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It’s clear something is awry at Tranquillum House from the premiere of Nine Perfect Strangers, and episode 4 of the Hulu series reveals what it is. After Heather (Asher Keddie) questions whether Masha (Nicole Kidman) has been medicating her guests, Kidman’s character admits she’s been microdosing the group with psilocybin. The twist doesn’t lead to as much of an uproar as fans might expect, but it does explain a small detail about the first four episodes.

Why did Masha secretly microdose the guests at Tranquillum House?

Nicole Kidman as Masha in 'Nine Perfect Strangers' Episode 4. She's sitting at the edge of a dinner table with candles on it. Her head is tilted like she's listening to someone talking.
Nicole Kidman in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ | Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Microdosing the guests at Tranquillum House is part of Masha’s protocol, something she believes will help them heal from the grief and trauma they’ve been carrying. She doesn’t explicitly tell them what the effects of the drugs will be, but viewers have already witnessed some of them in Nine Perfect Strangers episode 4. Every character from Napoleon (Michael Shannon) to Tony (Bobby Cannavale) seems to be opening up. Of course, her protocol has also sparked violence in the guests. In episode 3, Tony killed a goat and Carmel (Regina Hall) attacked Lars (Luke Evans).

As for her secrecy, Masha tells Ben (Melvin Gregg) that the group wouldn’t have gone along with her plan if she had asked first. Of course, that explanation doesn’t absolve her of responsibility. The fact is, Masha didn’t ask for the guests’ consent and that could have had dire consequences.

Regardless, Masha clearly believes the ends are worth the means. In fact, the final moments of “Brave New World” see her altering the guests’ dosages again — without mentioning it to them.

The twist in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ Episode 4 explains all the smoothie sequences

Masha’s admission about microdosing explains the characters’ odd behavior in Nine Perfect Strangers episodes 3 and 4. It’s very likely the reason for Carmel’s outbursts in “Earth Day,” along with Tony’s willingness to kill a goat. However, it’s not just the characters’ actions that make more sense after that twist. It also explains the smoothie sequences present throughout the series.

Since the beginning, Nine Perfect Strangers has shown short sequences of smoothies swirling around in a blender. It’s something viewers might have chalked up to the show’s setting, a wellness resort that requires fasting. However, the emphasis on the smoothies makes more sense knowing they’re the vehicles for enacting Masha’s protocol.

Depending on how her plans go, the smoothies could play a much larger role in the show’s ending than fans expected. Perhaps showing them so frequently is foreshadowing that outcome.

Will Masha’s reveal in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ Episode 4 backfire on her?


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With Masha moving the guests to the second step of the protocol — against Yao (Manny Jacinto) and Delilah’s (Tiffany Boone) better judgment — one has to wonder whether her methods will backfire on her. Kidman’s character already brought legal trouble to Tranquillum House with a previous retreat. She won that fight, but next time she might not be so lucky.

Now that Lars was outed as an investigative journalist, any malpractice can be brought to the public’s attention. Masha sees his involvement in her retreat as a chance to get publicity. However, she might regret accepting him into her program. Only time will tell if viewers should be eyeing Masha’s smoothies with trepidation. They’re definitely something to watch out for heading into the second half of the series.

Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 4 is currently streaming on Hulu.