NOTORIOUS “Kept and Broken” Recap
By Kirsty Pearce
The threads are starting to unravel
This week’s episode, delving further into the role the media has in helping or hindering on-going police investigations, we start with Julia going to visit Oscar in prison, who tells her he wants to expose Jake and tell his story on LHL, a request Julia smiles at, before the camera smoothly moves to focus on Louise closing the show with the prison interview.
Cleverly pointing out that the affair also gives Oscar motive, and throwing doubt on whether or not he knew about it before Sarah’s death, Julia receives a call from Jake as soon as the broadcast is over, saying he owes her one for the way they spun the interview. That favor comes due a lot sooner than expected when her boss arrives, eager for Julia to focus her attention on the story of a missing female teen, Emily Parker, which is being covered by rival news program Callie Conners, boosting their ratings. He asks her to get the girl’s parents, who are, conveniently, clients of Jake’s, on LHL. The scene then shifts to Jake and Bradley coaching the parents, who reveal that they have decided to give their exclusive to Callie Conners due to her offer of money, which they need to fund the search.
Julia and her boss are livid, with Callie having beaten them in the ratings for the first time in a long while. Irritated over having to chase a show she views as being completely unprofessional, messy, and second-rate, after Megan tells Julia there are over 600 girls missing in LA, not all of them blond, blue-eyed cheerleaders, who the media can paint as princesses stolen from their towers, Julia gets the idea to create a princess of her own, choosing Rosa Baez, who went missing the exact same night as Emily, and whose mother Sylvia makes an appearance on LHL. Calling out themselves and other news outlets for only choosing certain victims to focus on, and neglecting others, Callie responds to this by throwing out an accusation towards Rosa’s boyfriend, Braydon, as being the cause of her disappearance based purely on his mug-shot, saying it was no mystery what happened.
That broadcast causes them to dig deeper, and Julia becomes determined to solve the case, meeting with Braydon, who threatens her, telling her to forget about Rosa. Julia has Ryan follow him, and talks to Rosa’s manager, Miguel, at the burger joint where she worked, spying video cameras around the back in the process. Watching the footage from the night of Rosa’s disappearance results in witnessing an altercation that occurred between Rosa and a customer. She gives the partial license plate to Max in the hope he will extradite for her, but he goes one better and tells her he will find the guy in the photo and bring him in, asking for a date in exchange, which Julia agrees to.
The guy reveals that the burger place Rosa worked was a cover for drug dealing. Ryan gets back from his shadowing assignment, and tells Julia that Braydon has been desperately trying to raise money, for a ransom as Julia finds out when she goes back to talk to him, pleading with him to let her help. Apparently, Sylvia knew the manager, and forced Rosa to work there so she wouldn’t have to. Rosa started skimming the register to get away, and was found out. Sylvia confronts Miguel, with Julia and Max recording the whole thing, leading to a happy reunion between Rosa and Braydon, who promptly leave the city. For once, Julia shows she is capable of putting something ahead of the show, declining to interview Rosa until she is safe.
With regards to Emily’s disappearance, Ella finds out that she was using her personal webcam to strip for paying strangers, her best friend coming forward to say she knew about the stripping site, and told Callie’s producer about it as well. Although Jake offered her an exclusive on Oscar’s case to stop her from revealing that fact on air, it was not enough, and Callie tells the world anyway.
Finally, the Oscar Keaton case gets a lot more traction as Jake goes to Oscar to get him to rehire him as his lawyer. Using the media as a bargaining chip, Oscar signs a document stating he is hiring Jake back with absolute faith in his efficacy. Max also shows up again at Gregorian & Gregorian’s, this time to tell Jake Sarah’s autopsy report says she has scars that show she had given birth. Jake gets in touch with Alan, who tells him it was a teenage pregnancy that ended in death for the baby. Also, not only did Sarah have a fake passport, it’s now discovered she had a secret storage unit as well, one she put in Jake’s name too, who goes to investigate. Filled with furniture, and a picture of her and Jake, police officers with a warrant open it up after Jake leaves, and find the murder weapon. Max uses this evidence as the basis for an arrest, which is carried out in the middle of Jake’s interview with Louise announcing his return to being Oscar’s lawyer. Julia’s boss fully exploits this opportunity as Julia stands in shock while Jake is being led away. The camera pans over to focus on another Callie Conners broadcast, which has her reporting on the discovery of Emily’s body in a parking garage in a stark and chilling final scene.
After a heavy character-focused episode last week, ‘Kept and Broken’ was more about exposing several key pieces of information in the overarching mystery of who killed Sarah Keaton, as well as providing a commentary on the concept of how much something is played up in the media directly relating to the progress of police actions and investigations. An interesting and sad premise, the fact that if a missing person’s case is not given enough media attention, it all too often falls through the cracks, and leads dry up rings true, and brings an importance to the work of news outlets I often don’t remember to see. Julia’s active involvement made Rosa’s story more personal, and gave her some great opportunities to show her strength, smarts, and empathy. However, I did miss seeing more of Ryan, Ella, Bradley and Louise; some more episodes where we get to learn new things about these characters would be welcome.
Numerous intriguing hidden truths about Sarah are now coming out fast and thick, and we’ve come to realize her regret over breaking up with Jake is a lot deeper than initially suspected. I think it’s a smart move on the showrunner’s part to not drag this story-line out any longer than it has to be, as it would soon become boring and feel contrived. Focusing instead on the impact the revelations that have come out of this case have had on Jake and Julia and both their friendship and working relationship means that when the mystery has been solved, the show can still carry on, and not feel like it’s missing something. It’ll be interesting to see where they will go once this overarching story has been put to rest.