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'Secrets and Lies' recap: 'The Jacket'

Ben continutes to play detective with his neighbors, but someone is playing far more dangerous games with his life.

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Fred Norris/ABC

Secrets and Lies

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Ryan Phillippe, Juliette Lewis

It doesn’t take an uptight, navy blue pant-suited detective to figure out the direction this show is taking. After two episodes of Ben mistakenly pointing the flashlight at suspicious neighbors, it’s obvious that this is becoming a game of murderer roulette. Spin the Chelsea Bay Drive Wheel and see where it lands! So far, the Richardsons and Half Pint’s families have been the unlucky winners of Ben’s erroneous wrath; Kevin and Elaine Williams—and probably even Jess, herself—better watch what they do or say. And while I have to admit that the evidence Ben has discovered does seem to incriminate the neighbors who happen to be in his cross hair, after two weeks of the same formula I’m not sure I’ll be as gullible next time.

With five weeks to go, I can’t help but think there’s no way the killer will be revealed this soon. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Don’t even try to fool me a third time. I’m not buying it. (Actually, that’s a lie. I’ll totally be fooled every episode until the end. Guess this show is rubbing off on me.)

This week’s dupe focused on neighbor Lisa’s (Half Pint, Laura Ingalls, Melissa Gilbert—pick one) family. Ben and his daughter (Abby, Monkey—pick one) are going shopping when they discover Matt (Tad Cooley), Lisa’s son who is mentally disabled, walking into the woods alone. Telling Monkey to go back home, Ben chases Matt into the woods, where Matt stumbles, falls, drops a bloody blue jacket, and then runs into the river. Ben, momentarily distracted by the bloody blue jacket that he knows is a key piece of evidence, ignores it to pull Matt from the river where he’s frantically splashing about, looking for his trusty iPad. Ben chases Matt home through a sudden downpour (man, it rains a lot in North Carolina) where Lisa stops him from entering her house and tells Ben that Matt doesn’t have a blue jacket—bloody or not. When Ben goes back into the woods for the jacket, it’s gone. Of course it is.

Back at the house, Ben is looking for Abby when she runs in from outside. “Ready to go?” she asks, a little too breathlessly (and totally dry, btw). Huh. I’ll hold on to that piece of evidence in case I need it later.

Another piece of randomness that I’m tucking away? The mysterious woman who is hysterically yelling at Detective Cornell when Ben goes to report the blue jacket fiasco. “You destroyed my husband!” the woman shouts to a stone-faced Cornell. “TELL ME MORE,” I shout, but as usual, no one hears me.

After telling Cornell about the missing jacket, and after Cornell—big surprise—looks uninterested and makes more veiled remarks about Ben’s guilt in the matter, Ben decides to take it upon himself to find the jacket. 

Back in the woods, Ben stumbles upon Tyler (Dillon Lane), Lisa’s other son whom Ben is surprised to see home from school (Lisa had told everyone he wasn’t coming home for Christmas). The scabbed scratches on the backs of his hands, hand-rolled cigarette, and attitude place him squarely in the crosshair of Ben’s suspicion, especially after Dave later reveals that Tyler’s been in and out of rehab recently. Seriously, Tyler may as well have been wearing a bloody blue jacket; that’s how fast Ben convicts him in his mind.

NEXT: I say “client” you say “lover”