Tyler Perry’s ‘The Oval’ Episode 4 Recap: "Rats Can Smell Poison"

In this episode, we find out that there is no member of the first family without some dirt on their hands.

We’re four episodes into The Oval and things are only getting more “scandalous” from here. Last week we ended with Richard and Barry struggling over Barry’s gun. The gun went off and we weren’t sure if either Richard or Barry had gotten shot. The good news is neither Barry nor Richard got shot, but the bad news is someone got shot, we just don’t know who yet. 

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But let’s take a step back, this all started when Richard went chasing after Barry to keep him from doing something stupid on his quest to get his daughter back from the Ragadooshi cult. When Richard found Barry, he was sitting in his car in the middle of an apartment complex. So, when they tussled over the gun, the shot that rang off went into someone’s apartment. By the time they calmed down, Richard told Barry to go home and headed back to his own car. Just as Barry pulled off we see a hysterical woman running outside screaming, “Somebody shot him!” 

That person is dead. 


Richard knew what was up, but he was also startled, so he drove off and said nothing. 

In this episode we also to learn more about the first son, Jason. In short, he’s a creep. He has been lurking around Jean. There was actually a moment when she was going about her duties in the White House, cleaning and picking up food trays, and he swiftly walked past her, but he was naked! This man ain’t right in the head, but that’s not a surprise given the family he comes from. Jean expressed her concerns to Priscilla, and Priscilla said she will look into reassigning a man to cleaning duty for Jason. 

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Later on, we sit down with the first family at breakfast, minus Gayle, who is probably holed up in her room. But we do get even more information about Jason. Hunter asks Jason how his first night at the White House was. He said his first night was creepy but makes a comment about knowing that his father’s first night was good. If you recall, Hunter had his mistress over for some fun. It wasn’t really a secret, but Hunter tells him he better not be “exploring” again, because this is a different house and the secret service is a different ballgame. Priscilla comes in to check on the family, and Victoria tells her to go check on Gayle and that she has permission to go into her room by any means necessary. 


When Priscilla does as she’s told, she walks in on Gayle taking naked selfies, and Gayle gets defensive. She is as rotten as can be toward Priscilla and even chucks a pillow at Priscilla’s face. Ya’ll, that pillow hit hard, and Priscilla amazingly remains calm and professional—when the rest of us would have beat that little girl’s ass! Anyway, Gayle asks Priscilla if the butler’s son is in jail yet and says he tried to rape her. But the other day she said he actually did rape her. Priscilla catches this and questions her about what she means, because she’s changing her story. Gayle is caught off guard and acts like even more of a snot toward Priscilla by making fun of how she speaks as a way to change the subject. Priscilla then says she has known Barry all his life and that he wouldn’t harm anyone. 

She then asks Gayle if she knows who Emmitt Till is. Gayle doesn’t know, of course, so Priscilla gives her the brief rundown and heads back to the kitchen (where Richard joins her to start his day). Gayle looks Emmitt Till up before finally joining her family for breakfast. Hunter asks how she’s doing and says they’re going to take care of the boy that hurt her. Victoria cracks up laughing at them both because in her mind, they’re both full of ish—and she’s right. One thing that’s clear by this point is that Victoria may be evil, but she is also good at spotting BS. 

Richard comes into the dining room with coffee for the family and Hunter gets heated, knowing who he is. He questions Richard about his son’s alleged actions, but Richard’s answer—and the fact that he has been bringing his son to the White House for decades without incident—doesn’t matter. Hunter fires him. 

Doctors work on Bobby.

Photo: Charles Bergmann/BET/Tyler Vision

Doctors work on Bobby.

At this point, Victoria and Hunter are alone with Gayle (Hunter kicked Jason out), and Victoria plays Jedi mind tricks with Gayle. She tells Gayle that everyone will know she’s lying, because the entire place is under surveillance, including her room, and that they can just play it back and see that she lied. That’s enough to get Gayle to finally admit that she did in fact lie. The thing is, there’s probably no surveillance in the bedrooms, so Victoria definitely won that round. She also demanded that Hunter bring Richard back on board, and Hunter agrees, but that doesn’t happen right away. We’ll have to keep watching the series to see how that plays out. 

Then we get back to Bobby, the man who Lilly shot. We find him passed out, bloody, and still handcuffed to a gurney after those possible doctors—or secret service agents pretending to be doctors—presumably operated on him. Kyle, the psycho agent, comes to check on him, and what we learn when Bobby wakes up is that Kyle and Bobby are working together for some reason. We don’t know why, but Kyle told Bobby not to talk to the other secret service agents who are questioning him because Bobby is supposed to be spying on Lilly and her husband for some reason. Kyle is definitely the mastermind, and whatever this is, probably has to do with Kyle’s obvious obsession with Lilly’s man, Donald. 

Finally, the episode ends with Barry and Mama Nancy at the police station. The detective has bad news. Ruth is dead. Barry is going to have to identify the body in person, but based on some pictures of Ruth’s corpse, and a definitive tattoo on Ruth’s shoulder, it’s definitely Ruth. The detective doesn’t know what happened to Ruth and has no updates on Callie’s whereabouts. So we’re left hanging again. 

This is going to continue into next week’s episode (and probably so on), but do you think Callie will be OK? Is Jason a sexual deviant? What the heck is up with Bobby?! Tune in to The Oval next week for more. 

Catch up on The Oval with our recaps from previous episodes!

The Oval Episode 1 Recap

The Oval Episode 2 Recap

The Oval Episode 3 Recap


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