Pieces of Her: A series about women who try to break their chains – and fail

Introduction

Pieces of her is a netflix produces thriller series, starring Toni Collette and Bella Heathcoat.
The series is based on a book by author Karin Slaughter and is set in the sunny small town Belle Isle.

Synopsis

Andy is taking care of her mother and is therefore staying in the boring town she has grown up living with her mother. She has left her New York life and friends behind to be there for her mother’s cancer treatment.
She is working as a police receptionist but is an aspiring painter.

Pieces of Her. Bella Heathcote as Andy Oliver has no clue what she wants to do with her life. Episode 101 of Pieces of Her. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

As they celebrate Andy’s birthday in a diner they witness a massacre of a young man, who has been rejected by a girl.
A classical case of jilted lover syndrome.

Laura saves not only Andy but also the rest of the restaurant by killing the assassin. Video footage of Laura standing up to the assassin goes viral and so a former love of Laura becomes aware of her whereabouts. These old friends have things to settle with Laura and maybe also her daughter Andy…

[Spoilers Ahead]

Another Case of the absent father

Pieces of Her. Toni Collette as Laura Oliver also has no clue what is going on. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

As in Blonde, the movie about Marylin Monroe, a major point in this thriller series takes the situation of women under the control of men.

Andy had a boyfriend and is somehow looking for one. Growing up without a father has made her somehow “different than other women” as she says.
The first time she meets Michael Vargas, the shady Stalker, and male interest of Andy, she flirts with him. Even though she just fled her hometown, leaving her mother with the dead body of an assassin.

Laura’s former lover haunts her, a man who says he “would crush the whole world, if (she) would leave him.

None of the women knows what they want to do with their lives, and nor do they really talk about it.

It seems that all they do is be chased by and run away from men.

When they reach the final chapter of the series, and they are able to escape the hands of the bad guy, they are not free after all.
They are still bound to the men they convicted. And they are now also bound to another man who knows a secret about Laura, that could crush her world.

Conclusion:

Pieces of Her. (L to R) Terry O’Quinn as Martin Queller, Jessica Barden as Jane in episode 105 of Pieces of Her. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

In the end, the world of the author Karin Slaughter is one in which women are not free. In which their past and future lay in the hand and the will of men. These either want to possess, hurt, or blackmail them.

Andy is chased by a police officer who wants to control her every move.
Laura is haunted by a former lover who wants her dead, or in his control.
Even the inciting incident in the dinner is a symbol of a rejected male turning to violence as an answer.

The story itself is breathtaking during the first two episodes. But at the moment the love story between Andy and Michael is introduced it drifts off into a teenage romance novel.

Pieces of Her. (L to R) David Wenham as Jasper Queller has control over his sister, Toni Collette as Laura Oliver in episode 108 of Pieces of Her. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

We can see that the screenplay offers a huge promise during these first two episodes and loads of anticipation, but is not able to satisfy the viewers, as it loses itself too much in the backstory of the main characters.

All in all a series to skip.

Critic: The car crash

One of the major critic points is a car crash that happens in the last episodes.
Andy and a friend of hers are driving a highway, flanked on both sides by forest. As they pass a Kreuzung out of nowhere a car crashes into them from the side. Nich, the bad guy, remains completely unharmed, though driving at full speed.
But the point is that this crash must have been impossible to plan and time for Nick. He didn´t have a good look at Andy’s for miles as we can see in the scenes leading up to the crash. Her car passes the Kreuzung at normal speed, leaving Nick just a few seconds of clear sight to land the crash. How would he have time to speed up to at least 70 M/h?

This scene sets the overall tone of the series. Things and dialogs and actions happen because the story demands it. Not the characters are in control of their actions, but the story is the way they have to follow. In this manner, I couldn´t understand why the characters did what they did and not even the hour-long backstory gave me any information on why people would act in a certain manner.

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