Before I Fall

by

Lauren Oliver

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Before I Fall: Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Sam knows before she even opens her eyes in the morning that her plan did not work—the loop has reset. She dresses and slides into Lindsay’s car, barely able to look at her best friend. Sam is angry—she knows that Lindsay is a fraud, and feels it is unfair that Sam is the one being punished when Lindsay is the bad driver, the mean girl, and the one who lied about being friends with Juliet Sykes and “tortured” the poor girl for so many years. Sam didn’t do anything—she was just following along.
Sam is no longer confused by the time loop, or even hopeful that she could possibly change it—she feels hopeless, ineffectual, and more than that, indignant at the fact that she is the one being forced to relive the day when Lindsay is the one whose behavior is at the root of Juliet’s suicide.
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Lindsay comments snidely on Sam’s outfit—Sam has rolled her skirt to make it shorter and is wearing five-inch platform heels and a rhinestone necklace that says SLUT. Sam is “in the mood to get looked at”—she feels she could do anything now, knowing that there are no consequences now that she’s dead. Lindsay comments that she can’t believe Sam’s parents let her leave the house looking the way she looks—Sam reveals that she had a huge fight with both of them, actually, over her outfit, and yelled at her mother for wanting to protect her “now” of all times. Lindsay asks Sam if she got up on the wrong side of the bed—Sam replies that she has for a few days now.
Sam is acting out in an egregious, over-the-top way. She knows that nothing she does matters, so she is taking things to the extreme, dressing provocatively and picking fights with her parents before the day has even really started. Sam feels abandoned by everyone who should be protecting her, and as the day begins anew, she feels like if nothing is going to change her fate despite all her best efforts, she might as well give up.
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Sam leans her head against the window and wonders how she is going to survive an eternity of Cupid Days. She plans to start cutting school, stealing someone’s car, and driving as far as she can get before the loop resents, running far away from her problems, and her fate, each and every day.
Sam believes that reliving Cupid Day for eternity is the fate she has been doomed to—rather than continuing to try and escape it, she begins planning how she can manage to live within it. 
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Elody gets into the car and greets Sam and Lindsay sunnily, but Sam does not return Elody’s happy energy. Elody tells Sam that she has something that will cheer her up, but Sam warns Elody not to dare give her a condom. Elody, already holding the condom, frowns, complaining that she got it as a “present” for Sam. Lindsay urges Sam to take the condom lest she turn into a “walking STD farm.” Sam mumbles that Lindsay would know all about being one. Lindsay asks Sam what she said, but Sam insists she didn’t say anything. Elody continues to press the condom onto Sam, but Sam feels that losing her virginity seems “absurd” to her now—like a distant plot point in a movie about someone else’s life. She realizes that nothing matters anymore.
Sam has realized that there are bigger things at work than the banal, quotidian concerns which once seemed so important to her. She has been so traumatized and so devastated by the disappointment of being unable to change her fate that something like losing her virginity now seems like a very faraway concern—she has called into question who she was doing everything in her “old” life for, and why. 
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Sam turns around and accepts the condom from Elody. As she faces front again, Lindsay slams on the brakes, not having stopped soon enough for a red light—the coffee in the cupholder nearest Sam splashes her thigh. Sam freaks out—she asks Lindsay what is wrong with her, and berates her driving, saying that “they could train monkeys to drive better.” Sam excoriates Lindsay for not caring at all for anybody but herself.
Sam has for years walked on eggshells around Lindsay, fearing that one wrong word or move could ruin their friendship forever. Now, knowing that nothing she does matters, Sam lashes out at Lindsay, releasing all of her pent-up anger at her best friend.
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Elody quietly asks Sam to stop. Sam turns on Elody, then, asking her why she never stands up for herself when she knows that Lindsay is a “bitch.” Lindsay tells Sam to leave Elody alone. Sam turns back to Lindsay and calls her out on constantly making fun of Elody for drinking too much and pathetically chasing the wrong guys behind her back. Lindsay slams on the brakes again, then reaches over and opens Sam’s car door. She orders her to get out, despite the fact that it’s freezing cold and they’re still over a mile from school. Sam turns to Elody for some kind of support, but Elody just looks away. Sam gets out of the car and Lindsay speeds away with the door still hanging open. Sam walks to school, telling herself over and over again that the fight doesn’t matter—nothing does.
