Hello, we’re here to talk about The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window, Kristen Bell’s satirical and highly addictive (as in I watched all eight episodes in one sitting) murder mystery.
TWITHATSFTGITW (help) includes all the most classic tropes from the “Woman in the House/Lake/Window/Apartment” genre—including an unreliable protagonist with a wine habit whose grief over the death of a child leaves her with nothing to do but peer out the window at her neighbors. Naturally, she witnesses a murder, gets accused of said murder, and eventually solves the case whilst almost getting killed herself. And in this case our Woman Across the Window, aka Anna, is grieving the death of her daughter Elizabeth.
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So…how did Elizabeth die?
If you’e going to watch The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window, stop here and just go turn on Netflix because this death is definitely a spoiler. But it’s also one of the funniest parts of the show due to how unbelievably extra it is.
Turns out Anna’s daughter was killed during Take Your Daughter to Work Day at the local prison, where her dad Douglas, an FBI psychologist, was profiling serial killer/cannibal Massacre Mike—who had killed and eaten at least 30 people. And in a move that would only ever happen in this genre, Douglas accidentally leaves his daughter Elizabeth in a locked room with Massacre Mike mid-evaluation—where audiences are left to assume she was killed and eaten. The show doesn’t really explain things further, but this genre is all about us suspending our disbelief, so why would it?
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Anna carries a lot of guilt due to encouraging Douglas to take Elizabeth to work, but as she tells him on the phone (when he’s revealed to be her therapist, because of course), “Maybe it’s no one’s fault but Massacre Mike’s.” Truer words.
Anyway, Elizabeth’s murder isn’t just the catalyst for Anna’s drinking, grief, and window lurking. It’s also the reason she’s unable to see the “unexpected twist” at the end of the show: That the next door neighbor’s cute daughter Emma is a casual murderer who can’t stop slitting everyone’s throats. Though please, if you’ve ever watched a murder mystery, you should have see that one coming a million miles away. And if you didn’t, don’t stress, Kristen Bell is right there with you.
“I could never in my wildest dreams, and I spent a lot of years playing a detective on television, have guessed that this is how they would’ve ended it, but it feels perfect,” she told Collider. “I think the most shocking thing was how violent the ending is, from my perspective.”
‘Kay, petition for Netflix to do an entire true crime satire on the life and times of our dude Massacre Mike, please and thank you.
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