Shining Girls Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Recap and Ending, Explained

‘Shining Girls’ is a thriller series that revolves around Kirby Mazrachi (Elisabeth Moss), an aggravated assault survivor dealing with trauma caused by the violent experience in her past. When another woman is murdered similarly, Kirby realizes that the killer is still at large and targeting other women. Kirby teams up with washed-out crime reporter Dan Velazquez to find the killer. The series is based on Lauren Beukes’ 2013 novel ‘The Shining Girls’ and created for television by Silka Luisa.

As the narrative progresses, Kirby and Dan realize that they are dealing with no ordinary killer. Therefore, viewers must be curious about the killer’s plot and whether Kirby and Dan get close to finding him. If you are looking for answers in those regards, here is everything you need to know about ‘Shining Girls’ episodes 1, 2, and 3! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Shining Girls Episodes 1, 2, and 3 Recap

The series premiere episode titled ‘Cutline’ opens in 1964. A young girl is visited by a mysterious man who gifts her a toy pony. In 1992, the girl, Kirby Mazrachi, lives in Chicago. After surviving a violent assault, Kirby has been traumatized and feels like the world around her is constantly changing. She keeps a journal to remind herself of the important details of her life. Meanwhile, reporter Dan Velazquez learns that a dead body has been found inside an underground pipeline. After some investigation, he discovers that the victim is Julia Madrigal, who was reported to be missing two years ago.

Kirby works at a newspaper where Dan is also a contributor. A detective informs Kirby that Julia was attacked in a fashion similar to her. Kirby decides to investigate the matter herself and realizes that there are similarities between the two incidents. She speaks with Dan, and the two consult a medical examiner. The examiner confirms that the cuts on Julia’s body match the scars on Kirby’s body. In the end, Dan decides to pursue a story about Julia’s killer by citing Kirby as a source in the article.

The second episode, titled ‘Evergreen,’ opens with the killer Harper Curtis stalking and murdering Julia in 1990. In 1992, Kirby and Dan try to learn more about Julia and her life. Meanwhile, Kirby struggles to come to terms with her ever-changing perception of reality. Kirby discovers that, like her, the killer left an item inside Julia’s body as well. Kirby reveals her mental condition to Dan, who tries to support her by excluding her from the article. In the end, Kirby finds a voice recording in Julia’s house and confirms that the man who assaulted her murdered Julia. Meanwhile, Curtis speaks with Dan before returning to a mysterious house.

The third episode, titled ‘Overnight,’ follows Kirby and Dan as they go through newspaper reports of missing young women from the last twenty-five years. After Kirby shortlists descriptions of incidents matching her and Julia’s cases, Dan calls in a favor to access police records. From the records, the duo identifies several other women presumably killed by the same modus operandi. Kirby discovers that the women had similar cuts on their bodies, and an item not belonging to them was found on their bodies. One such item, a set of keys, leads Kirby to a local observatory.

Shining Girls Episodes 1, 2, and 3 Ending: To Whom Do the Keys Belong?

Towards the end of episode 3, Kirby scours through a pile of evidence for clues. She notices a set of keys alongside a victim’s body with the local observatory logo. Kirby heads to the observatory, believing that the keys belong to someone who worked there long ago. However, after arriving at the observatory, Kirby learns that the keys belong to the locker of Jin-Sook, a young woman who works there. Kirby shows Jin-Sook the picture. Jin-Sook admits that she lost the keys a few days ago, and Kirby questions her whether she knew the victim. However, Jin-Sook is unaware of any of the victims.

Kirby then reveals that the keys were found on a dead body in 1972. A puzzled Jin-Sook leaves while Kirby contemplates the implications of the keys’ presence in 1972. The episode’s ending provides viewers with the first actual confirmation that Curtis is a time traveler. The show’s opening scene indicates the same as Curtis meets Kirby as a young girl. Later, he appears relatively unaged while Kirby has grown up. Therefore, it is evident that Curtis can travel through time. Moreover, the objects that Curtis leaves at the crime scenes have a personal connection to his victims.

Why Does Curtis Follow Dan?

In the episode’s opening scene, viewers see Dan traveling on a train. He is hungover, and his arm is cut by glass. The episode’s ending finally sheds some light on this ominous scene. In the episode’s final moments, Curtis follows Dan, who is returning home after drinking heavily at a bar. Curtis and Dan have a conversation on an empty train platform while waiting for Dan’s train. As the conversation progresses, it seems like Curtis will kill Dan because the reporter could expose his serial killing charade.

However, as it turns out, Curtis merely wanted to have a conversation with Dan. He tries to coerce as much information about the “killer” as possible from the reporter. Therefore, it is evident that, like most serial killers, Curtis gets a high from learning about the recognition his work is gaining. Moreover, the episode’s ending ties in with the opening scene, indicating that Curtis is living in a time loop. However, his ultimate plan behind murdering young women remains unknown for now.

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