My thoughts on “The Keepers” [spoiler alert]

I finished watching “The Keepers” on Netflix last weekend.  I wanted to take this week to gather my thoughts on the series before posting this piece.

I didn’t know much about the show before I started it, except that it involved the unsolved murder of a nun in Baltimore and may have had a sexual abuse component.  I had no idea it involved such rampant abuse of students at the high school that would serve as such a critical part of the series.

The second episode where Jean detailed her abuse at the hands of the priests, and other adults, was truly horrifying.  There is no doubt in my mind she was telling the truth and I could barely contain my rage throughout the remainder of the series.

My first question was, shouldn’t the church and its administrators have been the first people insisting that the murderer(s) of Sister Cathy Cesnik be found by the police?  I found that mind-boggling.  I would expect that the church would have had volunteers out searching for her when she was missing, then out looking for clues once she was found.  Instead, it was crickets from the church.  Not even a reward!

My second question was, why didn’t Jean or any of the other students tell a parent or another adult about the abuse?  I can’t imagine being a parent and not questioning why my son or daughter was spending so much time away from the classroom and with a priest.  However, I imagine based on my own grade school brainwashing at a catholic school that no one would have believed that a “holy man” would be capable of such grotesque behavior.  That likely explains why it was never questioned by Jean, or by any of the adults in her life.

My third question was, what role, if any, did Edgar and Billy (and others?) play in Cathy’s murder?  The series didn’t make clear what relationship any of those people had with Mackell, if any.  When the series got to that episode, I’ll admit I got a bit lost.

My fourth question was, how was Joyce Malecki’s murder connected to Cathy’s murder?  I initially thought that perhaps the priest had Joyce killed a few days after Cathy disappeared in order to distract authorities from her disappearance.  However, the series never developed that connection, probably because the government still hasn’t released any information about Joyce’s case to her family.

My fifth question was, who is Brother Bob?  I suspect it’s Mackell’s brother Bob, who was a police officer.  Just a guess.

My working theory is that Mackell had Edgar and his crew kill Cathy because he knew she was going to uncover his abuse.  He then had Joyce killed either because she also knew too much, or simply to distract attention away from Cathy’s disappearance.

The bottom line is that the church allowed this behavior to go on even though it knew about it because let’s face it, the church needs customers to exist.  The church saw its future with a dwindling congregation, which means dwindling funds.  It couldn’t afford to lose either existing customers or new customers, so it had to accept such behavior and keep it under wraps.  If the church admitted it had a pervasive problem, it would have ceased to exist.  And the church couldn’t have that, since it is a business above all else.  And that tacit approval of such abhorrent behavior resulted in continued sexual and physical abuse, and an overall feeling that priests and others in authority within the church could operate without consequences.

My true hope is that everyone watches this series so that it opens more eyes to these truths.  I saw the truth as a child many years ago, and this series only confirmed what I already knew.  I also hope that both the Malecki and Czesnik families, as well as all of the victims of Mackell, get justice.

My thoughts on “The Keepers” [spoiler alert]

What I’ve been watching…

Bosch Season 3 (Amazon Prime) – I’m only about halfway through but so far, this season is great.  I’m also starting the Bosch books from the beginning, though I think I read some of them back in the 90s.  This season is supposed to be a combination of two of the early books.  There’s a lot going on – a serial killer in Koreatown, the murder of a Vietnam vet, the murder of a young woman, and the murder of one of Bosch’s former nemesis.

My favorite characters are still J. Edgar and Irving, probably because they were both on The Wire.

Gomorrah Season 2 (Sundance, Wednesdays) – Sundance just aired the first four episodes of season 2 these past 2 weeks.  That means there’s only 4 weeks left, which makes me want to savor every single second of this delectable show.

I didn’t watch the Sopranos, but the consensus on twitter is that Gomorrah makes that show look like The Brady Bunch.  Spoiler alert!  Ciro killed his own wife, and the show then killed off my favorite character, Salvatore Conti, by slitting his throat in a church.  Great stuff, but I wish Conti was still alive.  I loved the religious imagery in his apartment juxtaposed with his brutality.  He will be missed!

