Pieces of Her, adapted on the 2018 novel of the same name, is Netflix’s newest thriller series, fueled by a stellar ensemble and a suspenseful mystery.
The eight-part series centers on Andy Oliver Bella Heathcote, who is trying to learn more about her mother Laura Toni Collette, who is thrust into the spotlight after eliminating a danger during a mass shooting at a local diner.
From the get-go, we learn that Laura is a speech therapist and breast cancer survivor, but as the series concludes, Andy learns that her mother has been hiding a dark secret.
Toni Collette plays Laura Oliver, a divorced mother who lives in Belle Isle, Georgia with her only child, Bella Heathcote as Andrea “Andy.”
Andy’s mother has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer, but this has kept Andy in Belle Isle, where she would rather be pursuing her dream of becoming a graphic designer.
Andy works nights at a 911 call center, and Laura is a speech-language pathologist at the Savannah Veterans Affairs Center. At a restaurant on Andy’s 30th birthday, Laura encourages her to leave Belle Isle, return to school, and earn her degree after a long hiatus.
Laura’s friend Betsy and her daughter Shelly come over to the table when she and Andy are having their little argument. A 25-year-old man named Jonah Helsinger, who had been sitting a few seats away from Shelly and her mother, abruptly sprang up, pointed a revolver at them, and shot them both as soon as Andy left the table in frustration.
When Laura comes to protect the individuals cowering under the table, a panicked Jonah threatens to shoot Andy, who is in uniform. After Laura blocks Jonah’s attempt to shoot her, he swiftly pulls out a knife and stabs her in the palm.
In a moment of pure assassination, Laura slices Jonah across the neck, ending the threat once and for all. Andy and the other cops are taken aback by Laura’s reaction, but she is hailed as a hero and becomes a celebrity as a result.
Though fame may bring the return of a terrible past, Laura does not appreciate it. In an effort to keep Andy at bay, she vents her pent-up hatred on her, but instead of keeping Andy safe, the tragic outcome is precipitated.
One night, a hitman breaks into Laura’s house to kill her, but Andy hears whispers and intervenes in time to save her mother. She thinks she has killed the assassin when she smashes him with an object and knocks him down before sending a text to 911.
This is why Laura had her daughter depart Belle Isle in the killer’s car; she doesn’t want her to get arrested. In addition to these items, she gives her daughter cash, a phone, and the Get-Em-Out storage facility’s key card.
It is imperative that she relocate to Carrollton, where Andy can acquire a vehicle, and then to Maine for her own protection.
Andy reluctantly abandons her mother and sets out on a journey that will force her to confront some unsettling truths about herself, her family, and her origins and identity.
Laura’s earlier life as Jane Queller, which is expanded upon in “Pieces of Her,” has a murky history with ties to a bigger conspiracy.
Who Was Jane Queller? Why Did She Become Laura Oliver?
So, Jane created the persona of Laura and used it for about 28 years to avoid exposing herself to Nick Harp, Andy’s father and the man who had been her lover.
However, let’s go back to Jane’s humble beginnings to see how she got herself into such a pickle. Her father, Martin Queller, an American entrepreneur and the founder of the pharmaceutical corporation Quellcorp was a challenging figure in Jane Queller’s life from the time of her birth.
Jane’s mother, Annette, wanted to leave Martin because he was a dominating narcissist and likely a domestic abuser. Martin intervened as she attempted to abscond with Jane, Andrew, and Jasper one night.
The fate of Annette is left mysterious in “Pieces of Her,” but we do learn that Martin gained sole custody of the children and brought them up in his own image.
Most of all, Jane wanted to go because she was undoubtedly abused by her father and because he drugged and shamed and reprimanded her frequently.
A man named Nick Harp, who wasn’t quite a knight in shining armor, was sent by heaven after hearing her prayers. Andrew, Jane’s brother, attended Stanford with the mysterious Nick Harp.
He was the leader of the Army of the Changing World, a cultish organization. Nick was the unfortunate target of these radical leftists’ attack on Martin since the latter was a capitalistic opportunist who exploited people for financial gain.
Martin Queller amassed a fortune in the late 1980s on the backs of controversial and potentially lethal drugs including AZT, Haldol, and RU486. Many people lost their lives because of Martin’s drugs, but he never seemed to care.
But he would take no blame, which is why Nick was so determined to stop his false behavior. Using Andrew’s confidence in him, Nick convinced Jane to spy on Martin.
With their help, he was able to attend the 1988 Oslo meeting. At the International Economic Forum in Oslo, he conspired with Jane’s brother Jasper to publicly shame Martin by staining his suit with a drop of symbolic blood.
Professor Alex Maplecroft was kidnapped by Nick, who sent a woman named Grace Juno posing as Alex who had lost her husband and children to Martin’s drugs.
The plan called for Juno to toss a false bomb containing a red material, which would be detonated by Nick, who was sitting in the audience, but instead, she pulled out a gun, shot Martin, and then turned the gun on herself.
Why Did Jane Conceal that She Would Kill Her Father?
Though Nick was taken into custody, Andy’s calm was shattered by something else. And if it wasn’t Nick, she wanted to know who gave Grace Juno the weapon.
Who was allowed to carry a firearm into a restricted meeting? The moment Andy realized that the pocketbook seen in the assassination footage belonged to Juno’s mother, Jane, was when he realized the significance of the discovery.
That’s why an eavesdropper saw Andy and Michael Vargas talking about Andy’s mom’s role in Martin’s death. Because Jasper’s right-hand man had spied on Andy’s phone, Jasper was able to learn Jane’s secret and then blackmail his sister with it.
But Jasper didn’t lay out the deal’s specifics, and he likely will in Season 2 of “Pieces of Her.” But the mystery remains; why did Jane murder, Martin? The key is found in Jane’s troubled past, including the time when her mother Annette desperately tried to free them from a cruel narrator but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Jane’s character provides some suggestions as to why Annette wanted to leave the house without the show really fully exploring the matter. Martin’s kids were so angry at him in the first place because he had humiliated them.
Jane took the initiative to assassinate Martin when Andrew and Jasper attempted public humiliation as a means of retaliation. Over the years, she grew increasingly resentful as she pointed out Martin’s authoritarian tendencies on occasion.
When Jane played the piano, Martin would take notes to help her improve. After that, she no longer felt connected to the instrument save as a burden.
By opening up about how she felt during her breast cancer treatment, Jane experienced what many of us have: a heightened awareness of our own guilt and fury as we near the end of life.
During a conversation with another patient named Gloria, she revealed that she had been brought up to be a wonderful girl who would do anything to make other people happy.
Jasper specifically noted in his book how her father treated her like a trophy and how she performed instruments for his high-society friends.
She went on to explain to Gloria that Nick had represented an escape from her father’s political influence and that she had found freedom in him. Even when she finally understood his intentions, it was already too late.
Between Martin and Nick, she had nowhere to turn. Jane likely put an end to Martin after he attempted to drug her and kill her child so that he could start over with her.