This review contains spoilers!
Another week, another “Conviction” episode, and this one definitely didn’t disappoint, but kept the spirit and the tone of the show, while at the same time giving us a chance to dive deeper into the characters, their pasts and relationships with others. After the cliffhanger of the last “Conviction” episode, in which we saw Hayes and Conner’s secret about how Hayes got her job being outed, this episode we saw Hayes being forced to do damage control by her brother Jackson and Conner, while also juggling a new case for the CIU.
First things first, let’s talk a little about the case of the week. This time the CIU took on their first female client, and although at first it seemed like this will be a slam-dunk case of freeing a wife that killed her abusive husband, it turned out that the case actually was a mother being convicted for murdering her severely autistic and therefore abusive son. And again it was a case that played on the heartstrings of the CIU team members and the viewers, and caused disagreements between the colleagues, albeit much smaller than the ones we saw in the previous episode. I have to say, this show really differs from other TV legal dramas, because of the fact that the CIU is not looking to always free the person, whose conviction they are reviewing. Rather they are checking the facts and determining if the conviction really was accurate, no matter if it means that the convict will go free or stay in jail. It really can mess with our minds, because there is not one moment during the team’s review when we as viewers, or they as the reviewers for that matter, really know if the person is innocent or actually guilty. It keeps up the suspense and really makes for really good television. And in this particular episode, too, only at the very end we were sure that the mom didn’t do it.
Moving away from the case of the week, this episode titled “Mother’s Little Burden” deepened our understanding of the Morrison sibling relationship. We saw how deeply Jackson cares about Hayes, but at the same time we also saw, how he is not a pushover when it comes to Hayes. Jackson knows how to put Hayes in her place even after she disobeyed his advice and ruined the interview that was set up to restore the Morrison name and Hayes reputation. And even though I really loved the moment when Hayes ripped the pearls from her heck and decided to stop being “the poster girl for regret” and start being the real Hayes, I could understand where her brother was coming from by kicking her out of their apartment. By giving her little speech to the interviewer Hayes saved herself and kept herself in the good graces of the American people, but it threw everyone else under the bus from Conner and his job as DA to Hayes’s mother and her Senate campaign, which Jackson is running.
One thing that I missed in this episode though, was them shedding some light as to who is to blame that Hayes and Conner’s secret was revealed on national television. I understand that there probably wasn’t enough time in this episode to deal with this story line or maybe it will be addressed at a later episode, but I really hope that at some point in the season it will be brought up, because as of right now the whole storyline of the reporter, who was previously seen talking to CIU’s own Sam, telling the world how Hayes Morrison got her new gig is left up in the air.
Lastly I also wanted to touch on the vulnerability we saw in Hayes this episode. The vulnerability and real emotion was there not only in the scenes that highlighted Hayes’s relationship with her brother, who literally kicked her out at the end of the episode, which meant Hayes losing her closest friend, confident and family member, but also in the scenes in the prison and in Wallace’s office. It seemed as though the case that CIU was reviewing this episode really hit home with Hayes, because when the mom made the decision to lie for her daughter, who was the real murderer, just so the daughter could have a good life, we saw Hayes close to tears. And even though I am not quite sure if it was because of the situation itself or because Hayes saw what a mother is ready to do for her child and realized that her mother would probably never do that, it still was great to see that moment, since it gave us an insight of how sensitive and ungraded Hayes can be. Then Wallace also turned on Hayes, because after Hayes’s interview he ended up having to deal with the consequences, although really he should have been prepared for this, as he was the one who got Hayes out of prison and gave her the job at CIU. And that also showed Hayes being in shock and therefore vulnerable about him suddenly asking her to leave. And of course Jackson not letting Hayes up to their apartment and Hayes walking out of the building having lost the one person who supports and truly understands her was just the icing on the cake and opened the floodgates for Hayes and us, the viewers. Plus, Hayley Atwell was fantastic in all of these scenes, showing off her acting chops flawlessly. I doubt there was a dry eye among those who are truly invested in this show.
Highlights of the episode:
• Hayes and Jackson walking out of the building hand in hand
• The siblings prepping for Hayes’s interview
• Frankie fanboying over Dr. Soto
• Hayes and Conner flirting
• Hayes standing up to the judge
• The big interview
• Hayes emotional moments at the end of the episode
• Tess admitting to Hayes that she did have to take care of her mom after Tess’s aunt was killed
Let-downs of the episode:
• Conner being mad at Hayes for him being investigated
• Sam indicating that Penny was the killer all the time
• The judge being an asshole
Quote of the episode:
Conner: How are you holding up?
Hayes: You can tell the Morrison family HQ..
Conner: I wasn’t asking for them. I’m asking… as a friend.
Hayes: Hardly my favorite position… luckily I’m flexible, but you knew that. And I don’t know why I just flirted with you.
Conner: Old habits. Also I’m very handsome.
Conner: Maybe after this interview is over and this crisis is behind us, there are some other habits we can keep alive.
Hayes: It’s not the worst idea.
Conner: Looking forward to it.