Killer Women (ABC) Review “The Siren”

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Although Killer Women is DOA, I think there is a good case to be made for letting it live out its entire eight-episode lifespan, at the very least. However, “The Siren” wouldn’t go far in helping me make that case. It was the first episode of the series that was just…well, bad. The central plot was a hokey Psycho rip-off, the ending far too rushed and right in the middle of everything we discovered Molly is a forensic hypnotist (who just randomly hypnotizes victims while they’re still in the hospital recovering). The case was so unfortunate, I resent having to think about it again.

A female serial killer was victimized as a child, and now kills women who remind her of her mother’s mistreatment of her. Again, we have the damaged woman trope, but even knowing Carmen’s background couldn’t make me sympathize with the sadistic lengths she went to in order to punish other women– shaving their heads, eyebrows, starving them and then dressing them as men. The entire scenario was jarringly dark for a series that despite its penchant for embracing its telenovela roots is relatively grounded, emotionally speaking.

The obvious nods to Psycho including a rambling old house and an empty rocking chair couldn’t save this clunker. Things only got worse once Becca was kidnapped after Carmen witnessed Becca telling her daughter to pick a more appropriate outfit for her Quinceanera. The kidnapping of a key cast member should carry some weight. With her sister-in-law in danger, Molly rushed to her rescue, but there was no follow up. Molly took down Carmen and presumably returned home where everyone was cool with Becca being kidnapped. It was a sloppy and hasty ending to a half-baked case. Killer Women can and has done much better.

The episode’s sole saving grace was placing Dan on the ranch while Molly was out chasing Carmen. After the cliffhanger ending that revealed Dan had been shot we found out he had actually been grazed by a bullet. His real problem being a mild concussion. He adorably milked his condition for all it was worth, an act Molly paid him back for by leaving him with her family. There the bachelor got a taste of family life when Lulu became his personal nurse, interrogated him about snooping through Molly’s things and then painted his nails while he was asleep.

Later, Dan bonded with Billy over ribs and a shooting contest. In what may be a first for television, two hot men with vibrant nail polish shot cans and talked about their toughness. Now that is the sort of plot I can get behind. Dan’s trip down the Parker family rabbit hole was endearing, but it was understandable why he was ready to flee the moment Molly came home. She of course was having none of that. She even dropped the L-bomb on him. Their relationship continues to be the series’ biggest selling point. Even when much of what is happening around them is outrageous they manage to remain sweet and grounded.

Still up in the air is what exactly is going on with Billy. He told Becca money troubles were keeping him away at night, but I’m sticking with my cancer theory for now. Although, I will allow for the possibility he could be tangled up in something illegal. The sad part is we will probably never know given Killer Women is living on borrowed time. Even after watching an episode as uneven as “The Siren,” I find myself dreading letting go of the series so soon. It may not always hit the mark, but at least Killer Women is aiming for a unique brand of storytelling. It doesn’t always work, but the ambition of the project demands admiration– just not when the story of the week involves a Lady Norman Bates.

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