Sam is frustrated not just with Lindsay, but also with Elody—and herself—for standing by and constantly letting Lindsay get away with saying and doing whatever she wants. Sam understands now that words and actions have far greater consequences than any of them realized, and she is frustrated by her friends’ inability to see how the ways in which they act cruelly to those around them or enable one another to behave out of cruelty are actually dangerous.
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Sam skips her first four periods, walking the halls without any goal or destination. She half-wishes a teacher would stop her and ask her what she’s doing—fighting with Lindsay didn’t satisfy her urge to do something reckless. She arrives at calculus, and Mr. Daimler jokingly—but inappropriately—tells her that it’s “a little early in the season for beach clothes.” Sam looks Daimler right in the eye and says “’If you got, it flaunt it,’” causing Daimler to blush. He asks Sam why she doesn’t have any roses—she tells him that she’s “over it.”
Sam is feeling reckless and wants to get into trouble. Crossing a line with Lindsay isn’t dangerous enough—Sam wants to do something really wild, and she recognizes the potential for drama and intrigue in her long-held crush on the hot—or, depending on how you look at it, pervy—Mr. Daimler. 
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Daimler returns to his desk and gestures for the class to take their seats. As the lesson begins, Sam fantasizes about kissing Mr. Daimler—until Kent walks in, late and disheveled, complaining about a printer problem at the school newspaper. Kent smiles right at Sam and heads for his desk. The Cupids come in just seconds later and begin delivering roses—Sam accepts her first three, and then when the blond Cupid prepares to hand her the rose from Kent, Sam tells her not to say the rose is beautiful—“it’s just going in the trash.” After the Cupids leave, Sam makes good on her word, and takes her roses up to the front of the room to toss them into the bin.
Sam is so over the false trappings of her high school and the pointless grab at physical emblems of popularity that she tosses her roses, signifying the fact that she has moved beyond caring about the banal little things of her old life completely. Sam knows that none of it is important, none of it matters, and most of all, none of it will save her life in the end, so there is no point.
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A few people gasp, and a couple girls tell Sam that she can’t throw out her roses—it just isn’t done. Sam tells the girls she can have them, if they want them, and watches them weigh the benefits of more roses against the humiliation of “dumpster-diving” for them. As Sam prepares to walk back to her desk, Mr. Daimler remarks that Sam is breaking hearts left and right. She asks if she is breaking his heart, and sits on the corner of her desk, causing her skirt to rise up. Mr. Daimler orders Sam to take a seat—she asks him if he isn’t “enjoying the view.” Sam hears Kent, in the back of the classroom, swear under his breath. Mr. Daimler tells Sam to sit down one more time, and she sits in Mr. Daimler’s chair, ignoring her classmates’ gasps and giggles.
Sam is provoking everyone around her today, seeing just how far she can push the envelope and how much drama she can cause. She knows that everything will simply reset the next day, so she might as well lean into chaos—at least it’ll give her some variety to live through.
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Mr. Daimler orders Sam to sit in her own seat, and she returns to it. Throughout the rest of class, people whisper and giggle about Sam and pass her notes which are alternately admiring (“You are awesome”) and cruel (“Whore.”) Sam almost feels embarrassed, but quickly remembers that none of what’s happening to her is real. Kent sends her a note which reads “You are too good for that,” and Sam, despite her bravado, finds herself feeling “something [she] can’t understand or describe.”
As Sam continues pushing the envelope, she ignores her classmates’ reactions—all except for Kent’s. There is something about Kent—their shared past, the latent attraction between them—which forces Sam to realize that perhaps Kent sees a side of her that no one else does. Even in this alternate reality where nothing matters and nothing remains, Sam, on some level, doesn’t want to disappoint Kent.
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At the end of class, Mr. Daimler reminds his students to study over the weekend, and sternly asks Sam to hang back and talk to him. After the rest of the class has left the room, Sam, alone with Mr. Daimler, has a brief flash of her memory of playing chicken on the road with Lindsay. She understands at last why Lindsay wanted to play—for the thrill.
Sam was never a goody two-shoes, but she always tempered Lindsay’s recklessness—now, though, Sam at last understands the dark impulse behind danger-seeking behavior, and leans even further into it herself.
