Seemingly good-natured painter Ben Crawford (MacGruber‘s Ryan Phillippe) claims he’s innocent in the death of his 5-year-old neighbor — but is he merely hiding his true intentions? Perhaps those of a cruel nature?
That’s what a trench coat-clad Juliette Lewis (Wayward Pines), as no-nonsense detective Andrea Cornell, is trying to figure out in ABC’s Secrets and Lies, which kicked off Sunday with a two-hour premiere. Frankly, Ben’s just lucky the Fashion Police are preoccupied with their own drama, or else they’d probably be on his case, too. (I can hear those ghoulish co-hosts cackling now: “For a painter, his wardrobe sure does lack color.”)
Anyway… Because the audience, like Miz Cornell, is supposed to wonder whether or not Ben is somehow connected to Tom’s murder, let’s analyze all the evidence stacked against him after just the premiere — which, to be fair, is a lot of evidence. (Like, he definitely could have done it.)
Ready? OK, let’s do this:
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* First of all, Tom was actually Ben’s son (surprise!) and their shared DNA was previously the only proof that he cheated on his wife (Private Practice‘s KaDee Strickland) with next-door neighbor Jess.
* Ben got into a fight with his wife the night before the murder, then went out drinking. Heavily.
* He lied about taking a cab home with his friend (slash live-in moocher) the night of the murder.
* He admitted he couldn’t sleep that night, so he went out for an unscheduled run through the woods, where he found Tom’s body.
* He’s missing a flashlight from his paint kit — the same make and model of the flashlight used to beat Tom to death.
* His voluntary polygraph test, in which he insisted upon his innocence, yielded “inconclusive” results.
* He only let his daughter buy “snack-sized” M&M’s, a blatant act of child abuse.
* He also refers to her as “monkey,” proving he doesn’t even value children as human beings.
While some of those points might not seem particularly damning — minus that M&M one, for which I say the guy should freakin’ fry — the fact remains: Ben isn’t just the main suspect in Tom’s murder; at the moment, he’s the only suspect as far as Detective Cornell is concerned.
So, do you think Ben did it? Or could it have been the work of Jess’ psychotic ex-husband, who literally tried to kill Ben twice in the premiere alone? Or was it Ben’s wife, who digested the news of his affair with Jess surprisingly smoothly? Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your best theories.