By Derek Lawrence
November 08, 2020 at 10:00 PM EST
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Credit: HBO
S1 E3
B-
type
  • TV Show
network
  • HBO
genre

"Do No Harm" marks the halfway point of The Undoing, so how are we feeling? Enjoying getting to see rich people become undone? For me, it's been an entertaining start, mostly thanks to the strong performances from the cast, particularly Nicole Kidman and Édgar Ramírez. But this third episode dragged a bit more than the first two, which hopefully isn't a sign of the show itself becoming undone.

The latest installment begins with Jonathan being taken into police custody. I guess we at least give him credit for not running again? Det. Mendoza arrives on the scene and continues his intriguing, contentious relationship with Grace. She's bothered by him asking if she thought Jonathan might kill her. Well, she's probably even more bothered to learn that the DNA results came in for Elena's baby, and Jonathan...you are the father! "Okay," is all Grace can muster.

Back in the city after a terrible little family getaway, Jonathan is taken to jail while Henry watches news coverage that reveals Elena was likely killed by a sculptor hammer that is missing (surely not for long!). Grace reveals Jonathan is stuck with a public defender as he has drained their bank account. Sylvia attends Jonathan's first court appearance, giving play-by-play to Grace over the phone: Jonathan's attorney is the "good not great" Robert, also known as "The Badger," while the prosecutor is a "heavy hitter" whom Sylvia previously interned with. He enters a not guilty plea and bail is set. "He looks scared," opines Henry, watching from home.

I would say scared about sums up how Jonathan is acting when we see him in his new accommodations. Meeting with his lawyer, he slams his fist on the table, demanding to know if the Badger cares about his innocence. "Not really," admits the Badger. "Truth be told, I prefer my clients guilty. Takes the pressure off...In fact, it would be difficult for an innocent man to present more guilty." Grace then gets her chance to meet this quirky character, but she refuses to vouch for Jonathan's innocence. The Badger thinks she's a wife suffering from "post-traumatic betrayal." He prefers to hear her "pre-f---ed over impression" of him. "I'm thinking your husband is a bit of a d---, but not a killer," he suggests, to which Grace responds, "I don't know what to think."

It's now Grace's turn to go see Jonathan, but not before she cries on the ride over to the prison. The tears continue to flow when she scolds him for having a "f---ing daughter." He's still arguing that Elena was obsessed with him, begging for Grace to help him: "You know my heart!" Like Jon Snow, she knows nothing. She does learn a few things chatting later with Jonathan's former colleague Dr. Rosenfeld. Summary: He's not a fan. "It's like he never got the God complex memo," says the doctor, citing the "unhealthy" way "psychopath" Jonathan fed off people being obsessed with him. For the first time, Grace appears to go into full defense mode for Jonathan.

That stance continues with her dad as she talks about "hero worship" and how that can make "crazy people do crazy things," referencing Elena's possible mental state. Franklin is worried that his daughter might be reattaching herself to Jonathan, so he confesses that his son-in-law previously came to him for money, saying they were worried about paying for Reardon. I don't know, I feel like he should have been suspicious since $500,000 could have paid for 10 years at that school. Dad starts to get emotional, apologizing for not telling her sooner, and possibly preventing this all. Seems like a lot of guilt for him to have, which we can't help but become suspicious of when he later stands outside of the Alves apartment, staring through the window at Fernando and the baby. Not saying he's the actual killer, but you don't hire an actor the caliber of Donald Sutherland just to play chess!

Jonathan hasn't been able to get prison ripped yet because he's been so busy with visits; now it's with both Grace and Henry. After an unsuccessful attempt by Jonathan to break the ice, Henry skips the small talk. "Did you kill her?" he asks. "You were f---ing her." Maybe someone finally decided to become a mama's boy! To his credit, Jonathan is pretty open with his young son about how he "f---ed up." That is until he continues to throw under the bus the dead Elena, who was "wanting to destroy us as a family." Counters Henry: "We're never going to be a family again." Touché. When Henry begins crying, Jonathan holds his hand. That quickly puts an end to the family time, with a guard coming to take the prisoner away. But the touching and resulting separation continues in the yard for Jonathan as he gets into a brawl with a fellow inmate. The doctor might not be a naturally born fighter but he proves to be good with his mouth, biting down pretty hard on the dude's finger. No judgment here, you do what you gotta do.

For the second time this episode we spot Fernando appearing to follow Grace, who is going to meet Haley Fitzgerald, a high-powered lawyer that Franklin recommended for his daughter. But, now in that Jonathan defense mode, she's seeing Haley for her husband. "He's got a truth problem," Haley bluntly says. "If he killed her, I can't make him innocent. I can't make him faithful...Many clients think I can undo everything." Hey, that's kind of like the name of the show! Despite all that, Haley is very confident in her abilities and promises that she can deliver some "muck" to the situation.

Fernando is back on the Grace trail, and finally ready to talk. He doesn't want to hear that it's not a smart idea. "Your husband killed my wife, when will be a good time?" That works. The conversation upstairs is far from cordial, with the duo trading insults about their respective spouses. "I'm under a lot of pressure right now, and I've reached the point where I'm not taking s--- from anyone," declares Grace. She's gone cold-blooded, asking if there were other men and if Elena was being treated for psychological disorders.

Even though she was the one doing the bullying, Grace goes to the police to report Fernando, who she believes should still be a suspect in Elena's murder. Trying to do their job for them, she says there must be some video surveillance. Funny she mention that, as there was one camera a block away from the scene. Mendoza lets the suspense build-up, slowly and quietly retrieving his computer and pulling up the sole relevant image: Grace walking near the crime scene. Asks Mendoza, "Exactly how well did you know Elena Alves?" Fair question!

I guess Queen Sylvia might be wrong for once, and maybe it's not always the f---ing husband.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

The Undoing

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 1
rating
genre
airs
  • Sundays
creator
  • David E. Kelley
network
  • HBO

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