This review contains spoilers!
If on last Conviction episode the CIU tackled a racially-charged case, then this week they took on another case, that challenged people’s views about the world. Only in a different way. I love that about Conviction, because they are not afraid to delve deep to get the material for the cases that CIU reviews. So let’s look at what case the CIU tackled this week, and how it affected them and the people around the CIU team members.
Case of the week
On this week’s Conviction episode, we saw the CIU taking on a case of a convict, Leo Scarlata, who has diminished mental capacity and who got put in prison for starting a fire at his parent’s restaurant and killing a man in the process.
It seems like Conviction writers are making it their mission to cover controversial topics. And this week’s topic was no different. It was an important yet sensitive subject on people with diminished mental capacity, and how unfortunately these people make up a good proportion of US convict population.
In the end, CIU broke the case and found out that Leo was not at fault, since his brother’s wife exploited him and his mental state, and to get a payday. But the twists and turns kept coming during the episode, which made for a great story and a great episode.
Secondary story line
But what made this case even more complicated for the CIU, was the fact, that on top of a really hard case, there were cameras filming their every move. Wallace set it up, because he thought, that filming this case for the documentary, that the filmmaker was doing on Leo’s case, will be good publicity for the CIU. But, of course, that made Hayes mad and annoyed, since she didn’t quite see it that way.
From previous episodes we know, that Hayes doesn’t like to be exploited, especially by someone, who obviously means to pry in her work and also her and her team’s personal lives. And this was just that. During the episode, the filmmaker was not only constantly filming CIU; he was also asking them questions that half the time weren’t even related to the case. It made Hayes more edgy than usual, and it affected other CIU members, too. And not in the best of ways.
Ever since this show premiered, we have seen the inner relationships of the CIU evolve and get more and more complex, because, each and every CIU teammate is a strong-minded individual. But this episode really shook the boat, since we saw Sam and Maxine get into an argument.
In Maxine’s defense, the fight was warranted, because Sam doubted the way she handled the man, who eventually ended up shooting himself in front of them. Not only that, he did it on camera, too, for the whole world to see. So I wonder if in the future episodes we will be able to see the relationships between CIU team members intensify, and if that could even lead to a member leaving the unit.
What I loved about this episode is, that it combined hearth with humor. We saw the heart in the way Hayes and her team fought for justice, and in the way Hayes personally saw the case through, making sure that the wrongfully convicted man went free. And humor stemmed from the way Hayes avoided the cameras that fallowed her around at all costs.
The cameras annoyed even me, so I can imagine how Hayes felt with them in her face, while she tried to do her job. But none the less, it was funny, entertaining, and showed that Hayes is not working at the CIU for fame or recognition. For once in her life she actually cares for the work that she is doing and don’t want anything to jeopardize that.
• Hayes doing everything she can to avoid the cameras
• Wallace saying nice things about Hayes
• Hayes bonding with Leo and caring for him
• how good of a job the actor, who played Leo, Jason Furlani, did
• learning just why Tess didn’t become a lawyer
• the brothers reuniting when Leo was released
• Maxine taking the pain pill
• Sam still thinking that Maxine could have avoid the man shooting himself in front of them
• the filmmaker purposely pitting the CIU members against each other
Quote of the episode:
Hayes: “They annoyed me.”
Frankie: “You can’t avoid them forever.”
Hayes: “Don’t bet on it. When I was sixteen, the Secret Service changed my code name from Halo to Houdini.”
Frankie: “I’m guessing Halo was ironic.”