The Last Thing He Told Me
Based on the 2021 novel of the same name by Laura Dave, The Last Thing He Told Me follows Hannah (Jennifer Garner), whose idyllic life is suddenly thrown into disarray when her husband Owen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) disappears after his software startup is raided by the FBI, leaving behind nothing but a note imploring Hannah to protect her stepdaughter Bailey (Angourie Rice), who is very resistant to Hannah’s attempts to be more involved in her life. Left on their own with the knowledge that they may know very little about who Owen actually is, Hannah and Bailey work together to piece together the truth about him and his disappearance.
This is a fairly interesting premise with a strong start, but one of The Last Thing He Told Me’s big problems is its pacing. It very much feels like a movie that’s been stretched out into seven episodes, which can deflate the story’s tension and suspense, leaving a lot of narrative dead air. Frustratingly, the show doesn’t use the extended time between plot beats to explore or develop the dynamics between characters particularly well, and as a result, many feel rather underbaked and one-note despite the potential for depth.
However, when the series does get going it can be pretty engaging, if straightforward. Garner and Rice feel a little wasted but they do their best to carry the core narrative, with emotive performances and strong chemistry that manages to elevate the boneless script. The mystery-solving process itself is also quite fun when the show isn’t dragging its feet, and while these scenes aren’t mined for all the dramatic possibilities they have, they’re also where this adaptation of Dave’s bestselling book is at its strongest.
Overall, The Last Thing He Told Me isn’t an unpleasant experience but it’s not an exceptionally gripping one either, suffering from slow pacing and two-dimensional characters. While it does desperately want to be a movie, as a series, it does have its moments. Anyone looking for a simple thriller piece could certainly do far worse than tune into this.
The Last Thing He Told Me is released on Apple TV+ on 14th April 2023.
Watch the trailer for The Last Thing He Told Me here: