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Eyewitness - Savior Unknown and Mother's Day (Season Finale) - Review

Previously on Eyewitness:
Helen does all she can to protect Lukas but Ryan gets to him before she has time to uncover his identity.

What Helen says to Ryan in a scene from 1x9 perfectly summarises the lesson Eyewitness has taught us this season. “You can go as far away as you want, but trust me you can’t ever outrun who you are. “ No matter where Ryan goes or whatever he does, he cannot live if his secret still exists. His secret has taken an unbearable toll on him, just like it has on Helen and Philip.

The killer, the sheriff and the Eyewitness all share the burden of their secrets. These final two episodes are the catalysts that break those secrets down and the ending, while somewhat unsurprising, was very well executed and closed Eyewitness with momentum.

In the aftermath of Lukas getting shot, Philip blames himself for everything that’s happened. He tells Gabe that everyone he gets close to eventually ends messed up. Lukas’s father blames him to, for his own reasons but Philip finds some comfort in Rose who reveals she’s known about their affair all along and doesn’t care at all.

Kane’s losing his patience and tries to throw Helen off by saying shooting Lukas with a sniper is not the killer’s signature but she is too smart to fall for it. She realises the killer is getting sloppy because she’s getting closer and closer to him. As she gets closer, however, she risks Philip’s safety. She orders a full investigation of Ryan's team to find who leaked Lukas’s location and as Kane glances at her phone as she gets a call from Philip.

Although this revelation seemed really forced, it was bound to happen eventually. Either Philip would have run into him or Ryan would have figured out he was in the cabin with Lukas. Either way, one more target is added to his list. Helen finds the courage to talk to Gabe about Buffalo, which she has kept from him for years. The first big secret is out as she brings the box from the storage unit and shows him the darkest part of herself. The second secret is exposed when Philip gives Lukas a kiss on the forehead while he’s still asleep at the hospital. His eyes catch Lukas’s father, watching them behind the glass door.

Helen gets a call that the killer has been spotted by Philip and she asks Gabe how Philip knew. The third secret comes out quickly, almost as if it was so obvious that sparing any more time on it would be pointless. It isn’t really a big revelation anymore, what's more crucial for Helen is for Philip to tell her what the killer looks like.

Lukas asks why Philip told the truth and gets infuriated when he hears his dad saw them kissing. He yells that it is a really big deal for him but Philip says what he should have said from the beginning: the only person who cares about this secret is Lukas and he needs to stop blaming it on his father, Rose or anyone else.

Everyone is on lockdown at the Hospital and Helen frantically hides in the closet, just like she did in the flashback we saw earlier in the season, as her past and present fuse together. After a doctor finds her having a panic attack, Kane returns and she unknowingly gives everything away to the same man she’s hunting down. He knows that Philip is the eyewitness and he also knows where to find him.

Helen waits in Kane’s car as he goes back into the hospital and Philip watches him from the window. We are so close to the end. This is when Helen finds the one missing link to put it all together: it’s the cologne Bella gave to him. A clue so simple yet so obvious. In one breath she realises who Kane is and who she’s really after.

In the finale, the characters finally catch up with what the audience has known: Ryan is the killer. Helen sees Kane’s fake smiling facade everywhere she looks. She takes her gun, gets out of the car and walks into the hospital. The sheer weight of this revelation makes time stop.

Kane was not only in charge of the case but she confided in him what she couldn't bring herself to say to anyone, not even her husband. The final secret is out. She heads down the dark hospital corridors trying to find the missing boys while Kane gets in his car and leaves. After seeing the killer, Lukas and Philip ran out of the hotel and walked to a motel.

Kane visits Anne at her rehab centre and tries to get her to text Philip and tell him to come visit her. For the first time, we hear him admit that he’s the one her son saw in the cabin. He gives her a lethal dose of heroine and tells Philip she’s waiting at her old house. In the midst of another murder, Philip and Lukas make out and do it in the motel. Philip falls right into Kane’s trap and when he opens the door of Anne’s old house with Lukas behind him, they come face to face with Ryan. Meanwhile, Helen's worst case scenario and worst nightmare have all come to life again, her past is resurfacing.

