Who’s Melissa Saugrave On ‘Gypsy’? The Ex-Patient Is A Key Part Of Jean’s Past
Netflix's new thriller, Gypsy, keeps its secrets close, unpacking the tangled and enigmatic tale of a Manhattan therapist named Jean who becomes erratically involved in the lives of her patients. It's the sort of show that brings up a lot of questions but doesn't offer a lot of answers, and by the time its 10 episodes have finished, there's still plenty to parse through. One of the overarching puzzles is who Melissa Saugrave is — a mystery that never quite gets solved. Spoilers ahead for Season 1 of Gypsy.
Viewers are first clued into her existence when Jean's boss asks if she'd be willing to speak to Melissa's psychiatrist. He'd reached out with concerns about the stories Melissa was sharing during their sessions, and Jean's boss thought it would be worth explaining that her accusations were unfounded. But Jean quickly rejects the idea, claiming Melissa is too unstable and she'd prefer to maintain her professional boundaries (and the irony of such a statement shouldn't go unnoticed).
Later, while at lunch, Jean's colleague reveals that Melissa became so obsessed with Jean that she burned her own family's house down, saying it was her relationship with Jean that made her do so. Afterward, she was sent to receive treatment at an institution. But again, Jean dismisses Melissa as co-dependent and volatile. "Classic borderline, many factors," she says curtly, clearly uncomfortable broaching the subject.
Alas, we don't learn much more by the end of Gypsy's first season. It's mentioned that Melissa is doing much better and may be released soon, and in the finale episode, we finally see her in the flesh. She meets with Jean and tells her how hurt she was that she took out a restraining order and made her seem like a liar. Jean reassures her that she still cares about her, and that it just got too out of hand; she couldn't be a part of it. "No one understood. You know that right?" Jean says. She even makes a point to show Melissa that she's still wearing a bracelet she apparently gave her, even though she'd actually just dug it out of a box in her mother's basement. Melissa then tearfully explains how much she missed Jean, and they hug.
It's very different from the way Jean framed the relationship to others — making it increasingly apparent that she had more stake in what happened to Melissa than she let on. Throughout the series, she's proven herself as a calculating and manipulative person, and when it comes to Melissa, it's clear she wasn't the victim, but a puppeteer guiding her every move, just as she did with all of her patients. It's obvious that Jean has a long, dark, and complicated history, and so far, Gypsy has only begun to skim the surface.