Alaska Daily wrapped up the first half of its season with a compelling episode that capped off with a cliffhanger involving Eileen Fitzgerald’s anonymous stalker, Concerned Citizen.
You know Eileen had to hit a nerve for someone to go this far, but unfortunately, we have no idea who this man is or what he wants with her.
Why is he so determined to silence her?
I was convinced that CC was going to end up being Jamie, so part of me was a little bummed when that wasn’t the case, however, on the other hand, I can rest easy knowing that there are good men in this world.
There are a lot of questions surrounding CC’s identity and why he’s so triggered by Eileen. The person who would have the most to gain from silencing her would be someone involved in Gloria Nanmac’s disappearance since that is Eileen’s top story. But then why aren’t they after Roz Friendly?
In the final few moments of Alaska Daily Season 1 Episode 6, Eileen and Roz figured out that the second person identified on the police report that they couldn’t locate, Rega Horne, may have actually been Reed Gallahorn, a pastor from Gloria’s church. And though it may seem too obvious, there’s a huge possibility that CC is Reed.
There’s still plenty to uncover in Gloria’s case, and Eileen and Roz are doing their best with the tools they have while also working on other stories in the meantime.
However, the disappearance of Henley, a 25-year-old Texas woman, who fell overboard and sparked massive and costly rescue efforts, still fed into Eileen and Roz’s overall mission of bringing awareness to the missing indigenous women.
With media from all over the nation trying to cover Henley’s disappearance, The Daily Alaskan needed to cut through the noise with a local story and angle. Claire actually suggested that they do a comparison piece about how much funding is going into the search for Henley, who very clearly fell overboard due to her own carelessness and likely didn’t survive, as opposed to the lack of funding going into the search for Jade Jacobs, a Yup’ik woman who went missing two days prior and whose case got absolutely no attention.
The episode brought up some crucial points when it came to the value of a woman’s life, with one getting priority over the other, but I also thought it was interesting when the Commissioner explained that much of the reason goes back to public perception. When they don’t go above and beyond for a white woman, everyone is up in arms, including the media, but no one seems to bat an eyelash for the native women. The Commissioner was clearly trying to skirt blame and responsibility with her reasoning, but there was also some truth to what she was saying. Journalism tends to lean into the clickbait-y stories—the ones guaranteed to bring in the page views. It’s an unfortunate reality and another example of why local journalism is better. They are able to tell the stories that matter in a way that’s oftentimes better and more connected to their audience.
As Roz, her boyfriend Jindahaa (who I hope will be more involved in the outlet), and Stanley joined the search efforts for Jade in order to bring awareness, Eileen followed the money all the way to the gala, as Pritchard’s date no less. She made sure to underscore that they weren’t doing the romantic thing, but she needed to take advantage of the invite to confront his father about his PR company, which was eating up most of the budget for the governor’s MWIW task force to find indigenous women. Instead of using the money to find women, they were using it to promote the cause, which was a huge disservice to everyone. It was a PR stunt to make it seem like they care when, in reality, they are all profiting off of these missing women. It’s disgusting, and it gives you just a glimpse into the kind of man Conrad Pritchard is.
Unfortunately, it’s also a case of biting the hand that feeds as Conrad is Aaron Pritchard’s father. Aaron may or may not be like his dad (from what we’ve seen thus far, he isn’t), but regardless, it’s complicated and messy. Aaron was also a little thrown off by Eileen’s ambush on his father, but that just proves he’s in way over his head with his crush on her. She’s not like other women, so what was he expecting? She’s ambitious as hell and always doing whatever it takes to get the story. Did he really think his charm was going to work on her? Does he even know her at all?
While Eileen made it clear that her relationship with Aaron was going to be strictly professional, he did get a little handsy and Claire took notice. She also gave her a warning about small-town gossip, as Eileen’s romance with Aaron would be the talk of the town. I wish Eileen was more receptive considering Claire was simply calling it like she saw it, and likely how a lot of people would see it, and looking out for a colleague. She doesn’t have to have her defenses up all the time.
During the gala, she also reconnected with Jamie, who, again, is not the Concerned Citizen threatening Eileen ever since she arrived in Alaska. It’s unclear how their relationship will progress, but there’s clearly chemistry between them.
For now, however, Eileen needs to survive her altercation with her stalker. Teaser footage from the winter premiere in February reveals that it’s going to turn into a hostage situation with all of her co-workers, including Pritchard, hoping for the best possible outcome.
