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The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

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Having been acquitted for the murders of her parents, Lizzie makes plans to restart her life. Agent Charles Siringo is determined to discover the truth.

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I started watching this. After a while I was getting a little tired of the slow pace and the weird editing and music, so I paused it to see how far I'd gotten. There were still 50 minutes left..

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Normally I enjoy documentaries/t.v. shows/movies about maybe or maybe not killers so on paper this sounded good to me & I like Christina Ricci but People Magazine and others have given it such bad reviews I thought I would wait and see what posters where saying here.  Well with only 1 response and it aired on Sunday that doesn't really bode well for the show I think =(

 

 

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I enjoyed it! They set a lot of storylines into motion in episode 1 that might be hard to keep straight, but it's good campy fun, imo.

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I enjoyed the two actresses who played the Borden sisters. I did not like the music for this show. It just took me out of the era.

 

The Pinkerton detective is interesting. I am glad that the brother is gone already. I did not like that charactor.

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So this seems to be Lizzie Borden as an 1890s Dexter Morgan. After reading "Maplecroft" last year I think I would prefer her as Lizzie-the-Cthulhu-Slayer, but I can't imagine any network greenlighting that particular concept.

Edited by NeenerNeener

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I was intrigued by the idea of this show and was looking forward to it. But after seeing this episode I was disappointed. The music was terrible, no suspense, it was a bad slasher movie gone really bad. Too bad they didn't take a clue from Bates Motel production team on how to translate good source material to the small screen. I won't be watching again.

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Yes! There's a thread for this show. I liked the first episode. It wasn't amazing but it was fine. I saw the movie but I don't remember it that well. Right now the show doesn't really seem focused. It's not like say... How to Get Away With Murder where there's a central mystery. You know she killed her parents. The Pinkerton is investigating her but he's not a big threat. It's kind of like you're just watching her life as it happens. And I think that actually works. When they had a goal in the movie and didn't make it as compelling as they could have, it came across boring. I like Christina Ricci in this part. She's creating a very interesting female character.

 

I do think a big weakness is the fact that we do know she's guilty and that she's now gone on to kill two more people. It undercuts the strength of all that gossip/public perception/small town ostracizing/etc. 

 

I agree that the editing is annoying. But I stuck with How to Get Away with Murder through those stupid flashbacks. I don't mind the music so much. That song coming in when she picked up the axe was great.

 

I love the costumes. The costumes are fabulous.

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Lizzie and Emma visit New York City, where Lizzie saves a street prostitute from a violent beating. But her good deed is met with wrath from a local gangster. Meanwhile, a playwright tries to get Lizzie to finance his latest work; and Siringo turns up evidence that further incriminates Lizzie.

 

 

 

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That quote showing in the promo was what guaranteed my eyes glued to the screen. Yes, it's basically Christina Ricci playing Lizzie Borden as a grown-up Wednesday Addams, and I'm perfectly fine with that!

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In the fictional setting of the show, wouldn't a black sheep criminal half-brother showing up right after the trial, making a spectacle of demands for his cut of the Broden inheritance, and apparently murdering the family's main creditor after an argument in front of a bunch of witnesses pretty much exonerate Lizzie of guilt in public perception?

 

I know I'd be thinking "Ah-ha! So THAT'S who chopped the Bordens up like firewood!" rather than continuing to suspect Lizzie if I were one of the locals.

Edited by Bruinsfan
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Jessy Schram* as a burlesque (or whatever that was) dancer?...  I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about that.

 

So, the body count and the whack count continues to grow, with the dead writer.

 

Then there's Lizzie and Adele kissing, sending Lizzie into the potential depraved/psycho lesbian/bisexual trope categories.  Tread carefully, Lifetime. (Oh, who I am kidding.)

 

And, I hate that they spoiled Adele's fate in the previews for the next episode.

 

I guess I'm mainly here for Christina Ricci, but for some reason, I'm re-imagining this series in my mind as the "The Scarlett O'Hara Chronicles," with Lizzie as a more ruthless version of Scarlett O'Hara. ("If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.")

 

 

 

*Who I always associate first with Hannah from Veronica Mars.

 

 

(edit:  it's Christina Ricci, not Christine )

Edited by Just Here
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I don't know...I think I like it.  I was much more engaged this episode and Christian is fun as Lizzie Borden. I was really questioning the fact that the started this show after the trials are over, but I now see how that can be somewhat intriguing.  I'm in.

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For speculations and spoilers and theories about both the real life murders and lives of Lizzie Borden and her familiy and friends of Fall River.

 

My first speculaton: The the detctive is working for Emma. We know that the sister became estranged later in life, what if the show is setting this up as Emma wanting to know the truth about what happened since she was away at the time?

