Just in time for Halloween, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES has returned with 6 brand new episodes exploring the unexplained and the supernatural. Recently, I was able to check out the new season, which will dropp on Netflix October 19, 2020, and just like with any anthology, this volume has more than its fair share of hits and misses.
To best described the plot, I’ll turn to the official synopsis: “In six new episodes, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES profiles more unexplained disappearances, tragic events, and bizarre occurrences. Perhaps one viewer holds the key to solving these cases. Detectives, journalists, and family members offer intriguing theories in this gripping series, from the creators of the original docuseries, Cosgrove/Meurer Productions, and 21 Laps Entertainment, the producers of Stranger Things.”
Whereas I really enjoyed the first 6 episodes of the UNSOLVED MYSTERIES reboot (now available on Netflix), I felt like these remaining 6 fell a bit flat. The episodes ranged from the mysterious murder of John Wheeler, whose body was found in a landfill, to the story of Lester Eubanks, who was convicted of the murder of 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener and has been on the run since 1973, after escaping police custody, to the ghostly encounters people have had with those who lost their lives in the devastating and tragic tsunami that hit Tōhoku in 2011. Each episode is also accompanied by witness testimony, re-enactments, theories, and timelines, all which helps the viewer get a comprehensive overview of the situation at hand.
Though each segment is important in its own rights, I did feel like this reboot suffered from not having enough episodes that focused on more paranormal occurrences. Don’t get me wrong, most of us who watch UNSOLVED MYSTERIES enjoy a good true-crime story, but there was always something much more terrifying about the moments which featured the truly unexplainable in the context of the supernatural. That said, I’m not opposed to the true-crime aspect because it’s important to have those stories told in hopes that they will be solved so as to bring closure to the family and loved ones. That said, I just think it would be nice to have some variety in the form of additional supernatural stories so as to give those who aren’t as interested in true crime the opportunity to experience something different.
All that being said, out of the 6 new episode, the ones that really stood out to me where “A Death in Oslo” which surrounds the mysterious 1995 death of an unnamed woman at the Plaza Hotel in Norway. Deemed a suicide by police, this episode left me scratching my head while I came up with my own theories as to what really happened. Additionally, “Death Row Fugitive”, which centers around the former death-row inmate, Lester Eubanks, who escaped prison when on a supervised shopping trip, sent chills down my spin. To this day, the authorities have not been able to catch Eubanks (who is now on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted List) and, to be quite blunt, as you’ll see in the episode, a lot of the blame is on the shoulders of the prison system and police force for allowing him to escape their grasp. Okay, I’ll also admit that “Tsunami Spirits” also terrified me as tsunamis are one of my biggest fears in the world. The death and destruction that occurred due to the earthquake and the accompanying tsunami is one that I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around.
Even though this volume of episodes didn’t hit as hard for me as the previous ones, I still had an enjoyable time watching it. All the episodes have an overwhelming sense of foreboding and feature the iconic score which allows for a seamless transition from one episode to the next. Furthermore, I thought it was great that they added in more international stories so that we could see how the rest of the world handles unsolved mysteries instead of just the United States. With All Hallows Eve quickly approaching, I think many people will find enough unsettling moments to satiate their hunger for the unexplained, especially during the spookiest time of year. But for more experienced armchair detectives, don’t expect anything new to be brought to the table.
UNSOLVED MYSTERIES VOLUME 2 arrives on Netflix October 19, 2020.