Shining Girls – Season 1 Episode 4 “Attribution” Recap & Review


Episode 4 of Shining Girls starts with a sobering montage through time. A single dead body lines the street through the years, as we eventually settle on 1986, with an exasperated Rachel at the hospital desperate to see her daughter, Sharon. This is, of course, Kirby.

The moments here are just after her attack down on the beach. Harper is lurking about and he heads in to see Kirby, who’s receiving treatment and unconscious. He’s confused over how she managed to survive.

Back in the present, Dan speaks to the team at work and brings the  case to Abby and the others. There’s still the subject of the tape though, but the fact that Dan has uncovered clues linking the seven women to the killer is enough for Abby to give the green light to explore this further. Kirby wants to help, so Dan tasks her with picking up the madrigal tapes.

When Marcus catches wind of this, he decides to tag along with his wife. The pair pick up the tape and begin playing it, where they quickly realize there’s echo on the line. At least the one where Julia speaks to Harper anyway.

That echo looks like it could actually be a recording of Julia played back to her. As we soon learn, Kirby had similar calls herself prior to being attacked.

Dan does his rounds and stumbles upon a breakthrough after speaking to Summer Francis’ “roommate”. It turns out Harper is leaving items found in the residence of one victim and placing it inside the body of another.

Harper’s randomness was enough for the police not to take much attention to how these women were linked, but Harper had a knack for getting close to the victims. With a breakthrough at hand, Kirby decides to step up and agrees to be interviewed and come forward as a surviving victim to give this story validity.

At the same time, Harper works to try and find Sharon. He shows up at what he believes is her apartment but quickly realizes it’s not hers. He’s furious, and intimidates the poor apartment owner.

As the news goes to press that evening, ready for the morning papers, Kirby heads to the laundrette. Unfortunately, Harper finds her, unhappy with the way she’s changed her looks.

Quick as a flash, he grabs her and bemoans that she’s still alive. He begins choking her out, and eventually knocks her through the wall. The shock of falling is enough for Kirby to hurry out the building. As she does, turning to see if Harper is following, she notices the laundrette has turned into “Bee Happy Bar.” with plenty of people bustling about inside.

The Episode Review

Shining Girls’ latest episode slumps into the familiar pattern all AppleTV shows seem to follow. A long, drawn out chapter that doesn’t add very much to the overall story.

This laborious chapter takes its sweet time getting to the crux of the issue, which can be chalked up to Kirby and Dan learning what the victims have in common and Kirby’s meeting with Harper. Everything else in this episode really doesn’t add very much to the story at all.

Sure, it’s nice to get some investigative work and the show has an eerie atmosphere but that’s not enough to keep things suitably interesting and engaging across the whole 40 minutes. Hopefully the rest of the episodes can improve but this one felt like a bit of a dud.

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2 thoughts on “Shining Girls – Season 1 Episode 4 “Attribution” Recap & Review”

  1. This was a great episode. Sounds like maybe the reviewer here just doesn’t have much of an attention span.

    I mean, investigative work and building an eerie atmosphere with increasing tension is essential to these sorts of series.

    People need to lay off of tiktok I swear.

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