Friday, April 21, 2023

REVIEW: 'The Last Thing He Told Me' - Hannah and Bailey Struggle to Make Sense of Distant Memories in 'Keep Austin Weird'

AppleTV+'s The Last Thing He Told Me - Episode 1.03 "Keep Austin Weird"

A clue to Owen's past provides a lead. Jake and Jules start piecing together how much trouble the Michaels family is in.

"Keep Austin Weird" was written by Jamie Rosengard and directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Hannah and Bailey pursue answers that can seemingly only be found in Austin. It requires Bailey going to the physical locations and triggering flashes of memory. Hannah aims to give her stepdaughter the space to remember the truth. It's still frustrating because all hope apparently rests on Bailey. The two seek to understand how the person they loved is now behaving like this. With each passing day, they grow more and more depressed over Owen abandoning them. They are less optimistic about him ever contacting them again. Hannah believes Owen must have a good reason. It's her responsibility to protect Bailey. That's the one thing Owen asked her to do. She also sees it as within her abilities to understand the man she loved. She's blindsided by all that was actually concealed from her. She looks back at conversations differently now. She realizes the extent of the pieces left behind that long showed the cracks within Owen's veneer. It's still not enough to offer total clarity. In fact, this may all be pointless. Bailey believes she and her father attended a college football game after a wedding. The church was within walking distance of the stadium. Hannah has no connection to this place. Instead, she's terrified when Bailey goes missing for a moment. That's the second time that experience has happened. Of course, it's made complicated by the viewer knowing the first actually happens later on during their time in Austin. Right now, Hannah has already booked their flight home. They may only spend another day here. That's the plan. It's not destined to play out that way. They uncover something that points to them needing to run as well. That's the daunting premise. The show is in no rush to offer clarity or kick into that high gear though. Instead, Hannah and Bailey still rely on technology to remain in touch with their loved ones. Jules and Max know this story isn't going to get any better. Owen may not be implicated in the scheme at The Shop. However, Avett is certainly trying to lay the groundwork for singling Owen out as solely responsible. Owen apparently worked closely with the CEO. And now, Avett tries to intimidate Hannah. He aims to deliver a message. It's one of potential strength as he flexes what little control he has left. He can't avoid his pending indictment. That arrives for him. That certainty is offered. He suggests he knows more about Owen's history. Hannah desperately asks everyone to provide any clues they have. No one may have the full story. That's the sad truth as well. It's up to Hannah to keep Bailey grounded and busy. Even that may be a fleeting task as the despair creeps in even more as time goes by. Hannah wanted a better relationship with her stepdaughter. She is given a direction to provide that support. It just comes out of their lives turning upside down. They are in this together whether they like it or not.

Fortunately, Hannah is candid with Bailey about the conversations she has. Again, communication is key. Hannah may not have all the answers. She may be projecting her hopes onto a teenager. That's the only direction she believes she can pursue. She trusts her instincts. She knows Owen well enough to notice how out-of-character this is. Everyone is confused. The answers reside in Texas. However, the likely church was under construction at the time Bailey would have been there. It presents as a dead end. And then, Hannah receives a call from Jake. He informs her how Owen and Bailey had no recorded lives before they moved to the Bay Area. They appeared from nowhere. Jake wants to deliver the news in person. Hannah couldn't stay still. He knows the importance of meeting with the FBI sooner rather than later. Hannah wants to know why a marshal remains interested in this case. Grady doesn't pursue Hannah and Bailey back to Texas. Instead, he keeps watch over the boathouse. He catches a man trying to break in. That may be the latest example of Avett trying to plant evidence on Owen. It presents as a convenient opportunity. But again, Owen remains guarded somehow. Of course, Grady also takes ahold of the opportunity himself. He breaks into the house looking for clues. He finds the cash hiding under the bed. That's the most damning piece of evidence so far. He's not caught by Jules when she makes her way over. Instead, Jake is the stranger in the home. Those two at least know each other. Grady's presence continues to be elusive. Hannah aimed to keep a tight circle over who knew where she and Bailey were. Of course, Bailey is openly sharing that information with Bobby once she finally calls him. She leans on that support even though their futures may no longer be aligned. Everything is changing for her. She admits that Hannah isn't as bad as she previously thought she was. Hannah is overly honest about how uncertain and afraid she is. Hannah shares her story to elicit sympathy and kindness from strangers. It absolutely casts Owen in a bad light. Hannah hasn't given up hope. That remains consistent. Bailey doesn't have the same determination. Instead, her life is falling apart. Hannah is given yet another clue that will challenge everything Bailey has previously known. Her life may be a lie as well. It's real to her. This is the way she has always lived. It's not the truth. That was teased from these connections to Austin. More family may emerge if Hannah doesn't honor Owen's wishes. The story back home has to be carefully managed as well. She could lose everything if she isn't careful. It's more than her life she has to consider. Bailey's fate also hangs in the balance at a time when no clarity is forthcoming. This is so outside normal that they can't even reckon with what truly may be happening. It's that insane to them.