Dave helps Ben retrace the night of Tom's murder, leading Ben to a breakthrough.

By Michelle Newman
April 20, 2015 at 04:44 AM EDT
Brownie Harris/ABC

According to the tagline of one of the Secrets and Lies Facebook promos this week, ABC wants us to “forget about what we thought we knew.” Yeah, I don’t think that will be a problem. After tonight’s constant back and forth between the night Tom was killed and the present, I’m so confused I can’t remember exactly what it was I thought I knew when this episode started, much less from the past seven weeks. Let’s see if we can make some sense of it. Warning: The nausea you may experience from reading this recap is from the overuse of wavy flashback lines and not from Detective Cornell’s continued resting bitch face, as is usually the case.

It’s Christmas morning, and Ben celebrates by interrupting his lawyer’s family celebration. (BTW, I found out the lawyer’s name is John Garner, so I sadly will no longer be referring to him as Elliot Weston. It’s okay, I’ll console myself by watching my Thirtysomething DVDs tomorrow.) Garner tells Ben that since he exposed the leak in the crime lab, all the evidence has to be retested. However, despite that happy fact, Ben is still sure to be arrested within the week, and unless he can remember details of that fateful night, they’ll have to take a plea bargain. Merry Christmas!

Finally frantic at the real possibility of being convicted of Tom’s murder, Ben rushes to Jess’ house to ask her if there’s anything she needs to tell him about that night. (Um, how ‘bout, “Hey, Jess, did I come over and take Tom for a walk?” or something along those lines?) Jess starts to tell him something about why she thinks Scott killed Tom, but then decides against it. Pretty sure this isn’t an instance when “never mind” is acceptable, but Ben lets her go.

Back at the house, Santa Dave arrives bearing gifts: a 12-pack and the flashlight. That’s right—THE flashlight, which Dave unearthed (like it would have been hard to find) after worrying that Christy was on to Ben. Wisely, the two decide that now is the perfect time to dispose of it, and take it to what I think is the factory where Kevin tortured Ben a couple of episodes ago and drop it down a stinky well. I’d ponder the stupidity of that as well as the certain repercussions that will come from it, but we have some serious flashbacking to get to, so discuss amongst yourselves in the comments section.

Against Christy’s wishes (and Dave’s sage advice), Ben goes to Michael’s to try to see the girls. Christy intercepts him in the yard and they have a typical he said/she said pre-divorce fight where they fling nasty accusations at each other (Christy: I will not have my parenting questioned by a man who until three weeks ago didn’t know how many children he had!) only to realize too late that Natalie and a very distraught Monkey are watching and listening to every word.

Once again back at Ben’s house, Ben comes to the sad realization that Christy is right; being a murder suspect isn’t going to look good to a family court judge. Telling Dave about his impending arrest, Ben reminds him (and us) for the 67th time that he can’t remember anything about that night after his giant fight with Christy. (Are you ready? Hold on, here we go.)


Setting: Ben and Christy’s room

Scene: Christy asks Ben point blank if he ever cheated on her. Ben admits it happened once, but he didn’t mean it. Ben apologizes profusely. Christy refuses his apologies profusely. Christy throws him out.


Ben wonders what made Christy suddenly suspicious; the affair was six years prior. Dave reminds him of a neighborhood football game where he and Jess were flirty with each other, and then suddenly decides to drop a bomb on Ben and disclose a big, big secret.


Setting: A dark, crowded bar

Scene: Dave and Ben are sitting at the end of the bar, clearly determined to get wasted, and reflecting on the good old days, “B.C.—Before Christy.” Ben is so distraught over his fight with Christy that when he walks away, Dave dissolves one of his own prescription pills in Ben’s drink to help ease his buddy’s pain.


Ben is furious to learn that Dave drugged him. Dave is profusely apologetic (yet doesn’t understand how that pill affected Ben so badly—“You’ve got the metabolism of a hummingbird!” Dave is my fave). He begs Ben’s forgiveness and admits it’s the worst decision he’s ever made in his life. (I’d beg to disagree by throwing in that whole “dug up a murder weapon and disposed of it” thing, but what do I know?) Does Ben throw him out? Punch him in the gut? Nope. He forgives him and they hug it out and decide to move on. Obviously.

