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GUILT Review: “A Simple Plan”

GUILTThis week, the GUILT gang packed 2 or 3 episodes of procedural case beats into about two and a half acts of TV in an impressive hour-long centrifuge of information dump. Gwendolyn Hall takes advantage of Luc’s drug arrest to try and get him to turn on Grace, Grace and Natalie make a case break of their own, and we meet two (yes, two!) new viable suspects in a single episode. On the plus side, it’s nice to see people care about the investigation of Molly Ryan’s murder again.

Gwendolyn throws a bunch of fabricated blood-spatter evidence at Luc to try and scare him into confessing to killing Molly, and also conveniently recaps his childhood for the audience, spent in constant devotion to an abusive parent. It’s a shame that Luc, who feels like such a walking caricature anyway, has his character development reduced to a couple conveniently placed lines of procedural dialogue, but hey, whatever moves the story forward I guess. After Gwendolyn’s unable to crack him, she lets Bruno take a crack at him and Bruno’s able to trap Luc into admitting that Grace disappeared from the roof the night of the murder for longer than a couple of minutes. This means Gwendolyn can finally arrest Grace, and man is she happy about it.

Grace and Natalie are in a club (?) when Natalie gets a tip that Scotland Yard is trying to flip Luc. Grace understandably freaks out and confronts Roz, who finally tells Grace about the threatening texts she found on Molly’s phone from their scary pimp boss, Finch. Grace and Roz decide to loop in Natalie (still at the club…?) and they concoct a plan (in the bathroom of a nightclub…?) that Natalie, a prosecutor, should plant some evidence on Finch to exonerate Grace. Okay. I have many problems with this. First — If Natalie isn’t bright enough to know that no battle plan formed in a nightclub bathroom should ever be taken seriously, then she would not have passed the bar. Second — if Grace is a murderess of Roxie Hart or Amanda Knox-type proportions, which is what we’re supposed to be assuming, how can she be at a nightclub without paparazzi swarming all over her? The pebble of recognition thrown at this gaping hole in logic is when some drunk girls recognize Grace hiding alone outside the club and ask for a selfie, which she stupidly obliges them, but to think that these sisters can be out at a nightclub without a security entourage is inconsistent with the rules of the world the show initially set up. The girls’ plan becomes increasingly problematic when Natalie fails to successfully plant evidence on Finch because he is a smart criminal mastermind and apparently there is something Natalie is worse at than being a responsible attorney, and that thing is giving lap dances. She does, however, find flash drives with recordings of Finch getting busy with all his girls — and steals the ones labeled MOLLY and, (plot twist!) GRACE, before making an escape.

This Finch is a pretty dangerous dude, and he’s emerging as one of the more viable suspects in Molly Ryan’s murder. Finch is on a hunt for his missing ledger this week, and he’ll do anything to get it back, which he proves to our poor unfortunate Eponine, Roz’s escort girlfriend, Kaley. Trouble is, Kaley knows who has the ledger — it’s Molly’s brother Patrick, who she’s quickly developing quite a bond with — and she gives Patrick a heads-up that Finch is out for blood. Patrick’s closing in on a suspect of his own based on the information in the ledger, but the trouble is, he doesn’t know the suspect’s name, just that he’s Gentlemen 33. We know who Gentlemen 33 is, of course, and it’s none other than our kinky royal, creepy Prince Theo.

Theo’s got some problems of his own this week when he makes the worst mistake any guy can make and yells out another woman’s name while in bed with his fiance. He gives her some bullshit story about Molly being a beloved family dog whose death he never got over, and she doesn’t buy it and tricks a staff member into validating her concerns that Theo’s being unfaithful. Why did he scream Molly’s name in bed, you ask? Oh because he was dreaming about killing her after she told him she wasn’t aborting his baby. Nbd.

It’s super nice of the Guilt crew to turn up the case stakes in the show marketed as a murder mystery now that we’re halfway through the season. This episode felt like it was setting us up for elevated plot twists in the future more than recent episodes have done. Interestingly enough, the episode that delivered us our two most viable suspects so far — creepy pimp Finch and Prince Theo aka Gentlemen 33 — ended with Grace Atwood finally getting arrested after her hipster stereotype of a boyfriend flips on her. She goes down doe-eyed and crying, in her club clothes, while Natalie, still in last night’s makeup and feeling the sting of failure knowing she can neither tamper with evidence nor twerk, stands by watching, helpless; realizing what every law school student should have figured out by the end of undergrad school… never take battle plans made in a nightclub bathroom seriously.