Edited by rtms77

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Is Fall River a small town or a medium-sized city? If Lizzie kills someone each episode, there won't be anyone left by next season.

 

I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about the two episodes, other than a bit sorry for Clea DuVall. I'm happy she's working (I swear, last week I saw her in this show, The Faculty, and an SVU episode all on the same day!) but Emma isn't much of a character yet. I hope that changes.

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Is Fall River a small town or a medium-sized city? If Lizzie kills someone each episode, there won't be anyone left by next season.

Perhaps Lizzie should take inspiration from Mr. Siringo and become a traveling amateur sleuth?

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I'm not a huge fan of this Adele thing because you just know she's going to end up six feet under before long, but I've been waiting for Lizzie to make out with another girl since the movie. There's some evidence supporting the idea that Lizzie Borden was in fact gay (and that she was in a relationship with Nance O'Neil, an actress, IIRC), so I knew lifetime was gonna grab that and run with it from the get-go.

 

There was a historical in-joke I truly enjoyed; Lizzie's line of "that poor dog" is probably a reference to the fact that the real Lizzie was such an animal-lover that she left most of her money to an animal rescue society. (Which is why I prefer to believe it wasn't her that strung up all those cats.)

 

I liked that Siringo was spending his time trying to prove Lizzie's guilt in murders other than her famous parents' case in this episode. Last week when he started investigating her it kept bugging me because even if he proved that she did it beyond a shadow of a doubt, she's been tried and acquitted. Double jeopardy means she can't be tried for the same crime twice. He could get her to admit it and he still couldn't have anything done to her. So the fact that he's keeping an eye on what she's doing now makes much more sense.

 

I suspect we're supposed to take the movie's canon as stopping when Lizzie's trial ended since obviously she's neither confessed to Emma what she did, nor has Emma left her. I wonder if they'll decide to revisit the Borden murders and imply something else went on that we didn't see in the movie. They seem to be setting Lizzie up as a lifelong sociopath turned careful serial killer in a way that makes her former crime look very sloppy. ("I ate a pear, I ate three pears".) Perhaps getting away with the first murder gave her the thirst for more, and now she has a better idea of the legal system and how to cover her tracks more effectively. Had Siringo not been on the case no one would ever suspect that it was she who did away with Almy.

 

She does need to be better about disposing of her victims going forward, I mean how many dead bodies are going to be found near the Borden sisters before even more questions are asked? I'm guessing she'll be dropping off her latest victim and Adele in a bad part of the city and making it look like (in the words of Malory Archer) a classic hooker murder-suicide.

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Is Fall River a small town or a medium-sized city? If Lizzie kills someone each episode, there won't be anyone left by next season.

 

Heh.  Looking at census population totals (via Wikipedia), Fall River jumped from 74,398 in 1890 to 104,863 in 1900, so a declining population won't be an issue. (The city was a booming mill town during this era.)

 

Though, at that population size and given the era, a homicide rate of more than 2 per 100,000 per year would probably be quite unusual.  So, if the body count turns into a cluster of homicides, that could attract additional attention from the press and law enforcement, absent a Sunnydale Syndrome situation.

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What in the holy Hell is this? I guess it's a good thing there are no living Bordens left (I presume) - otherwise Lifetime would be sued for slander. How do you take an actual historical person and just make crap up about them? There was no half brother and nobody ever challenged the Borden sisters for their inheritance.

 

That said, this is just enough of trainwreck to hold my attention for awhile.

Edited by iMonrey

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The business about Benjamin (the baby?) is pretty disturbing....I'm assuming there will be some explanation later on in the series.

They seemed to imply that it was her sister's baby. Maybe having the baby ruined her chances of a husband and family (previous scene when they were discussing where they thought they'd be at this age) or maybe that desire drove her to take up an unsuitable guy who left her pregnant with no support. It's weird that no one in town has brought it up. A skeleton like that suggests that she had the baby... not that she had a miscarriage or abortion. Maybe he was premature? But still. It seems like a rumor that would have come up before now.

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From what I've heard of company towns in that time period, she'd get off Scott free if she confined her murders to recently-arrived Irish workmen.

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What in the holy Hell is this? I guess it's a good thing there are no living Bordens left (I presume) - otherwise Lifetime would be sued for slander. How do you take an actual historical person and just make crap up about them?

 

The basic rule, at least here in the States, is that defamation is only actionable while the victim is still alive.  Once they're dead, it is essentially open season.  (See this Jonathan Turley blog post for a thorough summary.)

