Saturday, September 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Unbelievable' - The Legal Consequences Continue to Mount for Marie as Karen Pursues Several Leads in 'Episode 4'

Netflix's Unbelievable - Episode 1.04 "Episode 4"

After meeting with another victim, Karen and Grace reach out to the FBI for help connecting the dots. Marie finds herself in a legal nightmare.

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 4" was written by Michael Chabon & Ayelet Waldman and directed by Michael Dinner

The criminal justice system is a complete mess. This hour articulates that in numerous ways. It makes people always feel cynical about anything resembling justice actually taking place. Marie has been given a criminal citation for something her public defender says the police rarely charge. It appears as if she is being pushed solely because her story was picked up by the media for a little bit. Her name was released and the police had to appear strong. They wanted to prove that there were consequences for wasting their time. Everyone has mostly just accepted that she made this story up. She wasn't actually raped. And yet, the news once again releases details of an attack that are eerily similar to what happened to Marie. That is a huge wake up call for Colleen who immediately sees this as the reason to believe what her foster daughter originally said. She wants to fight on her behalf. She believes in her and wants to support her. However, Marie doubts that anything she says now can make her life any better. Instead, she just believes she'll get into more trouble if she comes forward saying that she really was raped. That's the truth at the heart of this depressing story. She was assaulted and it's simply easier for her to repress all of that. It's what she feels forced to do because the police didn't take her seriously and her support system all bought into that narrative. In her private moments though, this is absolutely devastating for Marie. She is paralyzed with any thought of reaching out and trying to tell her story. Again, the system is working against her. That's not how any of this should work. But it's the sobering reality for her. It may be easier for her to deny it all. But that doesn't ensure a healthy future for her to cultivate. Instead, it may only make her less trustworthy of any potential situation or relationship she is in because her gut has essentially become confused about this central attack. Elsewhere, Grace and Karen are so fiercely committed to this case. They continue to grow their investigation. They present with the sympathy and concern that any victim needs during this particular time as well. When they go to meet the new victim for the first time, they understand what she has been through and don't need her to walk them through it all over again. They know that that could traumatize her even more. That's not what she needs in this moment. It's the responsibility of the detectives to be respectful and considerate. Sure, it's still a difficult conversation where the memories of that night still have to come back. Grace and Karen still need any potential clue that could shine a new light on an aspect of the crime. But instead, they are still mostly just chasing leads hoping that something produces something fruitful. Karen sees the value in hanging fliers around the local campus to see who might come forward. That mostly just highlights how systemically troubled the world is as it perceives this issue. Karen and Grace understand that the police don't take rape as seriously as murder. It's much more casual to them even though it's just as traumatizing and could escalate into something much more lethal. This may be the first indication of someone who is capable of murder. The resources just aren't there to ensure that the criminals are caught early on. Karen wants to ensure that they don't get a new victim who was abused while the team was trying to narrow in on a suspect. Right now, it's frustrating for the team. They have hunches and potential clues that could be meaningful. But it's all a guessing game. That may suck some of the momentum out of the proceedings here. Karen follows up on one lead that proves that her suspect is likely a rapist. He just didn't commit this crime and has the money and influence to get away with several others. It's despicable but that's the sad state of the world. Grace may be more cynical about it all. She isn't surprised that forty percent of her brothers on the force have a history of domestic abuse. She sees that every day in how they respond to her simply for being a woman on the job. She doesn't want to present as part of a team of women trying to take down the men of the force. She sees that as the perception that could ultimately destroy this investigation. And yet, the idea that it could be a cop committing these crimes is the thought that keeps coming up. Fear of sharing that concern can be just as paralyzing because of the systemic oppression of women throughout the world in numerous professions. Grace and Karen are starting to fray along the edges because of the uncertainty of this case. That may open them up to making mistakes and causing pain elsewhere. That too is inherently tragic. It paints them as all too truthfully human. But that may not be reassuring to those who want justice for what happened to them or to the man just taking a drive with his grandson at night.