Sunday, May 14, 2017

REVIEW: 'Mary Kills People' - Ben Meets Mary's Sister While Des Makes a Decision in 'Raised By Wolves'

Lifetime's Mary Kills People - Episode 1.04 "Raised By Wolves"

Ben gets closer to learning the truth about Mary, while Des reconsiders his alliance to her.

This is the first episode of Mary Kills People where Mary doesn't actually kill anyone. The case-of-the-week story is delegated completely to Des. But he doesn't even kill the guy either. He listens to a sad story about a guy living his whole life with cystic fibrosis and being ready to die now. But he doesn't actually give him the drugs. All of this is very important because it highlights the growing tension between the characters. This work is so important to Mary. And yet, she's incapable of doing it because she's constantly being followed around by the police who are just waiting to arrest her for murder. Meanwhile, Des' heart really isn't in the job. But he keeps going through it because it gives his life purpose. Without being in a good place with Mary though, he has the opportunity to spiral. That could do a whole lot of danger to these characters. Mary's safety may ultimately depend on how good things are between her and Des. It's a strong partnership for the show. And now, it's already being challenged by the forces conspiring to take them down for what they have been doing.

Of course, all of this is deeply connected to Mary's relationship with Ben as well. Last week's episode closed on the two of them actually having sex. It's an action that could taint this entire criminal investigation. It would create a reason to get all of the potential charges against Mary dropped. So, it's not surprising that the show keeps focusing on that dynamic. They will never be truly honest with each other because they are always working. They always have to keep their guards up because this could go awry at any possible moment. Ben is ready to pounce the moment he hears something suspicious and potentially criminal. Sure, it would be incredibly reckless of Mary to kill people by shooting them with a gun. That would immediately open a murder investigation into her actions. And yet, that's seemingly what Ben believes has happened when he hears a gun shot and immediately runs into the house that Mary has stopped by.

Instead, it reveals that Mary has a sister who lives close to her. That's an important family connection to give to the audience. It also allows someone else into Mary's world. Right now, the only person she can trust with the full truth is Des. Except she can't do that right now because she's angry at him for bringing Grady into their lives. Witnessing a murder is just one more problem that Mary has to carry around with her. She could bottle all of this up and risk having it all explode out of her at the most inopportune time. Instead she is able to confess to her sister. It's a release of sorts. She is able to share everything she is feeling because her sister grew up the same way. This hour reveals more about Mary's family and her past. It was incredibly judgmental of Ben to think that something had to have happened to Mary in her past for her to pursue this kind of dangerous and criminal work. The show ultimately makes that true in giving her a tragic backstory. Her mother had cancer and decided to kill herself by drowning. Of course, it seems likely that someone helped her in this endeavor as well. It's a secret that Mary and her sister are carrying around forever. And now, it has the potential to all come out simply because Mary is helping terminal patients die and getting paid for providing the drugs.

All of this also plays as Ben getting new information about the woman he has become obsessed with. He learns about her mother's death and what Mary's name really is. He can speculate about what happened. But he doesn't have any definitive proof that a crime has actually occurred. Plus, he may be revealing too much of his evidence to Mary. He even lets her know that one of her patients kept a journal about everything that happened. That patient also happens to be the son of a judge. That's a promising lead that Mary could follow up on. And then, Ben just keeps on talking. He sees it as revealing to Mary just how close he is to arresting her for this crime. But he hasn't done that yet. He doesn't have anything linking her to a death. He still just has speculation. He's determined. He may ultimately be successful. If nothing else, he is getting Mary to fear that she is a terrible person for helping people die. It's a cause that she believes in and has morals with. But now, she lets her true emotions out to her sister. She fears that her whole world will come crashing down because of this selfish desire to kill. She enjoys it. Of course, her sister helps her cope with all of this by pushing her into the lake. But these doubts may creep in again.

It seems like Mary is back on the right path and determined to hold true to her values. Meanwhile, Des makes a crucial decision regarding his future. He agrees to wear a wire in exchange for immunity in this case. He agrees to it because Frank is a much better detective than Ben is. Of course, it also helps that Des' heart really isn't in this job. He doesn't care about it in the same way that Mary does. To him, it's just a job. It brings him close enough to the medical profession even though he is no longer a licensed doctor. This hour does a strong job in revealing the pain and torment of Des' life. Initially, he seemed like the comic relief character in a dark show. Instead, the show has revealed how fun it can be when Des isn't around. That has allowed Des to become an emotional and grounded character as well. His world is crashing down right now. Mary has been a good influence on him. But he's still involved in illegal activities. He's willing to turn on her in order to protect himself. It seems like a selfish decision. But it's going to be a pretty self-destructive one as well. The uncertainty of the situation makes him want to get high again. It's painful to watch as he turns to Grady for heroin. He doesn't care about Grady wanting a cut of the business. He just wants the simple pleasure of getting high - no matter what the consequences will ultimately be. Odds are, they are going to be quite high.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Raised By Wolves" was written by Tara Armstrong and directed by Holly Dale.
  • Ben at least teaches Mary how to properly fire a gun. That may come in handy eventually too. Mary is arming herself because she doesn't know what's going to happen with Grady. He keeps showing up in her life. But it may be even more poetic, if she had to ultimately use the gun on Ben instead.
  • Grady didn't care what Mary and Des were using the drugs for in the early going - even though the penalty of selling them is incredibly high. And now, he wants a cut of the business. That will be problematic because Mary wants nothing to do with him. He may know too much for her to get away from him though.
  • There are consequences coming for Mary breaking the patient out of the hospital last week as well. They don't fully hit Mary and Des yet. But they are coming. Right now, it's just an internal investigation that affects Annie. She has to say that she doesn't even know Mary all that well.
  • This week in the adventures of the teenage daughter who is important for some reason. She yells at her friend for trying to sell the lethal drugs that she stole from Mary. They are destroyed in the process but it's clear that this story is building to some kind of tragedy at some point.
  • Des' lawyer also happens to be the woman who Mary's ex-husband is now dating - and who is also the mother of Mary's daughter's best friend. You can tell that I really know these character names, right? Either that shows just how limited the cast budget was. Or this is all going to be important in some way in the future.
  • Des got a guitar from the terminal cystic fibrosis patient. He may not ultimately help him die like he was suppose to do. But he still got this gift that could prove to be a smart investment. It could help finance his drug relapse. Or it could just be a lame guitar for him to drown his sorrows in.