If she ever does get past all of this, Grace Atwood should really consider a career in the acting biz, because fronting is the girl’s absolute forte. Coming into this week, there were only two people immune to her pretender prowess: her own attorney Stan Gutterie, and Gwen Hall, the woman who wants nothing more than to prove Grace was somehow involved with Molly Ryan’s murder and to put her behind bars. Now we can add Luc to that list, too…and possibly Natalie?
Let’s see how our (non-) heroes stack up after this week’s Guilt.
What the [insert your expletive of choice]. Grace’s ability to swing from sweet to sour has been a constant throughout the show, but her disingenuousness has never been clearer than it is right now.
First of all, why in the world would she just accept some stranger’s invitation to some dingy sewing shop in the middle of nowhere, given all the stalker threats and bullying she’s endured? That’s a whacked move, even for her. You really have to entertain the possibility that she already knew about Neville Harris and his creepy connection to Molly — and therefore, that she fully expected things would get out of control and that he might implicate himself. She might not have expected to have a blade to her neck by the end of their encounter, but you can’t overlook the idea that Grace is the mastermind behind everything at this point, especially considering the ease with which she stabs him in the leg after smiling to his face. It’s self-defense and all, sure, but it’s also an expert maneuver. It’s probably not the first time she’s wielded a weapon like that, right?
Oh, and while Neville is definitely the stalker everyone’s been looking for — he’s got her dress and teddy bear stored at his workstation as proof — his left-handedness doesn’t match up with the killer’s description, so he’s a red herring. However, Grace does a good job of making it look otherwise for a split second there, and she’s literally dancing afterward, which makes her look even more depraved.
Also, she’s spent the whole night at Scotland Yard waiting on Stan Gutterie to give her the good news that Luc’s arrest won’t stick (for convenience’s sake, let’s just pretend his representation of Luc isn’t a major conflict of interest). As expected, though, her only real concern is her own skin, which is probably why she’s so willing to forgive his little indiscretion (again). She manages to talk Natalie into getting her some one-on-one time with Luc while he’s still incarcerated, and they pretty much confirm they know more about Molly’s death than they’ve already let on.
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Molly: Did they ask you anything again, about that night, about us?
Luc: No, I wouldn’t say anything if they did. You know that.
Molly: No one can know, Luc. Ever.
Luc: No one will ever know. No one except you and me. It’s our secret.
That’s…a loaded exchange.
Guilt-o-meter reading: 10 out of 10. There’s just too much evidence against her to ignore at this point.
NEXT: Opportunism runs in the family…
So, what’s Luc’s place in the fracas? Behind bars, for now. His conversation with Grace in the visitor’s cage proves he’s not as much of a dunce as he’s presented himself to be so far, but she’s still keeping a close-enough eye on him to show she doesn’t exactly trust his judgment. (Remember how she had to drill that whole belly-button ring story into his head at the gallery opening?)
Guilt-o-meter reading: His concealment conspiracy with Grace bumps him to a 7 out of 10.
It might seem like Natalie’s little rendezvous with Detective Bruno is purely physical, but they’re only a thing for, what, 24 hours (?!) before he’s searching for her name in police databases, questioning persons of interest, and arriving as Grace’s personal badge-wielding savior with supreme takedown skills. Putty, meet hand.
Of course, the pendulum swings both ways, and in Natalie’s case, she’s getting played by Grace just as masterfully. She seems to realize as much when she has a visual epiphany during Bruno’s speech to Neville’s mom about people we love being capable of bad things, but she’s still right there to talk Grace’s way into the tank to see Luc at the snap of a finger.
Maybe she’s been secretly hardened by her family history. Being bratty and reckless enough to draw out your dad during a snowstorm which ultimately gets him killed? The parallel lines draw themselves here, guys.
Guilt-o-meter reading: 5 out of 10. She jumps a spot for taking full advantage of the new “in” she’s got with Bruno.
Roz and Caleigh are kind of digging their own little graves right now, then, aren’t they? Caleigh finds Patrick in a precarious situation (more on that later) and puts her own neck — and other body parts — on the line to spring him from the clutches of the club’s henchmen just in time.
