As this week’s Conviction opens, former first daughter Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell) continues to challenge all of the rules dictating her life. Hayes is brash, ballsy, and completely willing to sleep with the hot waiters working at her Mother’s (Bess Armstong) campaign events. As Lou Grant said to Mary Richards, “You’ve got spunk. I hate spunk!”
Coming off of their first successful case, the Conviction Integrity Unit needs a strong follow-up. Do they pick one of the many dated conviction files covering the tables, full of glaring holes in the investigations? No. Hayes wants to make a statement. As such, she picks the case of the Prospect 3. The group of teens is currently serving time for the assault of a woman during a rowdy night of unrest. The case is a risky one. The Prospect 3 was an early (and career defining) victory for their boss, District Attorney Conner Wallace (Eddie Cahill).
Conviction takes an interesting departure from the typical legal procedural. For the CIU team, success does not necessarily mean an overturned conviction. They are out to serve justice, even if it means upholding a conviction.
Diving into the case, the team uncovers everything from forced confessions to a victim with a questionable timeline. Once again, not everything is as it seems.
The first cracks in the once rock solid conviction start to show when it is uncovered that the story of the primary victim Zadie Daniels (Cassandra Freeman) was not completely true. What was argued as a rape by the Prospect 3, was actually consensual sex with Daniels’ married boss the same night. This not only disproves the sexual assault, but throws the whole night into question.
Throughout, Hayes continues to butt heads with her dysfunctional, famous family. Her brother, who is her roommate and closest friend, is also the campaign manager for their hard-as-nails, politican mother. She also discovers that Mrs. Morrison is not afraid to spy on her own daughter for the charismatic Wallace. Thus giving the DA an advantage in the game of political cat and mouse between the two lawyers.
As the narrative wraps with another successful conviction, Hayes must look at the consequences of her actions. CIU may have secured the release of two innocent men, but at the same time they sent the life of Zadie Daniels spiraling into turmoil with the revelation of her affair (and the resulting lie). They may have found justice once again, but not for everyone.