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There was a historical in-joke I truly enjoyed; Lizzie's line of "that poor dog" is probably a reference to the fact that the real Lizzie was such an animal-lover that she left most of her money to an animal rescue society. (Which is why I prefer to believe it wasn't her that strung up all those cats.)

 

Siringo: She killed three husbands and the family dog.

Lizzie: That poor dog.

 

LOL! I cracked up so hard because as he was going over the litany of the woman's crimes my first thought was "the poor dog" too!

 

Seems like they're following history a wee bit more in this episode. Historical Lizzie did in fact take up with a theater crowd, and in 1899 an actor was on the same social level as a prostitute. (Boy those were the days.) It's one of the things that drove Emma away.

 

I'd like to know who hired Pinkerton/Siringo to investigate her, though. Logically, it would have been the insurance company that didn't want to pay out any life insurance benefits to a murderer, but that ship has sailed now. 

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Okay, then.  Lizzie is just too murderous for belief.  If this show persists in having her murder on average two people per episode, it would be impossible for her never to be caught for at least on of her victims.  I might watch another episode but if she again murders a person without anyone catching on, than I will pass for future watching.  

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Yes. This show is absolutely campy and likely completely lacking in any historical accuracy. But I am all in! Christina Ricci was born to play a psychopath! And I've been a Cole Hauser fan since Dazed and Confused. I am loving this show and look forward to every new episode!

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Lizzie hosts a housewarming party in her new mansion, but the lavish affair is upstaged by a pesky actress who is distressed about her missing brother. He was last seen with Lizzie. Meanwhile, Mr. Flowers involves Lizzie in an extortion scheme; and Charles Siringo meets his anonymous employer who is determined to find the truth about Lizzie.

 

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Wow. Lizzie does not play. I was pretty surprised by Clea Duvall's character this episode. I'm not sure about the anachronistic music but the rest has been pretty interesting. I'm in.

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I just started watching this as of yesterday + watching this episode right now as I am typing.... I am liking this series so far.... I think it's funny whenever Clea Duvall makes a face....It seems like Lizzie is certainly not wasting any time in between the murders.... It's like she ain't waiting for the paint to dry.... But, then again, the murders seems to be more spontaneous....I am thinking her not being patient enough to wait in between murders will be her demise....Like damn girl, can you wait like a minute?

Edited by OrientalAmish
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I was disappointed by the apparent disposal of Charlie Siringo

 

Hoping it's just a fakeout because that's pretty much my one rule for a TV show...don't kill off the hot guy.

 

That being said, I can't quite decide if I like this show or not. On one hand it's beyond weird how they took the story of Lizzie Borden and just spun into all kinds of crazy. However, watching her run around town offing whoever gets in her way is kinda entertaining.

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Am I crazy or is this show so bad it's good? She took out Flowers, Pinkerton guy and Adele all in one fell swoop! That was . . . kind of awesome. How many episodes are there supposed to be? Because there's hardly anyone left for her to kill! I bet Emma's new beau gets it next.

 

Christina Ricci is just chewing up the scenery and somehow she's really making this show work. I just noticed in the opening credits she's an executive producer, and I wonder how much of this story was her idea. It's so twisted, I really didn't know what to make of it until this episode but the scene where she shoots Mr. Flowers ("It's my father's old straight edge, would you like it? No? How about this? BAM!) and in the same instant turns and slashes Adele with the razor had me howling. Holy cow. 

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Hoping it's just a fakeout because that's pretty much my one rule for a TV show...don't kill off the hot guy.

 

That being said, I can't quite decide if I like this show or not. On one hand it's beyond weird how they took the story of Lizzie Borden and just spun into all kinds of crazy. However, watching her run around town offing whoever gets in her way is kinda entertaining.

 

Subsection of said rule is: If they kill off Cole Hauser, I'm probably going to stop watching since he's the reason I'm watching to begin with.

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Charles Siringo and Nance O'Keefe join forces against Lizzie; Skipjack, the new underworld boss, exploits a lethal secret Lizzie wants hidden; a haughty neighbor incites Lizzie's wrath by mistreating her dog; and a romance threatens to come between Lizzie and her sister.

 

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I haven't watched this show, but I have always been fascinated by this case.  I feel like Lizzie must have done it because she had the motive and opportunity to do it, but how the heck did she pull this off?  John Douglas, the FBI profiler, had a chapter on this case in one of his books.  He thinks she did it and gives some interesting observations on how.  It's been a while since I read his book, but I remember some of his points.  The uncle had been visiting and Douglas speculates that Lizzie overheard them talking about money matters that might give Lizzie and Emma the short stick. Apparently the stepmother and father had been quite ill just a day or so before the murders, so ill that Abby went to the doctor who lived nearby and wanted to be checked for poisoning.  There was no sign of it in their milk, and also the autopsies after the murder showed no signs of poison.  There was the infamous mutton stew, but also the clerk that testified that Lizzie tried to buy poison shortly before the murders.  So much conflicting evidence!

