Robyn Blind sits in Norfolk Country Detention Centre, Quincy, Massachusetts awaiting his trial, trying to rub something off his nail as Accused episode 5 starts. It looks like glitter; this is Robyn’s story of a crime. Robyn is a drag queen. One night when she is walking home after a show, some drunks corner her. Matty ridicules Robyn for her appearance and she walks away after a hot exchange. Matty is put in a cab and his brother comes to Robyn to apologize. She is offered a lift by her brother, Jaime, and Robyn reluctantly takes it. Robyn invites Jaime in and they have sex. In the present, Matty comes into the washroom and attacks Robyn, who is in cuffs. Something has happened with Jaime.
We dive into the past to figure out why. She teaches an English language class to foreign students. But Robyn is her stage name. Her name is Kevin. Jaime shows up one night at her apartment. The lease is in Kevin’s name. After they have sex, Robyn gives Jaime his wedding ring back. But Jaime emotionally confesses that his wife died in a car accident a year ago. He also mentions that he is stopping seeing Robyn. About a month later, Jaime contacts her again. But he shows up three hours late and Robyn is upset with him.
Jaime confesses Matty called him and he got held up catering to a supply issue in the warehouse. Robyn warns Jaime not to take her for granted as it takes time for Kevin to put on the whole makeup and appearance. Jaime says it is difficult for him as well because Matty will not approve of it. Robyn says it is best to cut ties before matters get serious. Jaime comes to see her perform one night and she gets him to dress like a drag queen. They spend the night together. Robyn concedes she has to keep her identity separate from Kevin.
It is a great form of self-expression for him. Jaime says he was told since he was a child that homosexuality is a delusion. But his views have changed in his adulthood, especially with the relationship he has with Robyn. Kevin is walking on the streets after class without makeup and he spots Jaime. He does not recognize Kevin. When Kevin goes up to him to greet Jaime, Kevin sees a woman with him. Kevin follows her to a clothing store, where she works at the cash desk. Her name is Natalie. She helps him with trying on the dresses. In conversation, it is revealed that Natalie and Jaime have been married for eight years.
They do not have kids yet. Kevin buys the dresses to ensure Natalie gets the commission. She returns the favour by closing up the store and having champagne with him. Natalie cannot get pregnant. She did before but miscarried. They cannot afford IVF and Jaime has been upset with her ever since. Their marriage has hit a rough spot. She also reveals Jaime was abused as a kid by a fellow queer. When Jaime gets home, Natalie says she wants to try counselling again. He lashes out and says he does not want to talk about his trauma. He throws a bottle of beer at the wall in anger.
But then he apologizes. Natalie mentions talking to a customer that triggered her reaction. Jaime leaves a voicemail for Robyn and his tone is threatening. They meet in a park to talk. They fight, where Kevin calls Jaime a coward for not telling his wife the truth about himself and Jaime calls Kevin someone who is putting up a show to hide his real self. Jaime insults Kevin for dressing up like a transvestite, saying he got no self-respect. But Kevin retaliates. Natalie sees the whole thing go down. Jaime tearfully calls Kevin and says Natalie knows everything.
Natalie has asked Jaime to vacate the house. Jaime asks to go with Kevin to someplace the next day. But the truth is that Jaime has murdered Natalie, as we see in the next frame. Jaime eventually breaks down and tells Robyn the truth. Natalie’s body is in the trunk. Jaime says she threatened to tell Matty and that is when he lost it and killed her. He asks for Robyn’s help to dispose of the body. Robyn sees the body and takes off. In the present, the prosecutor reveals that Jaime has already confessed to the killing and is going to jail. But then why would he lie?
Kevin is told by his lawyer that she will strike a plea deal with the prosecutor. He asks for one hour and comes back as Robyn with some of the other performers. They storm the courthouse and the crowd starts murmuring with disbelief. Robyn’s lawyer redirects her and Robyn begins to narrate her visual argument. Do you wear expensive acrylic nails to dump a body? Or high heels that cost half a grand? Why would Robyn get all dressed up to dispose of the body? Because Jaime did not tell her that he killed Natalie until Robyn got into the car and up to the river. Jaime does not corroborate the story because he is shameful of his real identity.
That is why he is saying Robyn manipulated him into killing Natalie. He hates Robyn because he hates himself. The jury is convinced of Kevin’s argument and exonerates him of all charges. We see Robyn performing on stage. But this time, it is not a show but a romantic solo and then she breaks out in a dance with the other performers.
The Episode Review
For some reason, the central conceit in this episode seemed really weak. Not the representational parts but the ones where Kevin/Robyn is put on the stand. It was quite confusing to figure out how she could be put on the stand in this case when Jaime has himself confessed to the murder.
The underlying themes of self-expression vis-à-vis homosexuality were explored with drastic flair. It was a notch up from the other four episodes, where the execution was headier and more grounded.
Perhaps the tone needed to change with the change in personnel! This episode ought to cheer up right up. Of course, the subject matter is bold, contemporary, and not something everyone will feel comfortable with. It is an interesting addition to the line of cases we have seen thus far, and an especially fascinating “Accused” we have seen on the stand. I stand divided on this episode’s fate: what do you feel?
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|
1 thought on “Accused – Season 1 Episode 5 “Robyn’s Story” Recap & Review”
For me this presentation was a new take on a gay theme where usually and naturally the ‘homosexual’ is a victim or at fault. In this case the ‘straight’ man has some hidden unresolved issues and brings Kevin into his world of discovery.
With only an hour to present this complicated story I feel it could have a movie for television to give time for situations digest a little longer.
Great acting and great performances, skill in make-up and hair.
A good edgy story directed by Billy Porter.
Rating 4 stars