TV Review: Hulu’s “Saint X” is a Tense Modern Day Hitchcockian Thriller

Saint X will leave viewers guessing until the final moments, with its strong character development, intricate plot, and twists and turns that form a superb thriller that saves its last revelation to the final moments.

Who killed Alison Thomas? From the first moment the Thomas family, Alison, Claire (West Duchovny and Kenlee Townsend) and their parents Mia and Bill (Betsy Brandt and Michael Park), arrive at Indigo Bay Resort, their happiness will be shattered by tragedy. Who was Alison, and what happened to her?

Staying at the palatial Indigo Bay resort, they meet the locals including resort employees Edwin and Gogo (Jayden Elijah and Josh Bonzie) who pay close attention to their assigned guests, and Edwin and Alison grow very close over the week-long trip. The last day of the trip reveals that Alison is missing, Edwin and Gogo are under suspicion, and the Thomas family will never be the same.

Twenty years later in New York City, Claire, who now goes by Emily (Alycia Debnam-Carey) gets into a cab which is being driven by Gogo. Recognizing the man instantly, Emily is plunged back into the nightmare of her older sister’s murder. Obsessed with finding the truth, she befriends the older Gogo, and will stop at nothing to find the truth.

Saint X is layered with intricate plot details, and a complicated story that is perfectly executed with superb performances by everyone, but especially, Alycia Debnam-Carey and West Duchovny.

Debnam-Carey plays the walking wounded Emily with care and grace but has the exact amount of obsession that an adult would feel having lived through the death of her older sister. You can’t help but identify with Emily, because you feel the ache for her younger self at losing someone so important to her like her big sister.

While the rest of the cast gets to focus their story on the island, Debnam-Carey is living the present of everyone’s actions. She maintains the right amount of Kenlee Townshend’s youthful performance, but Debnam-Carey makes the adult Emily’s trauma heartbreaking to watch. She is forced to react to her parents trying to protect her, while dealing with the effects of trying to paint over the past.

West Duchovny has one of the most challenging roles in the series, because she must portray Alison with a blend of rebelliousness, youthful teen angst, be a compelling lead, but also be likable. It would be easy to turn Alison into a stereotypical character that had a youthful indiscretion and got herself killed. However, Duchovny makes the viewers ache for Alison.

Alison and her parents get along, she’s adored by her little sister, but is riddled with self-doubt. It would be easy to dislike Alison, and it would be easy to get the performance of this character wrong in so many ways. West Duchovny has given a star-making performance which will launch her into stardom thanks to her incredible work on Saint X.

Josh Bonzie as Gogo is a revelation. He plays the same character, but his emotions and nature change so dramatically throughout the series that it would be easy to question if Bonzie is the young Gogo or if it is two different actors. Bonzie is warm and friendly on the island, and twenty years later he shows how Alison’s death has not only shattered the Thomas family, but his as well. The guilt attached to his name forces him off the island, and ends his friendship with Edwin, and his hopes for his new family. Gogo is a kindhearted caring individual who is trying to do everything right, but nothing ever goes right for him.

Jayden Elijah as Edwin is the perfect balance to the kind Gogo. In Edwin, Elijah gives us a showy self-confident, supposed lothario, who is nothing like he seems. Edwin is a character that viewers will assume one thing, change their mind, then be surprised by the truth.

Saint X is a binge-worthy series that will compel all viewers to click next on your streaming service. You can’t stop until you find out what happened to Alison Thomas.

Bill Gowsell
Bill Gowsell has loved all things Disney since his first family trip to Walt Disney World in 1984. Since he began writing for Laughing Place in 2014, Bill has specialized in covering the Rick Riordan literary universe, a retrospective of the Touchstone Pictures movie library, and a variety of other Disney related topics. When he is not spending time with his family, Bill can be found at the bottom of a lake . . . scuba diving