When Eileen faced the armed assailant, you could see the fear and anxiety come over her; it was the first time she was genuinely scared or faced any true blowback from a story she’s been pursuing. She knows the risks that come with the job and territory, but it’s one thing to be aware of it and another to look it dead in the eye.
I have no doubt that Eileen will come out of this alive, though it’s probably not going to do very well for her panic attacks. But it’s also a reminder that the stories they write and the people they expose come with very real consequences. And most importantly, it means that they’re closer than ever to figuring out what happened to Gloria, so I hope this doesn’t freak Eileen out and force her to retreat.
What did you think of the episode? Are you hooked on Alaska Daily? I’ll see you on February 23, 2023, for more new episodes, Cravers!
Is ‘Alaska Daily’ Renewed for a Second Season?
Alaska Daily is one of the best and most refreshing shows coming out of this fall/winter TV cycle, with Hilary Swank as Eileen Fitzgerald, a disgraced journalist who finds a new home in Alaska, bringing coverage to the often overlooked (purposefully ignored) stories of murderer indigenous women alongside her partner-in-crime, Roz Friendly played by Grace Dove.
With the season finale scheduled to air on ABC on Thursday, March 30, marking the season’s 11th episode, many fans are wondering if the network will renew the series for Season 2 and allow audiences to follow Eileen’s adventures of pursuing truth and justice on a local scale.
So far, there’s no word from ABC on whether or not a renewal is on the books, though a verdict is expected to come sometime after the Alaska Daily Season 1 finale airs.
But while the series has amassed a loyal and dedicated following—with many of you reaching out to me and noting that you wish the show received more publicity and promotion from the network itself—there might not be enough love for ABC to justify a renewal.
The series hasn’t been able to build up the audience or gain the momentum it needs in its short primetime run, which honestly, is a shame because of the important storytelling and refreshing and diverse cast propelling meaningful conversations and calling for change and action.
As Deadline reports, the series has “sizable internal support but has not been able to break through in a meaningful way, making a Season 2 renewal unlikely.”
Still, I remain hopeful that ABC will consider a renewal as ratings, though down a bit from the series premiere, bring in about 2.7 million viewers weekly, according to TVSeriesFinale.
When a decision about the fate of the series does eventually come down, we’ll update this article accordingly!
Alaska Daily Review – Truth Is A Slow Bullet (110)
The penultimate episode of Alaska Daily Season 1 Episode 10 made plenty of headway in the Gloria Nanmac case, largely due to Eileen and Roz’s determination to find the truth and get justice.
While on the surface Alaska Daily is an entertaining murder mystery, the series taps into the beloved genre to create a movement and inform the masses of the crimes against native women, which isn’t a widely talked about topic. It’s a shame that the series isn’t getting enough attention as it’s trying to bring attention to something so important and overlooked as missing women and a justice system that fails them on the daily. Not to mention, the lack of infrastructure and resources in Alaska that’s allowing these cases to be swept under the rug.
The episode revealed that there are villages that don’t have their own police department and are forced to rely solely on volunteers from the community to keep the peace and order, which should be unheard of in this day and age.
It also dug into Rule 40, which Eileen explained protects domestic violence abusers and allows them to hide in plain sight. I’m not entirely clear on the law, though I did find this, however, the episode establishes that Rule 40 is largely to blame for allowing Ezra Fisher to get away with abusing women.
He clearly has a pattern, but since every case was dropped or dismissed, it never had to be logged on his records and thus, in the eyes of the law, he had no criminal past when his name came up as a suspect in Gloria’s murder. Toby Crenshaw looks guiltier as he was involved in a bar fight not too long ago, which indicates a violent past.
There were so many frustrating layers discovered as Eileen and Roz tirelessly pursued the truth, eventually realizing that none of their work actually mattered if they couldn’t do anything to change the outcome. The DA wasn’t interested in looking into Ezra again because everyone was just happy that justice was being served on a platter and in a nice bow—no one actually seemed phased that they were putting the wrong man away for a crime he didn’t commit and due to a false and coerced confession. And that’s strange considering Rule 40 was put in place so that a man’s reputation wouldn’t get tarnished by false allegations. It made no note of a scenario in which the allegations were real and true, so I guess the government only cares when it benefits them… or a white male. No surprise there.
