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'The Family' recap: 'Fun Ways to Tell Boyfriend You're Pregnant'

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Giovanni Rufino/ABC

The Family

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
03/03/16
performer:
Joan Allen, Rupert Graves, Alison Pill, Zach Gilford, Liam James
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Drama, Mystery

Detective Nina Meyer might keep getting knocked down whack-a-mole style (props to Claire for that cruel but accurate analogy) after every move she makes, but she’s been right a lot lately. And she knows she’s been right, no matter how much her doubters dig in their heels. So, eventually her luck’s gotta turn around and prove as much, right? Right.

The arrival of Hank Asher with his brown bag of evidentiary goodies seems to be the first truly promising lead in the investigation, especially to himself. He’s so confident he’s got the key to solving her case literally right there in his lap that he demands she parade him around town as a hero once this is finished. And it has to be her that does the rooftop-shouting about his new do-gooder status because, as he glibly muses, it’ll be total “irony.”

Meyer tries to pass on the opportunity for an unscheduled sit-down with the man who she put away for Adam’s murder a decade ago, but he reminds her that she owes him 5 million, 260 minutes of his life back, so she can spare one of hers to hear him out right now. “I’m going to solve your case, and when I do you’re going to tell the whole world that I did it. That I caught your monster. That I cleaned your dirty,” he tells her.

Problem is, Doug a.k.a. The D-Baggiest of All D-Bags is one step ahead of the pursuit and has relocated from his townhouse long before Nina can secure a warrant to search the place. He (and the captive Agent Gabe Clements and the “so, so sorry” Jane who tied him up in the first place) are all long gone before Nina’s crew can arrive, and, whaddya know, there’s not a trace of Gabe in sight … but that doesn’t mean it’s not there, exactly. Meyer insists that a full lab work-up be done on Doug’s shed because she’s 100 percent certain he’s responsible for Clement’s disappearance, whether anyone else believes her or not. And, once again, she’s right.

Meanwhile, it’s Ben’s 19th birthday, and only half of the Warren family have a clue. Dad and Danny are still in the dark thinking this is their Adam — although Danny certainly has his doubts — while Willa and Claire are now fully in the know. What’s weird is that while Willa was the one to come up with this ridiculous idea to have him assume the role of Adam in the first place, she’s clearly having some long-overdue second thoughts about the scheme. Not only does she not actually know this person she’s now calling her brother, but she doesn’t know exactly what happened between him and her actual, now-dead brother.

She tries to coax out a little more intel about Adam’s untimely demise by offering up a story about Danny breaking her nose during a four-day road trip because they couldn’t stand being cooped up together, but before she can find out what she wants to know — namely, was Ben the one that killed Adam — Claire and Danny stroll in and change the subject to happier thoughts, like a celebration party for “Adam” being returned to the family.

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Claire knows that she’s going to be beholden to the DNA firm that Willa’s roped into falsifying the results of Ben-Adam’s blood-work, so the real question she has for her daughter is, “How much of my soul did you sell?” The short answer is A LOT — some of which even Willa’s not aware of. Because even though she and Bridey are still a *thing,* Bridey’s still a journo first and follows Willa to catch her arriving for a sit-down with her contact at Biotech Genetics. If she gets this story right, she’s probably looking at the front page, and all’s fair in love and journalism. Danny’s right to dump her tonight because she plays dirty. She even manages to download Willa’s entire laptop while she sleeps off a little vodka at her apartment. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

NEXT: Monsters don’t remember names ….

[pagebreak]

Also in major trouble right now is Agent Clements. His very existence right now is fully at the mercy of Jane, who wishes she could take her abduction of him back but knows that it’s not that simple right now. Does she still love Doug? Eh, maybe. Does she know he’s a vile monster who deserves to rot in Dante’s most fiery inferno? Absolutely.

Clements takes the methodical approach to winning Jane’s trust and allegiance by promising her that she’s not the one who’s a monster — even if she should’ve known what was going on with her husband as early as 12 years ago with another boy named Eric. “Monsters don’t remember names,” he says. “Girl Scouts do.”

When Doug returns home to find his wife visibly shaken, he tries comforting her with some similar soft-coo mind-trickery, but his words, she seems to realize, are completely poison. Even when they’re about finding purpose in the cute onesie she used to tell him she was expecting. “Doug, I’d like you to burn in hell,” she tells him without blinking. (Someone get this woman a Girl Scout honor badge for this moment of yes.)

Back at Warren HQ, Claire decides to celebrate Ben’s birthday on the sly by giving him the watch she had saved up for Adam. He probably wouldn’t have wanted it anyway, they reason, and at this point, Claire wants to go ahead and give up the ghost — something her other son has been rudely demanding of her for the past 10 years — and fully accept Ben into her life.

Ben’s still got a couple of serious question marks floating above his head, though. For one thing, why hasn’t he told anyone about Doug paying him a visit last episode to “talk,” and what the what is going on right now with him meeting up with Doug at the park and filling him in on what the police do and do not know about the case right now. Willa’s right to see him as ~suspicious~, especially after she finds out that yes, he did “hurt” Adam while they were together in Doug’s dungeon.

“All he talked about was you and mom and Dad and Danny every day for 10 years. He had everything,” he explains (still remaining super vague about what exactly happened to Adam). Willa reminds him that he said he “loved” Adam, but Ben clarifies, “I hated him, too.” Reading between these dramatic lines, Ben probably didn’t kill Adam (especially since we’ve seen Adam covered in sweats from sickness), but he does seem to want to psych Willa out for some reason right now. (Or did he have a hand in it, which would explain why he’s not running to the authorities on Doug’s whereabouts?)

The rest of the Warren family, too, seems pretty plagued with need-to-knows — in their case, what Hank provided to the police that made such a break in the case. John even goes so far as to plop down the dough to pay for Hank’s catfish dinner (how, um, generous), while Claire puts herself in Nina’s interrogation room, demanding the name of the new suspect. Hank gives John a very public shaming fit at the diner, while Nina refuses to share details on Doug (wait, is his “wanted” picture in the hallway at this point yet?). Nina does offer her own theory that “Adam” is not Adam at all (right) and that Claire is covering up the fact that there were two boys in the bunker (right again) and that the perp will spill all of that when he’s caught. Even after Claire threatens to have her demoted to school crossing guard status for testing her, Nina doesn’t bat an eye. “You better have your house in order when I catch him,” she says.

Indeed, she’ll get her chance to make good on that promise sooner than later. While Jane is back at the cabin, disconnected from the outside world and delivering her baby via verbal-only assistance from Agent Clements (the key to his cuffs has conveniently been snatched by you-know-who), Doug’s at the station, flagging down Detective Nina Meyer and ID-ing himself as the guy in all those pictures. It’s go time.

Is Doug about to play his Agent Clements captivity card? Or is he gonna somehow talk himself out of this, maybe even by pointing fingers at his wife?  

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