Friday, September 13, 2019

REVIEW: 'Unbelievable' - Karen Reaches Out to Another Detective Who May Have a Similar Case in 'Episode 3'

Netflix's Unbelievable - Episode 1.03 "Episode 3"

As Karen and Grace Rasmussen compare notes on their cases, they consider an alarming possibility. In Washington, Marie's name is leaked to the press.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Unbelievable.

"Episode 3" was written by Susannah Grant and directed by Lisa Cholodenko

There is a more propulsive energy to the proceedings in this hour. The first two episodes delved into the gritty emotional trauma of the story and detailed the ways in which rape investigations have been conducted. They have been erratic with the ultimate verdict depending on who happens to be the detective assigned to the case. And now, Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall learn of each other's cases and begin working together. Sure, it's mostly an introduction of Grace to the proceedings as a woman passionate about getting justice for her victim. She is so determined that she is willing to just sit outside the apartment looking for any suspicious activity. That doesn't produce a solid lead though. In fact, it's only after learning that this rape could be one of many that some breakthroughs start happening. Of course, the show is very realistic in understanding that these leads often come from stellar minds behind-the-scenes who notice the clues. It's agonizing and time-consuming. Every lead may not pan out. Grace and Karen can grow frustrated especially with their colleagues also working this case. They need everything to function smoothly so that they can focus all of their energy on catching this serial criminal. Karen doesn't want to yell at her underling who just wants to believe that the lab results are coming. She does so anyway because she feels personally incentivized to do so. She may see Grace as condescending. But Karen is just as engaging and powerful in this world. Grace may have more years under her belt as a detective but Karen's instincts absolutely prove to be vital. Sure, it's frustrating when the technology simply doesn't exist to flesh out a lead fully. Karen is up all night watching security footage from the crime scene looking for any vehicles that may be following some kind of pattern. She suspects one white truck. And yet, no one has the capability to strengthen the resolution on the video so the license plate can be seen. Similarly, the blood samples gathered from Amber's face simply aren't enough to provide a solid DNA profile on who this criminal is. It's the same exact pattern for Grace's victim. Sure, there is the distinct difference in age. But that shouldn't be seen as a break from the pattern. In fact, it proves that this guy is smart because he preys on women who live alone and may be the most vulnerable. Plus, Karen suspects that these two attacks aren't the only ones he has committed. He has simply been smart by trying to beat the police system. He may be a part of the department or he may not. He may just be lucky and his efforts have fooled people for so long. It has been three years since Marie was attacked after all. No one is looking to her case as one full of potential clues that can help lead to an arrest. Instead, she continues to be victimized because her name is released to the press. Everyone seemingly turns against her in such a vile way. That's absolutely disgusting. It appears that she will continue to have to pay for what happened to her. That is sickening. She feels like she only has support from Connor. That may make her latch onto him more firmly than is healthy at the moment. It's the only thing she feels she can do in order to maintain her sanity though. That needs to be protected. She can't take this abuse forever. Grace and Karen are determined to catch this guy. But they also note how these attacks stay with the victims for the rest of their lives. It forever changes who they are. That's terrifying and may mean they are never capable of recovering fully. The detectives are trying their best. But they still have no meaningful leads. They just know that they need to bring more resources in because this is a case that is only going to get bigger in its scope. They find one additional victim. That may provide more clues. And yet, the fear is ever present that this criminal will attack again at any possible moment when the police are still struggling to build a case.