However, the evidence against Ezra is mounting and becoming harder to ignore. He lost his alibi when Eileen and Roz got their audio guy (also the weed guy, which tracks) to isolate the background noises and realized that Ezra was at Skeeter’s party with his son instead of leaving the party to go pick up his son. Ezra wasn’t willing to speak to them, which wasn’t much of a surprise, but after they pulled all of his prior offenses against women and presented them to Taylor, she knew she had to do the right thing. While the DA was rather dismissive of a child’s testimony, 10-year-old Jackson painted a picture of what transpired that night—Gloria was hurt, she passed out and Ezra drove her home while leaving his son behind at the “adult party.” He then told the kid not to say anything. And that last part honestly tells you everything you need to know about the man.
I don’t know how anyone could ignore that evidence, especially when they have a recording of Gloria begging Toby for help and telling him she loves him. That absolutely would never happen if Toby was the assailant. Hopefully, once they print their story and make the public aware, there will be enough outcry that the DA and everyone else involved in the case will have to take pause and take a look at the facts… the real ones this time.
The Daily Alaskan has thrown itself behind Gloria’s story wholeheartedly, including Bob, who channeled his inner Fitzgerald to get his friend Gary to send over the confidential phone records. I always knew Bob had it in him. Alaska and Eileen’s colleagues at the Daily Alaskan seem to be rubbing off on her—she asked Bob how he was doing and genuinely cared, and she didn’t jump at the New York Times offer when she should have—but Eileen is also rubbing off on them and making them better reporters.
Bob doesn’t need to burn bridges daily and enact pushy tactics, but this was a situation that called for it—they want justice for Gloria, but they also want to help her cancer-stricken mother find peace.
Those phone records proved to be more crucial than anyone could have ever imagined as they revealed that Gloria placed a 9-1-1 call two days after she was reported missing, which means she was alive and begging for help all while police refused to search for her. Eileen and Roz basically hit a gold mine with this because they are coming for the broken system in place that is letting these women down and allowing them to slip through the cracks. Gloria deserved better—and everyone who let her down needs to be held accountable. It also changes things because it means that Gloria likely froze to death, which they would have known if anyone did their due diligence, or, I don’t know, their job!
This changes the whole trajectory of the case because as Stanley pointed out, it’s now a dialogue with the Alaskan people. They are speaking for them, they are advocating for them, and they are unearthing issues that directly affect them.
It’s a good thing Gabriel decided to return to the newsroom because his expedited project with Jindaháa and the other volunteers only emphasized the importance of the work Eileen and Roz were doing. Visually seeing the faces of the missing women come to life was even more gut-wrenching than just hearing their stories. It’s crucial to drive even more people to speak out and hold their government accountable.
And the MMIW project is the very reason that I believe Eileen and Roz are both going to turn down their respective offers from The New York Times and The Washington Post. Both of those offers are a dream come true and would give them the career advancement that they want, but the work they are doing right now is just too important. Neither of them can give up, nor can they walk away from a paper that, though holding on by a thread, is so vital to the people of Alaska. Eileen, in particular, has seen firsthand and understood the power of local journalism, and there’s simply no going back from that. This seems to be the first time she’s ever felt passionate about the story she was seeking out, and it’s the first time she’s ever had a “family” at work. Yes, she could choose to go back to NYC and work out of a swanky office and throw a big middle finger to cancel culture, but none of that matters if her heart isn’t in it. I dare say covering the local beats has made her a better reporter.
Not to mention she has two potential suitors—Conrad Pritchard and the pilot. Even if Alaska has its fair share of problems, she has so much going for her.
The same can be said for Austin, who is in a contentious battle with his ex, Anna, who wants to accept a new job in Chicago and move their son Zach there. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to advance in your career, Anna isn’t respecting Austin’s point of view. Her solution was to basically have him uproot his whole life and move if he wanted to stay in his child’s life. That’s not a fair compromise. Her argument that Chicago is safer than Alaska because there was one shooter in the newsroom is also laughable—and I’m glad Austin brought that up. Does she know what happens in Chicago? I live here, and while it has its perks, I wouldn’t say it’s a safer place to raise a child.
Anna does bring up some good points about being closer to family, but the fact that Austin is even considering if she has a point proves that he’s a good dad who only wants what’s best for his son. And if his son is happy in Alaska, why ruin a good thing? Things between them are going to get even uglier as things head to court, but I’m kind of hoping the judge will rule in Austin’s favor.
Austin also can’t give up his life in Alaska because of Yuna! That kiss was electric, and the idea of them as a couple is so exciting! Newsroom romances tend to be my favorite.
The season finale is coming up next week, and hopefully, Eileen and Roz will be able to see this through and emerge victorious in putting the right man behind bars for Gloria’s murder.
