what Scott made her believe. Lisey shares with Amanda that Booya Moon was a made-up place that Scott and his brother would go to when their father abused them. That it doesn’t actually exist and that Amanda is just stuck inside her head.
Back at the barn, Jim’s timer goes off and the sparks set fire to the straw around it. This draws the police officer who was watching Lisey’s home away. Lisey eventually returns home and gets a visit from Darla, who apologizes for how she has been acting. While the two discuss their lack of sleep, Jim arrives and finds his way into Scott’s office and all the unpublished manuscripts.
Inside Lisey’s house, Darla and her talk about the bool-hunt she is on. Except this one doesn’t end in a candy bar or soda but learning how to be alone. Lisey tells Darla she knows what is wrong with Amanda. That Scott’s influence on her was so strong that she actually believes all of these other made-up worlds really exist. Darla doesn’t quite understand, but Lisey doesn’t try to explain it.
In Scott’s office, Jim is packing up some of the unpublished manuscripts while Darla and Lisey chat over dinner. Darla shares that she actually read Scott’s books and understands this healing pool that Scott had written about. We then see a flashback to the day Scott was shot. He is describing Lisey, the monster that haunts the healing lake. The same one we saw previously.
Darla asks Lisey if she ever believed any of Scott’s stories. It seems like Lisey just might. We are thrown into the different flashbacks that are proving the idea that Booya Moon is real. “Under the Yum-Yum Tree” comes to a close as Lisey heads into Scott’s office, where Jim is hiding out.
Talk about a cliffhanger! I have got to know if Jim is still hiding out inside or if he will sneak out when she isn’t paying attention. He doesn’t seem to be scared of her, but he might run the risk of getting caught and losing out on what he already has. I am also curious if he has similar experiences as Amanda does. Has he seen Booya Moon? Or is he just obsessed with Scott’s books?
It has also become pretty clear that Lisey is blocking out parts of her memories. For example, we see the flashback skip over where Scott takes her when they are on their honeymoon. I don’t know if we are going to learn too much about it through Amanda, so we need Lisey to explore those memories. We also need more answers about Scott’s childhood. What else could they be hiding?
Episode four of Lisey’s Story drops Friday, June 18, 2021, at 12 am PT on Apple TV.