Safe Home: Season 1 – Recap/ Review

“Safe Home” is a 4 episode series about family violence that can be a challenge to watch but reminds you these stories are more than just content.


Community Rating: 100% (1 votes)

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Title Card - Safe Home

Plot Summary

Episode 1

Director(s)

Stevie Cruz-Martin

Writer(s)

Anna Barnes

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Phoebe

Aisha Dee

Ian

Thomas Cocquerel

Jenny

Mabel Li

Grace

Antonia Prebble

Jon

Mark Mitchinson

Diana

Janet Andrewartha

Recap

Phoebe and David (Arka Das) in a elevator together
Phoebe and David (Arka Das) in an elevator together | Hulu

Phoebe, a public relations employee who switches from working at a notable law firm to a legal advocacy company, doesn’t have a smooth transition. At her last job, she was having an affair with her boss, Grace’s, husband, Ian – a secret that was circulating. Then, at her new job, on her first day, she pisses off one of the top lawyers, Jenny, for letting an abuser nearly able to harm his partner once again.

But, while Phoebe finds her early days rough, the show also focuses on a woman named Diana. Her husband Jon, similar to the man Phoebe met at the Magistrate, is an abuser who is unsuspecting. Jon worked in the local school, though he has since retired, and it seems he may not physically be abusive, but he does exert financial control over Diana and will use any means he has to control her without physically leaving a mark.

Which leaves you to wonder what Diana’s next move will be and whether her story is on a collision course with Phoebe’s.

Episode 2

Director(s)

Stevie Cruz-Martin

Writer(s)

Jean Tong

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Riley

Tegan Stimson

Xander

Nicholas Burton

David

Arka Das

Gerard

David Roberts

Layla

Chenoa Deemal

Max

Hal Cumpston

Recap

Jenny (Mabel Li) sizing up Phoebe
Jenny (Mabel Li) sizing up Phoebe | Hulu

While the article Phoebe got for the Family Violence Legal Service does lead to the Magistrate sending someone to see about the work being done, unfortunately, it isn’t at a great time. More calls mean being unable to help people due to already stretched resources, and Phoebe hears a traumatizing call.

But, as she tries to navigate doing PR for a place that deals with trauma, she is slowly but surely winning Jenny over who, likely due to their banter, has befriended Phoebe. However, with Jenny a bit curious about McKinley-Harris and even questioning why Phoebe would leave, there is a need to ask if her intentions are pure or if she is just a lawyer doing her research.

Either way, Phoebe still finds herself unable to free herself of Gerard being worried his life is about to blow up, Ian’s pursuit of her, or the fear Grace may eventually learn she was having an affair with her husband.

Beyond Phoebe, however, we see Diana has gotten physically free of her husband via staying with her sister, and a new character, Riley, who goes by Ry, is introduced. She is dealing with an abusive mom, and lucky for her, the team lead at her job, Xander, covers for her sleeping at their job and might be a genuine friend.

Episode 3

Director(s)

Stevie Cruz-Martin

Writer(s)

Michelle Law

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Eve

Virginia Gay

Kelvin

Yuchen Wang

Cherry

Katlyn Wong

Recap

Grace (Antonia Prebble)
Grace (Antonia Prebble) | Hulu

It has come to that point where, for Phoebe, things are at a tipping point. Grace informs her and Eve that a budget cut is likely, and while David does pick up Phoebe’s calls, it doesn’t seem he is overtly moved.

But that isn’t the only tipping point. For Julian and Phoebe’s relationship, it seems to be at an end, and with the reveal Julian is a domestic violence victim, that is going to make Eve’s situation immensely complicated since Grace is on the board of her organization. Yet, Jenny is struggling too, as are all the family violence characters we have met.

Jenny finds herself getting emotionally invested in Cherry’s case, which Kelvin has made so difficult that it makes Cherry’s limited English a liability. One that eventually leads to her kids being taken and Jenny having to try to support Cherry through multiple breakdowns.

As for Diana and Ry? Diana, who has left her sister’s home, struggles to find housing and sleeps in her car. Ry? Well, Xander has shown signs he could become abusive, and it seems Ry would rather be with the devil she knows, who may just physically and verbally abuse her, rather than be with a boy who may add on sexual abuse.

Episode 4

Director(s)

Stevie Cruz-Martin

Writer(s)

Anna Barnes

Recap

Ian aka Julian (Thomas Cocquerel) saying "Hi" to Phoebe
Ian aka Julian (Thomas Cocquerel) saying “Hi” to Phoebe | Hulu

Throughout the season, there was a murder mystery lurking, and we find out what happened in this episode. Julian, despite how he seemed, was abusing Grace, and the car we saw throughout the season was his. He killed Grace and then got himself killed.

As you can imagine, this is devastating for Phoebe since she thought maybe Julian was a victim, but as shown by that situation and Layla’s article, things were much worse than she thought. In fact, the whole situation pushes Eve to retire and promote Jenny to her position, especially with it being revealed that funding won’t be cut – for now.

But, in regards to Riley, Cherry, and Diana? Things make progress, but we don’t see the conclusion of their stories. Diana ends up back with Jon, temporarily, before visiting FVLS (Family Violence Legal Service) for help. Riley does the same after Xander exposes a sex tape he made, and her mother further abuses her.

Cherry? Well, despite her mother-in-law’s threats, she confirms Kelvin was abusive in court, and we’re left not knowing what happened next regarding custody of her kids. The only thing we know for sure is that Phoebe, despite initial apprehension, has continued working for the legal service.