In doing so, she leaves Prince Theo without his regular escort and the questions start rolling in. Roz doesn’t play it cool, either. She manages to insult him and imply he had something to do with Molly’s death in the same breath, and since Finch is already on a warpath, the girls are in big trouble right now.
On a related note, we haven’t talked about the possibility that Finch could be a person of interest here. He obviously has a temper, he too was Molly’s boss, and it probably wouldn’t have fit into his business model to have an employee get pregnant by a royal customer. Any wagers on him being her murderer?
Guilt-o-meter reading: Let’s drop Roz down to 4 out of 10 this time.
The jealous-spouse thing has already come into play once this season (see also: Beatrice Lindley), so now some people are starting to wonder whether Molly’s murderer is actually Prince Theo’s little-seen fiancée — who had everything to lose, including a crown, if the royal wedding were a bust. Say she found out about Molly’s pregnancy, or even just Theo’s frequent patronage of The Courtenay as Gentleman 33. It’s a solid theory, considering Theo really does seem to have had genuine affection for Molly. As he confides to Roz in a moment of bizarre candor, “Sometimes I think she was the only person who truly understood me.”
Guilt-o-meter reading: 8 out of 10.
NEXT: “You are a dirty cop”…
Det. Sergeant Alex Bruno
Bruno came this close to planting Molly’s blood on Neville’s station scissors to close the case once and for all. The only thing that stopped him was the fact that Neville’s a lefty — which is inconsistent with the forensic evidence — so it’s not exactly like he had a change of heart or anything. As Natalie says in the beginning, while tangled in his sheets, “You are a dirty cop, aren’t you?”
Guilt-o-meter reading: 8 out of 10.
Now here’s where Detective Pike is suddenly interesting. He’s the one who suggests Detective Bruno might plant Molly’s blood to shore up the investigation once and for all. He usually seems so above the line, but he’s obviously no stranger to dirty “copper” tactics and knows how to keep his mouth shut about them, too.
Guilt-o-meter reading: He’s going to 2 this time. That was an out-of-character suggestion, but it was still just talk for now.
So, yeah. Gwen definitely orchestrated that Luc Pascal sting operation from last week, but she did such a poor job that Stan’s able to poke a dozen holes in the chain of events and guarantee the charges won’t stick. She knows she’s got a very limited time to extract intel from Luc, but he tells Grace they haven’t asked him any questions about her yet. Could Gwen have recorded the exchange instead? If she’s got Grace as figured out as she thinks, she might’ve anticipated her lawyer-free visit to the jail and done her homework on the probable lack of privacy rights surrounding those in-house convos. If she’s as smart as she seems, she’ll have bugged the line and just scored herself some circumstantial evidence against both Luc and Grace. There’s just no way that conversation can’t come back to haunt them.
Guilt-o-meter reading: Eh, let’s go back down to 0. She’s a legal eagle and you can’t fault her for that.
He said he wanted answers, and he’s getting some answers, however dangerously. The cute flashback of him and Molly as children proves he’s always been worried about her independence and spirit, and his worst fears were realized by her death, so what’s left? This is a man who has no regard for his own safety or freedom — he just wants to know why his baby sister has been murdered, and he knows the police have been hitting one dead end after another.
He convinces a member of Parliament to get him into the men’s club by threatening to out him for his extracurricular activities, and he’s studied the building’s blueprints well enough to know exactly where to find the member log that’ll tell him about Molly’s clientele. Thanks to some quick thinking by Caleigh, he’s saved from being found out just after infiltrating Finch’s office (there are cameras in every escort room, apparently, but not the halls or HQ?) and discovers Gentleman 33 was Molly’s only customer. Now what?!
Guilt-o-meter reading: 6 out of 10. He literally put a cord around a man’s neck this week before blackmailing him. Hell hath no fury like a brother scorned.
You know what? Stan’s probably the most honest guy on the show at this point. Whether he’s quipping about the Paris-yeah style of the secretary he’s blazing right by — despite her protestations or stealthily decimating whatever argument’s built against his ridiculous roster of clients — he says what he means and he means what he says.
Guilt-o-meter reading: We’re dropping him back down to 0 this week. He probably shouldn’t be representing Luc when he’s a potential strawman for Grace’s case, but whatever. He’s one helluva zealous advocate and gets the job done.