Shining Vale Season 1 Episode 3 Review: New Spaces, Family Disgraces

The third episode of STARZ's Shining Vale explored more of the Phelps' family home, and although not completely comforting it does hold some unique secrets and spaces. To avoid any hint of spoilers, catch up and watch the episode before continuing on… you've been warned, lovelies.

Shining Vale Season 1 E03 Review: New Spaces & Family Disgraces
(l-r) Courteney Cox as Pat & Mira Sorvino as Rosemary. Source: Starz

From the start of this Shining Vale episode, I felt for Pat mainly in part because of the continued dismissal of her inner turmoil that came from her and Terry's couples therapist. Filling her with a variety of medications seems to be his answer. I was surprised by his initial words to her about seeking out the muse and dealing with that portion of herself but what didn't come as a surprise was how he immediately filled out a script for anti-anxiety meds. It's an interesting illusion that many women truly experience, at first things seem good and as if any troubles are listened to but then the covers are thrown off, and blame & gaslighting is behind it. Terry is the kind of character or man who wants to invest when he feels like it. I think his character does want what's best for his kids and the family in general but he obviously jumps to numerous conclusions especially when it comes to what he thinks Pat does or sees.

Diving deep into the connection between Pat and this house, Shining Vale does a good job of connecting modern-day dots between a patriarchal society desperate to infuse 50's housewife standards back into women. The showcase of women, who are pushed into either modern business type who can have it all or nothing outside of work is very interesting. A lot goes back to the blurry lines between who to trust in this story, between wanting inner freedom for Pat and just wanting her life to progress in a specific and ideal way. It's a great position to be in as a viewer, riding the line between comfort with one character's view of things to another's.

I will say the pace went up and down in this episode, focusing on a lot of little things that can do that. I would've loved it if they switched episode to episode between focuses on Gaynor and Jake's experiences when we're not seeing whatever is happening with Pat or Terry. More focus on Jake along with the main story would have been better in this episode rather than dividing time. More focus and clarity on what direction (whether comedy or horror) to go in in a specific episode would've made this better. The comedy and personality of the series continue to be great in certain parts, but the style of horror almost reaches but then finds itself slipping away before you can appreciate it fully. Let me know what you thought of this episode of Shining Vale in the comments below!

Shining Vale Season 1 Episode 3 "Chapter Three - The Yellow Wallpaper"

Shining Vale: Mira Sorvino On Starz Series & Rosemary [Interview]
Review by Brittney Bender

The comedy and personality of STARZ's Shining Vale continue to be great in certain parts, but its style of horror still isn't quite hitting the mark where we can fully appreciate it. "Chapter Three - The Yellow Wallpaper" works best when it connects the dots between a woman's reality and the concept of modern horror through a comedic lens.


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Brittney BenderAbout Brittney Bender

In love with media, from TV to film, you'll find me writing recaps, reviews, TV news, "Top 5" content, opinion pieces are everything and anything, and more! Bisexual creative mess with a love for dark humor, promoting important projects, and sharing interesting finds.
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