Unbelievable Recap: Linking The Cases Together

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 14, 2019 (Last updated: December 4, 2023)
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Netflix Series Unbelievable Season 1, Episode 3


Unbelievable Season 1, Episode 3 ramps up the investigation, continuing the important themes, as Karen and Grace try and link their cases.

This recap of Netflix Series Unbelievable Season 1, Episode 3 contains significant spoilers. The series is based on a true story. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

Episode 3 goes into full investigation mode after two chapters that presented insightful case studies. Grace Rasmussen (Toni Collette) brings in a potential suspect, but soon finds out that it is a dead lead — he just so happens to be some aspiring scientist moving rocks.

The next day Detective Karen Duvall (Merritt Wever) approaches Grace. Now, Grace has an entirely different personality to Karen. While Karen is patient, reserved and seemingly a more logical thinker, Grace is more of a doer. As Karen speaks to her about their similar cases, Grace wants to be on the move, looking like she is not listening, but she is.

Both detectives speak to a previous victim about her ex-husband, but again, the metrics do not match to the rapist they are looking for. Karen tries to ask the victim about a birthmark, but the trauma removed any visualization from the night she was raped. Grace criticizes Karen for speaking to her victim.

Around the midway point of Unbelievable Episode 3, it appeared that both lead characters were not going to see eye-to-eye. Karen confided in her partner about her frustration with Grace. However, the disappointment was more born out of not having a single suspect, and Amber, her rape victim, is disappointed no progress is being made, with her boyfriend asking why she even bothered visiting with no updates.

What Grace and Karen have in common is that they are both equally determined to find this rapist. Unbelievable Episode 3 provides two different working methods, but the objective remains the same. It’s the same energy — it’s personal.

Unbelievable Episode 3 gives us an update on Marie. Her life continues to become more and more insufferable, enclosing darkness around her. Her name has been leaked to the press as a “false accuser”, and although Judith, her foster carer, tries to stop Marie from finding out, it was too late. Marie receives a flood of abusive messages and calls from people she does not even know. Her friend Ty tries to comfort her, which works for a moment; however, when she returns to her apartment, the counselor gives Marie a letter. The police have sent Marie a charge against for a false statement. The police have buckled to the media.

Unbelievable Episode 3 shows Karen having a lightbulb moment — the detective wonders if the rapist understands how police departments across districts work; Karen calculates the likelihood of districts talking to each other, meaning the rapist is methodically targeting women one district at a time knowing the probability that police will match cases. Karen realizes that police records are never entirely descriptive and spends all night going through the County cases. When Karen presents this idea to Grace, the two women decide to ring each district regarding the cases to see if they can find a match.

Unbelievable Season 1, Episode 3 closes with Grace finding a potential match, and both detectives finally find common ground. Grace asks Karen to merge the cases and to situate herself at her district.

You can read the recap of Episode 4 by clicking these words.

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