Content Information

  • Dialog: Cursing (Occasional)
  • Violence: Abusive Relationship, Blood, Graphic Imagery
  • Sexual Content: Sexual Situations (Implied)
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. There is no conclusion to Max’s storyline about running for council.

General Information

Network

Hulu

Start Date

January 9, 2024

End Date

January 9, 2024

Number of Episodes

4

Genre(s)

CrimeDramaYoung AdultLGBT+

Renewal Status

Mini-Series

Directory

(Series Page | Character Guide)

Review


Community Rating: 100% (1 votes)


Highlights

Episode 1: The Push To Understand Not All Abuse Is Physical Or That Women Are The Sole Victims

Diana (Janet Andrewartha) with her sister
Diana (Janet Andrewartha) with her sister | Hulu

Between the clients Jenny and Phoebe meet and Diana’s story, “Safe Home” starts strong in what could be its long-term goal. From noting a shift from using “Domestic Violence” to “Family Violence,” alongside showing abuse is not limited to any gender, look, or age, “Safe Home” pushes not only the need for legal services that are free or easy to access but also appears capable of presenting signs to look for.

Mind you, this can’t replace taking a professional course, but even in terms of watching how people make excuses for their partner, it provides a means to get you to ask questions when something seems off, including with yourself.

General: Phoebe and Jenny’s Banter

Knowing of Aisha Dee from “The Bold Type,” the iconic FreeForm series, made her character’s banter with Jenny raise an eyebrow. Yes, Phoebe was a mistress to Julian, but Dee has this unquestionable knack with female scene partners to give them the eye, a smile, and a laugh that makes you wonder if something more could go on?

Add in how Phoebe disarms Jenny and gets to bring her to the point of laughter, sweetness, and even worry, and it is difficult not to believe there could have been the option for something to happen between these two.

Episode 3: Cherry’s Situation

Cherry (Katlyn Wong) going off on her former mother-in-law
Cherry (Katlyn Wong) going off on her former mother-in-law | Hulu

Of the three B-Side stories, I’d submit Cherry’s was the most impactful. From being the case that got someone besides Phoebe to get Jenny emotional to showing how language barriers open up people for abuse, the enablement of parents, and how children could play pawns, I’d submit Cherry’s story could have been a show or movie within itself.

General: The Noting Of Male Victims

From David to seeing one survivor in the first episode, there is a nod that men can be subject to family violence as well. This feels important since, as Phoebe and David noted, there are many barriers to men speaking out, with the perception of their person being a major issue.

Now, sadly, we don’t get to see a male situation play out, whether in a heterosexual, homosexual, or another type of relationship, but considering the call out in the show, at least the issue isn’t outright ignored.

On The Fence

Episode 1: The Affair

In my mind, Phoebe has enough going on between the alleged abuse at her old job her friend is hounding her for, her roommate and their eccentricities, and then what is going on at the advocacy firm. Why does she need to be messing around with a married man? Is there not enough drama already in this show?

General: The Murder Mystery

Everything about the murder mystery felt as unnecessary as the affair. It didn’t feel built upon in a way for you to care, and the reveal undid a notable storyline regarding Julian potentially being the victim of abuse. So, while you get the point of it was to enforce that we truly don’t know a monster until it reveals its face, undoing the one storyline that depicted a male victim and having it be flipped, seemingly for the sole purpose of a twist? That was immensely frustrating.

General: The B-Line Stories

Ry aka Riley (Tegan Stimson) at work
Ry aka Riley (Tegan Stimson) at work | Hulu

While we appreciate what was given from Riley, Diana, and Cherry’s story, the fact that none of them came to a resolution was bothersome. Add in, there was a lack of diversity since none were male or non-binary, and though Riley was queer, that was complicated.

Now, I’ll give it to “Safe Home” by having Riley show how, for survival, queer people will potentially be with people who offer safety, even if they don’t love them. But, considering all the ways that storyline could have played out, especially since Xander had a queer friend into Riley, the missed opportunity is frustrating.

Good If You Like

  • Crime dramas

What I Hope To See

I feel like there needs to be diversity regarding abuse. What we saw with Cherry, Ry, and Diana, while important to show, I also feel exists in media. However, what was presented as Julian’s potential story, the man who we saw during the montage of interviews, that is something we don’t get.

As a society, unless a man is the absolute perfect victim, he is considered the perpetrator. There is no real option for things being gray. Considering that, the missed opportunity to show a man, whether in a heterosexual, homosexual, or even family violence scenario, was unfortunate, and while it isn’t clear if this could get an additional season, even if four episodes, I do hope there is a push for understanding and grace as we got to see for Diana, Cherry, and Ry.

Recommendations

If you like this show, we recommend:

  1. Accused

Check out our TV-Series page for our latest recaps and reviews, as well as recommendations.


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Safe Home: Season 1 – Review

Summary

While we do wish “Safe Home” did have some diversity in its B-line cases, there is no denying what was presented was heartening and a necessary presentation of how family violence evolves.

Overall
79%
79%
  • The Push To Understand Not All Abuse Is Physical Or That Women Are The Sole Victims - 83%
    83%
  • Phoebe and Jenny’s Banter - 84%
    84%
  • Cherry’s Situation - 82%
    82%
  • The Noting Of Male Victims - 81%
    81%
  • The Affair - 72%
    72%
  • The Murder Mystery - 71%
    71%
  • The B-Line Stories - 78%
    78%

Highlight(s)

  • The Noting Of Male Victims
  • Cherry’s Situation
  • Phoebe and Jenny’s Banter
  • The Push To Understand Not All Abuse Is Physical Or That Women Are The Sole Victims

Disputable

  • The B-Line Stories
  • The Murder Mystery
  • The Affair

What Would Your Rating Be?

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