Friday, May 5, 2023

REVIEW: 'The Last Thing He Told Me' - Hannah and Bailey's Fears Grow the Closer They Get to the Truth in 'The Never Dry'

AppleTV+'s The Last Thing He Told Me - Episode 1.05 "The Never Dry"

Bailey refuses to leave Austin until she finds out the truth.

"The Never Dry" was written by Isaac Gómez and directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer

Owen trusted Hannah to protect Bailey. That was the extent of the note he left for her. Hannah and Bailey both saw the importance of traveling to Austin for answers. They believed that was the only location that could provide clarity as to who Owen was. He suddenly disappeared. They realized how much of their lives were a lie. And yet, Owen left clues behind at home to provide these answers. Hannah simply couldn't access those memories while stuck there. The truth was apparently locked in a safe he hid in her studio. Again, he trusted her with every detail of his life. It's easy for Jules and Jake to put the pieces together once they know Owen's real name. He was protected by the U.S. marshals after being the star witness against his father-in-law. He found that courage after the tragic death of his wife in a car accident. He was running from these people because of their connections to the mob. And now, Hannah and Bailey are closer than ever before to these extended family members. They have no idea how much danger they are in. No one trusted them with that information. It was accessible to a point. They simply never pushed Owen for more details. He was understandably afraid of what the truth would do to them. He hoped he could delay talking about the past until Bailey graduated from high school. He didn't have that luxury. Instead, he wound up working for yet another criminal organization. The Shop presents with a different set of criminal behavior. Owen maintained his ethics of trying to do the right thing and provide evidence against those behind this criminal scheme. But again, those answers weren't forthcoming. Owen mailed his phone to Grady. That indicates how much trust he has for the marshal. Hannah never felt protected. Instead, she feared for her life. She and Bailey had to get out of town in order to avoid the pressure they faced. They didn't know what they would find in Austin. Moreover, Grady wasn't assigned to this case through his official responsibilities. Instead, it was merely a complicated case where he saw people struggling once more. That's a valuable resource. Owen trusts him. He arrives to carry Hannah out of danger. That's still not good enough. The timeline catches up to the moment of terror that started the series. Hannah destroys her phone in her hotel room. She then realizes Bailey has disappeared. The show provides no further context as to what happened to the teenager. Sure, the story explains how Hannah destroys her phone not out of anger towards Owen but because of the need to avoid being easily tracked. That's how the marshals found her so quickly. She and Bailey are easily identifiable. Hannah doesn't have the simple relief of finding Bailey right away though. Instead, that lingers as the cliffhanger.

Bailey believes she's close to finding her family. She's afraid about what that potentially means. She worries her father lied to her about these relationships. She's even hopeful that her mother may still be alive. That isn't true. Her death actually happened. Bailey doesn't know what to believe anymore. She spirals because she's a teenager. Her life has been turned upside down. It's upsetting and confusing for everyone. The pressure is simply more extreme on those who loved Owen. They feel betrayed by his actions. He didn't protect them from this harm. Instead, he left things too vague and ambiguous. Hannah saw how Owen pulled away whenever Bailey pressed for details about her mother. Hannah was left in the dark too. He didn't want his past to be exposed. He didn't want the people he cared about to view him differently. Instead, it was better for Hannah and Bailey to live in the bliss of possibilities. Owen's life was limited. He had to always be looking over his shoulder. Danger always found him. He didn't want that for Hannah or Bailey. However, he opened himself to love. Protecting Bailey was part of the calculus he had in asking Hannah to marry him. He had to believe in her willingness to look out for her. Hannah always thought about his daughter. She understand what it was like to grow up without a mother. She connects with her in that regard. Owen recognized that. He didn't see the trauma he would be inflicting on the two of them. It's because of the immediate sting of that betrayal that they couldn't see things clearly until days later. They had to take action themselves. They couldn't stay still and accept this massive change. They weren't prepared for it. Owen wanted to shoulder that burden himself. He didn't want to clip their wings. But now, Bailey is desperate for answers. She doesn't see how running away is the sensible option. She wants to explore for what to do next. Hannah and Bailey aren't safe simply because they return to the hotel. The staff know them. People can find them even though Hannah paid for all of this under an alias. She's comforting lying to get the information she needs. Hannah can go undercover at the bar. Bailey is immediately recognized as Kristin. She doesn't respond to that name. All it takes is that word to form a connection in her mind. The memories come back. That too is confusing. She needs to make sense of this. That's a grace passed onto Hannah. Jules and Jake present the truth to her. Hannah doesn't have the time to extend the same dignity to Bailey. Everything happens immediately. No one can wait to catch their breath. If they did, then they wouldn't be constantly running into danger. Most of the narrative is fueled by people acting without thinking first. That's frustrating to a certain extent. However, it's invigorating having the truth exposed. That doesn't destroy the narrative. It simply establishes the stakes for whatever comes next because Hannah can't get Bailey out of Austin in time.