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Mr. Daimler asks Sam what she was thinking, but she replies that she doesn’t know what he means—she asks if she did something wrong. Mr. Daimler tells Sam that she could get him in a lot of trouble. Sam approaches Daimler and tells him that she doesn’t mind trouble. Daimler asks Sam what she is doing, and what she wants—Sam feels suddenly that she has lost control of the situation, but she leans into it—she tells Mr. Daimler that what she wants is him.
Sam is playing with fire, but she wants to see how far she can push things with Mr. Daimler. Though there is a part of Sam that has long entertained a crush on Daimler, she knows that things are veering into very different territory now. She feels like she has gone into a nosedive and is unable to pull herself up out of it.
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Mr. Daimler hesitates, then walks up to Sam and begins kissing her, bending her backward over a student desk. Sam feels tiny and defenseless, and though she is fulfilling her dream of kissing her hot teacher, something feels wrong. All of a sudden, her recklessness isn’t fun anymore. She tries to push Mr. Daimler off of her, but has trouble—finally, she wrenches her mouth away from him, and tells him that they “can’t do this here”—though what she really wanted to say was, simply, “stop.”
As soon as Daimler kisses Sam, she realizes that something is very wrong, and that her innocent crush has now become something much more sinister, reflected back at her as clearly as it is now. Sam is finally taking action in her life, but she still hasn’t learned how to think through what she actually wants and how her actions will affect her and others.
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Mr. Daimler backs off of Sam, and tells her that what happened between them needs to stay within the classroom—he practically begs her not to tell anyone, admitting that he has made a mistake. Sam tells Mr. Daimler that he can count on her, and he sends her off to lunch. Sam is grateful that when she steps outside of class, she finds the halls empty. She takes out her phone to text Lindsay and tell her what happened, but then remembers that they are in a fight. She thinks about texting Ally, but she can’t find the words to describe what just happened to her. Sam drops her phone in her bag, deciding that she’ll simply tell Lindsay later, after they’ve made up. Sam puts some makeup on her face to cover the spots where Mr. Daimler’s beard rubbed her face red, and then heads to lunch.
Sam is exhilarated, confused, upset, and transported by what has just happened to her—it was so over the line, so completely out of character for her, and so reckless and dangerous that she doesn’t know how to process it. She can’t turn to her friends, though, for help—her recklessness has alienated them from her today, and now this decision has only pulled Sam further and further away from the “old” her.
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When Sam enters the cafeteria, she finds that her usual lunch table is empty—she knows she has been ditched. She ducks back out of the cafeteria, feeling like everyone is staring at her, and heads for the old bathroom at the far end of the science wing, where there’s hardly ever anyone. Anna Cartullo is in the bathroom, though, smoking a cigarette. Anna asks Sam not to tell on her, and Sam realizes that Anna is smoking a joint, not a cigarette. She sees Anna’s lunch spread out in front of her on the floor, and realizes that Anna must eat lunch in here all alone every day.
As Sam stumbles upon Anna in the bathroom, she sees her pitiful lunch setup and realizes, once again, the practical effects of cruelty. She and her friends have been complicit in perpetuating rumors about Anna, and as a result, Anna is so deeply ostracized that she does not have anyone to sit with at lunchtime. Sam’s actions are shown again to have reverberations beyond what she ever knew.
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Anna asks Sam if her high heels are hard to walk in. Sam insists she can walk, but cedes that she originally bought the shoes as a joke. She wonders why she is defending herself to Anna Cartullo of all people, but then realizes that “nothing is the way it’s supposed to be today.” Anna hops up on the counter and wiggles her comfortable steel-toed boots at Sam, telling her she should get a pair. Sam asks if the girls can trade shoes, and Anna agrees to. The girls are surprised to find they have the same size feet. Anna rolls a second joint, having finished her first, and the two banter about how Anna should bring some pillows into the bathroom and decorate, since it’s her frequent hangout. Anna jokes that she’d love to hang M.C. Escher prints on the walls, and Sam says that her father, an architect, owns “like, ten” M.C. Escher books.
Sam and Anna’s bonding over shoes and M.C. Escher has a symbolic weight. In switching shoes, the girls each betray their underlying desire to be more like each other, to understand one another, and even to switch places—the M.C. Escher paintings they discuss are real-life, famous drawings which depict uncanny scenes of endlessly looping staircases and inescapable mazes. The Escher drawings, then, mirror Sam’s purgatorial entrapment in the time loop.
