This review contains spoilers!
By now Conviction should be already know and the show that pushes boundaries, but this episode was especially racy, since CIU tackled a racially charged case at a time, when these types of conflicts were only escalating. It was episode that made me feel, it was episode that made me think, but overall it was episode that made me evaluate my views of some of the topics covered in it.
So the case of the week for CIU was to review a conviction of a black woman, who was imprisoned for shooting a white cop at a protest. And because of the racial implications of the case, as well as the situation in US right now, it not only gave something for team to disagree about, but also started a conversation between the CIU members and outside the CIU circle. In the end, the imprisoned woman was found innocent and released from prison, but not before putting everybody on edge and really cranking up tension level from high to extreme.
One of the recipients of large portion of this tension was Maxine. She, being a former cop as well as black could really relate to both sides, to the dead woman’s husband, who also was a cop, just as his wife, as well as to the black woman, who was in prison and serving her sentence, after she was put in front of an all-white jury. It was really interesting conflict for Maxine, that allowed us as viewers to really see a different side of this character. We are used to see the though, ex-cop who isn’t afraid to speak up and talk back even to her superiors. But this time around, we also saw Maxine the mother to a black boy, who is worried for her son, because he has to grow up in a world where racism is a real threat. The scene in the bar with Maxine talking to her dad was dead on, especially when she said that race trumps everything, and even though it is hard to believe, that there could be any real change regarding racism issues in the close feature, at least Conviction hopefully made you think and evaluate your own views on race and racism.
But Maxine wasn’t the only team member, that we got to know a little bit better this episode. We finally were able to learn a little more about Tess, too, and what drives her. We saw her not only confess to Frankie, that her aunt was murdered, but also that she as an eyewitness to her aunt’s murder put an innocent man away. It really showed the reasoning behind why she is so passionate about working first at the Innocence Project and now in the CIU, which both deal with taking another look at convictions. And we also saw Tess visiting the man, who she put away and who was later exonerated thanks to DNA. I loved how Frankie said to Tess, to not only just visit the man and buy coffee from him, but to actually ask for forgiveness, because she probably won’t get it if she doesn’t ask. And although, it didn’t happen this episode, I am sure that by the end of this season of Conviction this story line will be somehow resolved.
I cannot write a Conviction episode review without talking about our leading lady Hayes. This episode we saw her in good spirits again, since she wasn’t fighting with her brother anymore. However, the man that she loves, Conner, was still giving her the could shoulder and now even romancing up Hayes’s ex-girlfriend. At this point, we could see the jealousy in Hayes and how that changed her, and I really wonder if that jealousy will lead her to some outrageous behavior again, since she is known to lash out when something doesn’t go her way. Or maybe this time Hayes will surprise us and will actually show some maturity by throwing herself into work and reviewing new and hard cases with the CIU team. Time will only tell.
On a side note, though, it is so awesome how this show didn’t make a big deal out of the fact that Hayes is bisexual. They threw this information in the last episode, seemingly as a joke, but this episode we really found out that, she in fact have dated and probably will continue to date both man and women. And, since it was delivered as a self-explanatory thing, without making it something big and shocking, it only shows how progressive Conviction as a TV series actually is.
And lastly, the budding yet odd friendship between Hayes and Maxine also had to be mentioned. We saw it at the end of the episode, after Maxine and Sam saw their real perpetrator shoot himself. Hayes came into Maxine’s office and offered her whiskey and called her a bad-ass, which earned Hayes a fist bump from Maxine after she told Hayes that she is a drug addict. It was a nice way how to end Maxine’s story line this episode and really showed how even two people with totally different backgrounds and views can work together and form a comradery.
Highlights of the episode:
• Hayes’s way of picking CIU’s new case
• Maxine this episode
• Sam standing up to that prosecutor
• Tess and Frankie working together
• The team’s conversation about if the two women looked alike
• Frankie’s experiment
• Maxine and Hayes’s conversation in the office
Let-downs of the episode:
• Conner hiring Naomi just to get back at Hayes, from the looks of it
• The convict getting in Maxine’s face
• Tess not revealing the coffee guy who she is
Quote of the episode:
Hayes: My brother let me out of the doghouse and back into his apartment. The bed is more comfortable than my couch, but I do miss walking around in the office naked.
Tess: I’m never sitting in any of these chairs again.