The Vivian Bowers case seemed to be over once Audrey Cruz became the scapegoat for the murder of the infamous socialite. It fit into a nice, pre-packaged narrative that left Bowers Pharmaceutical standing and significantly weakened Kirschner-Sims, particularly in the PR department. Will was going to get a dinner in his honor and all the glory that comes from solving a high profile case like this, while Joanna had a plane ready to take her back to California first thing Monday morning. Crunched for time, she decided to give herself two more days to solve the murder of her best friend and follow the lead she had pinning Haverstock as the culprit.
When she goes to see if Will would listen to her and reopen the case, seeing as how Audrey needed Vivian alive for her plan to work and Bowers Pharmaceuticals to be brought down, he rebuffs her, obviously still ticked off over finding out that she slept with Julian. Without anyone to help, Joanna goes to Senator Haverstock by herself where he reveals that he knew that she was a cop and denies having anything to do with Vivian’s death. He explains that Vivian always came back every time she went off with another man, so Ben Preswick was no threat to him, and he was at a White House dinner the night of the murder, anyway.
Meanwhile, Sofia and Mia are grocery shopping when Wyatt confronts the former; she offers him a bribe to leave her alone for good, but he wants to dismantle every part of her life to pay her back for sending him to prison. When he makes a remark questioning whether or not Robert knew about her turning tricks in the past, she lashes out, throwing items around the store, screaming, and causing a fight to erupt. Sofia and Wyatt land themselves in FBI custody where they’re interrogated by Will. Wyatt tells him about Sofia being the reason he was in prison and questions the death of her father, while Sofia mostly stonewalls him before threatening to call her lawyers.
The witness list that could help put the focus on Sofia is decidedly fallow – mentally disturbed, hookers, crackheads. Joanna spots the man who gave Mia heroin earlier in the season and goes to his home, where she finds out that he’s a father and a husband, in addition to having a job. Through her conversation with him, she deduces that Vivian didn’t die in the motel, meaning that she likely died in the Bowers residence and was placed in the hotel to make it look like a seedy overdose.
Will calls Haverstock in and finds out that Vivian did know about Sofia’s past with Wyatt, which could give the Bowers matriarch the motive to kill her daughter. Outside the party in his honor, Will runs all this by Joanna and the two head into the bar, where Julian gives her a gift – the bracelet that Vivian was wearing the night of her death, the same one found on the cellar floor. Along with Will and Detective Denton, Joanna brainstorms a possible way for someone to move Vivian’s body from the Bowers home to the place her body was found – luggage. It turns out they can use one of the witnesses/contacts after all: the dumpster diver whose apartment Joanna was in earlier this season looking for her ferret.
A fancy rolling suitcase does turn up at his place and looks like something that Sofia could very feasibly be seen carrying without drawing attention to herself.
After being shot at the end of last week’s episode, Sam is on life support and brain dead, meaning that Edward has to pull the plug, according to her wishes. However, he’s pretty much shut down and doesn’t want to listen to any members of his family. He does get an inkling of peace when Will informs him that they’ve caught a member of the Russian mob that matches the description of the man they think shot Sam; once he gets a look at the two-person lineup that includes that man that followed him during a recent episode, he tells Will that he doesn’t recognize either.
That’s because Edward wants to take care of business his way, through going to Naser Krendi and offering to pay $200,000 for one of his men to catch the guy who shot Sam. Later, at the hospital, he has a conversation with Mia where she tells him that he can’t stay on pause forever, not when he has two children depending on him. Although he may be scared of what life will be like without Sam, he can’t life in suspended animation due to fear of the unknown and an unwillingness to move on. Those words sink in quite deep for the Bowers brother, as he says his goodbyes to his wife and then authorizes the hospital to remove her from life support; she passes shortly after.
Edward’s not out of the woods yet, though, since Krendi’s men have found the man responsible for the death of his wife. He goes to their headquarters and tells them to remove the shooter’s hands, leaving his fate up to them. Finally alone and without the burden of the shooter being free, Edward decides to take his children and return to Robert’s home for the time being, until he gets his wits about him and figures out how to be a single parent.
So Who Killed Vivian?
The bag is to head to forensics where it’d be dusted for prints and the like, but Denton keeps it in the trunk of his car and confronts Robert about how the FBI thinks the killer was Sofia. But he doesn’t feel that way and is confirmed to be correct when Mia makes an offhand remark about the night that Vivian died; after having a fight, Sofia turned into a drunken mess that Mia had to put to bed, while Robert grabbed a suitcase and headed out, presumably to stay somewhere else for the night to cool down. Rather than actively seeking vengeance against Audrey Cruz for killing Vivian, he hired Denton to protect his own ass. Robert then tries to convince Denton to make the evidence disappear with promises of career advancement, which Denton agrees to.
The trio of him, Joanna, and Will gets a fourth when Haverstock meets the four of them to confess that he’s going to be named the Attorney General after his bone marrow surgery. As he’s going to be Will’s boss soon, he’s taken on a special interest in the Bowers case and pledges that only the four of them can know that the case has been reopened. Joanna is to move back into the Bowers home.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-“You’re in your 30s. Pick up on some patterns.”
-“I’m the bad guy and you’re whoever you think you are.”
-“Paranoia is underrated in business, I think.”
-Other stuff that happened: Mia gets kidnapped by Wyatt, Beverly outs Robert for killing Catherine to Julian, Sofia (probably) killed her abusive father, and Kyle and Mia made up
-Stuff that didn’t happen: A reasoning provided for why Robert killed Vivian.
-Will may act like he’s super detective around Joanna, but his bitterness about her falling for Julian was really unprofessional. He’s not totally wrong for feeling hurt; it’s just the wrong time to express/harbor it with the investigation still going on. Either let it go or recuse yourself.
-You guys, how great is John Larroquette? It was nice to see him again anyway and he became one of the highlights of the season for me, turning Haverstock from Creepy Creeperson into, arguably, one of the more rootable characters. How great was the whole “If I find out you had anything to do with Vivian’s death, I will grind you into dust”?
-I like how Sofia tried to bribe Will with a country ham. Personally, she could have offered me some stuffing and a little corn and I’d let her walk.
-I know Julian’s super dreamy and all that, but giving your sorta-boo the bracelet your sister wore when she died?
-In the final scene with Kyle and Mia on the phone, I liked how they made it seem like something was going to happen to Kyle (one shot made me think he was going to end up Ben Preswick-ed) and it turns out that Mia became the victim.
-This was the second putting-people-in-luggage plot I’ve seen in the last few days, oddly. The other? FX’s Legit.
-Denton’s kind of stupid, right? It was pretty obvious why Robert hired him to kill Audrey, so he gets no sympathy from me for thinking he was doing something noble.
-Overall, I have to say, Deception surprised me with how enjoyable it became. I liked it from the pilot, but it grew a lot during recent weeks and became the type of soapy delight that should have flourished. It probably would have had it been on another network, but alas, I think this’ll end up being the series finale rather than the season finale.