[Review] 'Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones' Cleverly Weaves a Dark Fairytale into a Murder Mystery
“Inspired by a true story…and a fairy tale..."
...Season two of Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones finds influence from real life cold cases, but the title for this anthological installment comes from a Grimm’s fairy tale. The 19th century version of the “The Singing Bone” starts with a giant boar destroying the peace of a small kingdom. To bring out the heroes of the land, the reward for killing the wild animal is the princess’ hand in marriage. Two brothers set out to find the boar and the older spends his time getting drunk while the younger sibling actually succeeds at tracking and defeating the beast. Jealous of his brother’s accomplishment, the older boy kills his sibling and throws his body into the river. Many years later a shepherd finds a bone by the riverbanks and carves it into a flute. When he plays the musical bone, the instrument sings a song telling of how the older brother murdered and lied. Once the truth becomes revealed, the deceitful sibling is drowned in the river and the body of the true hero finally earns a respectful burial. Director Scott Winant (True Blood) and writer/creator Raelle Tucker (True Blood) cleverly weaves the Grimm’s tale with an unsolved murder.
Entering into the world of Sacred Lies two storylines exist within the first episode and eventually merge into one as the series progresses. The first narrative introduces Elsie (Jordan Alexander) who went into foster care at the age of three when abandoned at a roadside diner by her father. Now close to aging out, this abused and neglected princess wanders from family to family in search of finding where she belongs. Spending almost 15 years in the system, Elsie shares her feelings on the experience, so if you spent time in the foster world, some of the comments made might be a big triggering. The orphan storyline reflects several fairy tale motifs and sets up the viewer to root for Elsie, hoping she will find a family. In the first episode, Elsie discovers her long-lost father never died, but unfortunately, he does not fulfill the role of chivalrous hero or even mysterious benefactor. Instead, Elsie’s father Peter (Ryan Kwanten, True Blood) resides in prison. The long-coming reunion between father and daughter offers more mysteries than solutions as Peter insists on withholding information from his estranged child.
The second storyline follows Amelia Harper played by Juliette Lewis (Ma, The Act, From Dusk Till Dawn). Harper escapes the monotony of her life by researching files from the Jane Doe Archives, a community of volunteers looking to identify unnamed deceased woman. Harpers newest interest manifests in her opening sequence when she reads about the Cherry Falls Jane Doe. The deceased is believed to be between 18 and 19 years old and her body was found 15 years ago unearthed and scattered by wild animals. Harper prods the local police for access to the files and also explores the forest where her Jane Doe was first discovered.
Throughout the episode, Elsie expresses how a song exists inside of her and comes from a long ago and mostly forgotten memory of her mother. She continually sings the song hoping to remember the next lines of the verse, but always stops singing before reaching the final lines of the song. With the closing of the episode we see Elsie in her newest foster home, Peter in his cell, and Harper desperately digging into the trunk of a tree. Elsie’s singing can be heard as her song seems to connect all three characters. And with the crescendo of the song, *SPOILER* Harper breaks through the barrier at the base of the tree and uncovers another horrible secret: another body.
The start of Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones creates a less-than-perfect kingdom with fairy tale-esque characters who depict a modern and grim version of “The Singing Bone.” Settle in and listen to the bones and see how the story develops. Which familiar fairy tales will play out and which will stray from the familiar Grimm stories? Will the foster mother and her two daughters prove helpful? Or evil? How are Harper, Peter, and Elsie all connected? If Elsie is the hero, who is the villain? And who will earn their happily ever after?
Uncover the mystery when Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones premieres on Facebook Watch on February 20th, 2020 at 12pm PT/3pm ET!
By Amylou Ahava
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