Shining Girls – Season 1 Episode 5 “Screamer” Recap & Review


Episode 5 of Shining Girls starts with Kirby trying to rush along her composite sketch of Harper. Given the man is a ghost, she’s concerned about the sparse details the officer is taking.

As for Harper, he actually happens to be in hospital, strapped down with a gnarly scar across his face. He’s cut his flexor tendon and apparently he collapsed on Racine. The paramedics brought him in around midnight but it’s at least morning now. Harper demands the man in his room uncuff him, threatening to hurt him if he doesn’t. Well, he agrees and Harper grabs his gear and escapes the hospital.

Meanwhile, Dan notices the composite sketch that Kirby has drawn. Through this, he realizes that it matches Harper’s description as the guy outside Julia Madrigal’s house. The sketch, plus speaking to him outside Julia’s place, is enough to convince Dan that Harper is their guy.

When Kirby shows up, the pair discuss what’s going on. Kirby reveals her distorting realities and what she’s suffering from. Kirby admits she can’t talk to Marcus about this, as her shifting memories make him seem like a stranger to her. Instead, she trusts Dan and tries to make sense of this shifting truth between the launderette and the bar.

As news of the Chicago killings makes mainstream news, Jinny mulls over this as she learns that someone is using her old key. The times are suspiciously off, seemingly indicating that someone is using it to follow her in and out the building. Someone we know to be Harper.

Kirby heads off to see Jinny. At work, Jinny confirms she’s being followed and uses the analogy of two particles to make her point – they could be linked together; their actions are entangled. So that means what happens to one will affect the other.

That night, Kirby heads over to Jinny’s place but Harper is there too, watching from afar outside. Whilst there, Kirby reveals she’s been watched for years by Harper before the attack – and it would appear the same thing is happening to Jinny. “I’m not you,” She says confidently. Kirby though, is not so confident. As she looks out the window, lights reflecting and obscuring her view, Harper happens to be watching. He steps out the shadows, rain soaking his face, and smiles incredulously.

Back at the office, Abby is not happy when she finds out Kirby has messed with the evidence at the property warehouse. She also learns that the seal on the evidence bags has been cut and that is, of course, highly illegal. It also brings the whole case into question.

As Kirby heads off, spinning out over this revelation, Marcus is there to help and takes her home. He probes her about Harper and the bar, before going on to make her favourite “happy food” which is a bizarre combination of bacon, grape jelly and peanut butter. Kirby can’t remember eating this though, which only frustrates Marcus as he finds himself conflicted over how best to treat Kirby’s mood.

Eventually they sit together and go through details of Marcus’ past, including how he served in the military. The thing is, that lion insignia we saw before is also tattooed on the chest of one of the soldiers, which seems to hint that Harper is actually ex military and could have been one of Julia’s clients.

Dan heads off to see Rachel, who blames him for what happened to Kirby. After Kirby’s outburst earlier in the episode about forgetting details, he’s questioning the entire validity of her story. Rachel though sticks up for her daughter, pointing out that “someone had to have their sh*t together” back then.

Speaking of which, Jinny definitely doesn’t have hers together. She’s paranoid, believing she’s being followed and checking over her shoulder the whole time. This, unfortunately, catches us up to the moments during episode 1 where the wingless bumblebee was left on her desk. Is this the night she’s killed?

Kirby heads off to Julia’s work and speaks to the receptionist. When she hangs up the composite sketch, the receptionist recognizes it and points out the guy has been there a bunch of times. And that’s mainly because Leo is one of the patients. Whatever is wrong with him appears to be psychological. He’s got 3 or 4 medals from the war too but he seems pretty despondent and in no mood to talk. “Don’t tell him that you came here, okay?” He pleads. Apparently, Harper won’t let him near the house, as Leo pleads with Kirby to stay away from him as she starts asking questions.

Unfortunately, Harper doesn’t stay away from Jinny. He shows up at the roof and tells her to feed back a message to Kirby. He wants Jinny to talk to her, although he doesn’t confirm exactly what to say. Harper also confirms he’s not looking to kill her right now and walks away, leaving her rattled.

The Episode Review

The latest episode of Shining Girls continues to move this story along at a snail’s pace while also showing that Harper isn’t some ghost after all. It’s a little ironic that several people have recognized him from the composite sketch that Kirby has helped with, and it only reinforces that this guy isn’t so hidden after all.

Beyond that, we get a little more development with Dan and some drama involving Kirby and Jinny but there’s really not a whole lot of plot development to really sink your teeth into. That’s a bit of a shame actually, as the series started quite brightly but since then seems to have fizzled out a bit. Although if you’ve followed Apple’s other shows, that’s a common occurrence and perhaps unsurprising.

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You can read our full season review for Shining Girls Season 1 here!

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