“I know who you are, I know about Bella". Helen tells Ryan. She is so desperate to save them, she can't keep up the act any longer. She chases after his car as he swerves off to a dirt road and loses it when he reaches a dead end. Helen arrives just in time to find Lukas in the trunk, but Philip is gone.

This is it. The final confrontation, what the season has been building up to: The inevitable fight to save Philip from Ryan’s hands. They stand under the Tivoli bridge of death as he points his gun to Philip’s head. She begs him not to do it, one last time and thankfully he lets him go. “I couldn’t do it Helen, not your boy”. Maybe it’s because they shared an intimate moment and they opened up to each other about their past or maybe it’s because Ryan is exhausted of all the senseless killing and running.

His one last shred of humanity saves Philip’s life. Helen, who’s still trying to understand how he could turn into this person, reveals the full story of Buffalo. When she was tracking a suspect who kidnapped a baby and hid in the closet. She tried to keep the baby quiet but ended up killing her and she has lived with that every day. She tells him she has fought every day to control her past and not let it destroy it, so why couldn’t he do the same?

What happens when we go through the unimaginable? How do we deal with our past? Do we let it change us? Do we give up and let it destroy us? Or do we fight no matter what to overcome it? Helen is stronger than Kane could ever be. Instead of causing more suffering and pain, she decided to help the people around her. She took in Philip and fought to give him a better life.

She shoots him before he has a chance to and puts an end to her nightmares. This is what she had to do to fully move on, by ignoring her nightmares she allowed them to come back and haunt her. Only by accepting them and working through them with the people she loves could she truly move on. She shot her nightmares and never looked back. Closed the lid, locked the box away and found a sliver of happiness.


One month later, Philip is finally moving in permanently and they’re building a dark room in his closet. In a way, Philip’s mother had to die too in order for him to fully move on from his own nightmares. She could never provide the future he deserves. For some reason, he’s still with Lukas, though we don’t know if they get to have a functioning and healthy relationship in the end. Lukas is making steps towards accepting his own sexuality when he jokes about having Deja Vu of him kissing Philip in front of everyone at a party. Philip teases him that Deja Vu is about something that already happened, not the future.

In the very last scene of the season, Helen is resting on Gabe. He promises to love her unconditionally and forever until the end. We see flashes of their future or their past. Helen closes her eyes and lets this poignant moment end, with a final shot of them laying on a canoe in the lake. Was this Deja Vu or was it a projection of their future together? We should have gotten one last Foster parent tape voice over, they missed an opporutnity there.

Favourite Quote:

"You either let it break you or you get on top"

Favourite shot:

After the big confrontation. Helen and Philip look ahead and leave their troubles behind.

Favourite scene:

In 1x9 Helen sits on her porch without her uniform on and wearing her hair down. She apologises to Gabe for seeming cold and to Philip not trusting him. She explains that she didn't want to burden Gabe with her terrible past. It's not very often that you get to see a female character shine like Helen has. A troubled sheriff with a dark past is usually a male-only territory but Eyewitness excelled in crafting a vulnerable, multi-layered and captivating character.

Eyewitness Season 1 Grade: 4/5

Forget the closeted gay storyline and the murder mystery. This show was about Helen Torrance, an exceptionally portrayed female protagonist who had to face her past and find a way to live with it. Eyewitness may have not made a great first impression with you, it certainly didn't for me. The relationship between Lukas and Philip faltered and failed to keep me engaged and so did Sita's storyline with the Vescovis. But every episode built upon itself and through the development of characters like Helen, Kami, Philip and Ryan it explored its central themes and ended with a powerful and hopeful conclusion. I would watch a second season in a heartbeat if it continues in the same direction and has the same beautiful visuals and cinematography.

What did everyone think of the finale and the first season? If we're lucky enough to get a renewal, what would you like to see going forward?