Tuesday, May 3, 2022

REVIEW: 'Shining Girls' - Kirby Pursues New Evidence in the Hopes That Dan Will Believe Her Story in 'Evergreen'

AppleTV+'s Shining Girls - Episode 1.02 "Evergreen"

After new evidence supports Kirby's theory, reporter Dan Velazquez weighs using her as a source. Kirby takes a closer look at the victim.

"Evergreen" was written by Silka Luisa and directed by Michelle MacLaren

Kirby can't answer basic questions about her life. That should make Dan question using her as a source. He already feels tentative about the relationship because they work together. When the story is finished, it will be even more difficult to verify and fact check every revelation they uncover. Kirby wants this anonymity. She doesn't want the people she works with to know about this trauma. The details are constant in her head. She knows exactly what happened to her. She recognizes Harper's voice the second she hears it again. She has absolute clarity in that regard. As such, it's understandable why Dan believes in her. She doesn't need to know every basic detail about her life in order to be of service in this way. She wanted to be a reporter. Working in the basement archiving information is the closest she could get to the profession after her assault. Moreover, the police didn't do a great job at investigating. They certainly operate with authority. When Dan visits the lead detective, the guy expects his credibility to be unimpeachable. He is inherently trustworthy because of his job. His word is sacred. Of course, Kirby has plenty of reasons to doubt him. He didn't do his job effectively. Plus, he treats her widely different than how he talks about her to others. In his mind, Kirby is a crazy person who has changed too many details about herself to ever be credible in connecting these two cases together. It doesn't fit the neat narrative the police have already made. They have a suspect in custody. Their work is done. They can pass everything on to the next phase of the system. Nothing should be questioned. It should all be taken as the truth because the police say it as so. Dan knows it isn't. He has questions for Kirby. He demands answers from her. She comes across more sympathetically. She has absolutely no idea what's going on in her personal life. Her relationships with Marcus and Rachel are completely different than what they previously were. She doesn't know how long she has been with Marcus. She doesn't know if he was important in the timeline of her assault. It's simply important that she was alone walking her dog. It was a completely ordinary activity. And then, she was violated and assaulted. A man cut her open and changed her life forever. She can never stand firmly in this life. Everything is constantly changing. That prevents her from ever obtaining actual growth. She can never recover because she is forever doomed to the uncertainty. Dan presents her with a new path. It's helpful and cathartic. It fixes relationships. It still doesn't provide much clarity.

Julia similarly felt like her world was being invaded. She called 911 numerous times. She knew an intruder was in her house. She was being stalked by polaroids seemingly depicting her in real time. She would see the picture knowing that no one could have possibly taken it. It's entirely Harper invading the lives of people he believes he has relationships with. He talks about what they mean to him. He has this entire backstory even though the women have no idea who he is. He is frustrated and upset with them over that. It's all a cruel twist of his own mind. What he wants is forever elusive. And so, he invades further. He demands more attention. That includes revealing himself to Dan. He isn't recognized as the killer. Kirby can only identify his voice. She only hears it in a past recording. She's not in the yard with Dan listening to Harper in real time. Everyone feels a yearning to be close to Julia's life. They think in death they can learn more about her life and the trauma she endured. She was assertive and confident in herself. That changed several weeks before her death. She knew something was happening to her. Harper acted with such bold confidence. He did so knowing that Julia couldn't do anything to stop him. He wields that power over her. It's an epic display of domination. It made Julia desperate and paranoid. Kirby can pick up the pieces. She sees the pattern. Dan appreciates that. They are basically working the case together at this point. That too could be very compromising to the overall reporting. It can't be treated as objective journalism because one of the writers has a vested interest in the outcome. Kirby carries the personal burden of this investigation. She seeks out answers because that may be the only way to find stability in her world. She wants to know what others think of Marcus. She only knows him as nice. He's her husband though. She gets that peak inside her life. She receives a glimpse into Dan's as well. He has a son. Dan can talk about him. And yet, Kirby has no idea what she wants or what she has communicated to others. She must believe trust exists with Marcus. That's why they are married. But the scope of that dynamic remains elusive. So, she puts her attention elsewhere. He knows she will tell him the truth eventually. That creates a passive storytelling figure. It all has the potential to work. However, it's also the show lingering on the peculiar details that create an uncertainty reality instead of offering anything easy for the audience to quickly grasp and cling onto.