‘Ragdoll’ Episode 1 Review: A Gruesome Crime Combined With Grim British Comedy
Lucy Hale, Henry Llyod Hughes, and Thalissa Teixeira star in a new chilling crime thriller for AMC+. With the title alone, Ragdoll gives a small tease into what viewers can expect from the series. Set in the United Kingdom, Ragdoll centers around three detectives called to a grizzly case where the bodies of six murders are sewed together. Ragdoll Episode 1 ramps up the spook factor while maintaining a grim and comical aspect.
The series gives Hannibal Lecter and other known on-screen killers possible competition. The AMC+ series might but be the next binge-worthy crime to dive into. But, the first episode is in no rush to establish small storyline details. The series will pique enough interest to watch a second episode.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains mild spoilers about Ragdoll.]
‘Ragdoll’ has more than an adequate amount of gore and grotesque crime
Ragdoll Episode 1 does the job of intriguing viewers’ morbid interest. DS Nathan Rose (Hughes) is called to a crime scene beyond what anyone expected. So much so that an officer at the scene askes how bad it is, and someone answers, “They’ll make a podcast out of this one.” Only the worst of the worst are commemorated with a podcast. The main characters ‘ flashlights illuminated the only glimpse viewers have of the horrid crime in a barely lit room.
But, DC Lake Edmonds’s (Hale) description of the crime scene is more than enough to create chills. The dismembered body parts of six victims were sewn together to make a new one. According to TV Line, the series is “Not for the squeamish, or for those who object to the diabolically improbable, Ragdoll teases the sort of ghoulish mastermind who’d be right neighborly with Hannibal Lecter.”
Interestingly enough, viewers will find themselves more disturbed by the horrible crime than the actual detectives who claim they have seen worse. As Ragdoll Episode 1 progresses, viewers will be impressed by the unique and innovative methods of murder. To top of the mystery, the allusive perpetrator has a kill list with Nathan Rose as a target. The main case is only a stepping stone to the bigger story.
Character relations and moments are slightly muddled with forced comedic moments
The comedic relief used in Ragdoll sways both ways between being needed and sometimes being forced. In episode 1, both Rose and DI Emily Baxter (Teixeira) face the new horrid crime with a sense of comedy. They jump at the opportunity to name the killer and suggest “Loco Chanel,” “Michael Korpse,” and more morbid ideas. For fans, this type of comedy is welcome. For these detectives, murder is part of the job, and they use comedy to get past the darkness.
“As human beings, that’s how we get through life — we have to make light of things. Otherwise, how would we survive? Life would just be like entirely too much,” said Hale for ABC News. AMC+ describes the series has the same feel as Killing Eve. Ragdoll Episode 1 uses the often seen morbid and dark comedy seen in many British crime series. Unlike American series, Ragdoll delivers its comedy that is blunt and meant to be quick and witty.
Throughout the episode, fans might not be entirely swayed by the dynamics between the characters. It is clear that Baxter and Rose have worked together for years, but the series forces a fun and jolly moment that makes no sense. Both characters try to let loose and go to a karaoke bar. While it’s meant to be comical, it mostly comes off as forced and a bit dreary. There is also a forced banter between Rose and Edmond, who seems like the odd man out.
‘Ragdoll’ is in no rush to fully develop character details in episode 1
Ragdoll Episode 1 begins with a flashback to Rose’s past case that destroyed him. A trial case for the Cremation Killer ends horribly when Rose’s personal emotions and lack of proper evidence cause the killer to go free. The series does the job of developing the emotional toll, and PTSD Rose suffered. But there is still the question of how horrible the Cremation Killer really was that affected Rose so much.
Viewers will agree that the series did a good job developing Rose as a central character that plays a bigger role in the Ragdoll killer’s motives. But, the series falls short of fully developing Baxter and Edmond. Episode 1 is in no rush to fully flesh out their stories. Fans know Edmond is American and moved to London for her criminal education. She also prefers women and likes tattoos. Beyond this, there is still no hook to the character. On the other hand, Baxter has a deeper and more emotional story to her that is shrouded in mystery that fans hope to see unravel further.
Ragdoll is available to stream on AMC+.