Welcome back Conviction fans! Last week, we left off with Hayes having a much-needed dance party with her brother Jackson after a difficult case. If tonight’s case was a sign of how difficult her cases may be, she’ll need to go clubbing ASAP.
Hayes and Wallace are on the red carpet and answering questions about the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU). When a reporter asks about Hayes being a party girl, Wallace calls her a reformed party girl. Hayes clearly doesn’t appreciate his comment about the new Hayes Morrison, but she smiles and later takes out her aggression on the office searching for the perfect case to piss off Wallace.
Meet Rodney Landon. He’s a bigot with a blog that highlights his hatred of Muslims and teaches people how to make bombs. He’s serving four life sentences for planting a bomb in a mosque which killed an Imam and three worshippers.
The CIU has mixed feelings about helping Landon overturn his conviction, but Hayes picked the case and expects them work just as hard on unpopular cases as they would popular ones. This week, we're focusing on the integrity of the Conviction Integrity Unit.
Landon insists he had nothing to do with the bombing and alleges that Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) framed him, but the bomb fragments match a bomb diagram he blogged about, and explosive residue was found on his clothes.
This week’s reenactment involves Frankie and Tess visiting his bomb scene professor to test out one of Landon’s bombs and match it against the crime residue.
Hayes meets with the widows to tell them about her investigation, and, as usual, it doesn’t go well. One of the widows reminds Hayes that her husband was more than a Muslim, and her heartfelt words seem to affect Hayes. The one wife who remained in the room hopes that Landon was justly convicted and, surprisingly, thanks Hayes for taking the case.
Frankie’s forensic evidence doesn’t support Landon’s conviction, but Maxine thinks Landon could’ve still done it. As Frankie muses about a false positive, Sam introduces the possibility of planted explosive residue. A detective who worked Landon’s case filed a lawsuit against the CTU, alleging that arrest quotas led to planting evidence. When Maxine and Sam question the detective, he claims that he made that up for the lawsuit. Scratch the planting evidence theory.
While the team is moving on from the CTU to the possibility of a rival bombing the mosque, Wallace shows up. He’s livid that she’s investigating the CTU. As usual, Hayes tells Wallace what he wants to hear and then does something else the moment he leaves. Wallace’s lack of objectivity convinces Hayes that he’s hiding something about the CTU.
Maxine goes to her dad, and he reluctantly agrees to help; however, his help comes in the form of a masked man following her around in a parking garage. The person works for CTU and insists that the man did not plant evidence on Landon. The CTU had surveillance on Wallace and broke into Landon’s apartment without a warrant. If the CTU found their evidence illegally, it’s inadmissible, and Landon could get a new trial.
Naturally, Hayes confronts Wallace about the CIU’s findings. Wallace is adamant that the illegal search didn’t contribute to Landon’s arrest. While they’re arguing, things get personal, and more of Hayes and Wallace’s backstory is revealed.
The next day, Landon freely admits to Hayes that he wanted to blow up a different mosque full of worshippers -- not the one that got blown up. When she shares this information with the team, they’re not too eager to help him. Hayes reiterates that Landon doesn’t belong in prison if he’s in there for a crime he didn’t commit.
When Frankie proclaims he’s done with the case, Hayes fires him. Tess urges Frankie not to throw his job away because his boss is being a bitch. Hayes seems impressed that Tess spoke up, and Frankie ultimately decides to stay on the team.
When Hayes goes to check in with Wallace, she contemplates dropping the case, but Wallace knows she won’t. They start talking about their parents, and Hayes has an epiphany. She suspects the Imam of cheating on his wife, Kadisha. While going over the surveillance footage, the team discovers that the only day she carried a bag large enough to contain a bomb was on the day of the bombing.
Maxine shows up at Kadisha’s house with a search warrant, and they find the bag. Frankie finds bomb residue in the bag, which means that Landon is innocent.
Even though the CTU will be watching Landon 24/7, no one on the team is thrilled about his impending release. Sam notifies Landon about his release, and, after Landon makes cryptic threats, Sam meets with a skinhead prisoner. What did Sam do?
While Frankie and Tess are dismantling the crime board, he thanks her for helping him keep perspective about his job.
Hayes informs Sam that a skinhead attacked Landon over a rumor that Landon’s release was based on him snitching on other inmates. Landon responded by stabbing him with a shiv. Now that Landon committed a felony on camera, he’ll remain in prison. Now we know what Sam said in his secret meeting with the Skinhead prisoner.
Hayes apologizes to Wallace, both for taking the case and for Chicago. Hayes credits her apology to being the new Hayes Morrison, and the moment Wallace admits to being fond of the old Hayes, she kisses him.
Just when we thought we wouldn’t have a whole season of will they/won’t they, both of their phones start ringing. Nothing puts a damper on sleeping with your ex like breaking news of Wallace covering up Hayes being busted for possession.
Hayes is taking cases to piss people off, but there’s nothing boring about them. The inner conflict of upholding law versus the team’s individual beliefs is what drives Conviction.
Each week, we learn a little more about each character. Maxine mentioned that working for the CIU is not necessarily the job she wants. Similar to Frankie, it might be the job she can get. But the question is: why did Maxine lose the job she wanted, and did drinking have anything to do with that?
I really like how Hayes' character is developing. There’s no denying that she’s a great lawyer, but there’s nothing I love more than a vulnerable bad girl -- or, in Hayes’ case, a vulnerable party girl. She has trust issues and blows up her relationships because she doesn’t want to give the other person a chance to hurt her first. Although we didn’t see her mother this episode, I’m looking forward to learning how her parents' marriage affected her own romantic relationships.
I initially didn’t want Hayes and Wallace’s personal relationship rushed, but learning more about their back story and seeing how well they know each other makes me okay with things. Was anyone else expecting them to kiss when Wallace first told Hayes to back off the CTU, or was that just me?
Tune in next week, Conviction fans, to see if the mother in jail for murdering her son was reamed by the system or if her fear of him made her kill him. Let’s see if we find out who leaked Hayes’ overnight jail stay to the press. Was it Sam or someone else? If Hayes suspects Sam of leaking the rumor about Landon, it wouldn’t make sense for him to out her to the press.