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NOTORIOUS “The Perp Walk” Recap

By on September 30, 2016
PIPER PERABO

(ABC/Kelsey McNeal) PIPER PERABO

By Kirsty Pearce

Kidnapping, Secrets & One Scandalous Funeral

Still maintaining a relatively snappy pace, Notorious’ second episode does slow down just a little in order to further explore the puzzle pieces put in place in the pilot (and yes, that’s a lot of Ps!).

After a brief recap covering the events of the last episode, we find ourselves at the end of an LHL online broadcast, with Louise updating her viewers on the Sarah Keaton story before heading off for a drink with Puff Daddy himself, in a very brief but awesome guest appearance. We then revisit the photo of Sarah’s dead body that was emailed to Julia, which Julia then gives to Megan to investigate. She also issues an additional request for Megan to find Sarah’s brother, and only surviving relative, Alan Wells.

Meanwhile, Jake is sitting at his desk, watching an old birthday video of Sarah, with pain and regret visibly etched on his face. Bradley interrupts to let him know their next case has arrived, a mystery involving the kidnapping of Abby Rollins’ baby Noah, referred to Gregorian & Gregorian by the Foundation for Missing Children. She needs help dealing with the media, so naturally, Jake gets her an interview on LHL. The cliff-hanger from last week, which involved some incriminating photos of Sarah with bruises, Oscar with another woman, and Jake in bed with Sarah being mailed to Julia the day after Sarah’s murder, is then brought up again when Julia finally shares them with Jake. Taking several twists and turns, the kidnapping case also introduces some tension into Julia and Jake’s friendship, tension exacerbated by the fact that Julia didn’t tell Jake about the photos until now, days after she got them.

The air is soon cleared however, and after digging deeper into the kidnapping, several discrepancies are uncovered which lead to the ultimate truth that Abby faked the kidnapping to protect her child from her convict ex-husband, who threatened to come after them once he got out on parole. With some clever wrangling by Jake and Julia though, Noah is returned to his mother, and her ex is back in jail after new charges were filed on the basis of his calls.

On the photo front, through some help from a friend of Megan’s who used to be in the NSA, it’s revealed the photos came from Ryan, whose entitlement and father issues rise to the surface with the discovery that he is sleeping in Julia’s office because he doesn’t want to live with his dad. Stepping over the line by taking and sending the photo, he ultimately redeems himself by telling Julia he shouldn’t have made excuses for what he did, and that he has never loved a job more than this one because he gets to work for her, the only person he’s ever seen stand up to his father. Megan is also able to find Sarah’s brother, but he refuses to buy into what Julia is saying. Viewing her show as a vehicle for the plundering of people’s despair, and berating her for not caring at all about her guests, but merely using them for higher ratings, he refuses to be interviewed.

Throughout the episode, Oscar indulges in a drinking binge and goes off the rails, prompting Jake to tell Detective Matthews about Oscar having arrived at the crime scene before him. This then sets things up for an arrest at Sarah’s funeral, a move placing a very drunk Oscar in a private place to dry out, and helping to garner sympathy for him from the public at the same time. It also has the effect of convincing Sarah’s brother to go on LHL and tell the world who Oscar really is, a decision that will no doubt make for some very interesting consequences.

This episode sees Jake struggling to cope with Sarah’s death, as well as manage Oscar’s drinking and public appearance, and help Abby, before finally talking to Julia, and then his brother about his feelings for Sarah. Bradley, who has been trying to get Jake to open up to him all episode, shows support and no judgement, highlighting their strong bond. Also, though Jake still continues to vehemently defend Oscar, you can start to see a smidgeon of doubt near the end, putting into question Jake’s future ability to continue defending the husband of his ex-love.

Beyond further establishing her role as office diva and cougar, Louise is pushed to the background of this episode just a little, and is in danger of becoming a bit of a caricature. Though still enjoyable, I am looking forward to seeing a few more layers to her as the season goes on.

With all of the manipulations and carefully crafted stories, it is the simple respect and honesty that flows between most of the central characters that is the best part of the show for me so far. Jake’s open relationships with Julia and his brother for instance, makes it easier for him to confide in them, even though those confessions might take a little while to come out.

This episode also shines the spotlight well on just how influential shows like LHL are in getting people to listen and care through Abby’s story. Still very much enjoying the vibe of this show in its second outing, it looks as though things might be heating up between Ella and Ryan next week, a development I called from the start, and am interested to see evolve.

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