The Big Top
Episode 6 of Love & Death starts 4 months after the murder of Betty Gore. Candy is trying to keep up appearances in front of Sherry as well as the rest of the town with her new haircut. However, Pat seems to be on edge after Dan’s revelation to him that Candy had indeed killed Betty. Pat drops Candy off at the door where Robert picks her up for jury selection.
On the way there, Candy wonders what Texas prisons will be like while she is mobbed headuing inside the courtroom.
The jury selection begins with both the defendant and the prosecutor talking to the jury. Don turns the tables on the case and publicly announces that Candy did kill Betty but alleges that she did so in self-defence. He argues that Candy is the only living survivor who can tell the horrors of what happened that night.
The journalists and media are all riled up to hear this new twist in the story. Don convinces the church pastor, Ron, to be on Candy’s side and vouch for her. He claims that God is also on Candy’s side and asks him to testify in Candy’s favour in court. Later that day, Betty’s father gets on a call with Allan and tries to make sense of the self-defence argument Candy’s side were using in court.
At the Montgomery house, things are awkward between Candy and Pat as she tries to keep the details of the case hidden from her husband. Just then, Jackie, Candy’s former pastor, pays her a visit. She is hysterical about Candy lying to her for so long. Candy asks Jackie to believe her and be there for her but Jackie cuts off all ties from her former friend and leaves.
On hearing day, Judge Tom and Don get into a heated argument about Don’s statements to the press regarding the case. Judge Tom announces that Don will have to serve 24 hours in prison at the end of the case as well as pay a $100 fine in contempt of court. Don is pissed at the decision but decides to hold his tongue before Judge Tom.
The prosecutor asks Allan to take the stand first and he is asked to narrate his side of the events. The prosecutor asks Allan about his affair with Candy and if Betty could have known about the affair. Allan claims that he was not aware if Betty knew.
Don latches on to this claim and cross-examines Allan about Betty’s behaviour before she was killed. Allan’s testimony during the interrogation with Don paints Betty in a negative light. Don argues that Allan and Candy were not in love but just companions who enjoyed each other’s company. He claims that there was no reason for Candy to murder Betty out of jealousy.
Allan practically agrees with him, pissing Betty’s father off. Betty’s father claims that Allan forgot his oath to Betty when he cheated on her but stood by when he decided to paint her in a negative light in court. He claims that with Candy being responsible for Betty’s death, Allan may have just helped save Betty’s murderer. Betty’s father wonders why Betty’s death does not bother Allan as much as it should have.
The entire town is speaking badly about Candy but Sherry is still defending her friend. During dinner, Candy lashes out at Pat when he pesters her about him not being allowed in the courtroom. The next few hearings have witness testimonies from the neighbours that found Betty’s body, as well as churchgoers that met Candy after the incident.
As they recount the brutal murder scene in court and the events that transpired after, Candy keeps a straight face. Don is upset that Candy was taking medication to hide her emotions, while Candy is unwilling to let go of her public image and claims that just like the rest of the town, Don wants her to appear weak.
Don believes that the jury will need to resonate with Candy and see her as a human. Candy will have to stop the medication if she needs to win the jury’s favour. That night, Pat tries to comfort Candy about Don’s decision. Candy asks Pat what he thought after Don told him about Candy’s involvement in Betty’s murder.
Pat is grateful that Candy came out alive from the incident considering that Betty was much bigger than her. Candy could be vulnerable but she’s determined to put up a brave face. Ron is doing his job well by defending Candy in the media and during the second hearing, the cops who investigated the murder of Betty Gore are examined by the prosecutor and then cross-examined by Don.
Don tries to pose that Candy had not planned the murder because she had left a very messy crime scene behind, loaded with her fingerprints and more evidence. After the second hearing, Don is sure that the prosecutors had saved the pathologist that autopsied Betty’s body for last in order to scare the jury and paint Betty in the worst possible light.
Don is upset that Candy has taken medicine before the hearing because she would not be as vulnerable as he would like her to be. The next hearing takes place, with the pathologist detailing the gruesome wounds on Betty’s dead body. In the testimony, the pathologist claims that half of Betty’s face is but a mass of tissue and blood leaving the jury shocked.
He also adds that Betty’s wounds could have been distinguished into pre and post-mortem, and that Candy had brutally assaulted Betty 40 times when she was still alive and one time after she had died. Don tries his best to counter-examine the pathologist as he tries to claim that self-defence cannot be ruled out.
The prosecution rests and Judge Tom asks Don to call the defendant’s first witness – Candy. Don asks Judge Tom for some time since Candy is on medication but the judge does not give him more than 10 minutes. The episode ends with Candy sitting in a transfixed position as the court goes into a break before she is called to the stands for questioning.
The Episode Review
This episode really details a lot of gory details about the murder in the form of testimonies that were otherwise skipped. This one was a hard watch for me and I am sure for many other viewers. Candy’s resolve towards being strong and putting on a brave face really stems from her mental health issues. She is probably very troubled in her own mind and so fixated on what people think about her.
The only person that I sympathize with in this entire predicament is Pat. The man got the worst end of the stick and unlike Betty, he had to live through the embarrassment of something that he had not part in. I feel like Allan could have easily turned things for the case and for Betty had he not detached himself from her this easily.
While Candy may or may not have murdered Betty out of jealousy, Allan surely gave up on her very easily. Knowing how the case will be ending, I am looking forward to seeing what role Don plays.
Expect a full-season review of Love & Death later this week!