Unlike the one-off Australian series it is based on, Secrets and Lies has returned for a second season and a new murder. Juliette Lewis is back as Andrea Cornell and the dour detective is investigating the death of Kate Warner (Brewster) who fell off a very tall building.
As the Warner’s celebrated the passing over of the family business to Kate’s husband Eric, Mrs. Warner plunged to her death. Eric is seen running down the stairs to find his wife’s dead body on the sidewalk.
Cornell arrives to find Eric cradling his dead wife and she tells off the uniformed police officers for allowing him to contaminate her crime scene. The detective refuses to call the dead woman anything other than “my victim.”
Throughout the first episode, Eric has flashbacks relating to Kate and their time together. These run the gamut of meeting cute to learning of her pregnancy. The memories are contrasted to the presence of Cornell. Like an annoying mosquito, the detective is everywhere and speaking to everyone, expect Eric.
As the investigation continues Eric discovers that his late wife had secrets. Kate had another iPad, post office box and “another man’s baby” – as Cornell so indelicately puts it. Warner is shaken by this hidden side of his wife.
The Warners are a business dynasty, the three kids are all part of the company and John has just decided to step down as the head of the company. Eric now has it all and there seems to be no animosity from his siblings because of this.
Rather interestingly, their mother and John’s wife appears to be dead, however later, this is proven to be wrong. The family just do not acknowledge her presence.
Cornell continues to question everyone but Eric and finally, at the memorial service for Kate, Eric snaps. His father has already angrily approached Cornell for attending the service to question guests. His son then confronts the detective and she unveils secrets from the grieving widower’s past.
It seems that Eric spent time in a Juvenile Correction Facility for murder. Warner admits that he killed Steven Porter but says again that he did not murder his wife.
Thus far the second season of Secrets and Lies is pretty interesting. The Warner family are a curious entity and one wonders what the mother did to be so thoroughly exorcised from the group.
Not having seen the first season it is difficult to get a real handle on Cornell and her way of investigating a murder. Clearly she believes that Eric is the number one suspect and acts accordingly.
The detective has all the finesse and tact of a sledgehammer or a blunt meat cleaver. Still, there is something under that harsh exterior. When the family return to work in time to see the dummy fall from the roof (replicating Kate’s fall) she looks aggrieved.
Her apparent upset is shortly lived, however, as she reminds the family that she did tell them to avoid work that morning. (Another point in the detective’s favor is that she did radio the other participants in the re-creation and tells them to stop the moment she sees the Warners arrive.)
Detective Cornell is no Columbo. This grumpy and ever so aggressive homicide cop is focussed on catching the killer. What Cornell does not do, and this is to the detriment of the show, is show any sympathy or awareness of the victim.
There is also a complete lack of understanding for the victim’s family.
Secrets and Lies has established in the first episode that Eric and Kate loved each other but there seems to be something else there. No doubt Cornell, with her bulldozer approach, will force the truth to the fore.
Secrets and Lies airs Sundays on ABC.
- Juliette Lewis – Detective Andrea Cornell
- Jordana Brewster – Kate Warner
- Michael Ealy – Eric Warner
- Mekia Cox – Amanda Warner
- Terry O’Quinn – John Warner
- AnnaLynne McCord – Melanie Warner
- Charlie Barnett – Patrick Warner