We open the episode to find each character going about their normal daily routine. Tess is eating a balanced breakfast. Hayes is in bed with a man (he’s alive, she checked.). Frankie is working out and Sam is being approached by a reporter about rumors that Hayes was caught possessing drugs. The reporter, Lisa Crozier (Sarah Allen), tells him that if he confirms it the job as head of team is his. He declines.
Once at the office Hayes wants everyone to pitch cases that they could potentially work on this week, especially big cases in Wallace’s rise to fame. Tess comes up with the “Prospect Three” case.
Mike Kurzman (Carl Lundstedt), Seamus Gadsen(Kaleb Horn) and Brian McKinney (Stephen Scott Scarpulla), known as the Prospect Three, are ten years into an 18 year rape and felony assault. The victim Zadie Daniels (Cassandra Freeman). After hours of questioning all three confessed to assaulting her though they later recanted.
Frankie and Sam go to the prison to speak with the three. Mike says that he was a stupid kid and confessed because he thought he was “king of the world.” Brian says he didn’t know either of the other guys prior to that night. Seamus says that everything said that night was a lie.
Hayes, Tess and Maxine watch the recorded confessions from the original questioning and find that all of the boys were fed information about a brick during the interrogation. While they discuss the information available, the team decides to question another young woman attacked that night. Harper stops by, mostly for a photo op.
Frankie and Maxine retrace the steps of the boys and Zadie to see if the timeline makes sense. It doesn’t make sense. Zadie would have been standing alone in the park for nearly ten minutes. The team is back to square one.
Harper gives Wallace a heads up on what case they are looking into. He calls a press conference so that it looks like he was aware of the plan all along and that he called for it.
Maxine and Sam track down one of the Zadie’s former coworkers, Lewis Anderson (Fred Weller). He tells them that he and Zadie had been flirting for weeks and ended up going out for drinks the night she was attacked. They had rough sex in the bar bathroom, which is how her watch, a key piece of evidence in the case, was broken.
Hayes and Maxine confront Zadie about it. She says that she didn’t know when she first woke up, that the police, nurses and everyone else told her she had been raped. She went with the story even after Lewis told her he truth because of how it would make her look.
Hayes takes the new information to Wallace and after discussing his sealed juvenile record they realize Brian might be guilty while the other two are innocent. It’s all or nothing for the release.
She presents the information to the team and leaves it to them to solve while she goes to a campaign event for Harper and figures out that the earlier visit to CIU was just to spy for Wallace.
At the office Maxine realizes that the boys weren’t all picked up together. Seamus and Mike were eight kids ahead of Brian, which gives him ample time to attack Zadie by himself. She texts Hayes the discovery.
Hayes tells the team to keep looking for evidence and Sam finds out about him assaulting his former foster sister years earlier. He was caught because the foster father found the sister’s shirt under his bed, like a trophy. In the current case he may have also kept a trophy, in this instance beads that Zadie got at the bar with her co-worker earlier that evening.
Hayes goes to the prison and talks to Brian. She gets him to confess which helps get Mike and Seamus released. Hayes goes to tell Wallace of the news and he coyly asks how he can make it up to her. She tells him to find another spy because she’s never going to sleep with someone already in bed with her mother.
Maxine talks to Tess about the case she testified at years prior. Tess made a mistake in identifying a witness but the man she accused is okay. Maxine looked into him and he’s doing well, has a coffee cart in the city, but Tess doesn’t want to hear it. She tells Maxine to mind her business.
Hayes speaks to the press, in hopes to deflect attention from Zadie because after all that happened, she is still a victim. It doesn’t help.
Sam talks to Lisa about Hayes and how Wallace thinks she’s the right choice to run CIU. Lisa promises to break the story about Hayes’ arrest with or without his help.
I liked this episode a lot more than the first one. It might be because they didn’t give it quite the happy ending that the pilot had. I was expecting every week to be an open and shut solved case with the wrongly accused going free but it is refreshing to see that that might not be the case every time.
Conviction is new Monday at 10 p.m.