 

Plus how did she (or anyone) do this and not be covered with blood?  I would really be surprised if she did it ala the TV movies where she stripped down and committed the murders in the nude. Even if that was the case, what about blood in her hair?  Could she have worn the dress that she burned in the stove to do it?  Douglas speculates that for the murder of the father, he hung his heavy black wool coat up when he got home and that Lizzie put it on and then put it under his head after the murder.  Still, what about the murder weapon?  What happened to it? And how could the killer not have left a blood trail through the room and out the door?  This occurred during the height of summer; anyone that exerted that much energy in swinging that hatchet would have been drenched with sweat.  Lizzie I think was seen wearing a very genteel Victorian long sleeved outfit and the police observed that she was definitely not sweaty or out of breath.  Plus, it seems that someone swinging a hatchet that many times would have some sort of redness or calluses on their hands.  There was some talk that she was having her period--could she have put any bloody evidence in the soak pail?  The police were too Victorian to check her underwear after the murders.

 

I think for inheritance purposes the stepmother had to die before the father, and that is how it played out.  The note that Lizzie mentions asking Abby to come help someone seems completely bogus to me.  How could the killer have gotten in the house, killed Abby, then hung around another hour or so and killed Andrew?  Lizzie inherited the money and lived the life she wanted to live.  Was she so bold that she was willing to gamble that a jury of men would never convict her?  I hate unsolved cases!  I keep hoping someone's diary will turn up with a confession.

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So this is a show you can't think too hard about because it doesn't make much sense whether you're talking about Lizzie or the guy investigating her. Also, I have no idea what they're going for in their larger themes. That thing with the playwright was ridiculous. It was a horribly ineffective way of communicating a gender imbalance and male entitlement to a woman's body once "fallen." It literally came out of nowhere. I don't know why he did it and they didn't even bother putting in a line that explained how he knew she had been a prostitute. The Jonathan Banks scene was kind of fun though. The party scene and the play and anachronistic music really made me think of that Marie Antoinette movie with Kirsten Dunst.

 

Lastly, WTF, is she going to participate in killing at least one person an episode? What I will say for it is that of all the Lifetime movies I've been watching lately (I'm thinking of this as an extension of the movie) it's a lot more fun. It's willing to be crazy and ridiculous and far from boring. Even if it's terrible. Which is all I've ever expected/wanted from the newer Lifetime movies.

 

 

Then there's Lizzie and Adele kissing, sending Lizzie into the potential depraved/psycho lesbian/bisexual trope categories.  Tread carefully, Lifetime. (Oh, who I am kidding.)

Yeah... I can't imagine they haven't done something like this before. It's not great but for some reason it bothers me less than the lesbian characters on Jane the Virgin.

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I was not expecting Lizzie to free Adele. She is crazy. Like straight up, no subtlety crazy. And I kind of like it. But I do wish she hadn't locked her up. It was nice to have Lizzie do one genuinely kind thing (rescuing Adele and taking her in) that wasn't in her own self interest or for Emma. 

 

I really liked the reveal that Emma had hired the Pinkerton. I might have preferred it if she had asked him to investigate and not to exonerate her. I do like the suggestion about the "woman who raised her" part. I don't see Emma joining the killing spree but I'm interested to see where they go from here. There's a tight bond of sisterhood going both ways and yet we've seen (I think more in the movie) that Emma is a little scared of Lizzie.

 

I continue to love the costumes for this show. Lizzie's are the best but the other female characters get some nice outfits as well.

 

I'm going to miss Adele (great hair and it was nice to have another regular female character) and Mr. Flowers (Jonathan Banks had a great energy). But still, that double homicide was staged fantastically. There's something interesting hovering about... Lizzie taking advantage of this world without much in the way of forensics and one that was already brutal before she stepped on the scene. I think we need more of that though. They seem to want the place to be both a small town (when everyone is gossipy) and a big city (when the dangerous elements come in). It can't be both ways. 

 

I have no idea what their long game is. Bodies are piling up. Lizzie is starting to feel like an actual monster... And the Pinkerton isn't much of a vampire hunter. Are they going to put her in prison? Will she become a crime boss? Where in the hell is this going?

 

Also, I was amused by the credits. Someone gets to put "Miscreant #3" of their resume. 

