We have a brand new series coming to Prime Video in Night Sky. The show stars J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek. Today, I will review the pilot episode of the series and let you know if you should check it out or not.
Plot: Spanning space and time, Night Sky follows Irene (Sissy Spacek) and Franklin York (J.K. Simmons), a couple who, years ago, discovered a chamber buried in their backyard which inexplicably leads to a strange, deserted planet. They’ve carefully guarded their secret ever since, but when an enigmatic young man (Chai Hansen) enters their lives, the Yorks’ quiet existence is quickly upended…and the mystifying chamber they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could ever have imagined.
Available on Prime video on 05/20
The series kicks off with a young Franklin (Simmons) flashing back to meeting Irene (Spacek) for the first time at a bar. As he walks up to ask her for a dance, we flash forward to present-day Franklin/Irene, who are eating dinner and Irene wants to look at the stars. The duo head over to this gadget that brings them up to this place where they can see the star’s front and center. It was genuinely a beautiful shot (you can see it below).
We learn that Irene has spent a lot of time wanting to see the stars since she fell. A disagreement about a few things leads to the pair having a few words over how she feels and how he thinks she feels.
You know he lets his dog sleep in bed with them?
We met Bryon (Adam Bartley), a bit of a nosey neighbor who mowed Irene/Franklin’s lawn for them, much to the dismay of Franklin, who doesn’t want any help at all. Byron knows there is something up with them and Franklin believes something is up with him. All Irene wants him to do is play nice and maybe make some friends.
Irene meets with the doctor, who questions why she hasn’t been around lately. The doctor also confronts her about why she isn’t doing much to help herself in her state and suggests she needs an at-home nurse, but Irene doesn’t have it and says Franklin is fine taking care of her. The doctor says she can’t go this long without visiting anymore.
Franklin gets a phone call from his granddaughter Denise (Kiah McKirnan), saying she is in town to visit. Denise tells Franklin that Bryon sent her a message on Facebook stating he saw them in the middle of the night and Franklin isn’t thrilled that he stuck his nose in his business. While worried about them, Denise says it may be time for them to move out of the house. Although he appreciates the concern, Franklin tells her that they are doing fine.
Irene takes a trip to the senior living place across the street to see an old friend. Upon this visit, she has an emotional breakdown because she is scared and unsure of anything anymore. Next, we transition to Franklin, who is home with the groceries and realizes he forgot Irene at the doctor’s office. Irene asks Franklin if he wants to move out and he doesn’t have much of an answer.
We are back to Bryon, who is running for local office and pitching slogans with his wife. Next, we see him sneak over to Franklin/Irene’s place to do a little snooping until his phone goes off and it is his wife and he hurries back to his house. We move inside Franklin/Irene’s house, and he tells her that he has thought about the movie but doesn’t want to. He loves her and wants to see it through with her in the house. Irene makes him promise that if she dies, he will sell the house and move on without it. Franklin makes the promise as long as she keeps trying.
In the closing moments of the episode, we see quite a few things transpire that advance some plots even further. I will not spoil what happens for those as I am releasing this ahead of the release, but I loved what happened.
Is it worth checking out episode two?
There is a lot of time spent building up an emotional level between Irene and Franklin. They do a good job of attaching us to their journey and the stakes they face daily. One of the things I loved about the pilot was they gave us just enough of a tease about them having a secret without telling us what it was. The visuals are awe-inspiring throughout.
Was that enough for me to say yes to episode two? I believe so. The episode ends with an incredibly emotional bang and one that opens the door to even more mystery. I did like the world-building here, even sprinkling in that nosy neighbor who will play a key factor in what’s ahead. There are a lot of questions that you will want to be answered and that alone makes you want to continue.
The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars
Check out these interviews with stars of the series J.K. Simmons, Sissy Spacek, Kiah McKirnan and Chai Hansen.