Episode 7 of Shining Girls starts in the past, with Kirby heading home and greeting her mother, who is playing loud music before heading out to meet with her band. Kirby is excited, revealing that she’s been given a solo by-line at the paper; she’s covering a trial on a judge taking bribes. This seems to be her big break… until everything takes the turn for the worst.
Harper attacks Kirby from behind while she’s out walking her dog, and she’s knocked out and cut open. There were apparently a lot of people in the park at that time but for some reason, no one saw the attack.
In the present, Kirby relays this story to Jinny, who talks about how Harper stepped out in front of her. Kirby soon realizes what’s happening here, including how the shifting realities are a part of what Harper is doing. His cryptic chatter about Kirby “feeling this soon” is actually part of him changing reality.
Kirby and Dan work with more urgency, tracing the history of Teenie’s, which we know from the previous chapter is intrinsically linked with Harper’s past. Marcus wants to be part of this investigative effort too but Kirby is still untrusting and unwilling to get him involved.
Kirby sits down with her husband and explains that she feels like a stranger, how this is from a different part of her life she can’t recall.
Kirby and Dan do eventually track down a lead, linking back to a slaughterhouse. Kirby heads inside and realizes this is where Harper used to work. The way these pigs are cut is the same way Harper cuts his victims. Speaking to the owner’s brother, he leads the pair down an abandoned part of the plant, with large tanks used to drain the blood from the hogs.
This place hasn’t been used for around a decade now, but this is actually where Klara was found after being killed by Harper. The whole place was lit up on account of the radium, hence how they found her. But then, Klara was found in 1920, and was one of the first women to be found there.
It would appear that Harper led her through the door and displaced her deceased body out of time. Kirby realizes that he did this to punish her – which makes sense given what we know.
The trouble is, Harper has his sights set on Jinny and is slowly but surely honing in on her. Kirby receives a call from Jinny, spooked after Harper stalks her that day. Kirby and Dan intensify their search, knowing that time is of the essence. The pair sift through the employee records and find a card for “John Smith”, which happens to be Harper.
Meanwhile, Marcus takes Kirby’s journal to Abby, blaming her for Kirby’s memory slipping away. Unfortunately this has a knock-on effect of Kirby being forced into taking a leave of absence to “take care of herself.”
When Dan finds out, he’s just as angry as Kirby, who realizes that this story is being run without her there. Kirby refuses to let the story go, pointing out that this is her life and she needs to see this through to its conclusion, whether she’s working at the paper or not.
That night, Jinny prepares for her big night at the planetarium. Despite this being a big deal for her, she’s still spooked and concerned about what’s happening about Harper. Just before giving her big speech, she shows up at the familiar spot we saw Harper brutally murder her in those previous flashes. However, it’s not Harper who walks through the door but Kirby. She’s expecting him to show up but he doesn’t appear.
Meanwhile, Dan and his son track down a receipt from 1981 linking back to that familiar bar we saw in the previous chapter, the one Kirby worked in. With Harper seemingly changing history again, Dan finds an old poster for Klara and in the reflection, notes Harper approaching. Unfortunately, Harper stabs Dan and leaves the reporter bleeding out in a heap on the floor. Harper maniacally walks out with his jacket too, telling Freddie to take care of himself.
This sets off a chain reaction whereby everything changes. Alongside Kirby, things change for Jinny too. When she tries to head in and give her keynote speech, she’s shocked to find out it’s being delivered by Dr Gary Hegland instead. Jinny is shocked to find out reality has shifted and leaves the planetarium, shaken.
The Episode Review
While the idea of a time-traveling serial killer is an intriguing one, it also leaves a lot of headache-inducing questions about the nature of time changing and the rules of the world. However, I’m sure that will be explained in the final episode.
The series has definitely stepped it up a gear though, and this chapter does help to explain some of what’s happening around Kirby and the others.
Shining Girls has perhaps been a tad overlong and the series has meandered a little earlier on in the run-time, but boy has it made the wait worth it! This was another very solid chapter and sets everything up beautifully for a very intriguing finale to come.