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Unveil the Bleak Revelations on 'Tell Me Your Secrets' Slowly and With Caution
February 19, 2021  | By David Hinckley  | 6 comments

A complex mystery exploring the shadowy sides of human nature gives us a dark, intense drama in Amazon Prime's Tell Me Your Secrets.

Tell Me Your Secrets, whose ten episodes became available Friday on Amazon Prime, revolves around three seriously damaged people and their ragged path to healing.

Mary Barlow (Amy Brenneman, top) has a daughter, Theresa (Stella Baker), who went missing seven years ago. Mary does not buy into the widespread presumption that Theresa must be dead. She is, Mary tells everyone, and mostly herself, out there somewhere.

Mary's marriage has fallen apart in the aftermath of Theresa's disappearance. She kept herself together and occupied by joining her son Jake (Elliot Fletcher) to create a foundation that helps parents of other missing children.

There's clearly more going on with Mary than just the terrible burden of not knowing what happened to Theresa. As the show's title suggests, the rest of Mary's story will be unfolding at its own pace.

Mary's one solid clue to Theresa's last known days is that she came in contact with a man named Chris Parker, who is currently imprisoned as a vicious, sadistic serial killer.

Mary has tried to reach Parker, who has declined contact. She seemed to have a little more success with Karen (Lily Rabe), Parker's girlfriend, but when they finally met, Karen denied ever seeing or knowing anything about Theresa.

Soon thereafter, Karen also disappeared, though not quite as mysteriously. We viewers saw her enter the witness protection program, relocated under the name Emma Hall to the backwater town of St. James, Louisiana.

Her urgent instructions include having no contact with any people tied to Karen's past. This makes sense as a Witsec strategy and isn't very helpful to Mary.

Enter our third damaged person, one who seemingly had no connection to Theresa, Karen, or Chris Parker.

That's John Tyler (Hamish Linklater), a serial rapist who has gotten early release by demonstrating in every way he can think of that he has repented and reformed.

Now, he says, he wants to help protect future potential rape victims from people like his old self. He offers his services to Mary's Foundation, explaining he knows preventative moves that would have thwarted him in his sexual assault days.

Mary and Jake aren't terribly interested in his pitch, considering it outside the foundation's core mission. But Mary thinks he could be useful in another way, and that's where the whole story kicks into gear.

And turns darker.

Up to this point, our main characters seemingly have made a legitimate effort to deal with their problems in honest, by-the-books ways.

We have now gotten our first hint that this might not always be the case. We are getting the impression that if everyone did tell their secrets, we would see them as more complex and perhaps less upright characters.

Tell Me Your Secrets pokes into revenge, redemption, and the irrational tug of emotions as basic as love. It takes that mission seriously enough that even though all its episodes will be available Friday, bingers might want to consider taking a few long breaks along the way.

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I am so tired of "a man named Chris Parker, who is currently imprisoned as a vicious, sadistic serial killer." and "That's John Tyler (Hamish Linklater), a serial rapist " Wy do we have to watch these types and their relationships with tortured women?
Can't anyone who is a scriptwriter think of another type of story?
Remember "If it bleeds, it leads"? It's the same thing today with these kind of sensational stories. I'm so tired of it. I won't watch these kind of stories. Do they really get the ratings that warrant more and more?
Feb 20, 2021   |  Reply
I agree! Do they have to show sadistic torture in Outlander and Game of Thrones? And whatever other shows feel the perverted need to show us this...
Feb 28, 2021
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