NEXT: The tooth fairy didn’t do it

After another flashback where Ben remembers grabbing a woman’s arm at the bar and causing her to drop her glass (a memory from after the fight? It’s a Christmas miracle!) Ben begins to second-guess himself and wonder if maybe he did kill Tom.

Dave insists that they go undercover as themselves and recreate that night, so they head back to the bar, with Ben wearing the same jacket he wore that night (the one I thought was in an evidence bag at the police station?). The woman whom Ben grabbed walks in (another Christmas miracle!) and makes a comment about how Ben was waving a photo of his son around like a maniac that night.


Setting: The bar

Scene: Ben drunkenly showing everyone an ultrasound picture.


Ben suddenly remembers that he showed everyone the ultrasound picture of the baby boy Christy aborted without telling him (a big bone of contention between those two), and realizes that Cornell thinks he was showing people a picture of Tom. That’s why she accused him of lying about knowing Tom was his son. It’s all making perfect sense! Let’s see if any more puzzle pieces can fall into place with these cool flashbacks. Hang on, here we go!


Setting: The bar

Scene: Ben calls Jess (but as we now know, misdials) and leaves a voicemail warning her that Christy knows about their affair.


A-ha! Ben is energized to realize that that’s the voicemail that Cornell played for him thinking it was incriminating in Tom’s murder. Just another silly misunderstanding! Ben is excited to continue his trip down memory lane, but is abruptly halted when he pulls out a small tooth from his jacket pocket. Oh, [bleep].

Suddenly, Ben and Garner are at the station in an interrogation room and Cornell walks in (we made it a whole 43 glorious minutes without having to endure her attitude) and Ben places the tooth on the table. Cornell, who obviously has been promoted to Captain (Obvious, that is), observes, “That appears to be a child’s tooth.” Garner explains to Cornell about the drug that Dave slipped Ben (which I cannot pronounce or spell but that is apparently one that causes memory loss), and Ben tells her how that ultrasound picture jogged his memory, which goes a little something like this:

Ben gets out of the taxi, almost too drunk to stand, and sees Tom’s tricycle in the driveway. After moving it two feet to the grass, he notices the TV is on and Jess is asleep on the sofa. Opening the unlocked back door, Ben covers Jess up with a blanket. Little Tom appears, and a suddenly extremely sober-seeming Ben takes the toothless tyke back to bed and has a very coherent conversation with him about the tooth fairy and his wonderful father, Scott. When Tom falls asleep, Ben takes his tooth, puts money under his pillow, and lets himself out the door, leaving it unlocked (so a murderer can enter and kill his son). Back in his own house, Ben crashes on the sofa.

Cornell, obviously not impressed with his story (but I’m not sure she’s ever been impressed with anything), reminds Ben that everything he just said can now be used against him. He doesn’t care; he knows he didn’t kill Tom. That’s great, but since I’ve never believed he did, I’m still sitting firmly in square one. Anyone else?

Later, Garner calls Ben and excitedly tells him that he’s discovered reasonable doubt, and her name is Christy. Apparently she’s sitting on a fortune and hiding it from Ben (that $25K retainer check came from her, it seems). Ben ransacks the house and discovers a hidden safe in the attic, full of cash. Could it be Christy who has the biggest secret and be the biggest liar of them all? With only two episodes left, it sure seems like it, but I’m betting on a few more twists and turns before this is all over. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take some Pepto.

Did you catch this week’s Cornell: Confidential? Monkey shows her jealousy over Ben and Tom’s relationship, and Cornell seems suspicious. (Just another monkey-wrench in this whole case, it seems. Heh heh.)

Now let’s discuss, but remember, if you’ve seen the Australian series and think you know how this all turns out, NO SPOILERS in the comments, please!