Things did not go according to plan on Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 6. Joanna and Billy took a big swing and they lost. Now there is going to be a lot of fallout.
The thing is, Joanna knew going in that making the suit a class-action was a bad idea. Again and again, she turned it down, even as Billy, Luna, and Kat championed the idea.
Billy made it seem like there was some underlying reason Joanna didn't want to make it a class suit, something she wasn't admitting. We'll never know if that is true because Joanna caved.
Kodie: You tell me to stay strong and be brave but I'm here all alone.
Joanna: You aren't alone in this Kodie. So many other mothers have gone through this and it's time for us to bring them into this fight. We are gonna force the courts to hear us because we'll be too loud for them not to. We're gonna certify as a class action.
Except she was right, and now they have to disappoint dozens, possibly hundreds of mothers who trusted them and gave them a chance. It is unfair, both for the mothers and for Joanna who fought hard, even though she knew it was a losing battle.
Does anyone else think Joanna is just a better lawyer than Billy? On Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 1, she wanted to use evidence in a case but Billy talked her out of it. And they lost.
This time Joanna didn't want to do something and Billy did. They went with Billy's gut and they lost.
Maybe from now on, Joanna should make the decisions. It would be a shame if she lost herself, but if she wants to be a lawyer and if they want Crawford Chang to win cases, it seems that Joanna needs to take point. They need to trust her gut, not Billy's.
Woman: And why should we trust you? Someone who isn't even a mother?
Joanna: Another excellent question. Why should you trust someone who isn't a mother? (laughs).
Woman: This is funny to you?
Joanna: No. No, this isn't funny at all. It's just I'm pregnant. I don't know if I can be one. A mother. I don't even know if I want to be one. I am standing in a room full of reasons not to be, and that terrifies me. But this isn't about me, although I've kind of turned things that way. I'm sorry. This isn't how I intended to do this. Any of this. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be a parent. And I know that you didn't do what they said you did. So let's make this about getting you justice and bringing your children home.
Joanna's gut is a little off right now though, with the hormones and everything. While it is clearly affecting her decisions, Joanna spends the first half of the episode treating her pregnancy like Lord Voldemort; it shall not be named.
Billy may not have been on team baby on Burden of Truth Season 3 Episode 5, but now he just wants to talk to his pregnant girlfriend and she's having none of it. You can't help but feel bad for the guy.
But I get it. Joanna isn't good at dealing. She prefers to distract, deflect, and avoid.
Billy: Speaking of fatherhood ... Look, I just wanna know how I can support you on this.
Joanna: (Phone Rings) Joanna Chang.
Billy: It's like you plan these.
I had thought of a child being a hindrance to Joanna's job, as well as her fear of being a bad parent, but it hadn't occurred to me that she would worry about genetic issues. I suppose it should have. It is a very reasonable concern.
I had thought Joanna's mother's mental illness was fabricated though. Maybe I'm remembering wrong. I'm also not sure whether she or father would be considered sociopathic.
Joanna: How long can a person work in this condition?
Doctor: It's a pregnancy. We haven't called it a condition since the fifties, but, it really depends.
Joanna: Depends on what?
Doctor: Depends on the pregnancy and the person. There's a lot of personal hereditary factors.
Joanna: Do any of those hereditary factors include mental illness?
Doctor: Yes. Some.
Joanna: What about sociopathic tendencies? Yeah, that's just my side. His side's riddled with mental illness, garden variety addiction. So, we're pretty much screwed, right?
But she does have a point about Billy's side. Between Shane's mental illness and Hank's addiction, there is definitely cause for concern.
Despite all the reasons not to, I do think Joanna is going to keep the baby. It's the most common choice on television shows in this day and age. Plus I'm not sure what an abortion storyline would bring to the table at this point in the show.
That being said, this is a Canadian show and according to Wikipedia, "Canada is the only nation with absolutely no specific legal restrictions on abortion." Abortion is legal in Canada even at the latest stages of pregnancy.
Billy: What are we doing?
Joanna: We're sitting in a park drinking potpourri and waiting for a judge to decide our fate.
Billy: No. What are we gonna do? What do you wanna do?
Joanna: I don't know. And I hate not knowing.
Billy: Shaky says 'I don't know' is the greatest prayer in the world.
Joanna: Who's Shaky?
The only issue Joanna would have is if her provider didn't cover it. I would say, as a lawyer, she's fine, but she and Billy are still having money issues.
With only two episodes left this season, there isn't a lot of time for Joanna to figure out her next move, both in regards to the case and in regards to Tiny Human Crawford Chang.
Speaking of next moves, Owen may have just made a really bad one. I say may have, because they sort of imply that he took it back. I hope he took it back. I hope it doesn't come back to bite him.
