Last week’s intriguing premiere of Secrets and Lies certainly made the show’s title legit, didn’t it? By the end of the second hour we were already snared in the tangled web of secrets and lies that were beginning to emerge, not to mention all those that we could already anticipate. This week proved no different, and in the course of the hour racked up a whopping seven secrets and six lies—by my count at least. Let’s see where I got those numbers.
Starting things off on the “secret” side of the score sheet is teenage daughter Natalie, who wants to go to a party that somebody named Cooper is throwing. Since Natalie is 16 years old, Ben wisely refuses to allow her to go. Christy backs Ben up, and Natalie is incensed, telling them she’s “practically an adult.” Christy shoots her a private look and says, “You really want to have a conversation about being an adult?” before walking away without explanation. SECRET – 1.
When Ben wonders why Christy is leaving for work so dressed up, she tells him she’s going to a company Christmas party. When he wonders where she got the new, expensive earrings, she tells him they were a gift from a client. SECRET – 2; LIE – 1.
Ben, who has taken to entering and exiting his house through the backyard to avoid the media, dashes over to Jess’ house. After asking her how she’s holding up (nice guy) he wonders how Scott knew about Tom’s paternity. Jess says the only person she’s told is her sister, Nicole, who, come to think of it, hasn’t been answering her calls lately. Ben and Jess pay Nicole a visit only to discover her having hot sex with Scott. SECRET – 3; LIE – 2.
Apparently blowing the whistle on Scott’s whereabouts, and after watching him be cuffed and hauled away, Jess asks Detective Cornell if her ex-husband confessed to killing Tom. Cornell says no, but reassures her that they’ll find the killer. She then turns her steely gaze on Ben and makes yet another veiled reference to him being Tom’s real murderer. Get a new song, woman. This one’s getting old.
After waking up—again—on the couch, Ben interrupts a hushed conversation between Natalie and Christy. Christy explains it away by telling Ben it was about Cooper’s party, which she—again—told Natalie she was forbidden to attend. I smell another secret (and as a result, another lie), and even though they are probably redundant, I’ll go ahead and add to the tally. SECRET – 4; LIE – 3.
Later that night, resident mooch Dave is over helping Natalie hang Christmas lights in the living room. When their playful wrestling turns borderline inappropriate, Ben does exactly what you’d expect the father of a 16-year-old girl who is being grabbed around the waist by his best friend to do: He makes up an excuse to leave the room. Going out to his truck to “get a ladder,” Ben opens the back hatch and his flashlight rolls out. The flashlight. After a split second of surprised horror, Ben does exactly what you’d expect the suspect of a young boy’s murder by that exact flashlight to do: He hides it. SECRET – 5.
NEXT: A garage—and a shopping bag—full of secrets[pagebreak]
Back in his garage, Ben furiously scrubs at the dried blood covering the end of the flashlight with an old towel. He’s frantic. He’s also stupid, but that’s neither here nor there. Wrapping the flashlight in the towel, he hides it in a backpack and puts it in a locked cabinet. Great plan! I mean, it’s not like Tom’s DNA isn’t completely covering that workbench. Or Ben.
The next day after returning from a run, Ben finds Detective Cornell—who apparently does not own any other items of clothing other than that black pantsuit and khaki trench coat—standing in his garage. Seems she’d like the receipt for his missing flashlight, which Christy is happy to get for her if only Ben will find the key to the locked garage cabinet where she apparently keeps all of her household and gift receipts (who doesn’t?) … and where Ben keeps MURDER WEAPONS. Ben unlocks the cabinet, and with sweat from his run and from the fear of being some prison dude’s bitch for the next 20+ years, watches Christy rifle through her file of receipts with the backpack sitting a mere few inches away. Cornell grows impatient and takes the file away to find the receipt herself.
After both Christy and Cornell leave, and he empties his bowels (I’m assuming), Ben takes a page from the most basic of criminal handbooks and hides the evidence in plain sight, which in his case means wrapped in Christmas paper and placed under the tree. Brilliant. SECRET – 6.
The next day, after getting a new painting job and being traumatized by the man who hired him (will we see him again?), Ben finds a bicycle bell he’d bought for Tom. Taking it to his son’s grave, Ben is surprised by Scott, whom he thought was in jail. Turns out Scott had an alibi for the night Tom was killed. He was with Nicole, but hadn’t wanted to tell Jess because admitting to having sex with her sister is kinda awkward. (Totally get that, btw.) Ben and Scott have a surprisingly civil conversation, which makes me assume that’s the last we’ll see of suspect number Scott. Time to find another one.
Later that night, Christy is once again about to leave the house dressed to impress, and Ben is once again suspicious. When he discovers a shopping bag full of lingerie and a pregnancy test (uh-oh), his suspicions are confirmed and he confronts Christy. “Since I know I’m not the father, maybe you want to keep this one,” he spits at her. Ooh! Good one! (Remember, she had an abortion that Ben didn’t support right before he slept with Jess.) Christy is rattled and won’t directly address his accusations, but stands firm that Ben doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Regardless, she doesn’t have time for this discussion; she’s headed out to a “client dinner.” SECRET – 7; LIE – 4.
Ben wisely (totally unwisely) decides that the one person who can help him make sense of the events of the past few days is Dave, who tells him that tampering with evidence is a felony, and that the pregnancy test is Natalie’s. (Actually, scratch what I said about “unwisely.” He might be the best voice of reason on this show.) Ben flips out and easily gets the 411 on Natalie from Abby, who has gained self-allowed access to Natalie’s laptop and gives them the location of Cooper’s party, where Natalie is. LIE (on Natalie’s part) – 5.
NEXT: Body glitter isn’t Dave’s best color[pagebreak]
Ben bursts into Cooper’s party (which is a rager of epic, ABC proportions) and finds Natalie making out with her boyfriend, who tries to stop Ben from pulling her away by punching him in the face. Dude. He’s her dad. Not the best way to make a good first impression. Ben throws him to the floor. “If you ever come near my daughter again, I’ll kill you,” Ben screams. Bad choice of words. Terrible, really. Natalie, who is drunk so I’m really hoping is not pregnant, refuses to get in the truck with her dad, so Dave offers to drive her home and Abby gets out and walks with Ben. Sounds reasonable.
The next morning, Ben tells Christy he knows the pregnancy test was Natalie’s (but never asks if she’s actually pregnant which would be the first question out of my mouth) and they have a nice conversation about how hard it is to be a parent—of both living and non-living children. Then Detective Cornell and her pissy expression shows up. Dun-dun-dunnnn. It appears that Ben’s throw-down and murderous threat of Natalie’s boyfriend is the new Internet sensation, and she’d like a statement from Dave.
When Ben goes to Dave’s guesthouse he notices his friend’s shirt is torn and his hairy chest is covered in body glitter—exactly like the body glitter Natalie was covered in last night! (The man knows his body glitter.) Bursting into Dave’s room, Ben discovers Natalie’s shoes and the bed full of more of the damning glitter. Ben goes postal and throws Dave out, while Dave insists that nothing happened. LIE – 6?
And of course, Detective Cornell is there to witness it all.
What exactly is the relationship between Natalie and Dave? Does Half Pint’s (neighbor Lisa) son with special needs, Matty, know more than we think he does? What does Detective Cornell have against Ben? Is she the one setting him up? Are Abby’s confused feelings and hidden anger more important to this matter than we might think they are? And, more importantly, who else thinks Abby looks like an Olsen twin?