Secrets and Lies Review: The Intrigue Begins

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Well, that was a pleasant surprise.

Launching a show with a similar starting point to Fox's failed Gracepoint in the same season was always going to be a risky move.

I can honestly say that Secrets and Lies Season 1 Episode 1 and Secrets and Lies Season 1 Episode 2 delivered strong opening episodes of what looks set to be a thrilling series.

Ryan Phillippe is back on our TV screens y'all. Even if he looks too young to be playing a father, he turns in a really good performance in his role as Ben Crawford. You can't help but feel sorry for him. Everyone just wants someone to blame, but did he really kill Tom? Heck, Ben doesn't even know what happened the night before he found the body, so it's anyone's guess.

The case looks like it will fracture this small community and expose many secrets and lies about the people who live in it. The setup is similar to that of a summer series, and that's not a bad thing. We know that by episode 10 we will have all of the answers and that if the show continues on, it will be very different.

Ben's home life isn't the best. He and his wife, Christy have been going through a rough patch. From what we got to see in the double episode premiere, it looks like this is due to him having a fling with Tom's mother, Jess. Was anyone else shell shocked with the revelation that Ben was actually Tom's father?

A little boy is dead and I'm a suspect in his murder.


Obviously Jess is in a really bad place, but I think she was a bit of a bitch when she asked Ben to go see her. I'm not putting all the blame for the cheating on her, but she isn't helping things. I felt really bad for Christie.

Juliette Lewis plays Detective Andrea Cornell, who is one serious lady. She never smiles at all. From her first meeting with Ben, it's apparent she is going to be a pain in the ass for him. She doesn't like taking no for an answer and manages to get results. She seems tough as nails, but I'm betting she will soften up by the end of the season. I loved how she literally observed everything about himself and his house on their first meeting.

Andrea: It's terribly shocking. How did you know?
Ben: Know what?
Andrea: How did you first realize he was dead?

Ben's eldest daughter, Natalie appears to be harboring some secrets of her own, much like everyone else in town. I was shocked by the scenes involving her meet ups with Jess's ex. It made me think he knew something, but it was all brushed under the rug. It was upsetting to see that she was getting bullied online about her dad being the killer. 

It just shows that in society, if you find a body, you're the number one suspect. I don't expect the Crawford's to be at ease any time soon. The media wants a story and they've got one with them.

I like how the show is focusing on the life of the number one suspect in the murder. It's not jumping to all different view points. It's purely from the Crawford's view.

The Secrets and Lies premiere was an enjoyable affair. Sure, it was a bit of a slow burner, but it was needed in order to set up the storylines that will carry on for the rest of the season.

Other tidbits from the episode:

  • Dave was so annoying. Why is he freeloading in the backyard? He seems like he should be the suspect in the case, not Ben. He' very sketchy.
  • I wondered why Natalie Martinez departed so early on Under The Dome Season 2. She has sure moved on to something better.
  • The ABC publicity team did really well with this one. The promotion has been aggressive and the posters everywhere have been excellent. Let's hope it reflects on the ratings.

What did you think of the series premiere? Did it live up to your expectations? Any early guesses for who the killer could be? Hit the comments with your take on the episode below.

Note: Secrets and Lies Season 1 Episode 3 airs Sunday 8 March at 9/8c on ABC.

The Trail Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (7 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Secrets and Lies Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Ben: What's going on here?
Attorney: They think you had something to do with it.

A little boy is dead and I'm a suspect in his murder.