Secrets of the Sisterhood (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Ashley Shields has had a rough year following the death of her mother, the disintegration of her marriage, and getting passed over for a promotion at work. So when her sister Jasmine brings her to a women’s group, The Sisterhood, she is intrigued and hopes to feel empowered enough to change her life. Led by the enigmatic and charismatic Desiree, The Sisterhood delivers to Ashley everything it promises. She gets a raise at her job, her divorce is resolved in her favor and she finally feels fulfilled and happy. But she soon discovers that the benefits of The Sisterhood come at a steep, and sometimes illegal price. As Ashley learns more about The Sisterhood and is forced to participate in its questionable activities, she realizes that she is in over her head and must get out–even if it’s at the expense of her relationship with Jasmine…or her life.
A woman is running for her life through an alley holding a folder. She is being followed by women in a car who get out and drag her into the trunk of the vehicle. The woman begs for her life.
Cut to Ashley arguing with her husband Rick over logistics of their impending divorce. (He broke up with her to date a cop named Julie.) He wants custody of their teenage daughter (Grace) AND alimony. Ashley is also getting passed up for a promotion at work. When her former junkie sister Jasmine shows up out of the blue, Ashley is suspicious. Jasmine apologizes for disappearing and not helping Ashley when their mom died recently. Then she invites Ashley to a meeting.
At the meeting called “Sisterhood,” Ashley and Jasmine meet Desiree, who runs the group. It is an underground operation promoting and funding women’s rights via anonymous donations. Desiree is an accomplished writer and looks out for women in need. Ashley thanks Desiree for helping her sister get clean. Myra gives a speech about why she joined the group after her daughter died and suffered from severe depression. All the women in the group have a story like that, they went through hard times, and Desiree helped empower them again.
If Ashley didn’t think it was a cult at the first meeting, she should have known by the initiation. In the candlelit initiation, Ashley and the other sisterhood members wear white robes and scarves and pledge to put the Sisterhood before everything in their lives forever. Then they drink wine, so I guess I understand why Ashley joined.
Ashley starts seeing the positive effects of joining the Sisterhood. Her boss giver her a raise, and Rick doesn’t get his alimony. (Thanks to a fellow sister arbitrator.) Jasmine recommends that Ashley donate the Sisterhood with the inheritance. Ashley decides to help in other ways and works as a treasure for the organization. (Pamela, the old bookkeeper, was removed from the position and group permanently. I think she was the woman from the beginning of the movie.) Desiree asks Ashley to launder money for the Sisterhood. Ashley is reluctant at first but is convinced after Jasmine reminds her of how the Sisterhood benefited her.
Ashley receives a payment from her boss at work, and the Sisterhood is blackmailing him and a lot of other people in town. Ashley starts to have serious doubts about the group. She questions Jasmine about how Desiree knows so much about them. Ashley is convinced that they were targeted because of the inheritance.
When Jasmine beats the crap out of a woman on behalf of the Sisterhood, Ashley watches on horrified. This is NOT The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ashley then goes to Jasmine’s gym and steals keys that go into a secret room in the sister house. In the room is a computer, but Ashley can’t crack the password. Instead, she finds a file drawer that has documents on all the sisters and people around town. She is caught by Desiree, who forces her to say in the by blackmailing Ashley.
At work, Ashley receives a hotel key and burner cellphone from Pamela. (The old treasure and car trunk lady.)Pamela tells Ashley about being attacked in the alley. She warns Ashley of Desiree, claiming her house has been bugged, and she is being watched. Pamela has footage that would incriminate Desiree and sets up a SECOND MEETING to drop the flash drive. When Ashley shows up, she finds Pamela dead in he bathtub or an apparent suicide. Police are called to the scene, and Ashley notices Desiree is one of them.
Ashley works with the police and wears a wire to get more evidence against the Sisterhood. Ashley gets Desiree alone and talks about laundering the money very obviously. Desiree asks if Ashley is wearing a wire and slowly rubs down her body. Ashley gets the information she needs by hiding the wire in a plant. She then meets up with a local reporter and gives her the evidence, but has trouble trusting the reporter.
Myriah confronts Ashley and tells her that she kidnapped her daughter. Ashley is taken to a basement. It was a trap; her daughter was not kidnapped. Desiree says that she sent the reporter and now has the flash drive with the evidence. Desiree wants the inheritance and has Jasmine beat up her real sister.
Ashley is released and relieved to find her daughter home safe. One of the sisters named Sonia is there and has most likely bugged the house. Ashley searches high and low. She notices that her laptop is missing. Ashley gets the money and gives it to Jasmine. She demands that Jasmine never talk to her or Grace again. When she comes out of the gym, Ashley sees Desiree talking to Grace. Desiree says that she will always be watching, and they will never be safe.
With no one left to turn to, Ashley goes to Rick for help. He has his new cop girlfriend Julie look into the Sisterhood, but they find no incriminating evidence. Rick tells Ashley that she has to go public with everything she knows; it is the only way to keep her safe.
Ashley doesn’t have the opportunity to go to the press. She is captured and tied to a chair. Desiree hands Jasmine a bat and tells her to kill her sister. Ashley tells Jasmine that she loves her and to think about Grace. Jasmine can’t do it and quits the Sisterhood. Desiree hugs her while Mirya throws a plastic bag over her head. The police arrive just in time. Ashley and Jasmine are saved. Julie really came through for Ashley, even though Ashley was RUDE TO HER THE WHOLE MOVIE.
Ashley gets put on probation, and Jamie is going to have to spend some time in prison. The real sisters are happy to have their family back. A sister stands outside of the house and watches them ominously.
Minority Report: Desiree, Selena, other sisters,
🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime
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