A husband and father suddenly disappears under shady circumstances, leaving behind cryptic notes and a bundle of cash, as The Last Thing He Told Me gets underway. His new wife and high school-age daughter are then left to track down the truth about the man they thought they knew. In a moment, we’ll want to know what you thought about the premiere of Apple TV+’s mystery drama (based on Laura Dave’s novel of the same name). But first, our quick recap:
Jennifer Garner (Alias) plays Hannah Hall, a wood turner living in Sausalito with her husband of about a year, Owen Michaels (played by Game of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his teen daughter Bailey (Mare of Easttown‘s Angourie Rice). We get just enough of the newly forged family’s scenes together to understand that Bailey isn’t happy about having to share her dad with his new-ish wife. Meanwhile, Hannah is trying too hard to get the girl to like her, a move which makes for a lot of eye-rolling and annoyed sighing on Bailey’s part.
Near the end of the school day, the doorbell at the house rings, and a girl in a soccer uniform hands Hannah a note scrawled on yellow paper. “Mr. Michaels asked me to give this to you,” she says, adding that he ran past her in the hall at school and offered her $20 to deliver the message. When Hannah opens it, the note reads: “PROTECT HER.” And when Hannah calls Owen, his phone goes directly to voicemail.
She drives to his workplace, a firm called The Shop, and finds the FBI raiding it; the head of the firm is led out in handcuffs. At the same time, Bailey finds a duffel bag full of money in her locker at school; a note attached says: “B, I’m sorry I can’t help this make sense. You know what matters about me. And what matters about yourself. You are my whole life. Dad.”
When Hannah picks Bailey up from school, the girl demands to know where her father is. Hannah shares the little she knows, Bailey shows her the rolls of cash, and then an overwhelmed Hannah bolts from their parked vehicle and throws up, then drives them home.
Hannah’s reporter friend Jules (Criminal Minds‘ Aisha Tyler) comes over with sympathy and a heap of exposition. The Shop allegedly committed billion-dollar fraud; there was an IPO in the recent past, and the company hid the fact that its exciting new software doesn’t actually work, artificially inflating the business’ value. Bottom line: Its stockholders are poised to lose a jillionbillionzillion dollars. Jules tried to call Hannah to warn her, but when she didn’t pick up, Jules called Owen instead — which is why he had the heads-up on the investigation and the ability to skip town before the feds arrived. Worse, Owen — who was the company’s chief coder — didn’t seem surprised at what Jules told him. “What did he want to know?” Hannah wonders. “How long he had to get out,” Jules replies.
After Bailey goes to bed, Hannah flashes back to giving Owen a lesson in wood turning on what looks like their first date. They talk about what defines a piece of wood, then she asks what defines him. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my daughter,” he says, serious.
The next morning, a U.S. Marshal is at the house, telling her that he needs to know what Owen told her so that he can “protect her.” He reports that Owen hasn’t used any credit cards or his phone in 24 hours, which means he probably has a burner phoen. “Why are you making him sound like some sort of criminal mastermind?” she asks angrily. But the marshal only answers her with a loaded, and very troubling, statement: :”Owen Michaels is not who you think he is.”
Now it’s your turn. Grade the premiere via the poll below, then hit the comments to tell us your thoughts!
The pacing is uneven. I kind of want to care, but I don’t. Where reveals will come, they are foreshadowed to be formulaic. Meh
I started watching it around 8 am. I had to pause it while I went to take care of something else. When I came back my Apple TV had shut down automatically. I forgot I was watching it and started up my Bluray player to watch something else. Didn’t even remember I had that show going until later that night when I turned the Apple TV back on and it was showing the home page for that show.
I was so bored watching this that I don’t care to continue.
There is nothing new or intriguing about the premise of the show.
I really enjoyed it. Can’t wait for the third episode to be uploaded. I love everything Jennifer Gardner is in.
I think I figured out what he’s running from
Great show. Love Jennifer garner in this!
So tired of disagreeable teenagers causing problems for everyone! Then, Hannah was pretty much a stubborn fool, as well.