Amy is becoming increasingly anxious about the possibility of her identity being uncovered, and decides to leave the cabins. She happens to come across the video interview between Nick and Rebecca, which has now been posted to Rebecca's blog. Amy is surprised and touched by how warmly Nick speaks of her. As Amy prepares to leave her cabin, making sure that she does not leave any evidence behind, Greta and Jeff force their way in. During the time they have spent with Amy, Greta and Jeff have caught on to the fact that she hides her money in a money belt under her clothes. They steal all of Amy's remaining money.
Meanwhile, Nick is pleased to find that his interview with Rebecca has altered public opinion, and he is receiving more favorable press. Tanner, however, is angry with him, and Tanner tells Nick not to make any more media statements without consultation.
Tanner has decided that they will soon need to tell the police about the content of the woodshed, but he has first scheduled an interview for Nick with the popular talk show host Sharon Schieber. Tanner's plan is that Nick will reveal his affair with Andie during the interview, and then, before the interview airs, they will tell the cops about the framing theory. Tanner believes this plan will maximize public sympathy for Nick. Tanner, his wife Betsy, and Margo work together to help Nick prepare for the interview, coaching him on what to say.
Nick feels confident going into the interview, but right before taping begins, Sharon receives news that Andie has held a press conference, revealing that she was having an affair with Nick. Sharon is angry that the shocking news, which was supposed to be revealed on her show, has now been leaked. Nick and Sharon proceed with the interview anyways and Nick performs very well. He manages to appear charming and apologetic.
Amy is now desperate. She phones Desi Collings, and arranges to meet him at a casino. Amy knows that Desi is in love with her, and that he is attracted to vulnerable women. She tells him that Nick abused her, and that in order to escape from him, she faked her own disappearance. Amy claims that it never occurred to her that anyone would accuse Nick of hurting her. Desi insists on taking charge of the situation, and brings Amy to hide out in his lake house. Amy knows that Desi will become very controlling, but she feels confident that she can manipulate him. On the way out of the casino, Amy sees a televised press conference where Andie reveals her affair with Nick. Andie's statement is followed by a statement from Amy's parents, saying that they no longer believe in Nick's innocence.
After the interview, Margo phones to tell Nick that the police are searching her shed. When Nick arrives, the detectives are clearly disgusted by what they have found inside. Nick is questioned further by the police, and he insists that he does not know anything about the items in the shed. The detectives then reveal the diaries, which they believe to be an accurate record of Amy's experiences. In one of the diary entries, Amy describes symptoms of a strange illness. Both Nick and the detectives know that the symptoms suggest that Amy was poisoned with anti-freeze. The detectives tell Nick that they are now increasingly concerned about his involvement in Amy's disappearance. Tanner and Nick reveal that they believe that Amy is alive, and deliberately framing Nick, but the detectives find this claim ridiculous. The detectives also point out that the handle to one of the puppets Amy gave Nick is missing, and that this handle could easily have been used as a weapon.
Desi's lake house is very large and beautiful. Desi has ensured that everything inside has been decorated to Amy's taste, as if he has been waiting for her all this time. Desi gives Amy everything she needs, but is also very controlling and oppressive. As Amy watches the interviews that Nick gives, she finds herself moved and attracted to him. Amy thinks back to the happiness she and Nick experienced at the start of their marriage, and decides that she wants to return to him.
In this section, the balance of power starts to subtly shift. Nick begins to act more strategically and experiences more success, while Amy makes several miscalculations and becomes more vulnerable. Amy has tried to carefully manage every detail of her plan, but because of the sheltered, privileged life she has led, she did not properly calculate her expenses. She also does not realize how duplicitous other people can be. Amy is accustomed to thinking she is smarter and better than everyone around her, and therefore she underestimates Gretta and Jeff. When her money is stolen, Amy has no backup plan because she was so confident in the plan she had developed.
This desperation sends Amy to Desi for help. She knows this is a risk, but thinks that she will be able to control Desi. Amy believes this because she is usually very successful at manipulating the people around her. However, she underestimates Desi's controlling behavior, and also how few resources she has. Being around Desi also disgusts Amy because it forces her to return to performing: she has to act weak, helpless, and fragile. Part of the reason Amy changed her initial idea about killing herself is that she discovered she liked living in a way that no longer required her to perform a fake version of herself or meet anyone's expectations. While she was hiding out in the Ozarks, Amy could eat what she wanted and plan her own future. Moving into Desi's lake house offers protection and safety, but at the cost of that freedom.
Nick becomes more and more skilled at sending subtle signals to Amy through his media interviews. This behavior shows that Nick is also a very skilled liar. Paradoxically, he and Amy might actually be a good match in this sense. However, despite Nick's efforts, evidence is mounting against him, and he is finally charged with Amy's murder.
While from Nick's perspective, it seems like he has failed, he has actually persuaded Amy to return to him. By this point, Amy has no future options, and is increasingly desperate to get away from Desi. The contrast between Nick and Desi has made her see her husband in a more positive light. Amy realizes that despite Nick's flaws, he did not try to control her life. She also thinks, based on his interviews, that Nick has learned his lesson.
Amy's decision to return to Nick shows that even she is capable of being tricked and deceived. She believes what Nick is saying because it is what she wants to hear. She also has a very high opinion of herself, so it makes sense to her that Nick would be longing and pining for her. It seems that Amy, despite all her intelligence, is going to fall into Nick's trap by returning home.