Shortly before Kate's killer is finally revealed, the Warners discover a shocking secret about John
Credit: ABC/Ron Batzdorff

How’s that for a season finale? Two hours later and we’ve finally tied up all the loose ends, put together the missing pieces of this puzzle full of lies, and most importantly, uncovered the biggest secret of them all: #WhoKilledKate. Kate’s killer flew under the radar for most of the season, and my suspicion of this person is something I hinted at in my very first recap. But since a lot of us are still probably a little taken aback by everything that was revealed tonight, let’s go back to the beginning.

So, yes. That was John we just saw pulling out of the parking lot at R.B. Trucking, after Eric and Danny used Kate’s secret iPad to track a signal giving them the location of the extortion money. Eric is a little taken aback — he doesn’t understand how or why his father would extort him and threaten to release his juvenile record, since he clearly doesn’t need the money. Still, Eric and Danny have driven hundreds of miles from Charlotte, and Eric is angry and determined to figure out who’s in that building and why they would do this. The next day, Danny puts on his detective shoes and the two head back to Georgia to do a little spying on R.B. Trucking. After a short conversation with the owner, he finds out R.B. Trucking was having some financial issues, causing R.B. to hand out a few pink slips. After finding a photo of John and R.B. tacked to the wall, he concludes that since John is the only person who had a copy of Eric’s juvenile record, R.B. likely stole it and extorted Eric to pay off the company’s debt.

Here’s another little nugget: R.B.’s full name is Robert Bryan Warner, meaning he’s a relative of Eric’s. Upon finding this out, Eric uses his company’s software to do some digging and finds the name of another Warner on the board: Corinne. The two travel to Corinne’s house to get answers on her connection to John and R.B. and that’s when we receive a boatload of juicy information:

  1. Corinne Warner is John’s wife and R.B. is Eric’s half-brother. When John was out of town on business a few episodes back, he was likely just visiting his second family.
  2. As it turns out, John doesn’t have cancer like we suspected during his return in episode 7. Corinne does.

With how this show works, it seems like anyone who commits a crime doesn’t necessarily get arrested for it until they say it out loud. Once R.B. finally admits to stealing Eric’s record and using it to blackmail him, our friend Detective Cornell pops up and arrests him. She also arrests John because of that whole “having two families” thing.

Meanwhile, Patrick is out of jail and ready to start a fight. While John and R.B. are being questioned by the police back in Charlotte, he pops up and continues to blame everyone else’s poor decisions on Eric. He manages to make matters worse by revealing to Cornell that the person who pushed Kate off the roof is Eric, since he has a history of pushing people: He pushed their mother down the stairs 20 years ago and that’s how she ended up in a coma. A flashback to the incident reveals Eric accidentally pushed his alcoholic mother over the edge of the staircase as he was defending Amanda from abuse. But Patrick didn’t see that part and claims their mother never abused them. Since the siblings don’t exactly have their stories straight, Cornell decides to reopen the investigation into the attempted murder of their mother.

But that investigation isn’t exactly an investigation… It’s a trap Cornell set up to get Kate’s killer to confess.

NEXT: All roads lead to a confession

At the end of last week’s episode, Melanie told Cornell she knew who killed Kate, but Cornell has yet to make an arrest because of her need for solid evidence and a confession. Speaking of solid evidence, remember that time a few episodes back when Cornell made everyone from the party hand in their party outfits? Well, after getting some lab tests performed on the clothes, Cornell is informed a certain someone handed over a piece of clothing that wasn’t actually worn to the party. The person ditched their party clothes and handed in a brand-new, never-been-worn set. But more on that later — the Warner family is currently in shambles.

Eric and Amanda race to the roof of SEG, where Patrick is drunk and contemplating jumping. They manage to save him, thankfully, but that doesn’t make Patrick any less pissed at Eric. As Patrick is drunkenly munching on pancakes at Eric’s apartment, the two have a heart-to-heart in which Patrick finally has a revelation and realizes their mother was indeed abusive, and Eric only pushed her to protect Amanda.

