Nothing can shake Eileen Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), not even a man holding a gun to her head.
Alaska Daily Season 1 Episode 7 picked up right where we left off back in November, with Eileen coming face-to-face with Concerned Citizen as he ambushed her and held her hostage at The Daily Alaskan.
While it seemed as though CC, who we later learned was Eric Barry, had a personal vendetta against Eileen because of the possible truths she was pursuing concerning the abuse and murder of native women, it was revealed that he was simply attacking the mainstream media and viewing Eileen as the personification of the “corrupt and fake news.”
It was a surprising twist, but one that allowed Eric’s anger to propel the storyline further, providing a real-time commentary on the dangers that journalists in the present day face as they are often demonized, dehumanized, and dismissed by those in power.
Eileen did her best to talk Eric down and diffuse the situation, even offering to write his story to further prove that she wasn’t the enemy and that he was simply feeding into the lies that spread hate and negativity.
She treated him like a human, which went a long way and allowed us to also see Eric as a flawed human who was simply reacting to the hand he was dealt.
In many ways, up until the end, Eric was a victim who fell prey to misinformation and was radicalized by those who don’t understand the power of their words. It didn’t make what he did okay, but it was unfortunate to see him die as a result of a bad judgment call. If he held on for a few more minutes, he possibly could’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel and found a way to make up for all the pain he caused, especially as his daughter phoned him mere moments later.
Unfortunately, when Eric lifted the gun and pointed it at the hostages, it sealed his fate.
Alaska Daily doesn’t sugarcoat how brutal reality is, making this one of the best and most honest dramas this season.
Eileen wanted to help Eric as best as she could, but she also needed to use the skills and tools in her arsenal to ensure her survival. It’s one of the things she’s really good at along with relentlessly following leads to get to the truth. It’s one of the things we admire about her most, and what triggers many people. And still, she remains unapologetically herself as she stares danger right in the face.
It was nice to see how the team rallied together to be there for one of their own. Eileen’s arrival in Alaska may have ruffled a few feathers, but when push came to shove, they were all there for each other, going the extra mile and supporting one another. None of them left her side, with Gabriel even putting himself in the line of danger to ensure that everyone had real-time information about what was happening and that she knew that they were supporting her.
Using the analytics page was a brilliant hack, though I’m not entirely sure that’s possible. It was also nice to see them acknowledge that they were willing to get “scooped” by other outlets to ensure her safety. It may have been a breaking news story, but they weren’t willing to risk her life for the page views, which says a lot about her team and their loyalty to her.
Once the threat was minimized, Eileen took the opportunity to write a powerful piece about the importance of a fair and fresh press, standing up for her fellow journalists everywhere who make themselves a target day in and day out to report the truth and advocate for the common man. Journalism is controversial—and some journalists are better than others, no doubt—but most know that there are hard consequences for printing the truth… Eileen possibly knows that better than anyone.
Most importantly, she’s not some elite robot who is doing things to appease the corporate overlords as Eric believed. In a moment of sheer terror, we got to know Eileen on a deeper level—she’s a simple girl who comes from a broken family, her mom was a teacher while her father was a steelworker, who is much more the “common” woman than anyone else would like to believe making her dedication to the craft that much more admirable. We’ve seen her pushback on corruption many times, and it’s a shame that Eric didn’t get to see her true nature.
Alaska Daily has a mission to tell the important stories that we’re not seeing told elsewhere. While I’m eager to get back to the mystery surrounding Gloria Namnac’s tragic death, it was nice to take a beat and address other issues that deserve attention, and it’s particularly important that the series knew when it was time to put this storyline to rest rather than dragging it out for the sake of entertainment.
What did you think of the episode? Are you thrilled the series is back?
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?
Alaska Daily Review – Tell a Reporter Not to Do Something and Suddenly It’s a Party (208)
Alaska Daily Season 2 Episode 8 resumed its regularly scheduled programming and got back on track by reprioritizing the Gloria Nanmac case.
Following the ordeal that went down in the newsroom between Concerned Citizen and Eileen, everyone was a bit on edge, but aside from a brief chat with a therapist and a few days off, nothing was getting in the way of Eileen getting back to her job.
The therapy session may have been mandated, but I do think that it’s necessary, and once Eileen warms up to the idea, a lot of good can come from it. She’s clearly been dealing with some unresolved trauma, including PTSD from her time in Afghanistan and likely the explosive end of her career in New York Confiding in someone and talking through things is beneficial, especially considering the panic attacks that have begun since she’s come to Anchorage, is crucial.
We didn’t get to see much of it in this episode—and hopefully, that will change in the future—but the therapy session did shine some light on Eileen’s backstory, particularly why she’s so steadfast in reporting the truth, uncovering corruption, and holding people accountable. As she informed the therapist, both her mother and her father lied to her and broke her trust, so her dedication to the job and pursuing the truth is personal.
It’s likely also what makes her such a good reporter because she wholeheartedly believes that people deserve answers and unbiased reporting.
While Gloria Nanmac’s case is layered and deeply unsettling, it’s important, and getting back to it gave Eileen a sense of purpose so she wasn’t just sitting around and simmering on what happened when she was held hostage at gunpoint.
As she threw herself right back into work, putting pressure on the state to reveal why they didn’t run a DNA test in Gloria’s case, Roz traveled back to Meade to investigate Pastor Reed Gallahorn.
