Under Suspicion producer Laurie Moran’s fifth dive into crimes past has to overcome a major obstacle: the reluctance of the leading suspect to participate in the enterprise.
When hotshot New York neurologist Dr. Martin Bell was shot when he was about to enter his home five years ago, suspicion immediately fixed on his wife. It’s not likely that Kendra Bell pulled the trigger since her children’s nanny, Caroline Radcliffe, recalls that she was once again so zoned out from depression or drinking or drugs at the time that the police had to struggle to awaken her enough to tell her that she was now a very wealthy widow. But Kendra could surely have hired a hit on the husband who’d talked her out of her own medical career by insisting, along with his smothering parents, that she stay home with the children. Now Robert and Cynthia Bell, a hard couple to like despite having lost their only child, want Laurie to reopen the case for her TV audience. Kendra, who’s never admitted to her in-laws that she refused from the beginning to cooperate with Under Suspicion, has told them instead that Laurie declined to reopen the case, and they plead stiffly with her to reconsider. Taking the interfering, normally unsympathetic Under Suspicion host Ryan Nichols with her, Laurie immediately calls on Kendra, threatens to tell the Bells the truth she’s concealed from them, and pressures her into allowing Laurie and her staff to take the case. She doesn’t know that Kendra’s been paying off an unknown blackmailer for five years, wondering every day, “Will I ever know if I had my husband killed?”
Clark and Burke (Every Breath You Take, 2017, etc.) develop their suspects with so much more subtlety and conviction than usual that the climactic revelation, which is more and less surprising than you’d expect, feels especially disappointing. Sometimes it’s better to travel hopefully than to arrest.