Deception Season 1 Review “Nothing’s Free, Little Girl” – Who Was Vivian Seeing?

So, the most immediate thing to know going forward in Deception aside from the fact that everyone’s got secrets, is that Mia is Vivian’s daughter, not sister, and could be in some serious trouble later on. It’s also worth noting that Robert, Julian and Edward are working on unleashing a cancer drug that could kill tons of people–in fact, it already has in tests.

In “Nothing’s Free, Little Girl,” Joanna gets in deeper with the Bowers and their family lies when Will gets her to use her secretarial post to find the name of either Vivian’s contact or Vivian’s baby’s father. The search leads Joanna throughout tons of the secrets that are slowly leaked out in each episode. Key points of note:

Hannah, hushed-up: Hannah (Jennifer Ferrin), Robert’s secretary, is peeved about being promoted to just an associate copy editor, after all the time she’s put in with Robert’s company–and with Robert himself. You already know that when she threatens to go public with what she knows about Robert and his family, she will be shut up, either by death or by some other means. She should be lucky that all that happened was her brother getting hurt really bad; it could have been much worse. What’s also scary is that Rayburn, the Bowers’ handyman and possible groundskeeper, acts as Robert’s (or Edward’s?) enforcer on the side. Keep in mind that this is the same guy that was happily working on Joanna’s car.

Edward has a heart: I didn’t realize Edward was even capable of feeling anything but selfishness, but, surprisingly, he is. After doing some skeet shooting with Joanna, Edward reveals that he is mighty tired of the Kimberly Yeager case hanging over his head. “You strangle one girl and the whole world never lets you forget it,” he said, half-jokingly, half-wearily. All he wanted was to go into politics and now he’s got to work for his father because no one else really wants to touch him. Let’s not even get to the fact that his wife hates him and his young daughter probably dislikes him too, after the scuffle at her game. Still, Edward (or Eddie Spaghetti), isn’t someone to feel too sorry for; he’s obviously capable of doing some really hardcore things.

Perhaps any hardcore things concerning Vivian are finally going to catch up with him. After getting arrested for the game run-in, Edward is sure going to be looking over his shoulder more. He now knows the feds are on his tail about Vivian. He’s got a lot to make him a suspicious character: aside from his terrible, shifty disposition, Vivian was cut out the will two days before she died, his whereabouts (despite what he says about getting a bite to eat after looking in on his kids from his home’s window) are still not validated. And even Mia seems to be after him, putting on a “Who Killed Vivian Bowers” T-shirt. I bet those T-shirts are going to be sold on the NBC site soon.

Julian is a prick: I’m sure the argument that “he’s grieving” can be made, but he’s just a tool at this point, drinking hard, partying hard and not paying any attention to his own emotions about Vivian or his apparent love (or, at least, interest) in Joanna. He eventually does attempt to make up for his terrible behavior, but, as we saw from the last episode, he’s dealing with tremendous guilt. We find out in this episode that some of that guilt deals with being the person who first got Vivian hooked on drugs, and not just any drug, but crack. That’s the only thing I can assume, since Young Julian had a strange pipe. Also, I know all signs still point to Edward, but we can’t rule out Julian as a killer. He did throw away the ring, after all.

Robert, Hannah and Sophia: When Hannah is still in the mindset of getting over on Robert, she comes to the Bower home and tells Sophia that she’s the mistress. Sophia hilariously puts her in her place, saying, “He and I were made for each other, you dumb bitch.” Great soapy stuff. But she lays it on Robert, asking for the respect she deserves.

The whole dichotomy of Robert’s personality is very interesting; on the one hand he seems like a family man, someone who really wants his family to be a real nuclear family. On the other, he’s obviously ruthless, what with still wanting to release the deadly drug for money, having Rayburn be his (or Edward’s) enforcer, and, of course, having affairs. I’m sure it’ll come out that he’s having them because no one, not even Sophia, compares to his first wife. Sophia certainly is right, though; she and Robert seem to be made for each other. Not only does Robert have a shady past, but Sophia is just as cunning by ordering Vivian not to tell Mia that she’s Vivian’s daughter.

Will, Joanna and Julian: I’m not really sure I’m thrilled to be getting into a triangle. Yes, I knew that was going to happen from the pilot–heck, it was already happening early in the pilot–but for Joanna to get with Julian is going to be a lot of trouble for me, especially if I’ve got to recap this show every week. Right now, Julian is terrible, and Joanna should know he’s terrible. She shouldn’t be going back to her childhood feelings for him (even though I know it can be hard in real life). Her detective skills should obviously alert her to the fact that he’s completely bad news. But, it seems like we’re going to tease this out. Will is the better choice for me. Sure, he left her before (it was, for the most part, mutual), but now he’s back and he’s a better person. He really wants to make this relationship work. To paraphrase the line the show keeps teasing in the commercial states, Joanna needs to remember who she is.

The contact and the Baby Daddy: So, Vivian’s baby’s father was actually her contact to the outside world after all! She fell in love with her contact! I wonder if it was a “savior syndrome” thing going on, because something tells me the contact/baby daddy, Ben Preswick (Tom Lipinski) might be up to no good. But what do I know? I could be wrong.

Some other things to note about the show:

Lesbianism exploited? I’m not sure how I feel about the party scene in which two lesbians were shown kissing each other. Now, I’m not a homophobe; my uncertainty comes from the fact that it seemed like they were put in the scene just to show how “extreme” the party was. Two women kissing shouldn’t be extreme, especially in this day and age. Obviously, television needs to show more lesbian storylines in order to normalize the lesbian part of the LGBT community. Now, if these were two straight women just getting their kicks at the party, then that’s a completely different issue, one that is too complex to write about in this recap.

Ken Leung is on television! I’m just glad to see one of my favorite people on the TV screen! His line to Will about his “hard-on for Edward Bowers” was amazing, and I can’t wait to see more of him being a hard-to-crack, tough-as-nails detective (chief detective?) Donald Cheng. It’s great to have diversity on television and speaking of diversity:

Deception‘s social influence: I’m glad there is beginning to be an awakening of the need for diversity in television. At one point, the only shows on television that had tons of diversity was and The Bad Girls Club. Oh, and don’t forget Basketball Wives one of the shows I hate almost more than The Bad Girls Club. These shows with women fighting each other are basically full of black stereotypes. So, for both Deception and Scandal to be on network television is fantastic. It shows the world that not all of us black women like fighting and acting like well-manicured thugs.

Overall, I’m really loving this show. I watch Downton Abbey now that it’s back on American television, and I’m constantly frustrated by the sometimes insane storytelling. While watching this episode of Deception, I feel like the Bowers are who the Crawleys should have been. The Bowers have got some real drama going on in their lives, and not all of it revolves around their money.

Before I end my recap, I just have to end with this: Is or isn’t Edward the killer? He showed up at Ben’s door, looking like he was ready to kill him! I guess we’ll see in the next episode.