February 12, 2021

What Lies Beneath (2021)

Summoning up stuff that’s usually hidden down deep.

Simón Prades

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.



A beloved drawing goes missing from Mr. Ablao’s third grade classroom. The class holds a funeral for the drawing, which accidentally unleashes a much bigger feeling than anyone anticipated. (13 minutes)

Act One

Through The Eye Of A Needle

Fewer than 40 million Americans have gotten the vaccine so far, which leaves a lot of people jealous and wondering what happens inside those little rooms. Producer David Kestenbaum talks to vaccinators across the country to find out. (10 minutes)

Act Two

Penny for Your Non-Thoughts?

For years, producer Lilly Sullivan has wondered what goes on beneath the surface in the mind of one of her good friends and co-workers, Diane. This week, she tries to get to the bottom of it. (11 minutes)

This was the story director Greta Gerwig gave to Margot Robbie, while Robbie was trying to figure out how to play Barbie. According to Vogue: "Gerwig sent Robbie an episode of This American Life, about a woman who doesn’t introspect. 'You know how you have a voice in your head all the time?' Robbie says. 'This woman, she doesn’t have that voice in her head.'"

Act Three

One if By Land, Three if By Sea

Firefighter and paramedic Sam Gebler gets a glimpse of what lurks beneath the surface of a sunny California afternoon. Producer Dana Chivvis tells the story. (13 minutes)

Act Four

Boiling Under

Lots of things go unspoken between family members, sometimes for years. We searched for a parent who had a question for their kid that they’d never been able to ask before. We found Ken Gethard, comedian Chris Gethard's dad, who had one particularly meaningful question he wanted to ask his son. This is their conversation. (6 minutes)