We love a good crime show. In fact, we are a huge fan of them. We get excited whenever a new one comes on TV, or there is a new true-crime documentary. Hell, Investigation Discovery is one of our favorite channels. That is why Tell Me Your Secrets stuck out to us. We just can’t resist the lure of a good mystery and it certainly delivered.
Tell Me Your Secrets is an intense, morally complex thriller starring Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Amy Brenneman (The Leftovers), Hamish Linklater (Legion) and Enrique Murciano (The Blacklist). The series revolves around a trio of characters, each with a mysterious and troubling past: Emma (Rabe) is a young woman who once looked into the eyes of a dangerous killer, John (Linklater) is a former serial predator desperate to find redemption, and Mary (Brenneman) is a grieving mother obsessed with finding her missing daughter. As each of them is pushed to the edge, the truth about their pasts and motives grows ever murkier, blurring the lines between victim and perpetrator. Also starring is Murciano as Peter Guillory, a therapist with seemingly good intentions.
It’s All About Mary
Grief and trauma affect each of us differently. It is certainly the case with Tell Me Your Secrets. The series is full of intense complex characters that are often intertwined in ways you won’t expect.
Let’s start with Mary Barlow. She plays the mother of the missing woman Theresa Barlow. We first meet Mary when she goes to the prison where Karen is being held to ask about her daughter and what happened to her. Mary wants answers and Karen isn’t giving them to her. We later find out it’s not because she didn’t want to, it’s because she says doesn’t remember. Cue the skeptical thoughts right?
Theresa is said to be a victim of serial killer Kit Parker. Karen was his girlfriend and they suspected she had a hand in the killings or knowledge of them, hence her being in prison along with him. Mary is so focused on what happened to her daughter and finding out the truth, that she doesn’t realize what she is doing to others around her. She runs a foundation that is supposed to help find missing people, yet she continually uses her platform to keep the attention on her daughter’s case.
This wouldn’t be a bad thing if she wasn’t using and hurting other people in the process. What she did to Mrs. Walker and releasing that private video is despicable. Mary used another person’s grief and trauma to her advantage and ruined someone else’s life when they were trying to help her find answers. That is beyond selfish.
Then Mary goes and hires John, a recently released serial rapist, to track down Karen who has since been released into witness protection under the name Emma Hall. Mary set in motion events that can’t be taken back. John was barely keeping it together when Mary sent him down that path. He manipulated people and he raped another woman while searching for Karen. Mary has a part to play in that.
Let’s not forget the fact that she is also a murderer. Our question is how she could live with herself after believing her daughter to be a victim of a serial killer and then go and kill someone? Mary’s morals have been obliterated by that point.
When it’s believed that Theresa’s body has been found we felt bad for Jake and Saul. Whenever they had tried to reach out to Mary to grieve for Theresa they were shut down and basically told what they wanted didn’t matter, it was always about what Mary wanted. So, the minute that Mary is ready to grieve she takes the steps to move on with her life. She puts the house up for sale without consulting the rest of her family and starts throwing things out. Then after Saul builds a bench to mourn for his daughter, Mary goes and sets it on fire. Mary is selfish and Jake and Saul, are the afterthoughts. But as we said, grief and trauma certainly affect each of us differently.
Our Thoughts on Karen/Emma
Karen or Emma, whatever you want to call her, is holding her life together with best she can. But why does she need to be in witness protection in the first place? Kit was in prison and she didn’t remember anything with Theresa so that didn’t make sense. She could have just gotten out on probation. We didn’t see the point of putting her in witness protection. When she entered the program she was still to be believed to be an accomplice at best, so why the need to keep her safe?
St. James is her new residence and it’s filled with a dark presence. Poor girl just can’t escape the traumatic experiences wherever she goes. You have the deaths of Jess and Tina, the weird circumstances around the house she lives in, the creepy old fortune teller lady, and what is happening at St. Jeromes. That was a mystery itself that Karen was pulled into as she tries to pull at her memories that are blocked from her mind.
Karen didn’t give up until she got the answers that she was looking for. She is a fighter, which is evident when she takes down John when he comes to her house. She fought for answers to those two girls, Jess and Tina. We just wish she had fought for a relationship with Tom. While we don’t think he could have protected her, he certainly could have helped her.
Now, she is going to fight for her little girl. We have no doubt that she will hunt down Theresa to the ends of the earth for her daughter. Karen deserves her revenge on Mary and Theresa for all that they did to her. They took away Karen’s life and she will never get it back.
Did It Meet The Mark?
Tell Me Your Secrets had us guessing until the very end. We pride ourselves on being able to guess what is going to happen in a crime series because they are often very transparent. That wasn’t the case here. We were delighted to discover that all our theories were wrong every episode and left us guessing until the very end.
We thought for sure Karen was lying when she said she didn’t remember anything. We wouldn’t have guessed that Mary would go that far down that path of darkness to find answers. It crossed our mind that maybe Kit didn’t kill Theresa and that she escaped when she and Karen ran out of the apartment.
We would have never guessed the ending. That Theresa was Kit’s lover first and they were the ones that committed all those murders together. Kit did fall in love with Karen and we doubt it was his plan for her to get pregnant. When he said “I will kill you” when they escaped after finding Ms. Walker’s body, it’s now obvious he was talking about Theresa. He didn’t want her to hurt Karen or the baby.
We would recommend this series and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Hopefully, you enjoy the ride as much as we did.
Tell Me Your Secrets is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.