Fool Me Once

Fool Me Once

TV-MA

netflix

A sluggish murder mystery with more plot holes than satisfying twists

5.4

TV Show

United Kingdom
English
Crime, Drama, Mystery
2024
Adeel Akhtar, Emmett Scanlan, Joanna Lumley

TLDR

Maya. You just found out someone close to you might be behind your husband’s AND sister’s death. Why are you telling everyone what you’ve found?

What it's about

After the brutal murder of her husband Joe, former militarywoman Maya Stern takes care of their young daughter and attends his funeral in his family’s estate. However, after installing a nanny cam, she is shocked to see a new video of her husband in the house.

The take

In a world of constant surveillance– CCTV, mass-market trackers, social media– it would seem that it’s not possible to create a murder mystery that wouldn’t be easily solved by just checking the tapes. Fool Me Once proves that it’s possible to do so, it just won’t be satisfying. The series at first seems to have an unexplainable mystery, with a possible resurrection/fake death of Maya’s husband, but the series throws away certain footage (like the CCTV during Joe’s death, or the hospital he was brought to) only to bring back the technology when convenient. The show does keep certain tidbits from us, but for far too long, and without giving smaller clues that would hopefully piece together the whole mystery. And with eight whole episodes that drag out the plot, Fool Me Once seems to have fooled us into thinking that it would have all been worth it in the end.

What stands out

In a murder mystery, it’s reasonable to expect that certain information would be withheld from the viewers, only to be revealed at just the right time for maximum impact. Fool Me Once seems to be that way, hooking us with the reappearance of Maya’s husband on camera, and continuing with other mysteries like who would possibly target both her husband and her sister. However, after slogging through the first few episodes, the limited series tends to create more questions than answers, which might put off everyone but the most patient of viewers. Ironically, the former military protagonist does the exact opposite– telling everyone what she finds, repeatedly, even to people who could possibly be the killer. It makes the limited series more confusing, but not in the satisfying, mind-boggling way.

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