Secrets and Lies: The Husband – Repeat Offender (Recap/Review)

 JULIETTE LEWIS

Secrets and Lies  this week reveals more about the murdered woman. In “The Husband” Cornell questions whether Eric is a repeat offender when it comes to murder. His sister Amanda “Mandy” actually points out that the detective put one innocent man in jail, Ben Crawford, and that she should not be a repeat offender in terms of her brother.

Eric learns more about Kate. She withdrew $100 thousand from his savings account. Also, the baby she had before meeting him was put up for adoption when she was 16.

All this gets to the grieving widower and he searches their apartment looking for evidence of even more secrets. Later in the episode his sister tells him to look in the bathroom.

They find a blackmail letter and a DNA report.

The company is struggling as clients demand to know what is going on. John Warner has been answering their questions and Eric takes over. He calls everyone on the list and explains what is going on.

On the way into work, he finds his best friend and co-worker Neil being worked over by a stocky blond man. Eric intervenes and the man runs off. Eric gives chase but is stopped by reporters in front of the building.

Later, Cornell talks to the men about the attack and Neil swears he has no idea who the man was. In fact, Oliver is not helpful at all as the detective tries to learn more. She produces a photofit of the assailant and Neil says nothing. It is Eric who confirms that this was the man who beat up his friend.

Eric is angry with Neil for lying and he tells him to leave.

John Warner gives his son the baby’s birth certificate. The one that Kate gave up for adoption. It is intended to give Eric some piece of mind.

After Mandy drops by and they discover the secrets in the bathroom, Eric wants to take the note and the DNA report to Cornell. It explains the 100K that Kate withdrew and he believes the report will lead to her murderer.

MICHAEL EALY, MEKIA COX, JULIETTE LEWIS

Amanda advises against it. She tells Eric that Cornell is convinced that he killed his wife. She firmly believes that the biased detective will take it as an attempt to distract Cornell from his own guilt.

Eric ignores her pleas and heads off to see Cornell. His father, already at the police station, stops him. John explains that Cornell sees Eric as the only suspect. As the two men stand talking the detective comes out of an elevator with an old girlfriend of Eric’s.

He changes his mind,  keeps the letter and report and asks Cornell about the secret post office box of Kate’s.

Kate’s assistant, Liam Connors, has not returned to work. His phone goes to voicemail and as he was a friend of Kate’s Eric gets his address and goes to check on him personally.

Outside the man’s apartment Eric discovers the door has been forced open and  there are sounds coming from inside the flat.  As he starts to call the police, the man who attacked Neil opens the apartment door.

So far Secrets and Lies is piling on the pressure. Eric Warner is being torn apart with all the things he has learned about his dead wife.  On top of losing her and their unborn child, there are Cornell’s allegations and her bringing up his juvenile murder conviction.  All this is driving him to distraction.

Incidentally, what Cornell is doing with the juvenile records is actually illegal and this may cause her problems later on.

Mandy bringing up Ben Crawford’s conviction, from last season, and his subsequent death in prison is disturbing. Eric may well suffer the same fate if Cornell has her way.

The news about Crawford reveals a lot about Cornell. She has a definite attitude, aka a chip on her shoulder and it shows.

Eric may be the innocent party here, after all Kate was meeting with her old boyfriend prior to her death.  Was he her baby’s father? Or, was he the blackmailer?

The former boyfriend has obviously been questioned as Cornell knew all about the visit. The mystery is deepening and it will be interesting to see who the blond man is and why he was in Liam Connors’ apartment.

Secrets and Lies airs Sundays on ABC. Tune in and see what poor Eric learns next.

Cast:

Secrets and Lies: Season Two Juliette Lewis is Back

ABC has kindly put up the season two premiere of Secrets and Lies and while Ryan Phillippe has not returned Juliette Lewis is back as the dour and focussed Detective Andrea Cornell

JULIETTE LEWIS

One of the bonuses of writing about television and the entertainment industry, is getting to screen upcoming new shows and “new seasons” of existing ones.  ABC has kindly put  up the season two premiere of Secrets and Lies and while Ryan Phillippe has not returned Juliette Lewis is back as the dour and focussed Detective Andrea Cornell. Having not seen season one of this clever crime drama, Phillippe was not particularly missed and his character would seem very out of place in this story of murder, “secrets and lies,” with its new victim and storyline.

Michael Ealy, a firm favorite who played the “cyborg” Dorian on the very short-lived Fox science fiction cop show  Almost Human,  stars alongside  Lost star Terry O’Quinn and the eternally youthful and talented Jordana Brewster.  This season appears to be all about the family Warner and the murder of Kate (Brewster). 

MICHAEL EALY
Michael Ealy

Ealy is son Eric, who has just taken over his father John’s (O’Quinn) business and whose wife Kate (Brewster) takes a high dive off the company building’s roof on the day. Mekia Cox  and Charlie Barnett round out the Warner clan as siblings Amanda and Patrick respectively.

