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 “Cross to Bear” please do not continue reading.
In the episode “Cross to Bear,” Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre) and the Injustice Defense Group continue their quest to free the wrongly imprisoned and ensure justice is served.
This week the accused is Ronnie Petersen (Taylor Handley), a white supremacist accused of bombing a synagogue. The case pulls the team in different directions with Violet (Nikki M. James) against taking the case of a man who hates black people. She doesn’t understand how Easy (Russll Hornsby) was strongly against a woman who wanted to terminate her pregnancy but has no problem representing a white supremacist. Easy reminded that it’s about justice and not representing a person you like or respect. Additionally, Petersen was convicted based on the testimony of a witness who Madeline and Easy believe were paid off by a corrupt police detective named Falcone, who is also involved with the team’s current case. So when Ronnie’s brother Nick comes to the firm asking for their help, Madeline sees this as their chance to nail Falcone for his role in other wrong convictions.
Easy and Madeline meet with Ronnie in prison. Petersen insists he didn’t burn the synagogue. He admits that he once believed in the white supremacists garbage how others (jewish and blacks) were responsible for everything that went wrong in his life. But now he realizes about hate and tries to steer people in the prison from following that path.
As a black person, I could relate to Violet’s point of view. The hate train traveled through her life and left scars in its journey. The issue for her was not whether Ronnie Petersen was guilty of the crime in which he was accused but all the other crimes he committed due to his hate. She found it difficult her friends (especially Easy) could overlook this. For Madeline it was more about nailing the corrupt Falcone and for Easy it was his belief in the principle of pursuing justice for the wrongly accused despite his personal feelings. I liked how Violet used the private podcast she sent to Madeline to get her friend to understand her feelings. The subject of racism is painful and is an often avoided discussion. For those who haven’t experienced it, they will never truly understand why it evokes a difficulty to forgive. In Ronnie Petersen, all Violet saw was a man who based his actions on the misguided beliefs he was taught and no matter how much he insisted he’d changed, can a person who grew up to hate ever really change?
Detective Falcone has one of Easy and Madeline’s witnesses arrested on the courtroom steps to prevent his testimony. He knew Petersen’s attorneys were closing in on him and wouldn’t give them ammunition of his misdeeds, which winning Ronnie’s case would provide by bringing his witness tampering (paying them off) to light.
Brodie’s (Vincent Kartheiser) relationship with Nikki (Tiffany Dupont) aids the team in getting the information they need to bring Falcone down. He uses her but hasn’t she been using him too? Brodie made it clear that he cares for her, but Castro seems only interested in him as a sexual partner. She wanted to hide their relationship and also tried to encourage him from working with the Injustice Defense Group. Castro breaks up with him. I don’t condone what Brodie did; using those you claim to care about is never right, but I can’t say I’m sorry to see this relationship end as the way it and Castro’s character was written didn’t make it endearing. She felt like a one dimensional plot device…the cop who could give the team needed inside information.
I like the way Proven Innocent has been writing Gore Bellows (Kelsey Grammer). I’m still not convinced there wasn’t more to his prosecuting Levi and Madeline for Rosemary’s murder, at least with each new episode he’s coming off more than a villain. I believe he sees himself as a just man doing what’s right and his response to the Ronnie Petersen case reinforced this theory.
Levi (Riley Smith) was determined to prove his innocence in Rosemary’s murder. I feel badly for Levi; he gets himself in trouble because he acts without always thinking things through first. I don’t know whether confronting Toby (Michael Gladis) was the best move. And why did Toby hang himself…what was he trying to hide?
I know Proven Innocent focuses on the Injustice Defense Group’s quest in getting justice for the wrongly accused and the bulk of the episode deals with the case of the week, I do wish we got to see more of Young Madeline’s (Clare O’ Connor) time behind bars and how it helped shaped the adult Madeline.
On Friday, March 22, 2019 at 9/8c Proven Innocent airs episode five “A CinderHella Story.”
Photo Courtesy of FOX
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