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Then there's Lizzie and Adele kissing, sending Lizzie into the potential depraved/psycho lesbian/bisexual trope categories.  Tread carefully, Lifetime. (Oh, who I am kidding.)

I'll be honest and say that I'm surprised that Lizzie's Legendary Lesbianism was shown. For some reason, I believed Lifetime would avoid it altogether. I was shocked they did not. But something tells me that Lizzie will be portrayed as a bisexual opportunist. She'll be like a Victorian Catherine Tramell (from Basic Instinct for all you younguns. Google it.)

 

As long as its clear that her psychopathy isn't because of her sexuality, I think Lizzie should slay away, and not feel pressure by outside groups to tame her. Hell, that would be a good episode--some old-school male doctor who knows of her penchant for women and suspects her murderous tendencies decides the two issues are wrapped together. Right before she dispatches him, Lizzie makes it clear that her desire to kill has nothing to do with with her lady lust. She just likes killing. And . . .scene.

 

 

 

 

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The impression I get right now is that she doesn't particularly like killing. That is, the character isn't killing because she just has these murderous impulses. She wouldn't just go around killing random people at night for instance. She kills when there's an obstacle in her way. It's her go-to move and for some reason nothing has ever put a stop to it, furthering her natural instinct to kill someone getting in the way of something she wants. If we go with the show's version of Lizzie who has been killing people for YEARS since she was a child with largely no repercussions, it kind of makes sense that she'd keep doing it if there's no morality or empathy getting in her way. To support the idea that she doesn't need to be the one doing the killing I point to the Pinkerton. I mean, partially I think it's that they might bring him back and if Lizzie had been responsible for the murder, that wasn't going to happen. But she had no issue letting someone else do the deed. And while she doesn't seem bothered by violence and enjoys her retaliation against people who get in the way of her goals she doesn't seem to take pleasure in the violence itself. She's getting things done. Not gleefully hacking, stabbing, slicing, shooting, etc. people. I think they're going for sociopath.

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I get the feeling that she takes great satisfaction from getting away with all this because nobody can quite wrap their heads around the fact that a woman would do all these things. Because whatever she was, her father treated her abominably, largely because she was a girl and (after being not much better than his servant all her life) not as charming as his new wife and her family. I'm not a fan of solving family conflicts with weapons, but I've always had a sneaking bit of sympathy for her at least wanting to do it.

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Skipjack demanding $1000 a week?  That's easily $25,000 to $30,000 in today's money. (The BLS' Inflation Calculator only goes back to 2013.)

 

They finally make Nancy (Jessy Schram) interesting -- drugging Siringo, stabbing Skipjack, and going after Lizzie -- but then they go and kill her off. Would have preferred something less one-dimensional, such as Lizzie convincing Nancy that it was self-defense, with Nancy becoming friends (or more than) with Lizzie.

 

But, at least Lizzie got a cute new friend.

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This episode was just a mess. They're trying to shove way too much into the limited amount of episodes and it's becoming muddled.

 

It's losing that, "so bad it's good" thing.

Edited by sunshine2288
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Yes, it is going too fast. Why is she not under suspicion by the police?  They need to slow this speeding train down.  Also we need a break from the killing.  I would like to see her settle old scores with more preparation.

 

She is being hateful to Emma, when will she realize the truth. 

 

It probably doesn't help that this show is on Sunday, same time every other good show is on.

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I was getting worried there, the show was almost over and Lizzie hadn't killed anyone yet! I must say, of all the people Lizzie has killed, the dog abuser deserved it the most!

 

So I just looked it up and this show is scheduled to run for eight episodes. It's being called a "limited series" so that means they don't necessarily plan to renew it for a second season. That may explain the rapid pace of the show. Honestly the way bodies are piling up by the time this thing is over there won't be anyone left for Lizzie to kill. 

 

I felt bad for Emma having to blow off the nice cop and I hope we get to find out the details of her illegitimate baby. Leslie seems nice enough he probably wouldn't care but poor Emma was manipulated by Lizzie. Still, little does Leslie know, he's probably better off staying as far away as possible.

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No, they're too close in age. I know the show is 95% fictional but even that would be a stretch. Ricci is 34 and DuVall is 37.

 

I have this image in my mind of the season ending with Lizzie walking through town stepping over piles of dead bodies and she's the only one left living.

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Siringo and Fall River's marshal strong-arm Skipjack to help lock tight the case against Lizzie. But Lizzie exerts her own brand of influence on a witness. Meanwhile, Emma reveals to Lizzie that a man in her life may change their relationship forever; and a woman in Siringo's life becomes tempting forbidden fruit.

 

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Can Cole go off and do his own Pinkerton show? I find I'm only interested in the Charlie portion of the storylines. 

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