At the start of the episode Kate is propelled off  the twelve story building’s roof and when Det. Cornell arrives, Eric is cradling his dead wife’s body and contaminating the crime scene. The no-nonsense detective is not happy and makes no secret of the fact.  She immediately gets the grieving husband away from his dead wife and starts the investigation.

As the episode progresses, more secrets are laid bare. Things are revealed about the victim and not all of the surprises come from the police investigations.  Eric learns that his wife had a number of things that she kept hidden. As the Detective begins the groundwork to find Kate Warner’s murderer, her widower has flashbacks and memories that are very painful.

TERRY O'QUINN
Terry O’Quinn

In terms of popularity contests, Lewis’ homicide detective may actually be more unpleasant than David Tennant‘s American version of the homicide investigator “Emmett Carver” in the Yankee remake of the superior ITV crime drama Broadchurch, titled Gracepoint. (It should be pointed out that the Scottish version of Tennant’s character, Alec Hardy, was dour, but for some reason this cop was nowhere near as “nasty” as his American counterpart…perhaps it was the accent?)

Lewis comes across as an investigator who has a tendency to leave compassion at home as she zeroes in on asking questions and looking for clues. Her questioning borders on aggressive rather than inquisitive or assertive and the detective’s demeanor is just “this side” of unpleasant.  The power of the actress’s performance is such that one senses immediately that this how the cop handles homicides. It is not personal, but harshly impersonal.

Not having watched the first season, it is not clear whether this is Detective Cornell’s Modus Operandi, but is would seem to be as there is no indication that the investigator is anything other than a focussed professional.  Earlier in the episode, Cornell  tells a uniform cop that if he has issues controlling a crime scene that he should, perhaps, change jobs.  This detective wants the job done correctly above all else.

From the outset Cornell appears to believe that the grieving widower is the one responsible for Kate Warner’s death and the show’s synopsis makes it sound like Ealy’s character, Eric, will be battling to prove his innocence.

JORDANA BREWSTER
Jordana Brewster

Secrets and Lies is listed as a “crime drama” but is also also part mystery. The “reveals” in the premiere episode alone equals a lot of mystery as each memory of Eric’s shows something else not previously known.  ABC have not given a proper “air date” for season two, but season one began in March 2014 so 2015 may be in March as well.  Regardless of when the 2016 second season starts, the wait will be worth it. Keep your eyes peeled for this one.

Gang Related Fox Latino Version of The Departed (Recap/Review)

Gang Related Fox Latino Version of The Departed (Recap/Review)

Gang Related, which premiered on May 22 on the Fox network, appears to be the Latino version of The Departed sans Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson. There is one other variation in the plot though, there is no undercover cop threatening to spill the beans on the gang’s mole in the police department.

Lost to Lost (2004 – 2010)

Lost season one

I never watched Lost when it was running on the telly. I watched the ‘pilot’ episode and saw that the survivors of the plane crash were on an island and they were, for the most part, immaculate. That sort of put me right out of the moment.

A couple of critics mentioned the “unreality” of the series and I just ‘lost’ interest before the series got started. I did catch the odd program now and then, usually when I was channel hopping, but it never really caught my interest for very long. I also tuned in for the ‘big finish’ but I really couldn’t tell you what it entailed or why everyone was so miffed at the ending.

Just recently, after reading a few articles on the web, my daughter’s and my interest was piqued enough about the long running show to watch a few episodes via a rental shop, but never got around to watching any of the episodes.

Then Netflix added them and we decided to take a break from our ritualistic viewing of Come Dine With Me and watch season one.

We were  hooked from episode one of season one.

Watching the show now, I cannot help but wonder, what the hell was I thinking? The show is, quite simply, amazing. The creators managed to create a verse where rules were not only broken, but re-written as well. The Lost ‘verse’ is a serendipitous maze where everyone, it seems, on the island have crossed paths and interacted with their fellow ‘inmates’ well before their incarceration on the island.

I don’t know why I was so against watching the show when it first came out in 2004 or why I shunned it afterwards. I only know that if I had watched it during it’s initial run, it would have driven me crazy waiting for the next episode and what questions and answers it would bring.

It appears that J.J. Abrams and co. captured that elusive ‘lightning in a bottle’ that so many film and television creators dream of but never find. I can’t think of many television programs that have managed to so effectively and regularly knock the metaphorical ball out of the park  on a regular basis.

Dallas may fall in this category, the lightning in a bottle category, as it was wildly popular in much the same way as Lost. And even though the stories and plot devices for each show was different they do both boil down to the same type of show.

Soap opera.

