We begin in 1974 and see a woman brutally murdered in a hospital, cut open like the others. Then we are in 1984 and there’s a woman murdered in a parking lot, cut open like the others. Then we are in 1986 and there’s a patch of blood on the beach, police are there, so is Harper, Jamie Bell (“6 Days”, “Rocketman”).
He makes his way to the hospital and finds Amy Brenneman (“Sweet Girl”, “Goliath (TV)”), Sharon / Kirby Mazrachi’s, Elisabeth Moss (“The Invisible Man”, “The Square”), mom. She’s desperately trying to find out what is happening but the doctors aren’t telling her anything.
Harper tries to use the noise she’s making to get into intensive care but is told it’s a restricted area. He sits next to Sharon / Kirby’s mum and talks to her, causes her to make an even bigger scene which gets him where he needs to be. He finds Sharon / Kirby, in bed, tubed up, badly beaten.
Dan Velazquez, Wagner Moura (“Narcos (TV)”, “Sergio”), gets the green light on the story from his editor Abi, Erika Alexander (“Black Lightning (TV)”, “Wu-Tang: An American Saga (TV)”), she also gives him some help.
Sharon/Kirby tells Dan what she found out about the key, that it was from a woman who lost it a few weeks back. Naturally, he doesn’t believe her, how can a photo from 20-something years ago have a key in it that someone lost a few weeks ago? He sends her on an errand and her husband Marcus, Chris Chalk (“Perry Mason (TV)”, “Godzilla vs. Kong”), tags along.
Sharon / Kirby and Marcus are picking up the recordings that Julia Madrigal, Karen Rodriguez (“The Big Leap (TV)”, “Chicago Fire (TV)”), had made of Harper and her talking to each other. Someone has been trying to isolate various parts of it for them.
She asks to listen to one in particular and they realise that he’s playing a recording down the phone. But not just any recording, he’s playing what she’s about to say, before she’s said it. Sharon / Kirby remembers the same thing happening to her.
Harper meanwhile breaks into a house but whilst he’s expecting to find Sharon / Kirby in there he actually just finds a man who doesn’t know anyone called Sharon. Harper is confused.
Dan is trying everything to come up with a link between all of the victims they know about but failing. That is until he visits one of the victims ex and he finds some trinkets that match what’s in one of the photos. He shows it to the ex and she confirms it was the victims.
Whilst there’s no direct link between the victims, the killer is linking them himself. Taking something from one and leaving it another.
Back at the paper and Sharon / Kirby tells Dan and Abi that the story should lead with her, she says they can have everything, police reports, the works. Abi tells her they won’t be able to keep her name secret if they do this, she agrees.
Sharon / Kirby goes back to see Jin-Sook, Phillipa Soo (“Dopesick (TV)”, “The Bite (TV)”), the woman from the planetarium, Harper follows her. Jin-Sook hasn’t been receiving any weird phone calls, nothing untoward has been happening.
Sharon / Kirby leaves and goes back to the laundrette that, according to the matchbook left in her after the attack, is meant to be a bar. The laundrette has closed down and work is going on, she breaks in and finds a box of matchbook’s exactly like the one left in her.
Then Harper arrives. He says she looks different, he says he went to her house but she wasn’t there, asks her when she moved. She suddenly seems to remember him. He was the one who gave her the Pegasus when she was a young girl, the scene we saw back in episode one. They fight.
Another brilliant episode of Shining Girls, full of mystery and intrigue, but yet each episode has its own mini-payoff and you always feel like you are moving towards the final solution, whatever that may be.
Moss is perfect as Sharon / Kirby, there’s just enough fight and scared and confused in her to be more than believable whilst Bell is quietly, almost unassumingly menacing throughout.
29th April 2022
THE QUICK SELL
Harper (Jamie Bell) appears to have something to do with the murders both Kirby and Dan are investigating, despite them taking place over many years and his appearance not changing.
TV / STREAMING PLATFORM