Reckoning

Back in 2018, before it was the trend to film US television in Australia due to the pandemic, Sony-owned Playmaker produced a 10 part crime thriller for Pay TV channel AXN.

Shot in Sydney it featured Aden Young, Sam Trammell, Simone Kessell and a fair whack of Aussies adopting American accents.

It screened stateside in 2019 but after a long delay gets a playout on Seven on Wednesday nights… why the long delay?

Both men play fathers but as the premise tells us, one is a serial killer.

Young plays smalltown Detective Mike Serrato who is wracked with guilt that he never caught a killer of teenage girls, which is all very untimely given a local schoolgirl has now gone missing. As it happens, he is also father to teens Amanda (Mitzi Ruhlmann), Sam (Milly Alcock) and Jake (Finn Little).

Trammell plays troubled school guidance counsellor Leo Doyle, father to teen Paxton (Ed Oxenbould) who is starting at the school where his father now works.

“Is everybody going to know what I did at my old school?” a worried Paxton asks.

But Leo is kinda cool as adults go, smoking weed with the dude teens when he isn’t consumed with the past or helping his dad (Anthony Phelan) cope with his growing dementia.

Turning up as trailer park mom Linda is Jacqueline McKenzie (spotting the Aussies is most of the fun here), the bereaved mother of the dead girl, who is also rather cosy with Mike.

Mike: “What do you want from me, Linda?”
Linda: “I want you to give me my daughter back.”

Which probably explains why Simone Kessell as Mike’s wife, Paige, has trouble connecting with her moody husband.

As the premiere episode unfolds the story straddles a duplicitous line between killer and hero, but is not shy at signposting which ones we are supposed to settle on. For 10 episodes, I presume not…

Aden Young is too convincing as a glum leading man to the point of offering little levity in this downbeat story. Trammell is similarly wracked by pervasive thoughts weaving in and out of his dark arc. But Ed Oxenbould again proves he is a dynamic young performer, ably matched by Milly Alcock.

Much of the script by David Hubbard feels like ground that has been covered better in a crowded serial killer genre, leaving the juxtaposition of the two fathers as its main attribute. But for Aussies there’s some relief in seeing Sydney double for US locations and spotting locals such as Robert Mammone, Terry Serio, Renee Lim, John Batchelor, Dan Spielman and more in guest roles.

I’m beginning to realise why it’s taken so long to hit our screens.

Reckoning airs 9pm Wednesday on Seven.

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