Previously on Conviction, drama rocked the CIU. The basis of the procedural is built around a cover-up. If the media discovered that the rebellious Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell) had been arrested with a bag of cocaine in her purse, only to be rewarded with a plum government job, there would be scandal. Sure enough, right as Hayes and DA Wallace (Eddie Cahill) are ready to move their simmering relationship to the next level, the news breaks. The media knows everything.
Luckily, the Morrison’s know damage control. While they prepare for her national news interview (required by Wallace to garner sympathy), Hayes jokingly ribs her brother Jackson (Daniel Franzese) about the pastel peach suit he has picked out for her, “Mom’s pearl necklace? That’s the one she used to distract the country from the one that Dad gave the ambassador’s wife.”
However, the CIU still has a job to do. This week, they’ve taken on the conviction of Penny, a mother currently serving time for the murder of her autistic son Owen (C.J. Dube). The case is a tough one. It is also a personal one for Tess (Emily Kinney), who fights hard in hopes of exonerating the mother. While we know very little about Tess’ past, she sees this as personal. Kinney’s performance has developed each week, and she injects a well-crafted vulnerability into the character. Tess seems to be clutching at any straw she can get her hands on in hopes of clearing Penny.
A reopening of the investigation immediately exposes an inconsistency in the case. While the boy’s cause of death had been attributed to a sodium overdose, further study showed that his body hadn’t metabolized the sodium. Something else caused his death. Further evidence yields that Owen had a glucose level of 0. His actual cause of death was an insulin injection.
The team quickly jump into an investigation of the boy’s father, Greg. First of all, as a pharmacist, he had plenty of access to insulin. And they soon discover that he was cheating on his wife. Consequently, the very same day his son died, his mistress (Mary Ashton) had confronted him about their relationship, deciding that she couldn’t play second fiddle to Owen’s needs.
This episode finally gives us the Daniel Franzese performance that we want (nay, the one that we deserve). The actor, best known for his performance in Mean Girls, shines in the role of Hayes’ brother (and primary damage controller) Jackson Morrison. Franzese and Atwell share stunning chemistry. It is with her brother where Hayes is truly able to let her guard down. Thus, it stings all the more when their relationship is hurt by her outburst during the interview. Feeling betrayed by his sister, Jackson kicks Hayes out of the apartment they share, and she ends the episode as alone and vulnerable as she’s ever been.
As the episode draws to a close, timelines exonerate Owen’s father. It is during CIU’s investigation of Owen’s home health caregiver (Edwardo) that they stumble onto the resolution. Owen’s sister Emily (Molly Brown) had stayed with Edwardo and his diabetic sister the night before her brother’s death. Feeling her family torn apart by Owen’s needs, the little girl killed her brother with the insulin shot. It is this case that sees the first challenge to the CIU’s clear sense of justice. While they proved Penny innocent, the woman chooses to stay in jail, serving time so her daughter can live her life.
Conviction airs Monday nights on your local ABC affiliate.