What did you think of the episode, Cravers?
Alaska Daily Review – Rush to Judgment (109)
Could it be that Eileen and Roz have had Gloria Nanmac’s killer on their radar this whole time? And it isn’t Toby Crenshaw like the system and the state of Alaska wants everyone to believe on Alaska Daily Season 1 Episode 9.
Eileen and Roz have been invested in Gloria’s case for months now, but as the story gained momentum, it suddenly began to spiral out of control and out of their grasp. With every publication all of a sudden invested, it was hard to keep up while still trying to prioritize the facts.
I guess there is such a thing as too much attention on something. As Roz explained, the facts barely mattered anymore, all that anyone cared about is pinning it on someone, and as she underscored, it was especially convenient that it was a Native man.
After years of not doing anything, the system and those benefiting from it were now taking all the credit for catching Gloria’s killer and patting themselves on the back when really, all they did was destroy yet another life by forcing a fake confession from an innocent man.
The more Eileen and Roz dug into Toby as a prime suspect, the clearer it was that he was not their man. And they seemed to be the only ones doing their due diligence when it came to the story, which is concerning considering the huge press turnout at the event.
The series actually highlighted a real issue within the journalism industry—cementing the idea that someone is guilty before they’re even given a fair trial. If people see the suspect blasted all over the front pages with a jumpsuit and handcuffs, they’ll be swayed into believing the narrative that’s being sold about him. Everyone seemed to have made up their minds about Toby as the follow-up piece questioning whether his confession was coerced—it was—didn’t get any clicks, traction, or community interest. Sensationalism sells, and it’s heartbreaking.
But the truth is that Toby was in a loving relationship with Gloria, and deeply regrets not accompanying her to Skeeter’s party up in Meade on the evening of her death. He also regrets not picking up numerous phone calls that evening because of a little spat they had. If he did, maybe she’d still be alive.
As Roz pointed out, feeling guilty and being guilty are not the same thing, so while he was willing to accept his fate, I’m glad someone was fighting for him. And that information was so crucial, it led to the break they so desperately needed in the case. So many people turned a blind eye to the broken system, which failed not only Gloria but also Toby, but the law won’t be able to avoid irrefutable proof like Gloria’s voicemail to Toby mere moments before she died in which she begged him to pick her up because she was scared.
The call also came from another number, not Gloria’s, which gives Eileen and Roz something to work with. Though the number is now disconnected, it can potentially lead them to the killer as there’s a huge chance that it is the owner of the phone. And if not, at the very least, the killer was one of the last people to see Gloria alive and could have additional information.
The upcoming promo seems to suggest that Ezra Fisher is responsible for Gloria’s death, but we’ve seen what rushing to judgment can do, so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty. Or until he confesses willingly.
There’s likely no shortage of suspects considering the party was full of sketchy people.
Eileen and Roz may have made a few missteps, and started to feel as though they were complicit in pushing the case, but the reminder that they were the ones that lit the fire was necessary so that they would be motivated to regain control of the narrative and keep digging until they found something.
They pushed for DNA testing, they pushed for accountability, and now, they need to bring it home and push for the justice system to actually work in favor of the people.
The Daily Alaskan knows a thing or two about ruffling feathers, and in addition to Gloria’s case, it did just that when Stanley took aim at Conrad Pritchard. The thing I love most about this is that Stanley didn’t care about the newspaper’s connection to the Pritchard, nor did he consider the implications it may have had for Aaron—he was determined to report the facts to prevent a potential environmental crisis.
He didn’t jump the gun, however, assigning Claire and Austin to do some digging to get a full picture of what was happening before they sounded the alarms.
Aaron wasn’t exactly thrilled to be exposing his father, particularly after he promised not to report on his deals if he would sell him the paper, but he also wasn’t against it as he understood that they owed it to the people. Conrad had a senator in his pocket to change legislation on protected lands to allow for mining, all so he could make more money. The greed never stops, and Conrad needs to be held accountable.
I’m glad that the apple fell entirely too far from the tree because, with each passing episode, Aaron’s character just gets better and better.
Of course, Conrad then promised to wage war against his son and the newspaper, and while they might not have the funds he does, they have something much more powerful—the truth.
Everyone in that newsroom is prepared for a fight because they are fully aware of the implications of their stories—both the good and the bad—so bring it on, Pritchard.
And after picking up and throwing those cement blocks, you know Gabriel and Yuna are ready.
What did you think of the episode?
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