"Nothing's Free, Little Girl" was a constant reminder Joanna faced as she found herself heading deeper into the Bowers’ world, and as the gifts continued Joanna’s way, we began to see the depth of corruption the Bowers live in.
Nothing encapsulates their corruption and lies better than the ending. While the family plasters fake smiles all around as they spend time with one another – showering grandkids with gifts and popping the cork on some wine – Robert makes sure their groundskeeper, Rayburn, has accomplished his latest assignment: breaking the kneecaps of Hannah’s (Robert’s previous assistant) brother.
However, just like the pilot, the two sides of Joanna and the Bowers are continuing to build their respective plots and stories. This approach, on paper, tends to do well, but in terms of television there needs to be some plot elements woven together. Otherwise, these characters are mostly just passing in the wind.
Thankfully, Ben Preswick looks to be the man who will begin bringing everything together, as the police need him and the Bowers are looking to silence him.
As the Bowers found him first, this turn of events brings us to our first suspect: Edward. Talk about a guy that gives off every “I killed her” vibe in the book - but when is the first person we are led to suspect ever actually the person who committed the murder? Yes, Edward has a tendency for violence in his past and present, but he also tells Joanna he didn’t want to work for his father. It would make far more sense for him to help Vivian bring her case of whistleblowing forward than to help the company.
The murderer could easily be Rayburn, as he doesn’t seem to have any aversion to violence, and he’s more than willing to keep the Bowers’ hands clean.
But we can’t discount Julian either with his ring.
Speaking of Julian, it’s hard to get a sense of where exactly his head is. His chemistry with Joanna is still fun and engaging, but it’s good to know that Joanna isn’t getting sucked into his booze-laden distortion field. His “small gift” of a Mercedes to Joanna doesn’t feel like anything other than something with an entire mess of strings attached (he is a Bower after all).
After all, Julian’s binge of drunken dissolution is laden with emotions that have little emotional context. He could very easily be doing all of it to cope with the pain of losing Vivian, or to cope with the pain of killing her.
It’s good to know Deception is working when it comes to its whodunit core.
Tonight was a definite upgrade over last week’s premiere with better placing and a story that is beginning to build something more than sneaking around corners and long drawn out stares. If Deception can keep this pace in its shortened season, it could become one of the season’s best new shows.
What are your thoughts on Deception Season 1 so far TV Fanatics? Are things getting better or worse after the pilot? Let us know in the comments!