Episode 4 -| Review Score –3/5
How well do you know your kids? If they kept a massive secret from you, would you know? It’s certainly an intriguing (and as a parent myself, very unnerving) question and something that encapsulates the entirety of The Perfect Mother’s story.
This four episode French thriller essentially blends soap opera shenanigans with a simple but effective murder mystery. At the forefront of this is Helene, who learns that her daughter Anya is the number 1 suspect in a high profile murder case. While Anya claims she didn’t kill Damien, all evidence seems to support that she did. At least to begin with.
When Helene team up with a lawyer (and old flame) Vincent, the pair work to piece together exactly what happened that fateful night. But can Helene handle the truth? And is her daughter as innocent as she first perceived?
This essentially forms the crux of The Perfect Mother, that spends much of its time rehashing and repeating events from the night of the murder, with slight variations and deviations from the initial statement along the way.
As little bits of evidence come in to corroborate or contradict what we know, The Perfect Mother actually does a really solid job keeping you guessing until the final episode. However, the show is not without its faults.
One of the biggest problems with The Perfect Mother comes from its focus. When the show actually centers on Helene and Anya, examining their relationship and piecing together Anya’s story, there’s some decent material here. However, all too often this series takes a detour through meandering subplots full of drawn out drama and dead-ends for the sake of padding the run-time.
There’s a whole love triangle subplot that feels shoehorned in, Anya’s brother Lukas has his own woes over in Berlin while there’s a separate thread involving a private investigator that leaves a lot to be desired. All of this adds up to a show that’s pretty rough around the edges, despite some initial promise.
There’s nothing particularly outstanding with the aesthetics either. The camera work is pretty standard, the visuals are pedestrian and the acting is pretty good but not exactly outstanding either. In fact, the best part of the visual design comes from the opening title credits which are absolutely gorgeous, blending faces with the Parisian skyline.
The ending is another point of contention too and while I won’t get into specifics here (we have our ending explained linked above for that!) suffice to say the true version of events is dragged out unnecessarily and I can’t help but feel this would have worked better with 3 episodes rather than 4.
Overall, The Perfect Mother is pretty imperfect. This meandering crime drama is in desperate need of tightening up and spends way too long on its subplots, time that could have been better served on the main plot. It’s not a bad show but it’s also not a particularly good one either. Instead this is an average effort across the board.
Read More: The Perfect Mother Ending Explained
Verdict - 5/10