By Kirsty Pearce
Confessions and Drug-Lords in Notorious’ “Choice”
With Maya being booked and shown to her cell, charged with murder one, Julia takes ownership of the fact that she could have done more to stop the sex tape involving Dana and Johnny in a conversation with Jake, then allows him to be in the control room during an interview with Max on LHL, to keep proceedings fair and impartial. After the show wraps, Louise finds a man in her car, a Lieutenant for notorious drug king-pin trafficker and mass murderer El Toro, who offers her the opportunity to interview El Toro, as he is apparently a fan of her show. Excitedly barging in on Julia and Max’s rather steamy make-out session with the news, Julia agrees to go, but says Louise has to clear it with the Network first.
With the judge having denied Maya bail, Jake tells Dana she needs to go back on LHL to try and steer public opinion Maya’s way, and bring attention to the fact that the burn book where Maya confessed she wanted to kill Johnny is intended as a way to write down your feelings so that you don’t act on them, taking away motive. In order to bridge the gap between them, get Dana on LHL and prove she’s sorry for letting the sex tape go to air, Julia meets Dana for lunch, apologizes, and, realizing she had never actually asked before, inquires as to why Dana fabricated the interview that destroyed her career and their friendship. Dana admits that she lied because she was pregnant, with terrible morning sickness, and couldn’t travel to meet her source. The father was the head of the network, and Dana was afraid people would say she slept her way to the top, though she ended up losing the baby anyway. Although Dana is still wary of being interviewed by Louise, she agrees, and when the issue of the sex tape comes up, calmly states she had no idea Johnny was Maya’s boyfriend at the time. Then, having been prepped by Julia, turns the tables on Louise by calling her out on her hypocrisy in judging Dana for sleeping with a younger man, something Louise does frequently.
While watching the interview, Maya tries to kill herself, which, of course, leads to the start of a reconciliation between mother and daughter, and prompts Willow to come to Jake. She imparts that the only fights the roommates ever had were between Johnny and Preston over the Bling Ring, with Johnny wanting out and Preston, a fame junky and the ringleader, not letting him. Willow wants to go to the DA and change her statement, but Jake convinces her to hold-off for a while, saying he wants the DA become over-confident. It’s discovered by Jake’s team that all the celebs whose homes were hit were listed as being with the same talent agency, where Preston also worked in the mail room. This then leads them to try and poke holes in his alibi, a task they are successful at when they find out that although he said he was bowling with Willow when the murder took place, there is a sizable gap of time where the electronic bowling system says he missed a whole round.
Julia, having safety concerns about the trip to interview El Toro, meets with the Lieutenant to get more specifics after the Network says they can’t do the interview. However, he says that they cannot tell anyone where they are going, nor can anyone follow them, or he cannot guarantee their safety. It may be a little late for that though, as Max was at the house when Louise came and told Julia, and actively campaigns for Julia not to go. Julia also shares with Meghan where they are going, as they will miss the show the next day. While Meghan has serious concerns as well, this interview also gives her the opportunity to executive produce her first show. Julia then makes one more stop to see Maya before she goes, showcasing again their strong bond. Also running into Jake, her goodbye to him raises his suspicions on what she’s up to.
When Meghan tries to cover for Julia and Louise with Darren, Julia’s boss, saying they have food poisoning, he sees right through it, and tells Meghan to get Dana in as sub-anchor. Jake has a plan to ask Willow and Preston to be guests, and Meghan buys Preston drinks in an effort to get him on, also telling him, as Julia has so many times in the past when talking a guest into appearing, that this is his chance to tell the world his side, also letting him know Jake is going to try and point the finger at him. During the interview, Preston sees what Jake is doing behind the scenes, and reveals that during the time gap when he wasn’t at the bowling alley, he was not murdering Johnny, but instead scoping out Gwen Stefani’s house for their next robbery. Although Willow firmly states she does not believe Maya killed Johnny, Preston maintains his statement, getting so vehemently worked up that Dana snaps, and in a shock move I did not see coming, blurts out she killed Johnny, also sharing the location of the murder weapon. Breaking down in tears after the shop wraps, Jake comforts her and says he is not giving up on her before Max comes to take her away, and ask Jake if he’s heard from Julia.
And it turns out Max was right to worry, as when Julia brings up another reporter who had gone to interview El Toro three months ago and then disappeared, asking the Lieutenant on the plane what happened to him, he says that the reporter didn’t ask the right questions. Then, when they arrive at their destination, all their technology is taken and destroyed, an ominous move engendering a healthy dose of apprehension proven accurate when Julia is attacked later that night by two men before having tape put over her mouth and tied up.
In other news, it looks like the honeymoon period is over for Ryan and Ella when he gives her some apartment listings he found, and goes with her to look at them. Pressuring her to move when she does not want to, they get into an argument with Ryan saying it’s not normal to live in a motel. However, this is soon resolved when Ella comes to apologize for getting mad. She also discloses to him that her mother was a thief, which is why they always moved, and that her statement that good things don’t last is what scared Ella out of being able to make a commitment. In a very sweet moment, Ryan backs off trying to get her to move, saying he doesn’t care whether or not she can commit to a lease, and that he’s not going anywhere. I am still really enjoying these two, and looking forward to seeing their relationship develop further. Another couple I have fallen for is Julia and Max, who definitely have tons of chemistry, paving the way for the possibility of a much deeper emotional connection.
Continuing on with last week’s cliff-hanger, I am actually finding myself much more interested in seeing how it turns out for Maya, and who really murdered Johnny, than I was with Sara’s case. It was also great seeing Meghan taking the reins for the first time, and using everything Julia taught her. As for Dana’s confession, I am not quite sure what to think, though my gut says bogus. Putting Julia and Louise in a potentially deadly situation has amped up the tension considerably with a gripping cliff-hanger as well. Here’s hoping it pays off next episode, and comment below with your opinion on who killed Johnny!