Admittedly, the storyline took a few turns that even I didn’t expect. Eileen managed to convince the public safety commissioner to reclassify Gloria’s case as a homicide—threatening to expose internal corruption and the misappropriation of funds will get anyone to change their tune—so that they could run the DNA test.
Meanwhile, Roz’s confrontation with Gallahorn got heated almost immediately, and while he didn’t offer up much information at the beginning, the gut feeling that every woman has about this dude is on point—he’s an absolute creep and manipulator who definitely played some kind of role in Gloria’s death.
My heart broke for Sylvie because she’s just a loving mother who wants to find out what really happened to her daughter to get some closure. When Reed’s name popped up, she was adamant that Gloria was not involved in his church because she wanted so badly to believe it—she wanted to believe that she raised her daughter better, and admitting that she may have strayed from the path was almost like admitting defeat.
Of course, none of what happened was either Sylvie or Gloria’s fault, and getting the truth about the latter’s connection to the church only inched them closer to the truth. Roz spoke to Gloria’s friend, Alice, who was still involved with Reed, and found out that much like the other victim at Reed’s former church who turned up dead due to an “accident,” Gloria was a liability because she wanted to expose him and his abusive practices.
Reed’s abusive tendencies were confirmed by his estranged son, who filed assault charges and then dropped them soon after due to pressure from his father, who then made him sign an NDA. While he wasn’t willing to go on record, he did reveal that his father was a sadist who believed that to truly understand the lord, you had to feel his pain. It was twisted, but it definitely proved that Reed was dangerous and had the motive to want to get rid of Gloria to protect his business.
Unfortunately, when Roz confronted him about Gloria’s death, he denied it, claiming he simply wanted to help a troubled girl. He also agreed to a DNA test and even had an alibi as he was with his wife that very evening.
After the DNA tests were completed, Eileen and Roz were stunned that Reed wasn’t their guy, and the commissioner was filing an arrest warrant for Toby Crenshaw, Gloria’s good friend. Teasers from the upcoming episode reveal that both reporters think a confession was forced out of him, which means that the person who was responsible for her death is still out there and has a lot of pull in hopes of making this all go away.
This cover-up is much more corrupt than Eileen and Roz could’ve ever imagined. They owe it to Gloria and all the other native women that the government would have ignored and pushed aside; it’s the least they can do.
With The Daily Alaskan pursuing real stories and gunning for the truth, it’s not surprising that they’ve made plenty of enemies, many of whom would like to watch it all burn to the ground. We already saw just how agitated Eileen’s reporting made Concerned Citizen, but there’s someone else, someone way more powerful, who also isn’t a fan—Conrad Pritchard, Aaron’s father. Wouldn’t it be crazy if he was somehow tied to Gloria’s disappearance?
Through her reporting, Eileen learned that Conrad was planning to sell the paper, which was news to everyone else, but a few leads later, the rumor was confirmed. Aaron confronted his father, who bluntly informed him that the paper was bad for business as the reporters never hesitated to paint his family, and their business dealings, in a bad light.
At the end of the day, it’s all about money, and Conrad would rather see local journalism die than be held accountable for his actions. Thankfully, in this situation, the apple fell far from the tree because Aaron knew that there was no way that he could allow the paper to get gutted. And in true Pritchard fashion, he treated to expose his father’s shady business dealings until he agreed to sell the paper to him instead. Turns out, Aaron is a good guy after all—and maybe that’ll get him on Eileen’s good side.
The situation between Aaron and Conrad was tense, and I’d actually like to explore that on a deeper level in episodes to come. This can’t be the last time Conrad’s business dealings are worthy of front-page news, right?
Being held at gunpoint in a newsroom—and then watching a man die—is a traumatic experience, and not everyone can pretend nothing is wrong and bounce back as quickly as Eileen. And truthfully, it didn’t seem like Gabriel wanted to either.
It was sweet to see everyone ignore his request for space and swing by his apartment to check on him, but the mood was soured by his announcement that he was not coming back to the paper.
Eileen is seasoned—she’s seen a lot in her career, so while she may be slightly shaken up, she’s not easily scared. The same cannot be said for Gabriel, who is still very green and has doubted himself numerous times since getting the job. It seems that this close brush with danger was a bit of a wake-up call for him, and he’s realizing that the job isn’t worth losing his life over. Or even some sleep.
However, it could just be a case where Gabriel is so terrified that this will happen again that he’s running away, and if that’s the case, I hope his good friends from the newsroom talk him out of it and he sticks the course.
There wasn’t a dull moment on Alaska Daily, a series quickly rising the ranks as one of TV’s most important and high-stakes dramas.
What happens next? Will Eileen and Roz find a way to backtrack and help clear Toby’s name? Are they finally realizing that they are stronger together? It definitely seemed that by splitting up, they were utilizing each other’s strong suits and skills. Will it be revealed that Reed is somehow involved? He’s too creepy not to be, especially since he talked to Gloria the night of the disappearance and “punished” her by making her stand in the freezing elements and get frostbite.
Will Eileen and Roz still expose his abusive ways even without the Gloria connection? He must be stopped.
Will Eileen give Aaron another shot? Will Gabriel be convinced that his heart belongs in journalism?
Alaska Daily Fall Finale Review – You Can’t Put a Price on A Life (106)
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!
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