Accused – Season 1 Episode 7 “Brenda’s Story” Recap & Review

Brenda’s Story

Episode 7 of Accused centres around the delicate and serious issue of rape. It is Brenda’s story, a struggling stand-up comic, who was raped by her colleague and former boyfriend, Zeke Thompson. Both used to do stand-up at Goldie’s, a club owned by Joyce Golden.

Zeke made it big and went viral nationally. He’s even doing a tour around the country and Brenda wants to show him her material. She goes to his party and mentions that Scott, Zeke’s manager, did not reply to her. Brenda asks if they can someplace quiet since the material is a video and Zeke agrees.

He likes the material and agrees for Brenda to open his stand-ups. She excitedly hugs him but Zeke starts kissing her. Even though she repeatedly says no, Zeke forces himself upon her and rapes Brenda. She walks away from the party crying and somehow manages to get ahold of herself. She calls Joyce to ask for help but the old woman is more interested in encouraging Brenda to take the opportunity. Joyce tells she herself was taken advantage of but did not let it affect her from getting on with her life.

Brenda seems to reciprocate Joyce’s opinion. She agrees to think about taking the opportunity first and not tell everyone the truth about Zeke. The next morning, Brenda sees a photo of her uploaded through Zeke’s Instagram account just after the act. Her confused, hurt, and angry mental state from the moment dawns upon her and she phones New Hope Center for help.

She is examined at a facility and Chadwick picks her up. They joke around a bit in the car and he promises to be with Brenda to see her through this tough phase. Chad shows Brenda a media post that confirms Zeke’s infractions. He is even arrested but Brenda’s name is slipped out, despite the norm to keep the survivor’s identity closeted. Brenda is disturbed reading the disgusting social media comments. She ignores Zeke’s calls but eventually picks them up. He tries to apologize and rationalize his actions.

Brenda vehemently reprimands him and says he will not get away with this just because he is famous and rich. Zeke ridicules her and says no one will believe her story. And that she has ruined both of their lives. ADA Lavigne heads Brenda’s case. He questions her about the events of that night. When she is about to leave, he asks about “her previous relationships with Zeke” but Brenda does not think it to be important. We see, in the present at the trial, Lavigne is in fact testifying against Brenda and she is the Defendant in the case.

Joyce fires Brenda from the club and reprimands her for “not being able to get out of her own way”. Brenda takes her paycheck and is sure she will not be employed anywhere after this. Tess, a woman from social media who supported Brenda, meets her outside the club. She is an associate at a law firm and accompanies her home. Chadwick meets Tess and Brenda gets drunk and is put to sleep by Tess. She says to Chadwick that Brenda is a long way from being normal and over her suffering.

Chadwick is a little perturbed to find Zeke’s photos cut into pieces in the ashtray on Brenda’s table. In the past, we see Lavigne interviewing probable witnesses during his investigation. ___, who is one of Benda’s friends, calls her “promiscuous” and says “she has slept around with everyone at the club.” Zeke calls Brenda’s act as a classic instance of “self-sabotage”, something she has done in the past. He also reveals his previous sexual relations with Brenda and that is what Lavigne gets stuck on.

He seems convinced Brenda had sex willingly and given his moral compass, it is apparent he made an ethical call. There are strong hints of bias in his assessment of Brenda. Tess tells Brenda about her own experience in sophomore year when she was raped on an open campus. Tess and her rapist knew each other and their parents “sorted it out” among themselves. Brenda says Tess should not let her rapist get away s he might be doing it to other girls. Tess falls into deep thought.

Lavigne informs Brenda that he is not bringing charges against Zeke for the above reasons. She angrily leaves his office. Chad tries to comfort her but Tess, who is also present at Brenda’s apartment, gets violent with him. She calls the police but hangs up on Brenda’s insistence. Chad leaves and Tess urges Brenda to act on her comment – to burn Zeke alive – on Zeke’s Instagram. Tess is seen to be on the stand and in jail clothes in the present, indicating that she did indeed pour gasoline on Zeke during his performance at Goldie’s.

The charge against Brenda is that she incited Tess to commit violence. We see Zeke walk into the court and a portion of his body is charred. Brenda calls Chad to apologize for her behaviour and requests him to be there in court when they announce the verdict. The jury finds her not guilty and Brenda tries to set the record right with Zeke by apologizing to him. But he does not care for it.

A group of survivors incredulously watch her apologize and ask Brenda what should they do. Brenda says “hurting them is not the answer”.

The Episode Review

Another episode of Accused and another mixed result. It is quickly becoming a pattern that the writers and the director cannot see the story through. There always seems to be an element of mismanagement of the story. One part disproportionately takes most of the screen time than the other – more often than not the justification on the stand – is left somewhat neglected.

One can understand the part after the judgment is where our judgment and sensibilities as viewers kick in. But the writers need to be more responsible in giving the episode a more evened-out finish. Brenda seemed like the emblem of stereotypes attached to women who accuse men of rape.

The “survivor syndrome” is an old cliché that did not help Whitney Cummings (as Brenda) too much. But she gave an earnest performance despite that.

Despite the attempt to bring out this serious subject with modesty, the presentation did not seem too inspiring. It seemed to struggle with tropes very popular today on social media and the characterizations felt borrowed. Like something you read or hear from someone. Not the greatest effort from Accused in this episode.

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2 thoughts on “Accused – Season 1 Episode 7 “Brenda’s Story” Recap & Review”

  1. I just watched this episode and it definitely was not up to par. The actress playing Brenda had such an odd look that I found it hard to look at her. Why she was on trial was stupid. Not a good installment at all.

  2. I have been watching this series and have so far been impressed. This episode was the exception. Brenda’s Story was confusing and frustrating and I did not care for the ending at all. Very disappointing.

    On the plus side, and there was only one, the actress that played Brenda did an excellent job acting the role she was given.

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