Last night’s Lifetime movie was Willed to Kill. Last week it was She Made Them Do It. Next up is An Amish Murder, and soon will be the juggernaut Prosecuting Casey Anthony. I think Lifetime is trying to wash the taste of peppermint and loneliness out of our mouths as quickly as possible following their seemingly never-ending stream of Christmas movies by inundating us with crime dramas to start the new year.
Willed to Kill also followed the familiar “don’t trust men” formula. Phew. I’d spent so much time the past couple of months wondering whether Santa would leave a man under my Christmas tree that I’d forgotten how evil that gender was. But I can always watch Lifetime movies to bring me back to reality.
Willed to Kill‘s heroine is a female police detective named Karyn (Sarah Jane Morris) who has a reputation as the lady who shoots suspects. Her coworkers (all male) say things like, “Just try not to shoot the next suspect, okay?” and “Wait at the car! I want the suspect alive!” God, you shoot three guys and suddenly nobody can trust you! Combine this bad reputation with Karyn’s penchant for Carrie Matheson-esque cork board collages, and I’m surprised the men weren’t all like, “Watch out, the lady cop’s on her period!”
It just so happens, as Karyn’s appointed therapist (Michael Riley) points out, that it takes three similar killings for someone to be considered a serial killer. Karyn quickly does the math in her head and realizes he’s implying she’s a serial killer. This offends her at first, but pretty soon she’s having some pretty flirty phone convos with the Hades Killer, a copycat murderer who marks his victims with the sign of the Greek god of death, in the fashion of a similar ’90s serial killer. So, maybe she’s closer to being the female Dexter Morgan than she thinks. Wait a minute… did Showtime sponsor this movie?
Lifetime proceeds to pull off a very transparent but quite convincing red herring (spoilers ahead) by making the audience (this seasoned Lifetime viewer included) believe that Karyn’s new beau Mark (Dylan Bruce) is the Hades Kller. His life happens to line up with the killer’s, he sold TVs to two of the victims, he wears a baseball cap like the killer, he was at one of the crime scenes, and he acts super creepy when he catches her snooping in his closet for clues. Karyn falls for Lifetime‘s trick too, because she totally pulls a gun on him and arrests him, only to find out he wasn’t the killer. Oops. He says she was a “crappy girlfriend” for arresting him. Buddy, did you see all those clues? Granted, she did pull a gun on an FBI agent during their first date, but as anyone who’s ever watched a cop show or movie knows, when the FBI starts handling a case, they always screw it up, so cut her some slack.
We also learn that Karyn has quite a few daddy issues, because of course she does. Surprise, surprise, that ’90s Hades Killer (likely wearing acid-wash denim and a flannel shirt) was her father, and she turned him in when she was sixteen years old, leading him to be executed. I think we know where her trust issues come from.
If only she’d mistrusted the right man. Karyn finally realizes that she’s the connecting thread between the ’90s flannel killer and the new millennium killer, and it leads her to none other than her therapist! Dun dun duuun. Turns out his parents were murdered by Karyn’s father after she found out he was the killer but was deciding whether to turn him in, and the therapist wanted revenge. I’m no detective, but wouldn’t the families of the original killer’s victims come up in research? And wouldn’t it seem suspicious that two people closely related to the first killer were closely involved in the new case? That’s just my inner Nancy Grace talking.
Anyway, Karyn then gets another suspect’s death under her belt and goes to Mark’s house with belongings to fill a drawer. Because you can trust men a little if they deserve it, but not too much.
Thanks again for restoring my lack of faith in the goodness of men, Lifetime. I can always count on you.