The Undoing recap: You have not yet met ugliness
Last week's The Undoing ended with the bombshell reveal of surveillance footage putting Grace near the scene of Elena's murder. Wow, that's a big deal! Could she actually have committed this heinous crime?! Oh, never mind, because within the first two minutes of "See No Evil" Grace is no longer a suspect since there were images of her continuing walking. That instant resolution completely takes away the impact of the cliffhanger, and the end of this episode has me worrying that we are about to get played again. The Undoing has been an enjoyable ride so far but you can't keep cheating like this and expect audiences to be satisfied.
After her introduction in "Do No Harm," this installment kicks off with a lot of Haley. The formidable defense attorney begins by telling Grace that the case may come down to her, suggesting a plan of putting the jilted wife on the stand. Grace immediately rejects such an idea. Haley and her very dry sense of humor then head to meet Jonathan at the prison. In addition to Elena, he admits to one other "sad f---." Meanwhile, Grace seeks out the counsel of Jonathan's former lawyer, The Badger, who I'm very glad to still have around. She asks if he thinks Jonathan might be innocent. "I still think he's a d---," he declares. "Just not one that would commit murder."
Grace then goes to visit her dad at the museum, where it seems like he always is. I wonder if that is just Donald Sutherland's hangout spot and he put in his contact that most of his scenes needed to be shot there. Earlier in the episode, Grace was looking for some "unconditional support from her loving father," and now she's hoping to cash that in via $2 million for Jonathan's bail. Unfortunately for Sutherland, prison scenes can't be filmed at the museum, so he takes a trip over the bridge to be face-to-face with his son-in-law. It's a quick trip, though, as Franklin just wanted to look him in the eye and make him understand that he thinks he's guilty but that he also can't deny his daughter. Before leaving, he threatens to personally kill Jonathan if he does any further harm to Grace or Henry. I mean, he surely has Jack Bauer on speed dial.
Franklin's quick work continues as we next see Jonathan being released. The press is hounding him and Grace, so he decides to make a brief statement declaring his innocence. Elsewhere, Henry is apologizing for something he did. In a rush, he bumps into a student who happens to be poor Miguel. Henry says sorry and puts his hand out, an incident that lands him in Headmaster Connaver's office, a place that Franklin will soon find himself in as well. Upon being told that the school's board wants to distance themselves from this distraction and have Henry homeschooled, Grandpa delivers this epic rebuttal:
“Make no mistake, I am a c--ksucker. And I don’t mean that in the sense of gay belittlement as it’s currently come to be interpreted. No, I’m an old-fashioned c--ksucker. The more traditional kind. The kind who f----s over anyone who hurts me or a loved one. You speak of ugliness, Mr. Connaver, you have not yet met ugliness.”
And that is what gold can happen when you let Donald Sutherland out of that museum!
Always with inconvenient timing, Detectives Mendoza and O'Rourke pay another visit to Grace. "Why are you f---ing with me?" she barks. To be honest, they kind of are. They bring up the fact that Elena called Grace multiple times leading up to her death, even though they already know that none of those were ever answered. But the real big reveal is that they discovered a nude oil portrait Elena painted of Grace. Later, Jonathan insists he had no idea about it, using this as further evidence for his claims of Elena being obsessed. Grace rejects his attempt at holding hands, saying she will be playing the role of wife publicly and that's it. "While you may not be a murderer, you're not my husband," she pledges. "What we had, you and I, was too big to undo," he says. Hey, that's kind of like the title of the show! "But you did, you managed to undo it," she responds. Hey, they did it again!
Having trouble sleeping that night, Grace goes for one of her famous walks, except this one lasts so long that I'd classify it more like hypnosis. While it appears that Fernando might be following her, she doesn't need anyone's help in being harmed, as she collapses due to stress. With Henry and Franklin already present at the hospital, Jonathan rushes in, playing the role of loving doctor-husband. Franklin is disgusted watching his daughter seemingly fall for it.
In what can only be described as a terrible and moronic idea, Jonathan then decides to do an unexpected pop-in over at the Alves residence. After initially attempting to slam the door, Fernando lets Jonathan in. Poor Miguel is there and Jonathan tries to act like they are just old pals. "I know your grief because I feel your grief," argues Jonathan, saying he needs them to know that he's innocent. He then orders Fernando to stay away from his wife, to which Fernando rightfully responds, "Like you stayed away from mine?" When the baby starts crying, Fernando hands her off to be fed by Jonathan. "Here, baby, daddy's home," he whispers. This truly has to be one of the most awkward situations I've seen in awhile, especially with poor Miguel just sitting there with his headphones on. “It’s difficult to love her," admits Fernando of the baby. "I have tried really hard, and I will keep trying, but it’s difficult.” Jonathan offers to take his biological daughter.
"Are you out of your f---ing mind?" later screams Haley, speaking for all of us. "How much f---ing charm do you think you have?" Well, it is Hugh F---ing Grant. Jonathan, who refuses to hear talk of a plea deal, clearly thought he could change Fernando's mind. He's about to have his chance to change the minds of prospective jurors considering Haley wants to put him on TV for an interview.
As Jonathan resides at the Fraser apartment, Grace and Henry are staying with Franklin, which means father-daughter chess matches. "I never aspired to a perfect life, I just wanted to be happy," remarks Grace, who says she wanted a happy family like what she saw growing up. Franklin doesn't want her idea of an ideal marriage to be based on his, and so he confesses to constantly being unfaithful to her mother. "He reminded me of me," Franklin explains of why he's disliked Jonathan from the jump. "You've always had a way of chasing ghosts...I'm afraid you're going to find a way to believe in him again." She smashes all the pieces off the board, yelling, "Exactly how weak do you think I am?!" So...checkmate?
The two of them makeup enough to sit around the TV with Henry, Sylvia, and Sylvia's daughter to watch Jonathan's big interview. "I do not pass myself as honorable, because I'm not," says Jonathan, hoping people can see "the truth." He denies killing Elena and only ran because he was in shock and felt like he was the cause of her death in the sense that someone else did this in a fit of jealousy or rage over their affair. Fernando is also shown watching at home and he looks pretty pissed. "Let's not forget that in all this I lost someone I love," admits Jonathan, a declaration that leaves Grace looking on in shock. Asked if he has some idea of who did kill Elena, he takes a pause before saying, "I do, yeah."
For The Undoing's sake, I hope he really does and that he shares it at the beginning of the next episode because we can't have another underwhelming conclusion to another cliffhanger.
Episode Grade: B