Villainess Review: Jordan Smith (Waking Up to Danger)
Jealousy and obsession are the main motivating factors for the villainess of this 2021 Lifetime film
On the same weekend that gave us Malicious Motives and You're Not Safe Here, Lifetime delivered once again with this film, Waking Up to Danger, which kicked off the month of August. The film's central protagonist was Arianna Moore, though the opening minute clearly establishes that someone is out to get Arianna, as we get the ominous scene of a hooded and gloved figure cutting out Arianna from various photos of the Moore family, which also consist of husband Rick and young daughter Isabella. That same figure appears later on and tampers with Arianna's brakes, and shortly afterwards, Arianna gets behind the wheel and crashes her car.
The result sees Arianna comatose for three months, and when she wakes up, her memory is badly impaired. Among the things she does manage to remember is her best friend, Jordan Smith, who later appeared and expressed her elation over seeing Arianna awake. Jordan had been caring for Isabella in the months that passed, but as it turned out, that wasn't all she was doing. She was also having an affair with Rick, with the pair's verbal confrontation late one night confirming their dalliance.
After this, we quickly see that Jordan is the true villainess, as she was shown with the pair of boots worn by the hooded culprit. Again, another good case of the villainess being revealed early in the film, as it had me wondering what she would do next. And what Jordan did was unleash some verbal blackmail towards Rick regarding their affair, which allowed her to remain in the lives of his wife and daughter--as well as doing things such as tamper with Arianna's medication.
Arianna's memories began to come back, and one of them involved Jordan. As the scene uncovered, Arianna had suspicions about Jordan and Rick months prior and confronted the former, who denied everything. She also voiced her thoughts about Jordan being in Isabella's life to her mother, Lucy, who offered to take care of her granddaughter and give Jordan a break. Jordan just happened to overhear everything, and afterwards, the sinister madwoman decided to get Lucy out of the way by giving her a drink that was laced with a good amount of medication. Lucy felt the effects while driving and crashed, though she survived.
So we've reached the point where Jordan's insanity is turned all the way up to 11, and after Arianna revealed that she had been looking into her crash, Jordan approached her and attempted to blame everything on Rick--portraying him as a man who was obsessed with her while claiming to have turned down his advances. She later decided to take Arianna out of the house, only to give Arianna the tampered medication and reveal her true colors by voicing her immense jealousy of Arianna. Jordan stated that Arianna didn't deserve her husband and daughter, and later attempted to burn down the house with her former friend in it before picking up Isabella from school.
Rick ended up confronting Jordan, who revealed that she was the one who intentionally caused Arianna's accident. Her goal, of course, was to be with Rick, though she actually stated that her true goal was Isabella, who she wanted as her own daughter. Jordan shot Rick twice after he told Isabella to run, and her search for the young girl was interrupted by Arianna, who brawled with her psychotic former friend over the gun, which was regained by Jordan. Just as Jordan was about to kill Arianna, she ended up shot by a police officer, though the final scene revealed that Jordan survived and was arrested.
Waking Up to Danger aired on Lifetime on August 1, 2021, and featured Erin Boyes as villainess Jordan Smith. I absolutely loved Jordan; she was as twisted as she was delusional. Jordan falls under one of my favorite tropes: Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. This was a woman who, as the O'Jays famously sang, smiled in her friend's face--all the while, she wanted to take her place...and was willing to kill to do it. Boyes' performance as Jordan was immensely phenomenal; she truly acted out Jordan's obsession, manipulation, and most of all, her outright insanity to perfection. Which brings me to my favorite of Jordan's scenes: her last one.
I've said this before; I love those final scenes of the villainess either behind bars or in a psychiatric hospital, because we get to see what is on her twisted mind after her defeat. In the case of Jordan, IMO, it was the final stages of her mind unraveling. That scene where Jordan laughs maniacally but later sobs and scowls afterwards was absolutely perfect. In that regard, Boyes performed that scene wonderfully, as it truly showed that Jordan was completely gone. In fact, I would love to see a sequel where Jordan somehow breaks out of prison and attempts to go on an all out crazed vendetta against Arianna; that would be golden!
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About the author
Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy