Proven Innocent is an American legal drama television series created by David Elliot following the employees of a wrongful conviction law firm(Wikipedia).
This review contains spoilers, if you haven’t seen the episode “The Shame Game” please do not continue reading.
In the episode “The Shame Game,” Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre) and company continue their quest to free the wrongly imprisoned and ensure justice is served.
This week the accused is Sarah Bukhari (Nishi Munshi), a young Muslim woman who was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for getting rid of the fetus of her baby that was stillborn in a dumpster. Sarah is from a religious family and didn’t tell her parents she was pregnant. Sarah faces two charges: Killing her unborn baby and taking pills to cause an abortion. The case becomes a matter of pro-life vs. pro-choice with Easy (Russell Hornsby), a believer in pro-life finds it difficult to accept Sarah’s decisions. He goes to see his pastor and has a candid conversation about his views and what Sarah has done. The pastor encourages Easy to think about whether Sarah deserves the way she’s been treated.
Madeline faces a major challenge in her quest to get Sarah a new trial. The judge overseeing the case is a staunch pro-life advocate and sees Sarah as nothing more than a murder. Madeline feels that Sarah was used as a political statement for pro-choice and has been a victim as well in the tragedy. Attorney Scott is able to get the charge down to one court of murder as well as a new trial. But it is obvious that with this judge she’ll have a real fight on her hands.
Brody (Vincent Kartheiser) meets with the father of Sarah’s baby and learns that he was against her using the abortion pills. He and Sarah were from different faiths and backgrounds which in additions to her pregnancy, also caused her family to be not accepting of him. We learned that he wanted to testify for her at the original trial, but Sarah didn’t let him for fear of ruining his life. Although he still cares about what happens to Sarah and wants to help her, with the publicity the case is bringing he fears losing his current fiancée due to the scandal. But Brody doesn’t offer him much of a choice: Either he testifies willingly or he’s subpoena. Speaking of Brody, we get the usual sexual displays between he and cop (girlfriend?) Nikki Castro (Tiffany Dupont). But for Brody it’s more than just physical. He really cares about Castro but she refuses to admit her feelings for him…they are in different places in their lives. Brody and Nikki’s story parallels Sarah and her boyfriend’s in a way.
Sarah’s ex boyfriend does testify on her behalf and he does lose his fiancée. Sarah wants to call it quits as the case has only heard those she cares about, but Madeline urges her to stick it out. The juror returns with a guilty verdict. But due to a conversation Madeline had earlier with the prosecutor, Sarah is release from prison with time served.
“The Shame Game” didn’t feature Levi (Riley Smith) or focus too much on the Rosemary Lynch murder case. As the episode closed, Madeline visited a woman in prison who turned out to be her first love and they shared a kiss. Hopefully, we get to see more of how their romance development as Proven Innocent explores Madeline’s time behind bars.
I applaud Proven Innocent for not being afraid to have episodes tackling serious issues. “The Shame Game” was a powerful script written by Danny Strong where issues of phobia and discrimination against a Muslim woman was addressed in the way Sarah was treated. The question of pro-life vs. pro-choice and opinions for and against the two sides were presented through the judge, Easy and Madeline. Proven Innocent is the thinking person’s television legal drama where each case has us questioning who we are through the ordeals of the accused.
On Friday, March 15, 2019 at 9/8c Proven Innocent airs episode five “Cross to Bear.” Here is a Sneak Peek:
Photo and Video Courtesy of FOX
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