Tell Me Your Secrets (2021)
Lily Rabe, Amy Brenneman, Hamish Linklater.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Follows the lives of three individuals, all with pain and mysteries in their past. A grieving mother whose daughter is missing and has dedicated her life to finding answers. A young woman in witness protection who is a possible suspect with memory loss. A former predator who has been hired to hunt her down.
Tell Me Your Secrets sets its tone very early on, and that is one of unrelenting dourness and disorienting storytelling. The story revolves predominantly around the three main characters. Karen (Lily Rabe) is young woman recently out of prison and in witness protection. She was the partner of a convicted serial killer and experiences memory loss around the entire period of his crimes. Mary (Amy Brenneman) is the mother of a girl who went missing years earlier and suspects Karen may be able to give her answers. John (Hamish Linklater) is a former sex-predator seeking redemption and he is hired by an obsessed Mary to track Karen down.
This is a series, like many, that does plenty right and plenty wrong. The underlying mystery was compelling enough to keep our attention throughout the ten episode run, but does lose focus at times with unnecessary side plots and excessive red herrings. Many revelations come in the form of flash-backs which have been proven to be an effective story-telling tool, however these often reflect Karen's faltering memories meaning they are inconsistent and confusing at times. Time jumps all over the place and though not incredibly difficult to keep track of can feel disorienting if not fully focused.
The central characters are all interesting in their own rights, with good performances from the leads - however many unbelievable character choices will leave you scratching your head and thinking "why would they do that?". The themes are strong though, with plenty of moral quandaries and food for thought emanating throughout.
Tell Me Your Secrets is a mixed bag but overall a worthwhile viewing experience. The mystery is compelling but the execution was perhaps a little too ambitious with unnecessarily complex revelations and convoluted story-telling. The acting is very strong, but character actions often breached the realms of believability. This is one to watch if you want an average to decent mystery thriller, but will require your full attention and is quite dark.
PUFFS FINAL SCORE