Scott’s story is that of Dr Scott Harmon, a respected and affluent surgeon, who stands a hearing for trial at the beginning of Accused episode 1.
As he is brought in, outside the court a man shoots a paintball at him, shouting “murderer”. In a flashback, we see Scott telling Myranda, a young girl, that her tumour can be treated. He gets a call from his wife Lynn calling him to Devin’s, their son, school. The principal and teachers inform the parents that Devin is being suspended. He was caught threatening to kill a fellow girl at his school, as she and her clique bullied him.
Scott is shocked but Lynn takes it normally. She even arranges to get him admitted to another school, Bellavista, through her contact. Scott goes through old videos of Devin that reveal his disturbing pattern of dominance, dysfunction, and violent anger.
Lynn says that perhaps Devin can go back to Dr Lu, his former psychologist, but Scott rules out that possibility. We are back in court and the prosecutor asks if Scott ever had the urge to kill his son.
Back in the past, we see Scott having a morning chat with Devin, who expresses his wish to have the neighbour’s dog “put down” as he is a nuisance. Scott snaps at a fellow junior during Myranda’s surgery and his old friend Dr Becker notices it. He deems it to be out of the ordinary as Scott is usually the most relaxed person in the room. Scott partially confides in him about being stressed by Devin’s actions but does not ask Becker for help.
Becker is put on the stand to testify against Scott. He is asked if Scott ever wished harm toward his son or wanted him dead. Becker is supportive of his friend but does not deny the admission Scott made to him about expecting a call one day that Devin is dead and not feeling any grief over it; just relief that it is over.
Scott’s other son, Alex, informs him that he has got a scholarship to college. He is elated but the happiness is short-lived when Scott sees his neighbour put out photos of her dog as he is now missing. Scott suspects Devin has done something to him and confronts his son.
Devin gets defensive and storms out. Scott also hears Devin discussing giving money to an online friend of his, Jasper for something. Scott finds a secret diary that Devin has hidden in his room. It reveals the dark thoughts he has been having, clearly establishing that he has a mental problem. He might even be dangerous to other people and might murder the bullies from school, as he promises to do in the diary. The prosecutor believes that Scott made the harder choice to kill his son before he killed someone else, something Becker refers to as the “cold calculus” of choices in their profession.
Scott reads about a hiker falling to his death in Deep Gorge and decides to take Devin there to kill him. Devin agrees but on the condition that Scott will give him the money. The father-son duo proceeds to go to the camp. The first night, they set up their camp before the hike and Devin finds Scott’s behaviour strange. The next morning, they scale the peak. As they go onward on a small ridge, Scott thinks of pushing his son down. But he is not able to. Devin confronts him about his anger and seems apologetic about how he feels toward others.
He says he needs help and that he needs the money to go on a trip to Iceland with his friend Jasper. Somehow, Devin feels he can come back a changed man and even agrees to see a therapist. He does not want to feel this angry anymore and Scott is relieved. They come back to the house and Devin’s changed behaviour even surprises Lynn.
She informs him that Bandit, the dog, has been found and Devin was never guilty of it. The prosecutor calls Jasper to the stand, who is in a wheelchair. Back in the past, we see Scott revealing this good news to Becker but then shockingly discovering on the news that there has been a shooting at Devin’s high school.
He rushes to the spot and discovers that Devin is one of the shooters. Jasper is the other one and the captain connects Scott with Devin. It is a surreal moment as Devin confronts his father about planning to kill him. He says he feigned the Iceland trip to get money, buy guns, and finish off his miserable existence with a high. Scott does not deny any of it and hears his son kill himself after killing seven high school students. Jasper testifies that Scott wanted to kill Devin all along and that he gave him the money so that he could do it himself.
The judge, however, rules in favour of Scott and he is acquitted. Lynn is happy but Alex gives him a cold shoulder. Lynn breaks down and says Scott should have killed Devin sooner.
The Episode Review
Fox has surprised us with a stellar, serious-minded episode 1 of their new show. Accused is not going to be an ordinary procedural with easy themes. It promises to confront realities of human nature and highlight pressing issues about mental health among others that plight our society.
Episode 1 was tautly written and acted. The initial stress was eased out by changing circumstances, only to fall back into the same mindset with graver sensibilities. Michael Chiklis was especially impressive as Scott, seamlessly getting into the skin of the character, which was not easy by any means.
He had a firm grip on how to showcase Scott’s frustrations and suffering in that situation. Oakes Fegley too complimented Chiklis well.
He capably transmitted the dysfunctionality Devin felt to the outside world. The climactic school shooting was traumatic to see. It is perhaps a story we have seen before but even then, Scott’s Story is a worthy watch.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|
1 thought on “Accused – Season 1 Episode 1 “Scott’s Story” Recap & Review”
This was an excellent hour of television drama, both writing & performances were first rate. Great to see Chiklis again, a fine actor. The young man playing his son and the actress playing the wife also displayed a lot of talent and ‘nailed’ their parts.