Later, Danny tells Eric that after Mint Hill was busted, a few girls decided to give it another go and start another brothel. The two head to Mint Hill 2.0 and bum-rush the place once again, only to walk in on Carly…and her client…and Rachel (Virginia Gardner). Danny is happy to have found Rachel, but Rachel is less than thrilled to be in her father’s presence right now, and not only because he just caught her with her pants down. The two get into an argument and Rachel basically tells Danny she’s not going back with him. The only thing Danny can think to do is call Detective Sanchez (Dawn Olivieri), who arrives shortly after and arrests the girls once again. But since Danny is a fellow detective (and because he’s been on the hunt for his daughter for weeks), she’s willing to cut Rachel a break and let her choose between being taken into custody and going home with her dad. She chooses jail time and, at that point, Eric steps in and sweet-talks her by letting her know that even though she’s been through a lot, at least she’s not in the middle of a murder investigation trying to find out who killed her wife.

This — and the fact Danny punched numerous people in the face just to find her — is enough to get Rachel to reevaluate her decision and go home with Danny. But just as father and daughter are celebrating their reunion, Cornell comes along and “arrests” Eric for the attempted murder of his mother.

But again, that’s just a trap. Because, while Eric and Amanda — she’s acting as his lawyer — are in the interrogation room, all Cornell and Ken (Michael B. Silver) want to know is what happened. Then, somewhere down the line, they get Eric to rethink the night of the party, just as he was about to give his speech and saw Kate was nowhere to be found. In a flashback, Eric looks around the room at his party guests: John is mingling… Liam ran out on an alcohol-related mission for an already drunk Patrick, who’s at the bar… Melanie is downstairs erasing the security footage… Carly and Neil are in the parking garage getting it on. It seems like everyone who ever seemed a little suspect has some sort of an alibi, no matter how sketchy. The point is, none of these people are on the roof.

The other point is there was one person Eric didn’t see as he scanned the room: Amanda.

And as Eric points out he couldn’t find Amanda, Cornell may as well just be grinning from ear to ear. Amanda spends a few minutes trying to deny she had anything to do with Kate’s fall, but gives up once she realizes Cornell has already connected all the dots. So, here’s the story:

On the night of the party, Kate went to the roof to get some fresh air at the same time Amanda needed to take a smoke break. As Amanda prepared to light a cigarette, Kate vaguely revealed she was pregnant. She also revealed she and Eric weren’t even really trying. That last part was enough to set Amanda off, as she and Greg were preparing to divorce because of her fertility issues. The two got into a shoving match and Amanda ended up pushing Kate off the roof. Afterwards, Amanda went into Kate’s office to pull herself together and noticed her dress had ripped during the fight, causing her to throw it away and hand in a brand-new one.

Eric has many reasons to be furious: 1. His sister killed his wife. 2. His sister killed his wife and sat back as he drove himself insane attempting to get to the bottom of things. 3. His sister killed his wife and she happened to be one of the only people he didn’t previously accuse of the crime (we should’ve been able to guess she was guilty based on that fact alone, but I digress).

Let’s run through the happy endings this two-part finale left us with:

  • Amanda is pregnant. And Neil is the father. Eric briefly meets up with Neil to give him the news and, to his surprise, Neil is determined to take care of their child and be the best father he can.
  • Patrick and Eric are on good terms again. Once Patrick finds out Amanda killed Kate, the two agree to put their differences aside and Patrick plans to make a few changes as he spends the next 18-36 months in prison. One of those changes includes seeking help for his alcohol problem, which he does right as the episode ends.

Actually, that’s not the end.

After being congratulated by Major Bryant on solving the case, Cornell goes home to find her house has been broken into. She’s armed and ready, but she breathes a sigh of relief when she realizes it’s only Jennifer — that is, until she sees Jennifer has clearly relapsed. Cornell looks around the room and realizes her other gun is missing. At this very moment, an unknown individual enters the doorway and cocks the gun, preparing to pull the trigger. As Cornell whips around, the scene ends with the sound of three gunshots, and it looks like we’ll have to wait a while to see who was first to pull the trigger.

Well played, Secrets and Lies.

Episode grade: A

Episode Recaps

Secrets and Lies
This ABC drama—based on the Australian series of the same name—is about a man (Ryan Phillippe) suspected of murder being hunted down by a detective (Juliette Lewis). Sound familiar?
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