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I Am the Night

I Am The Night Recap: Discover A World Of Shocking Secrets

By Jon | Tuesday, 29 January 2019
The first episode of I Am the Night thrusts us into a time of uncertainty and discovery for our seemingly unrelated protagonists: Sparks, Nevada teenager Pat (India Eisley) and Los Angeles journalist Jay Singletary (Chris Pine). In our first minutes with Pat, we see that her mother and close friends are African-American, while her race is less conclusive. When a new white student attempts to join her for lunch, another student cautions her that Pat is seated at “a negro table.” Identifying herself as biracial, she encounters race-based hostility from police officers and her fellow teenagers, but that’s not her only problem. She’s also being followed by a mysterious, unidentified man.
 
Meanwhile, the disheveled, drug-addicted Jay Singletary finds himself navigating the sleaziest side of journalism, acting as a kind of private eye, spying on the infidelities of various fringe Hollywood figures. While pleading for assignments, Jay gets sent to the morgue to learn whatever he can about the brutal murder of Janice Brewster. In the process, some aspects of his unfortunate backstory emerge. Once a teen prodigy writer for the Los Angeles Times, he has now drifted into the disreputable world of The Examiner—for reasons that remain unspecified.
 
Back in Nevada, Pat is scolded by her alcoholic mother Jimmy Lee (Golden Brooks), who offers all kinds of discouraging words about her romantic relationship with Lewis (Dabier). Later that night, Pat starts digging through her mother’s possessions and stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her birth certificate, which reveals that (a) her real name is Fauna Hodel and (b) Jimmy Lee is not her birth mother. When Fauna reveals this discovery to her adopted mother, their conflict escalates. Building on her earlier research, she also tracks down her biological grandfather and plans to visit him in Los Angeles.

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Before her arrival, we return to Los Angeles, where we find the devious Jay Singletary sneaking into the morgue and photographing the severely dismembered body of Janice Brewster. When he hears someone coming, Jay locks himself among the corpses, only to be caught—and severely beaten—by the police. This episode leaves him extremely despondent and on the brink of suicide, a pursuit that gets interrupted by a sudden call from Jimmy Lee.
 
In the first episode’s final moments, we learn that Jay once made some damning claims in print about Dr. George Hodel—and Jimmy Lee believes these claims are all true. Unfortunately, Dr. Hodel also happens to be the man Fauna is on her way to visit.  But what could he have done? Further research suggests that he was a prime suspect in the notorious Black Dahlia murder.