Owen knows how corrupt the police in Millwood became when Mercer was in charge. Mercer crossed lines because he thought he was doing right; it was his own brand of justice. Now Owen risks doing the same thing.
That other cop reminded Owen of the importance of going by the book and hopefully, he took heed. You can't bend the rules, even if it is to stop a really bad dude. You put yourself at risk that way. Worse, if you get away with it, you make the system something people can't trust.
Joanna: None of my clients can afford me your honor.
Cleardawn Lawyer: Are you bragging?
Judge: Are you Miss Chang?
Joanna: I am simply stating an indisputable fact. They couldn't afford you either, or you, your honor, back in the day. All of our clients live below the poverty line. They have limited economic means, limited access to justice.
Cleardawn lawyer: These people are poor. That doesn't magically give her case merit, your honor.
Judge: Why don't you let me decide that, Mr. Page.
Cleardawn Lawyer: She's playing on the court's sympathies.
Joanna: I'm not playing at anything. This isn't a game. These are children we're talking about. Being poor in this country means that you're more likely to have your children taken. That's a fact. And it makes it ten times harder for you to get those kids back. Also just a fact.
Cleardawn Lawyer: You honor --
Judge: Let her finish.
Joanna: Being poor is the commonality here. Certification is these parents' only chance at justice. And a class action is their only viable legal recourse. Thank you, your honor
In this case, Owen crossed a line and put himself at risk in a big way. You know Mercer will exploit this at the first chance he gets.
The people need Owen to be the good cop. He can't stoop to Mercer's level. Sadly, even if he undid what he did, it might still come back to bite him.
Something that might work in Owen's favor right now is Taylor's sleuthing.
That's right, our little Nancy Drew actually did good. Not only did she apologize to Luna, but both she and Luna did what teenagers should always do when they get into scrapes; they went to trustworthy adult authority figures.
Taylor: I forgot how small this town was. Why can't you ever run into people you like.
Diane: Because if you like someone, you're supposed to go out and find them. And apologize.
Diane: I'm just guessing that we're talking about Luna. Look whatever you did, or think you did, it's not as easy to break a connection as you think.
Taylor: Has anyone ever told you how good you are at what you do?
Diane: Yes. It's always nice to hear it again.
Can you imagine how easily television shows like Pretty Little Liars could have wrapped up their plots if those characters had the maturity of Luna and Taylor?
There is nothing wrong with asking for help and when you're a kid, adults usually know more than you do. They might be able to help you.
Now Taylor and Owen are working together to take down Mercer and Jeff Mitchell. Hopefully, they have more luck than Billy and Joanna did.
My name is Hank and I'm addicted to everything. I've been clean for, uh, seven days. The last time I used I was with my son, Billy here. I hadn't seen him in a lot of years. And I had to go and screw it up all over again. I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for that.Hank
Crawford Chang had some luck, some leads, like the one Hank gave Billy. It seems they are going for a redemption plot for Hank. I'm okay with it. I like redemption plots. I just hope they don't sweep all the abuse Billy suffered at his hand under the rug.
Still, things are not going so well for them. Callie, Kodie, and all these other mothers are not in the best situation right now and Joanna is feeling the brunt of the guilt.
Joanna Hanley ruined their financial situation and Joanna Chang gave them false hope. It's enough to make you cry. Or maybe that's just the hormones again.
Joanna: You're honor, I request a recess.
Judge: On what grounds?
Joanna: I'm pregnant.
Joanna: I have to pee.
Joanna has found hilarious ways to use her pregnancy to her advantage though. It was like something straight out of Liar, Liar. Maybe not quite funny enough to make us all pee, but still a good moment. That and the TV Spot added some much-needed levity to this serious series.
Joanna: We are going to lose. All these people put their faith in me and I'm about to let them down.
Billy: Hey you do not stop fighting until the fight is done. That one's also you. You're very quotable. So wipe the sweat off your face and get back in the ring.
Joanna: If this is what being a mother is like, constantly not being good enough, disappointing people, disappointing yourself, gives me a whole new appreciation for my own.
Billy: Well, you should tell her that. After we win certification.
If only Joanna's recess had worked. Her case seemed solid, but right and legal aren't always the same thing.
As devastating an episode as this was, as much as I feel for all those mothers and especially Kodie, I'm not counting Joanna out yet. She just needs to remember what made her a good lawyer.
Should Joanna stop listening to Billy and trust her gut? Will she keep the baby? And what will happen to Owen now that he's crossed a line?
Let us know in the comments, and do not forget, you can watch Burden of Truth online right here via TV Fanatic.
Burden of Truth airs Thursdays at 8/9c on The CW.
Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..