Sunday, September 15, 2019

REVIEW: 'Unbelievable' - Karen Makes a Crucial Arrest While Marie May Finally Get Some Help in 'Episode 7'

Netflix's Unbelievable - Episode 1.07 "Episode 7"

Suddenly faced with two suspects instead of one, the team races to ID the rapist and make an arrest. Marie's new counselor tries to win her trust.

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 7" was directed by Susannah Grant with story by Susannah Grant and teleplay by Becky Mode

The audience probably suspected that the two separate narratives were likely to come together at some point. There were always eery similarities between the central attacks. And yet, that's an event that occurs at the end of the penultimate episode. Grace and Karen understood that it was possible their serial rapist crossed state lines and assaulted more women. But they didn't know that Marie existed until she shows up in one of the pictures Christopher McCarthy had kept as souvenirs. That's absolutely horrifying. Plus, the audience still has no clue how Marie has been coping with all of this in the time since her storyline has taken place. She has only been seen in 2008 dealing with the direct aftermath of her assault and being forced to recant. She is finally getting help. That's the first sign that things may actually be looking up for her. Her therapy session is so essential because it highlights how Marie can learn and grow from all of this. It is disturbing and it is troubling. Marie is essentially resigned to become a better liar because she understands there isn't anyone in this world she can trust fully. People may always claim they want to help. But at the end of the day, their priorities may not always line up with hers. She has to be fiercely protective of herself. She did the right thing in reporting her assault right away. She wasn't treated with dignity and respect. Instead, she was made to question the narrative of what had happened to her. Only now in therapy is there a voice telling her that she underwent some form of trauma. There has to be some truth to her statement. With that clarity, she can better remember the precise details and actually deal with them. That's important progress. It's not progress that comes easy. Sure, the show basically has to explain this breakthrough in the scope of one therapy session. It starts off with Marie simply talking about the plot of Zombieland. That surprisingly has parallels to her story. It's ultimately a tale about survival with the weariness that comes from getting too close to her fellow humans. Zombies can't change their nature. Meanwhile, humans may always be predisposed to do horrible things to one another. That's what she accepts from life. It's hard to blame her for that worldview either. Her therapist articulates that she was assaulted twice - first by her rapist and then by the police. She can help Marie understand the tools of how to move forward with her life. But that's completely up to Marie on whether or not she can actually do so in a way that enriches what she hopes to have in the future. Answers are on the horizon. It's just going to be years before she gets any sense of real clarity. Grace and Karen have the evidence that prove that she was assaulted. There is the sinking feeling that if the police in Washington did their jobs and investigated this man would have been stopped before he could hurt many more women in Colorado. That's the true cost of the system breaking down. Grace and Karen have long been passionate about their pursuit of justice. Karen literally doesn't want to go home because she can sense that work still needs to be done. She refuses to make the same mistakes she did earlier in her career. Grace allows her to bask in the celebration of ultimately catching the criminal as well. Grace previously stated that the arrest was the one moment of this job that she celebrated and enjoyed. She couldn't praise any progress in an investigation because the case still hadn't been closed yet. But now, they move in for the arrest and quickly line up all the evidence they need to prove that this is their criminal. It's brutal but clarifying. They still have to see some graphic and uncomfortable things in order to pursue justice. But that's what they signed up for with this job. They need these answers in order to be absolutely sure that this is the man who attacked the women who came forward with their stories. They have a duty to all of his victims and not just the women they know about right now. But again, Grace allows Karen to have this win. It's the ultimate form of respect. She knows that Karen can handle the raid to arrest Christopher. Nothing should go awry. If it does, then Karen has the skills to handle it. Grace sees that and respects that. She has complete trust in Karen and her skills on this job. The rest of the precinct may only validate her after this big win but Grace sees who Karen is every step of the way. It's a wonderful portrait of a woman passionate about these stories and doing everything to find closure the right way. Grace has her flaws. She hates that she made her husband bend the rules for her. She is still growing. But that's completely her own personal issues to work out. At the end of the day, the expertise and respect for one another is what leads to a criminal in custody being charged for these numerous attacks. That is a job well done.