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Anna and Sam smoke the joint together, and Anna asks Sam why Sam and all her friends hate her. Sam tells Anna that her group doesn’t hate her, but even she admits that her voice doesn’t sound very convincing. She admits to herself that “it’s hard to know what Lindsay’s reasons are for anything,” but she and her friends nonetheless do what Lindsay says and exclude the people she wants to exclude. When Anna pushes Sam to explain the reason behind their constant bullying of her, Sam, slightly buzzed off the joint, replies, “I guess you need to take things out on somebody.”
Sam confesses to Anna that, although Lindsay and their group don’t hate Anna, their systematic dismantling of her reputation has been driven by something even worse than hatred: their own insecurity. In a way, this makes their behavior even crueler. Sam implies that every social hierarchy is only able to exist because the people at the bottom balance out those at the top—popular people need scapegoats and punching bags, and that balance is needed to perpetuate the harmful structure.
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The bell rings, and Anna jumps up, exclaiming that she has somewhere to be. She knocks over her stash of rolling papers and Sam helps her collect them all up off the ground, remarking as she does that Anna had better hurry—she doesn’t want to keep Alex waiting. Anna asks Sam how she knew that she was going to meet Alex, and Sam quickly improvises, saying that she’s seen Anna and Alex smoking by the tennis courts. Anna asks Sam not to tell anybody, but Sam finds the idea of ratting out Anna Cartullo after what she herself has just done with Mr. Daimler hilarious. She begins laughing, as the absurdity of everything begins to hit her. Once she settles down, Sam confesses what happened with Mr. Daimler to Anna. Anna tells Sam that Mr. Daimler is sick and a pervert, and then turns to go.
Sam, needing to confide what has happened to her to someone, chooses Anna Cartullo—perpetuating the sort of randomness she herself had admitted to in the previous passage. Anna is there, so Anna gets the information—friendship and loyalty are revealed through this to be much more about circumstance than anything else, just as the “origin story” of Lindsay and Sam’s friendship, outlined earlier, proved as well.
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Sam tells Anna that she’s too good for Alex, and Anna jokingly replies that Sam is too good for Mr. Daimler. After Anna leaves, Sam stays in the bathroom, very stoned. She spots two cigarettes on the floor and picks them up. The bathroom door opens and Sam, assuming Anna is coming back, holds the cigarettes up. It is Ms. Winters, though; she reminds Sam menacingly that smoking on school property is forbidden.
Sam and Anna, who have torn each other down for years and years due to the arbitrary structures which divide them, now share a tender and real moment in which they lift one another up.
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Sam gets off with a warning after she threatens Ms. Winters with revealing her relationship with Mr. Shaw. She leaves Ms. Winters’s office just as the last bell rings, and begins searching the throng of students for Lindsay. She exits the building and searches the parking lot just in time to see Lindsay’s Range Rover tearing off campus without her. Sam realizes she has no ride, and thinks about how despite being “really popular,” she doesn’t have very many friends.
Sam uses the knowledge she has gained on other days of the loop in order to help herself out of a tricky situation—it is not necessarily moral, but it works for Sam, demonstrating her allegiance to her own trajectory and safety above all else.
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Sam hears someone calling her name—she turns around to see three girls coming toward her. Tara Flute, Bethany Harps, and Courtney Walker are a trio of friends Lindsay refers to as “the Pugs,” because they are pretty from far away and ugly up close. Their de facto leader, Tara, asks Sam what she’s up to, and they invite her to the mall to go shopping with them—later, Tara says, they’re all going to Kent’s party. Sam, not wanting to go home or to Rob’s and knowing she won’t be welcome at Ally’s, agrees.
Lindsay’s cruel nickname for the Pugs paints them as undesirable hangers-on, but nonetheless, Sam is desperate for attention, company, validation—and something to do as she waits for this fourth day of the loop, at once strange, thrilling, dark, and boring, to at last come to an end.
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On the drive to the mall, Sam tells the Pugs all about Ms. Winters and Mr. Shaw, and how she leveraged her knowledge of their affair to get out of detention. The girls listen to her story rapturously, and Sam feels a renewed burst of confidence. Sam asks Tara if they can stop at Sam’s house on the way, and Tara agrees. At Sam’s house, she sneaks into the kitchen through the back door and steals her mother’s credit card from her purse, which is in the mudroom. Her mother is upstairs, in the shower, and before she gets out and comes down, Sam slips back out the kitchen door and runs to Tara’s car.
