Pieces Of Her is a TV series which premiered in Netflix on 4 March 2022. The thriller is based on Karin Slaughter’s novel of the same name. It follows Andy Oliver (Bella Heathcote) as she discovers her mother, Laura’s (Toni Collette) past.
Pieces Of Her: Episode 1 Summary
A Birthday Lunch Gone Wrong
Andy Oliver is a 30-year old woman who lives with her mother in the small town of Bella Isle while working as a phone operator for the police. She used to live in New York, juggling 3 jobs, but she returned to Bella Isle to care for her mother, Laura when Laura got sick. On her 30th birthday, Andy went out for lunch with her mother. During lunch, Laura suggested that Andy returned to New York or try to get a degree, but Andy refused and was frustrated that Laura, who is a speech therapist, was trying to diagnose her. From their conversation, we also learned that Andy did not remember anything about her father , Jerry, even though Laura assured her that her late father loved her very much.
Andy and Laura’s conversation was interrupted by Betsy, wife of one of Laura’s patient. Betsy was with her daughter Shelly and they had a small talk about Shelly’s future. A frustrated Andy left the table only to pass a tall, young man who quickly took out his gun and shot Shelly and Betsy. The whole restaurant went into a panic mode as the man continued to shoot more innocent victims. Andy who was terrified, laid on the floor while Laura covered her. The man then turned to Andy asking her to do her job as a police officer, not knowing that she was just a telephone operator in police uniform.
Sensing her daughter’s life is in danger, Laura provoked the man to shoot her instead. But when the man tried to shoot her, Laura knocked the man’s gun, causing a misfire and making him run out of bullets. The angry man then stabbed Laura’s hand with a knife and Andy watched as her mother calmly and easily used the knife that penetrated her hand to slit the man’s throat.
Don't tell the police
As the police was arriving, Andy tried to talk to her mother who was weak due to loss of blood. Laura asked Andy if it was snowing although the weather seemed very sunny, and told Andy not to tell the police anything. In the hospital, Andy’s stepfather (Laura’s ex-husband), Gordon came to visit. The police tried to question Andy, but Andy pretended to be shaken by the incident to refuse talking to the cops. Andy was informed that the man was Shelly’s ex-boyfriend who was heartbroken when they broke up.
Meanwhile, Laura had a surgery but wanted to go home immediately as she “did not like all the attention”. She requested that Andy spend the night at Gordon’s, saying that Andy has to learn how to be an adult. However, it was clear that she was hiding something. The media was also continuously reporting on the incident and deemed Laura extremely heroic as she potentially saved many lives.
An unexpected break in
At night, as Andy is about to leave to Gordon’s, she saw the shadow of a man in the bike shed. Again, Andy was terrified, but this time, she went back to the house when she heard the man break in. She saw the man tying her mother up. When the man tried to suffocate Laura with a plastic bag, Andy immediately grabbed Laura’s phone and alerted the police. Then, she grabbed a sturdy, ceramic-looking toilet roll holder and knocked the man out, rescuing her mother.
Andy freed Laura but was still shaken by the incident, not sure if the man was dead. Laura then gave instructions to Andy to take the man’s car to Carrollton and find another car in Get-Em-Go. Then, Andy will have to drive the car to Maine and wait for Laura to call her on a phone given to her. Although she was shocked and unclear about what is happening, Andy trusted her mother and drove the man’s car away to Carrollton.
Additional Observations From Episode 1
- Laura is a breast cancer survivor. We saw scars from her breast surgery in one of the scenes.
- Laura was afraid her location will be revealed by the news. She was hiding from someone.
- Gordon seemed to be aware of Laura’s past, advising her to “call them”. But how much did he know?