Hello Conviction fans! Last week, we left off with the press dropping a bomb about Hayes being busted for drugs and Wallace making it disappear in exchange for her leading the Conviction Integrity Unit.
Wallace intervenes with their bosses, and, in order for Hayes to keep her job, she needs to do damage control in the form of a big interview. Since Jackson has a black belt in “Hayes handling,” he’s responsible for prepping her for the interview, which includes picking out her clothes. Hayes likens the interview to all the times that they were trotted out as kids for the press and doesn’t want to wear her mother’s pearls. She associates them with one of her father’s seemingly many affairs.
Not one to shy away from controversy, when Hayes goes to work, she wants to know if her team has seen anything interesting on the news. Maxine speculates that it’s payback from the police for investigating the CTU. Hayes doesn’t care; she just wants to hear a case.
The Case: "Mother's Little Burden"
Penny Price is in prison for murdering her 12-year-old autistic son, Owen, with a sodium overdose. Owen was prone to violent rages, and he repeatedly attacked his mother. She kept a video log entitled “Mother’s Little Burden” and admitted to being afraid of him and that, sometimes, she just wants to kill him. Owen died a week after that vlog.
While looking over the case, Frankie notices that the defense had a rock star toxicologist, but she was never put on the stand. While he looks into that, Maxine and Sam visit Penny in prison. When they meet with her, she’s bruised because the other prisoners don’t like mothers that kill her kids. Sam asks her if she did it. Penny doesn’t answer Sam directly; instead, she answers around it and mentions feeling guilty for not keeping him safe.
Frankie and Tess discover that Owen didn’t die of a sodium overdose. His blood glucose was zero, and he died as the result of an insulin injection.
Wallace stops by to visit Hayes and check on the case. After he assures her that he’s checking in as a friend, Hayes gets flirty. Wallace suggests they explore some of their old habits after the case ends.
Jumping back to the case -- the other suspects in the case are Owen’s aide, Eduardo and the father, Greg. The team learns that Greg was not at work when Owen was killed. While Hayes talks to Greg, Tess talks to Owen’s sister, Emily. Emily insists that her mom is a really good mom and that her mother loved Owen.
Hayes questions Greg about the afternoon Owen died. He confesses to cheating on Penny with a coworker because he had fun. When the mistress is questioned, she admits to getting into a fight with Greg. She wanted Greg to leave Penny and start a family. She gave him an ultimatum, and he left, which gave him enough time to kill his son.
This week’s Conviction reenactment centers on Tess and Frankie figuring out if Greg actually had enough time to kill Owen. The alarm system at the Price house complicates things, but, even though Greg could’ve slipped in without detection and killed Owen, there was no way for him to leave. He either would’ve been trapped in the house or would’ve had to leave through the front door when the paramedics arrived, and the neighbors would’ve seen him.
The timeline rules Greg out as a suspect, and Tess wonders if Penny really murdered her son. With Greg ruled out, the CIU is focused on finding Eduardo. They can’t find his address, but Tess finds someone online, EP Amor, that seems like it could be Eduardo. The username includes Eduardo’s initials, EP, and that person knows details about the Price family that Eduardo would know because he worked in their home.
In the midst of all this, Jackson summons Hayes to practice her interview. She’s saccharine sweet and contrite, and Jackson approves. Hayes uses the first excuse she can get to leave interview practice.
When the judge denies Tess’ search warrant request for EP Amor’s internet service provider, Hayes goes to visit him personally. After chatting for a few minutes, Hayes calls him out about not being pro-privacy but anti-CIU. She finally pours on the charm and gets the warrant and heads directly to the interview.
Not only did Hayes wear the pastel suit but she wore her mother's pearls. Hayes says all the right things for the camera and talks about how her misdirected energies are now routed into the Conviction Integrity Unit and that she can help people. The interviewer questions Hayes about having her own set of rules, and Jackson is afraid she’s gonna snap. She doesn’t, but she accidentally breaks her mother’s pearl necklace. It’s not long before her mother’s pearls aren’t the only thing spilled. Hayes calls out her own privilege and how her last name got her a new job after a drug bust. She admits to liking busting the system and hopes it’s a bonus for her clients. She wants to use her privilege to help her clients since they have none.
Now that the interview is over, it’s back to the case. When the team learns that Eduardo’s sister Jasmine went into diabetic shock coupled with texts that mention Owen going to a better place, Eduardo looks guilty. The next day, Maxine and Hayes go visit Eduardo and tell him that Owen died of an insulin overdose. Eduardo admits that his sister’s insulin kit went missing the day Owen died. Eduardo insists that he thought of Owen as family and wouldn’t have hurt him. He has his sister, Jasmine, tell them how close Emily was with their family and how she stayed over at their place all the time. Jasmine reveals that Emily was at their house the day Owen died, and she knew how to get a shot.
Hayes shares her findings about the insulin overdose with Penny and Emily during one of their visits. Hayes asks Emily if she gave Owen the soy sauce to keep him quiet while giving him the shot. Penny figures out what happened and confesses to killing her son so her daughter can have a life.
Hayes updates Wallace and hands him a letter of resignation, but he won't take it. While her brother wasn’t pleased with her interview, the public loved it and #HayesKeepsItReal broke Twitter. Wallace assures Hayes that she’ll keep her job and possibly get his, especially since he’s under investigation by the DOJ. They’re looking for any reason to get rid of him and looking into all of his old cases. Hayes expresses concern, but Wallace tells her to go. So much for them exploring old habits after the case.
Hayes knows she needs to fix things with Jackson and brings him an olive tree since she screwed up too much for a branch. Unfortunately, Jackson doesn’t want to see Hayes. He packed up her things and had the doorman break the news that he kicked her out.
Final Thoughts on "Mother's Little Burden"
I’m not sure about you, but I’m more upset with the Morrison sibling angst than Wallace and Hayes being on hold for now. I adore Jackson’s relationship with his sister. He’s the only person Hayes lets down her guard with and is genuine, but it’s easy to see how he would feel like she pushed him too far.
There's a basic formula to Conviction, like all procedural dramas, but there's just enough variance to keep things interesting. I like that Hayes figuring out Emily was responsible for killing Owen happened organically. She didn't have some giant epiphany during another scene and rush out to share this with her team. While talking with Eduardo and Jasmine, all the pieces fell into place.
When Penny decided to stay in jail for Emily's crime, you could see it struck a chord with Hayes. I don't doubt that Hayes' parents love her, but she feels like her childhood was scripted and probably doesn't think her mother would do the same for her. Sure, her mother would pull strings or find some way to cover up her crime or misdeed, but it doesn't seem like she would take the blame for something Hayes did.
We didn't learn much about any of the Conviction team's back stories, other than Tess had to take care of her mom after her aunt died and that Maxine is starting to like Hayes a little. But I have a feeling it'll be a long time before we see those two unwinding with drinks after work.
Next week on Conviction, the team revisits a case where a couple opened their home up and invited a young man into their family. The man invited into their home was convicted of murdering the wife.
What did everyone think of this week's episode? Conviction is taking a two-week hiatus, so we'll have to wait a little longer to see if it was really the husband that did it.