Investigating Is An Art Form
After last week’s subdued pilot episode, I Am The Night returns for another methodically paced journey into 1980s America. Most of the drama this week falls to Fauna who goes in search of her Grandfather and answers to her upbringing. This intertwines with Jay Singletary as he begins investigating the case, only to result in a lot of near misses and coincidental meetings between the two.
The episode itself begins with Fauna as she travels to Los Angeles to meet her Grandfather. Shacking up for the night with her cousins, she soon learns more about the racial divide rife in the city. Given her mixed race origin, Fauna finds herself shunned by the black community as she goes to a party only to receive a somewhat hostile and cagey reception from those there. Thankfully, Dr Nero is at hand to keep her company and together they talk about recent societal pressures surrounding them.
While this is going on, we cut back to ruined reporter Jay who can’t quite shake the ghosts of his past over an unresolved case. After leaving a girl high and dry on her sofa, he begins piecing together clues from the past which brings him into the path of George Hodel. As Jay begins to edge ever closer to finding out the truth, Fauna winds up visiting the address of her Grandfather after a strange phone call with a woman giving her strict instructions on how to knock on the door.
Once there, she quickly learns her real mother is dead and is greeted by Corinna Hodel. After a few expository laden dialogues surrounding Fauna’s history, Corinna takes her out for a lavish, posh dinner where she winds up completely out of her comfort zone. This in turn leads the conversation back to art which happens to be one of George Hodel’s passions and they go to visit one of his exhibits together.
The episode itself ends with both Jay and Fauna seeming to be on the same track, both travelling toward the same destination where their fates will inevitably intertwine. Plot-wise, there isn’t a lot here to get excited about this week but there’s just enough mystery and characterization to see you through to the end. What is interesting though is the artistic use of blues and reds which were a recurring theme last episode too. This stark contrast of colour works really well and is easily one of the highlights of the show.
Aside from this though, given the 50 minute run time there just isn’t enough here to get excited about. The characters are likable enough and the true story this is based on gives this mini-series an air of authenticity that makes it easy to watch. Despite that, the second season doesn’t really do much and ultimately falls a little flat in delivery. It’s still an enjoyable watch, no doubt about it, but the second episode feels a little padded out and indifferent for much of the run time.
Hopefully things will pick up going forward but with 4 more episodes to go, the first 2 have done little to breed the sort of enthusiasm this story perhaps should have garnered.