Feb 27, 2021

"Tell Me Your Secrets": Lesbian Victims of Predatory Men on the Bayou


Tell Me Your Secrets, a tv series hyped as "mesmerizing" and "riveting."   All I know is that it's a drama about "three characters with a mysterious bond."  What are their genders?  Are any of them hunks?  Are any of them gay?  I'll watch until I find out, or until it becomes too disgusting or too heterosexist to stand.

Scene 1: Texas, Past.  Karen and Mary talking over one of those prison phones.  Mary was at the trial, and now asks if Karen knows anything about what happened to her daughter.  Karen says she doesn't.  "But she was last seen at a gas station in Nevada with your man, Kit  the Serial Killer" (Xavier Samuel, somewhat older than in this photo, with bad hair and a redneck moustache).

Scene 2: Texas, Present.  Karen is being released from prison. Gratuitous underwear shot as she changes out of her prison uniform.  Do prisoners really get issued lacey black bras?  She stares at her breasts in the mirror for what seems like forever (actually only a minute and a half).    

She spends another thirty seonds fingering her tattoo and getting dressed.. I can hear the director: "Take your time.  The viewers have to finish masturbating."  

Whew.  Ok, the porn is over. Pete (Enrique Murciano) arrives to pick Karen up. 

I tried five times to get an Enrique Murciano nude or shirtless shot, but ran into: webt files, html files,  "file cannot be downloaded safely.", and one of his chest as he is straddled by a naked woman.  So here's a screen shot sans lady parts.

He asks Karen "Are you ready to be Emma?"

Scene 3: Louisiana: The Present.  Establishing shot of Pete and Karen/Emma driving down a narrow highway through a swamp, with gospel music playing.  Oh, Lord, what have I gotten myself into?  Should I bail now, or continue sludging through?

I thought Pete was Emma/Karen's case worker, but he reaches over and affectionally touchers her body.  They're lovers.  Whoops, no, he's just a grabby psychiatrist, taking her to her new life in the Wtiness Protection program.

They arrive at a hunting lodge-type house on stilts.  He tells her: "We'll continue our sessions.  I'll help you through this.  And stay away from young women."  Huh?  Karen/Emma is a pedophile?

Scene 4: 
Mary from Scene 1, her ex-husband, daughter, and son (Elliot Fletcher, left) are sitting around the dining room table, talking to their therapist about the disappearance of Theresa seven years ago. They all think it's time to start grieving by declaring her legally dead and setting up a memorial or something, but Mary protests: "She is still alive. I know because of my maternal instinct." 

Scene 5: Karen/Emma's house, night.  Unpacking groceries. She flashes back to a memory of Kit the Serial Killer, cooking dinner and being all smoochy.  

Meanwhile, Mary is conducting research., surrounded by piles of papers and newspaper clippings, watching an interview with Kit.   He says that he killed the nine girls out of compassion, helping them escape from societal pressures: "those girls were begging for their freedom."

Kit has finally agreed to see her, so she's going to get him to confess to Theresa's murder.  Wait -- doesn't she think that Theresa is still alive?

She kisses her son Jake's hand.  A hint of an incestuous relationship -- gross!  

Scene 6: A fried chicken joint, night. Close-up of Karen/Emma's face as she scarfs down a burger. Teenage Jess stares at her.  Two more girls arrive, walk across the restaurant in slow motion, and play with Jess's hair. Uh-oh, temptation!

But they're not lovers; they're muggers or rapists.  They force Jess into the bathroom.  Karen/Emma rushes to the rescue, and then tries to leave, while Jess follows and flirts: "Nobody ever stood up for me before.  You live around here?"  

Scene 7: Kit in an empty maximum security cell, reading a "Dear John" letter from Karen/Emma.  

Scene 8:
Karen/Emma applies for a job at a hair salon.  There's a male hairdresser, Thomas (Marque Richardson, who played a gay guy on Dear White People).  Maybe he's gay.

Scene 9: A meeting of the foundation that Mary started that helps the families of missing children.  An ex-con is offering his services in "awareness raising," to help women avoid being raped and kidnapped.  Mary isn't interested: "We help women here. We don't introduce them to predators." So none of those missing children are boys?  Women are perpetual victims?

Scene 10: Karen/Emma's stalker...um, I mean friend...Jess arrives and asks her out.  They take a boat into the bayou, then go back to the house and hug.  Karen/Emma says "I can't give you nothing better than friendship."  Well, she's jailbait.

Scene 11: Mary goes to visit Kit in prison, but just as she gets into the interview room, he's found dead in his cell (nice chest shot).  She collapses, hysterical, while a guard kisses her hair.  Is that appropriate?

Scene 13: Pete the Psychiatrist shows upa at Karen/Emma's house to tell her that Kit is dead.  She screams and runs out, but Pete grabs her and kisses her hair (the director's got a fetish, I see).

Wait -- why is she in witness protection?  She was a witness in Kit's trial, and now he's dead, so why isn't she safe?

Scene 14:
Montage of Jess working, Karen/Emma attempting suicide, and Mary being distraught.  Jess comes to the door but Karen/Emma won't answer.  

Mary goes to see John the Ex-Con and tells him that people can't change.  You can try to be better, but if you have an evil nature, you're stuck with it (um, that goes against every criminological theory of the last 130 years).  Once a rapist, always a rapist.  So she gives him the job of finding Karen/ Emma.

I don't follow.  Why would being an innate rapist make John qualified to do private detective work?

She blackmails him: take the job, or I'll tell everyone that you are an innate rapist.

Scene 15: Karen/Emma goes to see Jess to apologize for ghosting her before.   But Jess has been stabbed to death.  Well, that was unexpected. The killer is still there, so she runs away in slow motion.  Wait -- is that Mary chasing her?  

Scene 16: The hair salon.  Someone -- I don't think it's Karen/Emma -- is cleaning up.  A middle-aged woman comes in for a trim, and announces that her name is Theresa.  Huh?

Beefcake: None.

Gay Characters:  Jess and probably Karen/Emma, but it's mostly subtext.

Reprehensible Characters:  I really hate Mary. Her attitude toward criminal offenders is extremely old-fashioned and punitive.   If she doesn't think anyone can change, why does she hire an ex-rapist to do detective work?  If she really thinks that Kit killed her daughter, why does she think her daughter is still alive?  Besides, she seems to be in love with her son.

Sexism: Women are constant victims, being constantly raped, kidnapped, and murdered by men.  Men are never victims, just predators doing the raping, kidnapping. murdering, and kissing of hair.

My Grade: D


  1. You forgot lesbians existing as fanservice. But I suppose when you can only write two-dimensional stock characters, it happens.

    On the plus side, the story didn't become all about a man?

    When was Cesare Lombroso discredited anyway? I know Maria Montessori was a student of his.

    1. Lombroso's belief that criminals were atavisms to our prehistoric past was discredited by the 1920s, although his belief that criminals have small, beady eyes, sloping foreheads, prominent ears, and malformed genitals lasted for awhile. Biological criminology, with the belief that some races are naturally criminal, fell outof favor in the 1930s, when the Nazis started saying that it justified genocide. Biological theories still pop up with attempts to find a genetic predisposition to criminality.


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