Episode 6 of Shining Girls starts with us back in France, 1918. Harper is one of the soldiers and after scrambling to put his gas mask on, witnesses the horrors of war first-hand. This leaves quite the mark on him, as Harper returns back to the US a changed man. He arrives at Teenie’s, a bar where his old friend Klara performs. After watching the show, he catches up with her backstage. When he asks about letters he’s sent her, she claims she hasn’t received any.
Harper leads Klara to a woman’s house, where they both break in and rummage through her belongings. Klara is incredulous to Harper’s boldness but follows him nonetheless. Among the possessions, Harper finds a digital watch on the dresser. When the Sister returns to her house, Klara rushes away but Harper stays behind, confronting her and demanding to know where she go the watch from.
Harper believes he’s doing the right thing, as he catches up with Klara outside and shows off the watch. According to him, he’s taking “what he’s owed”. Harper concocts a story to Klara, claiming he ducked under the bed and wasn’t spotted.
Harper next teams up with his friend Leo, where they go investigating a house in Lakeview which the watch is linked to. Interestingly, this is the same house that Kirby was sitting on the porch of as a child. In this time period though, just after the war, it’s owned by a man who travels around a lot. He actually happens to be there, hiding in the closet with a gun.
Things take a surreal turn when the man starts asking what time they’re in. Harper ignores all that and quizzes about the watch. This man ignores all that and rushes outside, subsequently hit by a car. Moments prior to this, things take a bizarre turn when Harper and Leo find bank notes, a book from 1973 and all manner of anachronistic trinkets.
Harper believes the man is an importer, while he claims that “Inside here… things become something else.” And holding Klara’s hand, he takes her through the doorway and into Chicago much further along the timeline. It appears that this house is some sort of portal and the doorway is the key to all of this. According to Harper, there’s no rhyme or reason to this but it just happens.
During these flashbacks, we jump to the rock-infused 1990’s where Harper happens to be at the bar, watching as Kirby dances the night away. After a night together, they head back through the portal and discuss what has transpired. Harper mentions that his gift to her was from a dead person and not actually from Paris. Specifically, it was conjured from a dead soldier he helped move. Harper tries to kiss her but Klara pulls away.
According to Harper, they always come to this moment, as he “walks out the back door. I come and find her.” Klara can’t remember any of this though as it’s not her house. Eventually, Harper has his way with her, punching her in the face and continuing to assault her off-screen.
As the episode comes to a close, we cut back to Harper again as he heads in the past to that same bar, deep in the heart of the 90’s. He gets himself a drink and sets his sights on his latest target… Kirby.
The Episode Review
The idea of a time traveling serial killer is certainly intriguing and this episode goes some way to explain that, breaking down key parts of how Harper has been able to establish this and keep himself hidden all these years. We still don’t quite see how this house works or the intricate bells and whistles, but this is a solid chapter nonetheless.
It would appear that time has already been rewritten, in that Jinny doesn’t actually die on that fateful night, but then we get into murky territory of parallel universes, shifting realities and all manner of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey situations that I’m sure the next few chapters will iron out.
Either way though, this flashback bottle episode works really well to flesh out Harper’s history, and his ties with Kirby. Hopefully the episodes ahead will expand on this further.