Reckoning is another one of the shows which were pushed on Netflix due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The series offers the most basic hook, with a cop hunting a serial killer in his small town. Slow-burning and grim pace works against the show, and it’s difficult to binge over the weekend.
Reckoning serves up problematic characters in a town where no one seems to be what he appears to be. There is not enough originality in the plot and hardly any action as it focuses on intense drama. The familiar fan favorites in the cast and a script that supports the bleak setting are the redeeming qualities of Reckoning.
1. Quick Review
Reckoning (2019)Air Date: October 1, 2019 Status: Finished No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 10
Reckoning focuses on a cop who is haunted by his failure to catch a serial killer. When the killer resurfaces, we expect a thrilling cat and mouse chase but are instead offered a predictable, boring drama unfolding in a small town.
While the acting is good by veterans Sam Trammell and Aden Young, the script feels monotonous and heavy. The genre has been covered in better movies and TV shows, and this feels like a mediocre attempt.
2. Is It Worth Watching?
The show, with its slow pace, and the grim setting, feels long. The 10-part series fails to offer much originality. The show doesn’t take a breather keeping you immersed in the bleakness until you’re forced to turn it off to take a break.
The plot revolves around a veteran cop named Mike Serrato (Young), who is haunted by his failures while trying to catch a serial killer. The case takes such a heavy toll on him that we seem him getting nightmares and going for a midnight jog to clear his head in the pilot.
When the killer resurfaces and starts another killing spree, Mike sees it as an opportunity to rectify his mistakes. He struggles to balance his personal and professional life as his two daughters fall into the killer’s target demographic.
The show starts by revealing a man confessing his sins in a church. He confesses to having committed the previous murders, and we get to know that the serial killer is the high-school guidance counselor Leo. Leo is a harmless community member who is liked by the kids and is one of the few adults who hang out with them. From smoking joints to helping the kids, Leo is the last person anyone would suspect.
The show focuses on the protagonist and the antagonist crossing paths while one is on the hunt for the other. The small-town community which appears jovial from the outside hides deep secrets on the inside. No one is what they seem, and every new character adds more bleakness to the show’s existing monotone.
II. Cast & Characters
The town seems to be populated with some of the worst of humanity. Everyone pretends that they are not broken while hiding twisted secrets.
Aden Young, best known for his part on the drama Rectify reverses the roles playing a cop this time. Although playing the good guy, his character is flawed. There are tensions between him and his wife, and it is revealed that he has cheated on her.
He has a volatile temper, which he takes out on his daughter when she gets a tattoo because the killer targets tattooed teenage girls. He has been suspended from his job before and is still prepared to go to any limit to not let the killer slip through his fingers this time.
Sam Trammell of True Blood fame plays the cheery well-liked guidance counselor Leo, who is the closeted serial killer. He gives a strong performance from the opening sequence of his confessional, where he claims he is losing his grip on reality.
Mike and him are on amicable terms, and most importantly, both are family men. Their paths cross often, and the tension between the hunter and the hunted is what drives the show forward.
III. Visuals & Music
The cinematography creates a grim vibe and creates a sense of bleakness. There is no respite from the heaviness that looms in the atmosphere, and this is a town you’ll never wish you lived in. The score also lends to the grim setting of the show.
These are the elements which if used well, enhance a show’s appearance and storytelling. Reckoning instead dives into a pool with no intention of coming up for air. This is what puts you off from wanting to binge Reckoning.
3. Final Thoughts
Reckoning is a mediocre drama that could have used some action or chase sequences to make it more entertaining. Familiar names and good writing are not enough to dispel the ever-present atmosphere of seriousness in the show.
There have been other cat-and-mouse shows, which either have more entertainment or better direction and storytelling. As a crime drama, it falls short of the various originals available on Netflix, and it would hardly make its way to your watchlist.