Though Sam clearly looks down up on the Pugs, she still longs to impress them—because she longs for the validation which she knows they will give her no matter what she does. Sam is realizing that high school is a lot like the time loop and always has been—sometimes, her actions just don’t matter, as her popularity will allow her to get away with almost as much as the time loop does.
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At the mall, Sam takes herself on a shopping spree. At Bebe, she buys herself a three-hundred-dollar dress, and forges her mother’s signature on the receipt. When Courtney remarks how lucky Sam is to have a credit card, Sam boasts that she stole it from her mother. The girls all think Sam is cool for doing so. At the MAC store, Sam gets a full-on makeover. At Neiman Marcus, Sam tries to buy a faux-fur shrug and a pair of earrings, but the saleswoman asks to see her I.D. Sam remembers that she has her membership card to her mother’s gym, which only has her last name and her initials printed on it: “Kingston, S.E.,” it reads, and Sam explains that E stands for Ellen—her mother’s name—and the S stands for an obscure German name. The saleswoman begrudgingly processes the transaction while Courtney, Beth, and Tara look on in awe.
Sam continues her streak of recklessness and defiance, knowing that racking up an insane bill on her mother’s credit card won’t actually hurt anyone—it’ll all reset tomorrow. Sam is leaning into her basest desires throughout the day—for cruelty, for sex, and now for material indulgence—knowing on some level that even giving into these impulses won’t ever satisfy her.
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As the girls pull out of the parking lot at the mall, they all gush about how “awesome” Sam is. As they leave the lot, they see a group of four guys driving next to them—when Tara remarks that the guys are “so hot,” Sam lifts her shirt and flashes them, and then Tara guns the gas pedal. Sam cannot believe the irony of the fact that this is what it’s like to be dead. 
Sam is beginning to get sick of her choice to behave recklessly today—she is almost disappointed in the fact that nothing she does matters or will stick, and that none of her actions have any repercussions even when they are outlandish and dangerous.
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At Tara’s house, the girls help Sam put on her fancy new clothes and accessories. Sam is amazed by how old she looks, and how different. After everyone’s ready for the party, Sam takes the girls out to an expensive French restaurant, and they order a bottle of fancy wine—no one asks for their IDs, and the girls get drunk quickly. As the girls prepare to leave the restaurant, Sam sees that she has gotten an angry text from Rob, asking where she is, and whether she remembers that they had plans tonight. Sam texts Rob back, telling him she’s on her way.
Sam doesn’t really like these girls, but because nothing matters, she is happy to go through the motions of friendship with them and treat them to a dinner. They are all she has right now, and, as Sam is terrified of being alone, being in the company of the Pugs is better than nothing.
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Sam and the Pugs arrive at the party—Rob spots Sam almost immediately and pushes his way toward her, pinning her against a wall. Rob tells Sam that she looks hot, and offers her a beer. He notices that Sam is still wearing Anna Cartullo’s shoes—he tells her they don’t look like her, and Sam retorts that Rob doesn’t know everything about her. Rob brings Sam a beer, and she starts to head upstairs with him. On the staircase she collides with Kent, who starts talking to her—he tells her to stay away from Daimler, who is a “dirtbag.” He insists that Sam is too good for all that. Sam reacts defensively, saying she doesn’t need to explain anything to Kent—they’re not even friends.
Sam resists Rob’s advances, realizing more and more that it is true that he doesn’t know her at all—he knows the version of herself she has presented to him in order to make herself seem cooler and more attractive, but ultimately less than the sum of all that she is. When Sam runs into Kent, he validates her latent feelings even as he calls her out for stooping lower than she should—though Kent is right, Sam grows defensive.
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Kent, disappointed, tells Sam that everyone’s right about her. Sam berates Kent for pretending he’s better than anyone else and says she’s sure he does bad things, too. As soon as the words are out of her mouth, though, she knows it’s not true. Sam tells Kent that the fact that she can’t be like him isn’t her fault—she just doesn’t see the world the way he does, and she can’t be fixed. She meant to say “it” can’t be fixed, meaning her worldview, but the words came out wrong, and now she is about to cry. Kent tells Sam that she looks beautiful with her hair down, and insists tenderly that she doesn’t need to be fixed.
