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Directed by: Lisa Cholodenko | Written by: Susannah Grant
Official synopsis: Marie struggles with the fallout from her retraction. Three years later, in Colorado, Detective Karen Duvall investigates a strikingly similar attack.
Episode 2 of Unbelievable begins with Detective Parker formally closing Marie’s case and waving away any compensation she may have been liable for. Despite clearly suffering from mental health issues, for now the only thing Parker cares about is the amount of energy the police have spent on this.
We then cut to Colorado in 2011, where we’re introduced to female detective Karen. Along with her colleague, she’s called to the scene of a sexual assault, with the victim a 22 year old girl called Amber. As Karen interviews the girl and asks what happened, some of the details are similar to that of Marie’s story 3 years prior. Of course, this information is unknown to Karen but for now, Amber agrees to have a DNA swab on her face, before showing the detective around her house. As she relays the details of what happened that night, it turns out he put a blanket over her and told her she “needs to take care of herself” after the act. As he left the house, Amber also discloses that he told her it was “his first rape”, which she doesn’t believe is true.
Unable to go back to her own house, Amber stays with friends instead while Karen learns that three suspicious males are being investigated in connection to this case. As she deliberates over the details of Amber’s file, we see another montage segment, this time relaying Amber’s detailed account of that night, interspersed with images of what took place in her room. It’s here we momentarily cut back in time to see Marie having a tough time of it at school, as she’s enforced with a strict curfew and punished for lying about the rape incident. The episode itself then ends with Karen returning home from a hard day’s work, relaying the details of her case on to her husband, who asks about the backpack and suggests following that up as a lead. In the dead of the night, Detective Grace is in the midst of investigating an eerily similar case to that of Karen, and she finds someone wearing a backpack traipsing through the woods nearby. She holds him up at gunpoint and proceeds to ask who he is.
With another slow episode, the dual narrative begin to take shape, culminating in an ending that introduces Detective Grace; our trio of female protagonists will inevitably share the limelight from here on out. Aside from a few details, there isn’t a whole lot to write home about and in many ways, the episode acts as an introduction to both Karen and Grace whilst fleshing out more of the case. With plenty to digest, all roads lead to the same destination but for now, Unbelievable continues to deliver an engrossing and absorbing crime drama with its latest episode.