The Long Road To Recovery
The season finale of Unbelievable wraps up all our plot threads and sees all three protagonists round out their story lines in the most satisfying way.
We begin with Grace phoning Detective Parker in relation to the rape and informing him of the serial rapist they’ve just captured. He gives her his email and she sends him the pictures of Marie after he tells her they filed a false report against the young girl. It’s here the weight of what’s happened hits him, especially after heading to Kansas and seeing the mountains of evidence for himself.
Back home, consumed by guilt, he heads off to see Marie and attempts to apologize for what happened without actually saying sorry. He tells her if he could turn back time he could but she bitterly tells him he can’t, giving him the cold shoulder. He hands her a letter from the state and leaves; a cheque for 500 dollars. It almost seems like an insult given what shes been through. As she heads home after work, she searches through her computer and finds the news about the Colorado killer. Deciding 500 dollars isn’t enough, she tracks down her public lawyer again and tells him she wants to press charges against the police. This leads him to refer her case to a man named Bruce who seems confident he can get her more money.
Meanwhile Grace and Karen learn Christopher wants to plead guilty but also wants the kidnapping charge to be dropped. Incredulous, Grace tells his lawyer they’ll agree if he gives up the password to his computer. The day of the court trial arrives and we hear the heartbreaking stories from each of Christopher’s victims. This, coupled with Grace’s plea to the judge, sees the man arrested for 300 years – the maximum sentence and the best possible result. Of course, this victory is tinged with bittersweet regret for the victims who will never live a normal life again.
Marie hears from her lawyer that the state have made an offer of 150,000 dollars to bury the story. He’s reluctant to take it but Marie tells him he just wants it to be over and takes the money. With everything packed up and compensation under her belt, Marie heads back to the station and tells them she never received an apology from anyone. Detective Parker then eventually apologises to her as Pruitt watches from the stairs. She tells him that next time he needs to do better and leaves the station with both of them breathing a heavy sigh of regret.
Christopher agrees to be interviewed by Taggart, and adding insult to injury retorts that the reasoning is because “women make him uncomfortable”. Self-assured and arrogant, he tells the police that he was sure the incident in Washington would get back to him. Unfortunately this lapse in police aptitude lead him on to the spree he committed, which makes Karen uncomfortable as she listens to the tape with Grace
With the case now solved and their time drawing to an end, Grace tells her to cut out the soppy goodbyes after a final dinner together and they smile at one another before going their separate ways.
As Karen leaves, she receives a call from Marie Adler, who obtained her number from her lawyer. It turns out the two women looking into the rapist case is the reason she’s still alive and thanks them for their perseverance and hard work. It’s a touching moment and one that’s relayed on to Grace on the phone as a final aerial shot sees our victim driving off into the great unknown, now able to start again and try to pick up the pieces of her broken life.
When it comes to shows I’ve said it before but an ending can make or break your experience. In this case, Unbelievable absolutely delivers. With all the plot threads resolved and a satisfying conclusion brought to light, Unbelievable does an impressive job rounding out all its characters in a believable and organic manner. Grace and Karen’s relationship has certainly changed over the episodes and their natural chemistry really shines here as the two gain a mutual understanding for one another.
On a side note, it’s worth pointing out the symbology with Marie driving off at the end – showcasing her long road to recovery after this tragic incident and leaving the past behind her.Visually, when you compare the cold, muted opening we received during the first episode to this bright, vibrant and uplifting ending, the aesthetic of the show tells a narrative of its own, which is always great to see in a show like this.
As the dust settles on this mini-series, Unbelievable ignites the Autumn (fall) schedule with a really impressive police procedural and one of the best mini-series this year. It’s testament to this genre too, given how many options there are out there, that this show can do so well to bring such a sensitive subject to light in a respectful and hard hitting manner. Emotional, poignant and well written, Unbelievable ends as it began – engrossing right through to the end and bowing out on a high.