Sunday’s premiere opens with New Orleans judge Michael Desiato (Cranston) jogging through a cemetery at dawn while his son Adam (Truth Be Told‘s Hunter Doohan) wakes up with a girl, played by The Mick‘s Sofia Black-D’Elia, cuddled up next to him in bed. After she leaves, Adam feeds the family dog his pills, grabs his asthma inhaler and drives off with a framed photo in tow. Across town in a ritzy mansion, mob kingpin Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg) celebrates his teen son Rocco’s birthday by giving him a vintage motorcycle, and the kid happily hops on and speeds off. Just a typical morning, right? Well, for now, anyway…
As Rocco zips through the streets on his motorbike, Adam heads to a seedy part of town to lay down some flowers and that framed photo outside a corner store, in some kind of memorial. When some unfriendly locals approach, he hurries back to his car and speeds away, gasping for air in a panic. He reaches for his asthma inhaler, but it drops beneath the seats, and as he struggles to find it, he takes his eyes off the road… and smashes right into Rocco on his motorcycle. A dazed Adam walks up to Rocco’s mangled body, not dead yet but bleeding out. Adam leans down to hear Rocco’s final words, but the kid just spits up blood on him. He uses Rocco’s phone to call 911, but suddenly can’t breathe, and staggers back to his car to get his inhaler. When he can finally catch his breath, he hangs up on the 911 operator and drives away, leaving Rocco’s body lying in the street. (A stray dog comes over to lick up Rocco’s blood. Yuck.)
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A blissfully unaware Michael heads to court and hears the case of a woman accused of stashing drugs in, um, an intimate area. (Michael scolds the defense attorney for being late, but apologizes when the lawyer reveals he has bladder problems due to prostate cancer.) After a cop testifies he saw the defendant stash the drugs in her bathroom while he stood outside the front door, Michael calls the defendant’s son up to speak, asking the boy what he had for breakfast. (Pickle juice, for the record.) Michael reminds the cop the boy’s mother will go to prison for five years and lose her kids if she’s convicted, and asks again if he’s sure what he saw. Then Michael explains he jogged past the defendant’s house and confirmed that it’s a shotgun house, meaning you can’t see inside the bathroom from the front door — and then asks the cop if he is “a liar, of the vilest kind.” Boom! Justice is served!
Adam’s still in bad shape, though: He shoos away a squeegee man and sees his gas tank is empty, so he stops at a gas station to fill up. While he’s there, the dead kid’s phone rings (he kept it??), and it’s the 911 operator calling back. The car behind him honks at him to hurry up, so Adam drives off and chucks the incriminating phone off a dock into the water. He heads home and frantically cleans up, throwing his bloody clothes in the washer and scrubbing his shoes in the sink. The washer overflows, sending water all over the floor, and he piles the wet clothes into the dryer and tosses the bloody scrub brush into the trash.
Michael spots his son taking out the trash for once and asks him how his day was, and Adam runs off without a word. Michael thinks this is about Adam’s mother — she died one year ago today — and offers to make dinner and watch The Shawshank Redemption with him. Adam confesses, though, that “something happened”: He hit someone on a motorcycle, they died and he drove away. He breaks into sobs, explaining that he couldn’t breathe, and Michael consoles him: “I promise you it’s going to be all right.” He offers to drive Adam to the police station and calls ahead to set up a meeting with a friendly detective. When Michael walks into the station, though, he hears the anguished cries of Jimmy Baxter’s wife… and he leaves in a hurry.
He orders Adam back into the car, telling him that the kid he killed was the son of Jimmy Baxter, “the head of the most vicious crime family in the history of this city.” He gravely instructs him: “Don’t tell anyone. Not ever… I can keep you safe if no one ever hears about it.” While Jimmy Baxter vows on TV that his son’s killer “will be found,” Michael gets to work covering his son’s tracks, pulling Adam’s bloody clothes out of the washer, fishing the scrub brush out of the trash and grabbing some bricks. (He misses a bloody rag, though, which ends up under a dresser with the dog lunging for it.) He wipes down the car and drives to a bridge where he tosses the evidence into the water in a brick-filled bag. He’s spotted by a cop car… but he lies and says he had to pull over to urinate because he has prostate cancer, and the cop lets him go.
Back at home, he watches Shawshank with Adam while Jimmy Baxter takes his grieving wife to the scene of the crime… and a henchman notices an asthma inhaler left on the ground. Uh-oh.
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