I watched this series while we were in Bali last week and I’ve got to say it had some great moments and some excellent characters.
Christians of the evangelical flavour rarely get portrayed positively in media, (unless its sickly sweet) so it was really nice to see Merrit Weaver playing Detective Karen Duvall (left), a genuinely devoted Christian, alongside Toni Collette as Grace Rasmussen, a cynical, hardass who would often ridicule and belittle Duvall’s faith as well as her competency as a detective.
We first get the clue that Duvall is a Christian when we see a sticky note on her dashboard with the words ‘here am I send me’.
‘What’s that about?’ asks Rasmussen as they drive along.
It’s from the Bible.’ Duvall states. She explains that its a reminder of who she is in this world and what her calling is as a cop. When she saw darkness and evil and brokenness her response to God was ‘here am I send me’.
She sees her work as bringing the kingdom of God to earth and this is her way.
We see her attend church, just a garden variety evangelical type, but the church service is a very small part of the story. What is far bigger is who Duvall is outside of church – in the world she is part of.
We see Rasmussen callously take pokes at ‘her God’ for being so useless, as they continue to hit dead ends with the case and in it all we see Duvall carry herself with grace and strength.
To top it off we see a very good cop – who does excellent work – who cares for the people she encounters and who tries to do what is right at each point.
I think that’s what’s really important. Not that we see her go to church and sing hymns, and can therefore tick the ‘Christian’ box, but that we see her live a Jesus like life in her workplace which is as challenging as any. She is a tough, courageous woman who rights the wrongs in her world as best she is able. She is tender hearted at the same time, able to cop it on the chin and turn the other cheek when she has to, but also able to push back hard when it needs to be done.
I really liked Collette’s ‘potty mouth’ character too, but I just appreciated seeing a Christian actually being portrayed as something other than a religious nutbag. If I had to write a list of what I hope people would imagine we’d be like as we live our lives in the humdrum of everyday life then this is a pretty good picture of exactly that.