There’s a protest. Chants of “we want justice” while police block a street. A gunshot rings out and a cop grabs her neck before falling to the ground.
A black 15 year old was “accidentally” shot and killed by police because he matched the description of a robbery suspect, Wallace announces during a news conference on television. Frankie cynical while Sam believes exactly what Wallace is saying. Hayes walks in refreshed. She’s back at her brother’s place sleeping in a bed and wants to bring out justice in their next case. She has a few options before Frankie mentions a radical black activist Porscha Williams (). Sam is opposed and Tess just wants them all to stop fighting. Hayes says they will take another look.
Sam is sent to the prosecutor while Hayes and Maxine go to meet with Porscha. She says that she was trying to work with law enforcement and saw shouting as her only way to be heard. She swears on her little girl’s life that she didn’t kill the officer.
Tess goes for coffee and a snack and seems nervous with the guy behind the counter. After paying she leaves him a tip and he thanks her. She heads back to the office and watches Frankie work on a digital recreation of the time of the shooting.
Sam talks to the prosecutor about the case, the move to Albany, the lack of color on the jury and her sentiment about the defendant’s rebellion being contagious. She doesn’t back down.
Frankie is about to head out to get more coffee when he notices that one of the eyewitnesses from the trial is not where he said he was during the shooting. He’s more than a block away. He couldn’t have seen it. He lied.
Charlie Rossmore (David Patrick Flemming) is at the office talking to Maxine and Sam. He first denies it but when they tell him he’s going to end up in jail for vandalism otherwise since there is footage of him destroying a cop car. He admits to lying and then Maxine tells him she’s going to get him locked up for perjury. She is about to notify the victim’s family when Sam points out the protesters near the front door.
Hayes goes to tell Wallace about which case they selected and finds their mutual ex- Naomi (Ilfenesh Hadera) in the office as well. Wallace tells Hayes that he knows. The protesters beat her to it and then dismisses her. Hayes suggests she and Naomi get a drink while she’s in town.
Maxine talks to the victim’s wife, who was also a cop. Ryan Blake (Nicholas J. Coleman) explains the scene and then talks about how he doesn’t work patrol anymore so that he doesn’t have to be around “those people.”
Sam talks to the other witnesses but none of them are telling the same story. Frankie, Maxine and Tess check in on the digital portrait and find another woman that looks very similar to Porscha, close enough that the witnesses could have confused them even. It looks like they have another suspect.
They bring this other woman, Layla (Jennifer Mogbock), in because she has a rap sheet herself and she says that she broke her leg when the shot was fired so she wouldn’t have had time to stash the gun. They can look into that.
Tess and Frankie talk about gunshot residue and false IDing. She explains that her aunt was murdered when she was a kid and it was her testimony that sent an innocent man to prison for five years. That man now runs a coffee cart uptown and she goes there every day. She doesn’t know what to say to him. Frankie suggests asking for forgiveness.
Hayes and Naomi talk about Wallace and the case before the conversation gets a bit more personal and they talk about their history together. They are interrupted by a phone call from Wallace. Naomi leaves.
Maxine stops Tess to tell her that Layla’s alibi checks out and Tess introduces her to Porscha’s husband and daughter. Ryan Blake staggers into the room and tries to pick a fight with the husband. Maxine stops him before it can get that far. They leave and Maxine is alone with Blake. She tells him to accept that Porscha might not be the killer and he tells her that Porscha might not be MLK and hands her a picture of their client with a giant automatic weapon.
Hayes and Maxine go to talk to Porscha about the picture and it gets heated. Maxine tries to defend herself but gets too worked up and walks out. Hayes stays for a few more minutes and finds out the coroners van was there for two hours after the shooting.
Maxine goes to see her father and talks about how difficult it is to be a mother and a cop and a black woman in America, how people only see race and she doesn’t know what to do or how to protect her son. He tells her to keep doing what she’s doing and raise him right. That’s all she can do.
The team brings in the ME and they talk about how the van’s engine trouble could have affected his findings. Turns out it was definitely a 9 mm but it might have come from behind her instead of in front. Who was behind her at the protest? Her husband.
Hayes goes to update Wallace and he agrees to let Porscha free but Naomi says no. It’s a bad idea and bad optics to let her free without catching the real killer so the release will have to wait until the killer is found.
Frankie and Tess head out to retrace the protester’s steps.They know where the officer and Porscha were standing and now can tell the trajectory of the new shot. Frankie figures it out and finds the bullet. After some ballistics testing it seems that one of the eyewitnesses, a rent a cop, might be the shooter after all.
Sam and Maxine head over to talk to George Stayner (Tony Nappo) but he runs. They corner him and try to get him to talk. He says it was an accident. He tells them he can’t go to jail. She is able to talk to him but he shoots himself in the end.
Porscha is released from prison and Maxine is there to talk to her about the people that are watching her and what she started now.
Tess goes back to the coffee cart and introduces herself but before she can get any further he makes some small talk.
Hayes tries to talk to Maxine and she admits to being a drug addict. She needs to go see her son to feel better. Hayes drinks alone and then leaves a message for Naomi while heading to Wallace’s office. She looks in and finds Wallace and Naomi together.
I feel like this show had a lot of potential. It’s topical and relevant but that might be what turned viewers off of it. It’s not much of an escape. I’m glad this one had a happy ending though. I’m happy they didn’t give up and got Porscha out. The Wallace and Naomi bit at the end was super predictable.
Conviction is new Mondays at 10 p.m.