Louis C.K. Seasons 1 – 4 (Netflix) – So how did I not start watching this guy until now?  He is hilarious!  He’s like a raunchy Seinfeld.  I’m now on season 4 which is getting super serious.  I don’t love the storyline with the foreign woman so hopefully that’s done for good.  I can’t wait to watch his comedy specials when I finish the show.  I also loved seeing Allan Havey in one of the episodes.

Billions Season 2 (Showtime, Sundays) – I think this season is better than the first, which is saying a lot.  The penultimate episode this week was terrific.  I totally didn’t see that twist coming, which is a sure sign of great writing.  I hate the fact that Rhoades won this round, especially since poor Ira was a pawn and the ultimate loser in his little game.  And Rhoades is a sucker if the thinks that Axelrod won’t crush him when it counts.  We’ll see.

Better Call Saul Season 3 (AMC, Mondays) – I’m not sure where they’re going this season but I can’t wait to find out.  I wonder if they’ll get to the part where Mike does start working for Fring?

What I’ve been watching…

My thoughts on Hotel Beausejour…(spoilers)

So I finished the Belgian Netflix series Hotel Beausejour this weekend.  I really enjoyed it but it did have some flaws.  A lot of it probably had to do with my lack of familiarity with Belgian culture (and language).

The story is about a teenage girl named Kato who is murdered.  She realizes that she is dead and appears on the show as herself, but as a ghost figure.  She can feel pain and is basically still a human.  The interesting part is that only 6 people can actually see and interact with her.  To the rest, she is dead.

Not even Kato knows how she ended up dead or who did it, so she is determined to identify the killer.  She enlists the help of the 5 people who can see her (more on # 6 later).  The 5 people are her dad, her stepsister, a police officer who happens to be the uncle of her ex-boyfriend, her friend, and the son of the aforementioned police officer, who she hooked up with the night of her murder.

It is a murder mystery but there’s a lot of emotion involved, and Kato is both a tragic and an unsympathetic figure.  The 6th person who sees her is not revealed until the last episode, and that person ends up being the killer.  I totally didn’t see it coming and the show did accomplish that element of surprise.

I do recommend this show if you like foreign shows and films.  It reminded me of a Belgian “Veronica Mars”.

 

My thoughts on Hotel Beausejour…(spoilers)

Back from a Scandinavian hiatus…

Sorry I’ve been away for a while.  To be honest, I didn’t have much to write about recently.  However, I just finished the third season of “Rita” on Netflix.  The show is from Denmark and is about a middle-aged single mother who is a teacher at a struggling school.  She is the resident anarchist at the school and looks out for the students in unconventional ways.

Of course, she has a lot of personal baggage that’s covered on the show as well.  I enjoyed the exposure not only to the Danish school system, but also how different Danish culture is from American culture.  For example, an episode about abortion was handled very pointedly and didn’t have a happy ending.  In the USA, that topic is the third rail of television and is rarely addressed.  And if it is, there’s a pollyanna ending that has no basis in reality.  I highly recommend this series.

I also finished “Occupied” on Netflix.  This is only one season so far but I’m intrigued.  It’s set in Norway where the political party in power has done away with using fossil fuels because of climate change.  Russia and the rest of Europe get nervous because this cuts off their access to Norway’s rich oil stores.  Russia essentially occupies Norway in an attempt to intimidate the government into changing the policy.  International intrigue ensues, and I was hooked.

I am onto Jessica Jones next.

Happy watching!

Back from a Scandinavian hiatus…

DVR alert

Warren Buffett documentary – HBO Monday night

Trumped (unseen footage from The Circus re: campaign) – Showtime Friday night

Planet Earth – BBC 2/18

Billions – Showtime 2/19

Tickled – HBO 2/27

The Partner – CNBC 3/7 (moved from 2/28)

Better Call Saul – AMC 4/10

House of Cards – Netflix 5/30

DVR alert