Hello Conviction fans! Hopefully the CIU in this week's episode, "Bad Deals," has moved past the kitty litter surrounding last week’s case. The team discovered that their client accidentally set his family’s restaurant on fire, but he was set up by his sister-in-law. Maxine took a pain pill, and we’ll have to wait and see if that’s a one-time thing or if she’s relapsing.
The Case: "Bad Deals"
Josh Fleck is in prison for abducting and murdering a high school student, Sierra, ten years ago. They were together the night she went missing, and her blood was found on the door handle of his truck. However, she’s not actually dead. Her captor had a heart attack, and she managed to escape. Since Josh didn’t murder Sierra, it’s up to the Conviction Integrity Unit to decide if he abducted her.
Just to make things a little more complicated? This is one of Sam’s cases. Despite everyone’s protests, Hayes keeps him on the case to see how he deals with facing his mistakes.
As for Josh’s conviction, he confessed to a plea deal to avoid a life sentence. He was Sierra’s teacher and met up with her the night she disappeared. He said she got up to use the bathroom, and she never came back.
Sierra’s story matches Josh’s, but she doesn’t think he drugged her despite feeling dizzy and having a dry mouth that night. Hayes notices scars on her arms, and Sierra admits to cutting herself that night. The cutting could explain the blood found on Josh’s truck.
The waitress (Melissa) at the diner that night tells Maxine and Tess that she saw Josh touching Sierra inappropriately. Tess produces a photograph that proves the waitress couldn’t have seen them get into Josh’s truck that night. The moment that Maxine mentions perjury, Melissa admits the detective gently pushed her to lie.
Sam was unaware that the witness lied and confronts the detective. The detective still believes they put the right guy behind bars but gives Sam a file.
This contents of the file earn Josh a visit from Maxine and Sam. Apparently, Josh met a 16 year-old girl on a message board but claims that she said she was 20. Sam’s pushing too hard and tries to rattle Josh by lying. When Josh walks out of the meeting, Maxine tells Sam to either wake up or back off because his case is falling apart. Sam accuses Maxine of not having his back due to what he said the previous week. It seems like the Conviction Integrity Unit needs some trust-building exercises.
When Hayes isn’t working on the case, she’s checking in on the investigation against Wallace. Hayes learns that Wallace is considering a deal to keep himself out of jail, but it could end his political career. Hayes is willing to go in front of an US attorney to testify that Wallace didn’t leak the name of a witness. Wallace doesn’t want her testifying, and it isn’t long before they’re bickering about who should take the blame. Wallace says he can live with his political career being over but implies he can’t live with her own career being jeopardized at his expense.
At Frankie’s suggestion, Sierra undergoes a memory recovery technique at the diner where she disappeared. Her story is consistent with what she previously said; however, an opening door triggers her memory, and she remembers going to the bathroom and being injected. Sierra remembers being put in the trunk of a car before being taken to a house. At some point, Sierra was blindfolded and says all she could hear was chimes.
Sierra remembers being in a car trunk, but Josh drove a truck. The case against Josh keeps weakening, and this sends Sam straight to a dive bar where he’s playing darts and texting Hayes. As much as she loves needling Sam, she’s not interested in his pity party.
Jackson and Hayes are back on track! He’s straightening up her messy office while she updates him about Wallace’s case. Jackson says she wants Wallace back, but she claims she wants him to owe her one.
Sierra’s mother’s boyfriend (Liam) slammed Sierra against the wall and purchased a condo a few months later. Where did he get the cash? His job as a vet tech gave him access to fentanyl, which was likely used to drug Sierra. Sam accuses Liam of selling Sierra, and Liam walks out of the meeting and refers Sam to his lawyer.
Just as Wallace is about the take the deal, Hayes barges into the meeting. She announces that the minutes were mailed to her anonymously, but she tracked him down. The source is conveniently dead and can’t contradict her story. Once she agrees to testify, Wallace no longer needs to take the deal.
Sam follows up with the waitress, Melissa. Meanwhile, Tess learns Melissa was connected to the man who held Sierra hostage. Sam hears chimes at Melissa’s house and asks her about them. She admits to having them for about twenty years, and he accuses her of kidnapping Sierra, but she pulls a gun on him.
Sam’s trying to keep her talking and convince her that she’ll be out of jail in six years. But she thinks it’s just as much Sam’s fault since he locked up the wrong man and that left Sierra vulnerable for all that time. The police show up, along with Maxine, and Melissa immediately surrenders. This leads to Josh’s conviction being vacated.
Sam delivers the good news in person, but Josh isn't interested in forgiving him. Sierra is waiting for Josh when he’s released, and they share a tearful embrace.
Sam thanks Maxine for the save and says she was right about him needing a wake-up call. He acknowledges that the past few weeks have been intense and lets her know they can talk if she needs to. She brushes off his concern and takes another pill.
Wallace is cleared, but Hayes figures out her father wanted Wallace to throw the case. She’s pissed when she learns he wasn’t protecting her but was looking out for his own interests. Naomi interrupts them and wants the three of them to celebrate, but Hayes has lost interest in Wallace.
Final Thoughts on "Bad Deals"
Did anyone suspect the waitress? I didn’t, but, looking back on the episode, Sierra had symptoms of being drugged before she went into the bathroom. If it wasn’t Josh, then it makes sense it was the waitress.
I was thrilled to have Sam be the focal point of an episode, but I still want to know more about his past. I’m glad to see him slowly repairing his relationship with Maxine. I’m not sure how long Maxine’s gonna struggle with pills, but maybe she’ll turn to Sam once she’s ready to admit she’s relapsing.
I love seeing the Morrison siblings together, and I suspect we’ll see more of Jackson as their mother’s election nears.
Did anyone else think Hayes would’ve been a better dart player? Maybe there isn’t a dartboard in the White House.
Next week on Conviction, a man is on death row and needs a miracle to free him.