Murder in the First Review: Final Act of Defiance

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I can't say that the Murder in the First finale was surprising at all, but it was certainly satisfying.

From the beginning to the end of Murder in the First Season 1 Episode 10, the developments and outcomes followed a logical path that had been established throughout the season. There weren't any twists or turns and that was okay because by the end of the hour, the story felt fulfilling.

Hildy and Terry never gave up on putting Erich Blunt behind bars and their persistence and even insubordination led to a killer sociopath being put behind bars. In many ways, they lucked out that there was any evidence, even as sparse as it was to tie Erich to his father's death.

The most damning piece of evidence they had was the gun that Erich's grandfather, James Harbach, used to kill Kevin Neyers and himself. With no serial number or registration, they were fortunate to find a police badge number tagged in the grip. That should have been an easy clue to track down, but it wasn't. The gun was issued to a rookie cop who only had the badge number for a few weeks before it was traded away.

Solter. It was his gun and he gave it to Erich Blunt. That was the beginning of the end for Erich only he was clueless as to how much trouble he would be in. With the DA refusing to even consider a case against Blunt, they had to up their game and find a way to get the brilliant man to confess.

A wire on Solter failed. Erich saw it coming immediately. The detectives were smart about it and took that experience and used it to their advantage. Erich saw them coming and they needed to go above and beyond to provoke him into giving a confession and have it recorded.

Even though it was obvious as a viewer what was happening when Bill Wilkerson walked into Erich's house, it was mesmerizing to watch play out. Okay, I wasn't sure exactly how Hildy and Terry were recording the conversation, but I was sure that they were especially after the bug was found in Wilkerson's watch.

Felton and Steven Weber pulled off their exchange beautifully. The back-and-forth started with Erich forcing Wilkerson to remove his clothes -- all of them. At that point, Wilkerson would have left if he wasn't actually there with the purpose of getting a confession out of Erich. He would never have tolerated that without a purpose.

If there's anything that I have trouble buying in the hour, it's that Erich would confess to everything after he found the bug in the watch. At first, I found that suspicious. He's a smart guy, why would he risk it? Then, I remembered that annoying smirk and decision to rub him getting away with Cindy's murder in Hildy and Terry's faces after his acquittal.

Erich wanted his brilliance to be known. He was desperate to share the "work of art" that was his father's murder. He's "evolved" and better than other people and he wanted to recognized as such by Wilkerson. He took everything from Wilkerson including Cindy, his marriage, and his innocence and shoved it in Bill's face.

When Bill accused Erich of killing his grandfather, that's when Erich's fate became clear. He would be arrested and kill himself as his "final act of defiance." Everyone abandoned Erich and with no hope of winning the case, Erich took his own life. It would have been torture to have to follow rules and directions for others. Erich got off easy.

At least Hildy and Terry got to see the case through and prove that they were right about Erich Blunt.

Overall, I enjoyed the season and the finale sold me on Erich being a sociopath, rather than an innocent CEO being railroaded by the police. Throughout the beginning of the season, I thought it was the latter and was at times disappointed that Erich was revealed to be a killer. Warren Daniels' lie about Erich passing the lie detector test was a nice touch. 

There were several storylines that were extraneous and didn't serve much purpose like Terry dealing with his wife's death, Hildy's ex-husband and daughter, the overdose case they got at the end to name a few. While they didn't add to the story, they didn't take away from it either.

I did appreciate the callback to Terry and Hildy's sexual escapade at the end. It came out of nowhere when it happened, yet it helped them both in their lives. I wouldn't mind spending another season with these two investigating another case or perhaps finishing the overdose death. TNT hasn't announced a renewal for another season, though given the ratings I'm not expecting one.

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Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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