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'Secrets and Lies' recap: 'The Lie'

Tom’s killer is finally revealed, creating the biggest secret and lie of them all.

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Secrets and Lies

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

Last week on The View, Ryan Phillippe said that the Secrets and Lies finale was “devastating” and would leave us “affected.” Was that just another lie? After the hairpin curve we were just thrown, I’d say not—at least partly. Whether or not you are in the camp that had it all figured out weeks ago (or at least like to think you did) or, like me, have been going back and forth all season on how this would play out, I think we can all admit that the ending was, indeed, devastating, especially if you’re a parent. There have been countless dramatic sound bites over the past 10 weeks, but perhaps none so chilling as the last words of the season: “None of this would have happened if I’d just gotten Tom to the river.” The fact that the person uttering them was 12? Let’s just say I’ll be a lot nicer to the irritating kids sitting behind me at the movies from now on. Guess that means I’m definitely “affected.” Thank you, Ryan Phillippe. You nailed me. (Heh. I’ve always wanted to say that.)

Regardless of what you’ve thought of the entire season or what your opinion is of the twisty finale, it’s fitting, isn’t it, that everything ended with a big secret and an even bigger lie? Somehow it validates everything, no matter how infuriating that ending was.

Things picked up where we left them last week, right outside Jess’ door, with a hysterical Ben demanding Jess give him his monkey back. There’s a call made to a much calmer Christy, a rape accusation from Jess, a suddenly and strangely subdued Ben being taken away in a cop car after breaking into Jess’ house to confront her, and of course, an unemotional and steely detective standing just outside of the action, observing it all. Before she can follow Ben to the station, she’s called into Jess’ house. Seems Jess left some laundry soaking in the sink in the form of a blood-soaked blue jacket.

At the precinct, Cornell meets with Ben and tells him that Abby is fine, which he seems relieved to hear, yet not nearly as relieved as I’d expect a frantic parent who thinks his daughter has been taken by a suspected murderer to be. But as usual, no one asked me. Apparently Abby went for a walk and didn’t tell anyone. My annoyance at the flip way this dramatic event gets brushed under the rug and how quickly we move on to the blue jacket discovery is big, but not nearly as large as it is at Ben’s reaction (or non-reaction) when Cornell reveals to him that she knows he didn’t kill Tom. “Okay,” he mumbles, when she tells him he’s free to go. Wow. All season the man’s been trying to clear his name and get her to believe him, and all he’s got is a quiet “okay.” Of course he’s stunned, but I can’t help but feel emotionally duped. Anyone else?

Later, Abby apologizes to Ben for worrying him. She tells the same sad story about not wanting him and Christy fighting and tells him she needed to take a walk. Good grief. 

Christy, who is back to being nice again now that she knows Ben didn’t kill Tom (he told her about what he discovered in Jess’ house), brings the girls back home to celebrate Christmas with Ben. After a quick mention of the divorce papers and a pleasant quip about the demise of their marriage, the suddenly amicable pair gathers the family for dinner, making light conversation about poison secrets and Tom’s murder. It’s a real Norman Rockwell moment. And it lasts for about two minutes.

When Ben steps out to put the ladder away, he discovers a pair of bloody tennis shoes hidden under the guest house (really? In all the meticulous investigating, no one thought to pull out the loose vent cover?), and it’s no secret who they belong to. Marching into the dining room, he drops them on the table (so gross). “Abby, is this blood on your sneakers?” he asks with horror. “I’m so sorry, Daddy,” she says. And there you have it, folks. It was the little monkey all along. Go ahead, all of you who have been insisting on this exact fact to us all along, take your lap. Go ahead and gloat. If you deduced this by not reading spoilers or by having watched the Australian series, you deserve it!

NEXT: The big secret is finally revealed