In most television shows about teenagers one thing is guaranteed: the parents on the show will be completely oblivious about what their children do on a daily basis. Even in series where the parents were frequently shown like Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, and The O.C., the parental figures rarely knew the extent of the drama their children were involved in unless the teens needed help.
Netflix’s new series Trinkets, which is undoubtedly geared toward a younger audience, also features parents who alarmingly have no idea the troubles their teenage daughters experience. Trinkets is about three high school students, Elodie (Brianna Hildebrand), Tabitha (Quintessa Swindell), and Moe (Kiana Madeira) who come from three different social groups but become unlikely friends when they connect at a Shoplifters Anonymous meeting. A majority of the series is about shoplifting, which is unsurprising since it is initially what bonds the girls together. But despite appearing in almost every episode, their parents, except Elodie’s father, never seem to be aware or even mention their children are kleptomaniacs. Elodie’s father (Larry Sullivan) thinks his daughter’s days of theft are behind her, but little does he know that Elodie constantly struggles with her urge to steal.
In the first episode of Trinkets, which is based off the young adult novel of the same name by Kirsten”Kiwi” Smith, Elodie’s problem with shoplifting arrives within the first 10 minutes. She is immediately caught and part of her punishment is to attend Shoplifters Anonymous. Elodie recently moved in with her father and his new family in Portland and it is said that he wasn’t a huge presence in her life before the move. So, it makes sense that Elodie can easily convince him she only shoplifted in the pilot episode, “Mirrors,” because she had a bad night. Her father’s belief that Elodie stopped shoplifting is one of the main reasons Elodie gets away with the crimes she commits with Moe and Tabitha throughout the series. But that all comes crashing down in the finale, "The Great Escape.”
It is suggested throughout the show that Elodie struggles the most with shoplifting compared to Moe and Tabitha. The audience sees her steal the most items during Trinkets’ 10-episode first season. Elodie reveals to the audience, and later to Moe, that she keeps all the objects she has stolen in a suitcase under her bed and enjoys staring at them. If you’re thinking it is probably not the best idea to keep hundreds of dollars worth of shoplifted merchandise (with the tags still on!) lazily hidden under the bed, then you’re right. In the penultimate episode, one of the final scenes has Elodie’s younger step-brother innocently playing with his toys using her suitcase. It is implied that her father catches him doing this because in a final twist he confronts Elodie about being a kleptomaniac. He tells her she must go to a facility to help her control her addiction.
Elodie’s father long due enlightenment triggers the last shock of the series: Elodie decides to run away with older musician Sabine (Katrina Cunningham) with Moe and Tabitha’s help. While Elodie is certainly responsible for her role as a shoplifter, her father’s lack of attention enables her behavior.
Since she lived with her mom in Albuquerque, Elodie and her dad do not have a close relationship. He doesn’t recognize her struggling to cope with the traumatic event that forced her to leave New Mexico. When Elodie is caught shoplifting in “Mirrors,” he doesn’t dig deeper and ask more questions to try to truly understand why she likes to steal. He also fails to see that one of Elodie’s biggest issues, and why she begs him to return to New Mexico for a party one weekend, is that she is lonely. His typical role as a sometimes physically present but emotionally absent parent encourages Elodie which is why his first thought when he catches her is to send her away. He would rather further distance himself from his daughter than deal with her problems head on.
Running off to become a groupie or being removed from school and sent to a treatment facility should not be the only two options Elodie has. Before Elodie addresses her addiction (if the show is renewed for a second season) her home life has to be fixed first. Moe and Tabitha both have their mothers to confide in, but Elodie lacks that familial support. Hopefully in a new season, her and her father can become more self-aware and mend their relationship.