Sam and Kent have a tense moment in which Sam attempts to posture against Kent and bring him down to her level. Kent responds with empathy and kindness, though, realizing that piling on Sam will do no good when she is obviously so confused, ambivalent, and insecure about her own actions, motivations, and personality.
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The moment is ruined when Tara bounds up the stairs and pulls Sam back down to get some liquor—they come to a door which is covered in signs that ask people to stay out, urging them to drink instead of going in. Tara opens the door, anyway—Courtney and Beth are inside the dining room, raiding Kent’s parents’ liquor cabinet. As Sam takes in the massive dining room and thinks about how beautiful the house must look in the daytime, Tara shatters a vase. The girls scurry from the dining room into the kitchen, and Sam’s stomach “jumps into her throat” as she spots Lindsay.
Sam is not really enjoying spending time with these new friends, the Pugs, as they ignore Kent’s signs begging people to stay out of his dining room and drunkenly desecrate his parents’ things. Sam both longs for Lindsay and is afraid to have to encounter her again.
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Sam recounts a story from last year: Lindsay went to visit her stepbrother at NYU, and when she returned from the trip, she was acting cruel and on edge, making fun of Elody, Ally, and Sam constantly. Sam knew something bad must have happened in New York, but none of the girls pressed the issue—“you don’t push things with Lindsay,” Sam says.
As Sam begins recounting a story from her past, she reveals that the unseen, unspoken rules about how to relate to and handle Lindsay have been in place for a long time—now, Sam has broken them, and she is facing the consequences.
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One night, toward the end of the school year, the four girls went out to a Mexican restaurant where the waiters never card to eat and drink margaritas. Lindsay would barely touch her food, and halfway through the meal she blurted out the fact that she had drunkenly lost her virginity in New York to a random guy at a party. Sam knew as soon as Lindsay finished recounting the story that their group would file it away “under Things We’ll Never Talk About.” After confessing to her friends, Lindsay loosened up and ate and drank heartily. Lindsay paid for everything with her mother’s credit card at the end of the meal and then went off to the bathroom to fix her makeup. Sam followed her in and found Lindsay kneeling in front of the toilet, purging her meal.
Sam’s recollection of a tense, painful night in her and Lindsay’s friendship reveals the depths of Lindsay’s inner pain and insecurity. Sam is one of the only people who has witnessed Lindsay at her lowest of lows, and this gives Sam a kind of power over Lindsay—a power which she has never exerted, and which she has repeatedly denied even exists. Despite having witnessed Lindsay being vulnerable, Sam still has a hard time accepting that her shiny, gorgeous, fierce best friend is just as lonely, frightened, and fallible as any of their classmates.
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Lindsay insisted she’d just eaten too fast, but Sam had no idea whether or not Lindsay was telling the truth. After the girls were done at the restaurant, they went to a party, where Lindsay kissed Patrick for the first time—months later, after she had sex with him for the first time, she recounted it to Sam, Elody, and Ally as if it had been her first time ever. The girls pretended along with Lindsay “to make her happy,” knowing that she would have done the same for them.
Sam reflects on the ways in which she has helped Lindsay to live in denial about her choices and her failures—it is almost pathological, the ways in which the girls have aided Lindsay in creating a series of myths about her own life which allow her to live with herself, as she remakes herself in an image she can stomach. 
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Back at the party, Sam has lost track of Lindsay, Elody, and Ally. She’s been drinking for an hour since she first saw them, and at last decides to make her way upstairs to find Lindsay. The two of them make eye contact, but Lindsay does not approach Sam—Ally does. She tells Sam that Lindsay is upset about what happened that morning. Sam urges Ally to agree with her about how mean Lindsay is, asking her to admit that it’s true. Ally insists that it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s true—the four of them belong to one another. Ally advises Sam to tell Lindsay she’s sorry, but Sam tells Ally that she’s not sorry. At that moment, Ally fixates on a spot over Sam’s shoulder—Sam feels time seem to freeze, and when she turns around, she spots Juliet Sykes in the doorway. 
Despite all the calamity which has occurred between Sam and Lindsay today, Ally insists that there is still a way to make things right—she urges Sam to cast her pride aside and be a good friend to Lindsay, despite all of her shortcomings. Best friends keep each other’s secrets and love each other no matter what—Sam is struck by the truth of this statement, but is still unable to kowtow to Lindsay anymore for fear of being complicit in the mechanism which keeps people like Lindsay in power while people like Juliet suffer.
