Hello Conviction fans! The hiatus is over, and, while we had four weeks to come to terms with the wrongful execution of Earl Slavitt in the last episode, the CIU hasn’t. Before we dive into “Not Okay,” let’s see where we left off.
After the execution, Hayes sought out comfort from Wallace, and they slept together. It doesn’t seem like either of them have any regrets about that night, but, of course, they’re not talking about it either. File that under things Hayes doesn’t want to talk about, right after the execution -- because everyone keeps asking her if she’s okay, and she wants to move onto the next case.
The Case: "Not Okay"
Sophie Hausen is currently serving a life sentence for murdering college basketball star, Travis Carter. She accused him of raping her, but no charges were ever officially filed. Her DNA evidence was found at the crime scene, and the murder weapon make and model matches a gun that she bought.
Hayes chose this particular case not because she believes Sophie is innocent but because she feels she doesn’t deserve to be in jail for murdering her rapist. Everyone calls her out on her motivation being Earl’s execution, and they’re right -- not that she’ll admit it.
Sophie recounts her rape to Hayes. She remembers being given a drink by Travis and feeling dizzy. She said she woke up in his bed, bleeding and in pain. She reported it, but everyone on campus called her a liar.
Sophie shares that she got rid of her gun weeks before Travis died and that she bought her gun to kill herself, not Travis. Sophie credits the counseling she received at the rape counseling center with helping her move forward with her life.
Hayes isn’t sure if Sophie killed Travis or not, but she’s adamant about Sophie not belonging in jail and vows to get her out. Unfortunately, Sophie waited two weeks to report her rape, so there was no physical evidence. Plus, the serial number was filed off the gun, so they can’t prove it wasn’t the gun Sophie purchased.
The killer used a pillow to muffle the gunshot when shooting Travis. Even though the pillow was taken from the bed where Sophie was raped, six months had passed, and her DNA from that night should be gone.
Frankie notices an error in the DNA testing. When a DNA fragment is replicated to create an entire DNA strand, it creates a margin of error. Frankie meets with the lab technician to discuss this, and the technician immediately discounts Frankie because he received his training in prison, not at Stanford. Frankie doesn’t let that intimidate him and informs the technician that one step was left off the report. After he has the DNA tested again, he discovers that it’s only a partial match.
The contaminated sample doesn't exonerate her. Hayes is adamant about exonerating her, not just getting her a retrial. She wants them to tie the gun to someone else.
Hayes visits Travis’ mother to find out if Travis had quarrels with any other people, but she is convinced that Sophie killed her son and doesn't offer any other leads.
Frankie and Tess recreate the shooting in Travis’ bedroom at his fraternity house to check the ballistics report. Tess shoots a gun through a pillow, and there are feathers everywhere, just like the night of the shooting. However, the crime scene photos only show feathers in the bedroom, which means the killer had to go out the window. The fence on the property has barbed wire; however, Sophie didn’t have any cuts on her hands when she entered custody.
But one of the campus cops investigating Sophie’s case, John Bianchi, did. He denies killing Travis and says his injury is from repairing furniture. He informs the team that three other women also accused Travis of rape.
The Director of the Rape Counseling Center, Elyse Salmon, is sympathetic to Sophie’s case but unable to turn over the names of the other three women. She doesn’t want to send one of them to jail, even if Sophie didn’t kill Travis.
The team uses phone records and visits to the University Health Center to figure out the names of the other women. Sophie knew one of the three girls, and a message shared via social media suggests that the pair took care of Travis. Sophie doesn’t remember what the message was referring to and insists she’s not covering for anyone.
Frankie and Tess talk to the other survivors, and they all have eerily similar stories. None of them reported their rape because they saw what happened to Sophie. All three have alibis for the night of the murder.
However, one of their fathers is an enforcer. Sam goes to visit the father, Oscar. When he mentions Travis, the dad reveals that he’s a fan. Oscar’s response throws him off, and Sam inadvertently tips him off that his daughter may have been raped.
With time running out, Hayes is desperate to find a new suspect. Jackson wants her to take a break from the case. When he mentions wanting to protect her; that triggers her brain, and she realizes that the Director of the Rape Counseling Center was trying to protect the four women.
Elyse's financial records show a late night visit to a drugstore on the night of the murder. A photo taken a week later indicates that her arm was bandaged.
Hayes accuses Elyse of murdering Travis and lies that she has a warrant for her DNA to test it against the blood found on the barbed wire. Elyse claims she broke a window but eventually confesses to killing him.
Hayes is present when Sophie is released from jail. Maxine comments that Hayes isn’t usually there for the release. The other three women are there to greet Sophie with hugs and flowers. Oddly, they’re the only people there for Sophie, and her family is noticeably absent.
Final Thoughts on "Not Okay"
Lots and lots of character stuff going on this week, which, of course, I love.
Sam checked in on Maxine, and she assured him that she’s going to meetings. While I’m happy to hear that Maxine is working the program, I’d love to know something about Sam’s personal life.
Apparently, Tess has been texting with Matty -- aka the guy wrongfully convicted for killing her aunt. He asked her out on a date, and she accepted. Frankie encouraged her to come clean with Matty about her role in sending him to jail. When she did, Matty ran off. We’ll have to wait and see if he reenters the picture. I was kinda looking forward to Tess awkwardly asking Frankie for dating advice.
Wallace reveals that he and Naomi are taking a break but insists that it’s not because of Hayes. The way that he watches her suggests otherwise.
It’s always a bonus when we get to see Jackson. When he wasn’t hanging out with his Black friend Maxine for a millisecond, he gave Hayes dating advice. He thought they should try again. Hayes is discouraged because they got in a fight over a case and claims it won’t work because of that. Jackson correctly assesses the situation and points out that fighting is like breathing for the two of them. He’s absolutely right. If Hayes and Wallace didn’t fight, they’d be bored and lose interest in each other. They love fighting with each other.
Hayes is frustrated with Wallace because he hasn’t made a move, but her brother wisely points out that, if he had, she would’ve gone running for the hills. Hayes has never been one to wait and see what happens, so, naturally, she goes to Wallace to make a move if he has no plans of making one. They both agree that they want to try. They know it’ll be hard, and they’re up for the challenge. That might have been one of the few Hayes and Wallace scenes without an argument. Enjoy it while it lasts because those two will be fighting in no time, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s what makes them interesting.
Conviction officially moved to Sunday nights starting this week. Next week’s episode deals with a potential copycat serial killer. It’s up to the CIU to determine if the man in jail for the other murders is innocent or if there’s another killer.