Pieces Of Her season 1, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

By Adam Lock
Published: March 4, 2022 (Last updated: January 20, 2024)
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Netflix Pieces Of Her season 1, episode 1


Toni Collette leads this thrilling mini-series about a local hero with a suspicious past.

This recap of Netflix’s Pieces Of Her season 1, episode 1 contains spoilers.

Access the archive of recaps, reviews, and features for Pieces of Her.

Toni Collette has carved herself a successful career out of mixing quality genre roles (Hereditary, Knives Out) with more highbrow dramatic performances (see Netflix’s Unbelievable). This latest mini-series from Netflix looks like the latter, a perfect role for the actress to sink her teeth into. Pieces Of Her is an eight-part thriller based on the 2018 novel of the same name from Karin Slaughter. It stars Collette as Laura Oliver, a speech therapist with a decidedly murky past. We follow her daughter Andy (played by Bella Heathcote) as she tries to uncover the truth of her mother’s mysterious double life.

Pieces Of Her season 1, episode 1 recap

Director Minkie Spiro (Downton Abbey, Better Call Saul) starts off proceedings by introducing our likable lead: Andy Oliver. It’s her thirtieth birthday and she’s bored at work, answering 911 calls from crazed locals, doodling into a notepad. She’s a sympathetic character, undecided on her purpose in life and still living in her mother’s house, albeit in the back garden. Her lodging is messy, with illustrations littering every work surface. They live in a sunny, sleepy town called Belle Isle and all seems right in the world.

Laura takes her daughter out for lunch to celebrate this milestone birthday. The mum uses this occasion to grill Andy on her career choices and depressive mood. Andy is defensive and switches the focus onto her dead father. A mother and daughter (Betsy and Shelley) come over to chat with Laura and Andy spots her chance to escape. The mother calls Laura a miracle worker and thanks her. Those sensitive to spoilers may want to turn away right now. What follows is one of the biggest shock moments of 2022 so far!

Talk about an inciting incident, this action-packed diner scene is compelling and powerful, a real leftfield twist. A creepy man draws his weapon on the unsuspecting Crab Shack guests and shoots Shelley dead. He then kills her mother Betsy and a poor patron who tries to phone the cops. It’s a shocking turn of events that is impeccably executed. Absolute anarchy to get your heart racing. To add to this surging momentum, the creep heads over to Andy, still in her police uniform, who is frozen with fear. The gunman wants Andy to fight back, he calls her a pig and asks where her weapon is. Laura explains that she just answers 911 calls, she’s unarmed, shoot me instead. Again, another emotive moment so early in the show.

The ending

The mother manages to save the day and disarm the shooter. In a standout scene that just keeps on ratcheting up the tension, Laura takes a knife to the hand and then slits the murderer’s throat. She exudes a cold, calculated façade that screams further questioning. Who is this woman? What secrets does she hold? Whilst the paramedics rush onto the scene, she speaks in a dazed paranoia, asking if it’s snowing outside and warning Andy not to talk to ‘them’. Once more, alluding to a suspicious past.

Episode one is the perfect setup for the entire series. It introduces the main cast, there’s plenty of energetic action, many questions are asked and the audience is left desperate to find out more from this unfolding story. A very binge-able offering from Netflix, this looks set to be a gripping thriller everyone will be talking about.

What did you think of Netflix’s Pieces Of Her season 1, episode 1? Comment below.

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