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Sam feels she cannot watch this moment unfold yet again. She stumbles through the crowd of people now taking note of Juliet’s presence—she notices that Juliet’s eyes are locked on Lindsay, and realizes it is Lindsay whom Juliet hates the most. As Sam pushes past Juliet, Juliet puts a hand on Sam’s wrist and tells her to wait, but Sam refuses, making her way down the hall. She runs straight into Rob, who is drunk. Sam urgently tells him that she wants to leave, but Rob insists on smoking a cigarette first. In response, Sam kisses Rob passionately, and the two of them begin staggering down the hallway. As Sam hears the crowd upstairs begin chanting “Psycho” over again, she tells Rob that they need to find a room—she just wants to attempt to shut out the calamity upstairs.
Sam has watched Juliet’s cruel humiliation so many times, and has participated in it herself again and again. She doesn’t want to be a part of it anymore, and doesn’t even want to bear witness to it, so she seeks oblivion anywhere she can—even with Rob, for whom her feelings are ambivalent at best and repulsed at worst.  
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Rob drags Sam into a dark room, and the two of them begin making out on the bed. Sam can still hear the chanting upstairs, and she kisses Rob harder and begins undressing herself. Rob asks Sam if she’s sure she’s ready, but she just continues kissing him, removing his jacket and shirt. After a while Rob gets quiet, and Sam is concerned—normally he is the one who is in charge of things any time they are hooking up. After a moment, Sam realizes that Rob has fallen asleep. Disappointed, Sam feels around in the darkness for her clothes, dresses, and slips back out into the hallway—the party has returned to normal, and Juliet Sykes is gone.
Rob is a disappointment to Sam yet again—she longs to lose herself in him and just give in to what he wants in order to escape the hellish spectacle going on outside the room, but Rob is incompetent, even after all his pressuring of Sam and his repeated insistence with regards to his desire for her.
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As Sam moves through the party, people give her suspicious looks, and one girl snidely warns Sam that her dress is unzipped. Sam ignores all the taunts that come her way as she roams through the halls, making her way to a part of the house which Kent has deemed off-limits to partygoers. The living room is dark, and one wall is almost completely windowed. Sam sits down in the moonlight-streaked room and begins to sob. After several minutes, she becomes aware that someone else is in the room—she turns around and sees Kent behind her. He asks Sam if she’s okay, and if she wants to talk about anything. Sam asks for a glass of water, and Kent fetches her one.
Sam feels isolated both physically and emotionally—the choices she has made today and the reckless ways in which she has behaved are finally catching up to her. Though Sam knows her choices won’t stick when the loop resets, this, too, is an isolating thing to know, and as the weight of all of this knowledge comes tumbling down on her, she breaks down and cries, only to be seen by the one person who always makes a point of trying to see her: Kent.
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Sam apologizes for coming back to the living room despite the do-not-enter signs, but Kent insists the sign was for “other people.” Sam asks Kent why he threw his first party now, and Kent confesses that he thought if he had a party, Sam would show up. Sam doesn’t know what to say, and instead comments on how much light the room must get during the day. She then apologizes for being cruel to Kent earlier, and then tells him she should go. Kent asks if Sam is sure she’s okay, and Sam confesses that she doesn’t want to go home. Kent doesn’t ask why, but offers to let Sam stay in one of his guest bedrooms. Sam accepts his offer, and Kent reaches out his hand. Sam takes it.
Sam is touched and astounded by the realization that so much of Kent’s actions have revolved around her—there is something between them after all these years, which Sam has purposefully been ignoring and suppressing in order to live the cool, popular life she always dreamed of. Kent has remained steadfast, though—his loyalty towards her has been the one constant in all the chaos she’s endured these last several days.
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Kent leads Sam through his giant house to a secluded guest room where the sounds of the party completely fade away. Kent guides Sam to the bed and tucks her in. As he crouches over Sam, she feels a “spark” inside of her. Kent secures the blankets around Sam’s shoulders “like he’s been putting [her] to bed every night of [her] whole life.”
The tenderness that Kent shows Sam in this moment is the first good thing that has happened to her all day—and the first real moment of peace she’s felt since the time loop began. Her relationship with Kent feels easy and natural, as opposed to the constant social posturing and pretending that goes on between Sam and her “real” friends.
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