Not the simple everyday Soaps like As the World Turns, All my Children, or The Days of our Lives, but a sort of Grand Guignol version of a soap opera. Dallas was definitely a soap opera for everyone, not just bored housewives or unemployed members of society trying to escape for a couple of hours each day. Dallas was soap opera for the masses.

And so was Lost.

I can only shake my head in amazement and confusion at my stubborn refusal to watch the show when it originally aired from 2004 to 2010. My biorhythms must have been completely out of whack. But thanks to Netflix, my daughter and I can get caught up in the trials and tribulations of Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Locke, and all the others on their voyage on the island.

They are like a twisted version of Gilligan’s Island. With Hurley as the mega-rich Mr Howell. Jack could be the professor, but I’m still working on who the others would be in this allegorical mishmash idea. So I’ll continue to watch and marvel at the wonders that Lost brings to the viewing table.

I guess in a way, I’m glad I didn’t watch Lost during it’s heyday, waiting anxiously each week for the next episode.

The suspense would have killed me.

Pin (1988) Overlooked and Unloved

With no less than eighty-six horror films released in 1988, it is no wonder that Pin got lost in the shuffle. This quiet psychological horror film had to compete with the likes of Phantasm II, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Maniac Cop, and a slew of “Slasher” films, sequels and the re-make of The Blob.
 Sandor Stern directed and wrote the screenplay for Pin. Adapted from a novel byAndrew Neiderman and if you’ve never heard of him, I’ll just point out that he was the ‘ghost-writer’ for V.C. Andrews from 1986.
Pin aka  Pin a Plastic Nightmare – Is about  a family that is just about as dysfunctional as you could want. Pin is an anatomically correct plastic dummy. He is life sized and covered in clear plastic (all the better to see his muscles, bones and organs). He sits in a chair in Doctor Linden’s office, naked save for a towel over his lap. Dr Linden it turns out is a ventriloquist. He provides the voice for Pin, who he uses to ‘break the ice’ with his younger patients. He needs Pin because he is not a very communicative person. He has such a problem that he uses Pin to teach his own children about sex. Doc Linden is played with icy aloofness byTerry O’Quinn, fresh from his top notch perfomance in The Stepfather (1987). O’Quinn would go on to more impressive roles culminating in his pivitol role as John Locke in Lost (2004 – 2010).  In Pin O’Quinn’s portrayal of Linden is spot on. This is a man who expects much from his children, especially his son, and yet does not know how to communicate with them.
Mrs Linden as played by actress  Bronwen Mantel, obviously suffers from OCD so badly that she has plastic covers on all the family’s furniture. She even tells her son Leon that he can no longer play with a friend, because he looks diseased. Leon answers back and gets a slap for his angry retort. Unfortunately we are not able to read a lot into Mrs Linden’s character. She is there to provide a somewhat two dimensional version of a cleaning obsessed woman, who is also a good cook. But like her husband, she cannot communicate with the children either.
David Hewlett and Cynthia Preston play Leon and Ursula Linden with confidence and an impressive ease.  The fact that they had worked together the previous year on the feature The Darkside obviously helped them to bond as the on-screen brother and sister. Hewlett especially impresses as the psychotic Leon who has believed since childhood that plastic man Pin is alive. Ursula has known since their first meeting that Dad was providing the voice for Pin, but she has never tried to convince Leon of it.
Once Doc Linden realises that Leon has developed an unhealthy fixation on Pin, he decides that Pin must go. He loads Pin into the family car with Mrs Linden and then speeds  off to a convention where the good doctor decides that Pin must stay. Unfortunately, the fact that Doc has been a bit “weirded out” by Pin means that besides speeding on wet roads, he spends too much time looking at Pin in the rear view mirror. The combination of speed and inattention causes the car to crash and sic transit Doctor and Mrs Linden.
With the departure of Mom and Dad, Leon descends even further into the belief that Pin is real.  And at this point we the audience start harbouring the belief that Leon might just be right.
This film deals with sexuality and the growing pains of becoming sexually aware. Yet for all the heavy sexual overtones, there is very little sex in the film. We get one glance of sister Ursula’s feet against the backseat window of a car and one flash of topless nudity when Leon  unsuccessfully tries his first bid at sex.
The film has a bit in common with the South Korean film The Tale of Two Sisters. Like Two Sisters there are scenes in Pin that are absolutely, one hundred percent cringe worthy. Yet we as the audience cannot help but watch. The director does not hesitate to ”lose the music” in these excruciating scenes and it helps to sell the film.
The film has been likened to Psycho and I don’t really get the link. The only thing that it has in common is that it does indeed feel like a Hitchcock film. It is brilliantly paced, moody, creepy, and sometimes downright sad. Although I do suppose the end of the film could be linked to Psycho’s ending.
So If you get a chance see this film. You will not regret it. And if it doesn’t become a firm favourite…I’ll eat my plastic covered man.