So Help Me Todd – Season 1 Episode 16 “Twelve Worried Persons” Recap & Review

Twelve Worried Persons

Susan prepares for her first trial in court as a lead attorney as episode 16 of So Help Me Todd begins. That is a jump most legal professionals make with trepid yet executed steps. It shows in Susan’s disposition as she’s clearly nervous and filled with a lot of anxious energy.

The case is against Total Eclipse Shampoo Company. Ms Hayes, her client, used the product and suffered problems with her scalp. Murphy’s law triggers the next scene in the courtroom for Susan, as Irene, one of the jurors in the case, collapses and dies on the spot. Investigators find that she was poisoned with some sort of plant fertilizer.

The suspect is another juror, Amy Morelin, a former Rose Festival Queen. Apparently Rose Festival is a big deal locally in Portland, but it was 15 years ago. Susan breaks down and Margaret consoles her. She is rueful about what happened and that it was her first case. She also believes Amy is innocent and asks Margaret to take over her case.

Amy explains she was about to start law school next year at Cornell and had no motive to kill Irene, even though Amy owns a plant shop. The police cited Amy’s apt with Irene at the parking lot the previous day but it is clear they wanted a suspect for the time being.

Todd stops Amy at the elevator and chats her up. He introduces himself as the investigator on her case and Amy gives him her number to get updates, there’s also a hint of flirtation as well.

Patty, Margaret’s sister, has come to stay with them. She donated money to a refugee organization and has come for the ceremony to honour her. It is quite refreshing to see this sibling dynamic and their “older” sensibilities. Allison says that the poison is short-lived and can be potent for only 60 minutes, and the killer must be a part of the court process.

That night, Margaret takes out a watch from the drawers and thinks about someone. Did it belong to Todd and Allison’s father? It might be the case. Anyway, we move on to the next day. Lyle discovers that the bottle that Irene drank from was kept in the jury room before court proceedings. Only one of the other jurors could have had access to it – like Amy? – and not the other court staff. And since the jury selection is computerized, all of them were strangers.

Todd, Lyle, and Margaret go over the voir dire transcripts, where all the jurors were interviewed before being selected. Francey joins in too.

Sven, Danielle, Kathy, and Sal did not go into the room so they are ruled out. Sydney, Zena, Lou, Cole, Blake, and Rachel are the remaining ones. There are a few connections to Irene but nothing concrete. Margaret and Todd interview them, except Rachel and Zena, but none of them seem to be involved. Rachel seems to be their prime suspect as she lost her life savings due to the 2008 crash and Irene was an advisor for Lehmann Brothers.

They go to her house but Rachel says she is busy and dismisses them. They follow her to another house. Does Rachel have two families? She confirms the same. Rachel explains she and Irene were in fact friendly over the investment connection. Irene lost money too. Todd and Margaret find out that Sydney is following them but out of a passion for true crime. She sees the photo Rachel sent them – a selfie of her and Irene – and instantly notices something that leads her to believe she has cracked the case.

At Patty’s event, she tells the kids that Oswald and Margaret were about to get a divorce when his death “became a convenient end”. Todd has dinner with Amy and discusses the new revelation with her – Oswald died while at a doctor’s conference.

Amy talks about her own mother, while Margaret calls Todd in a panic and says that someone killed Sydney. The photo she sent Margaret before she died had a pair of black gloves, the same as Rachel’s selfie. CCTV footage shows Zena is the only one with gloves on. She has been evading them for three days and is in Madagascar currently – a place from where she cannot be extradited.

Zena is actually in Madagascar to volunteer on a clean water project. The gloves she has are purple so it’s clear that she’s not the killer. Zena confirms that she knocked over Amy’s water bottle that day, meaning that Amy was actually the intended target, not Irene. Who would want to kill Amy?

They go over the transcript once again and Lou’s contradiction in serving the jury and leaving the country intrigues them. Todd and Margaret go to meet him. The Wrights see a photo on Lou’s table. Amy says that she is Rhonda Zane, her competition for the Rose Queen when she won.

Someone threw bleach in her face before the festival. She disappeared after that and then she committed suicide. Lou is the murderer. Todd and Marget also recall he has special pizzas on Thursdays. They go to the pizza place and get him arrested.

Whilst there, they find Patty having a date with him. Susan completes her trial successfully and Amy asks Todd on a date, and they kiss. Susan sees them from the outside, while Margaret decides to tell Allison and Todd about their marriage. She loved him but wanted to leave Oswald. Margaret kept the secret because she wanted to protect the kids. It is an honest moment between the family that strengthens their bond but as the episode comes to a close, Allison goes to Chuck and says, “We need to talk.”


The Episode Review

The makers of So Help Me Todd have clearly cracked the code. The first few episodes were experimental but in the second half of season 1, they have a clear idea of what works. Episode 16 shed light on Margaret’s difficult marriage with Oswald, her ex-husband. There were always unresolved issues in the family that Patty, Margaret’s sister, helped them iron out.

It is a genuinely beautiful moment in the context of their family. We definitely hope that Amy returns for the next episode. She and Todd seemed to have great chemistry. Todd has had partners before this but none of them has ever returned again in the upcoming episodes. It is so refreshing to see Skylar Aston again too. Personalities like him just give good vibes by showing up. He is a big reason for the show’s success.

This episode did not have a very good crime subplot though, but the focus on the emotional quotient of the characters was very well executed.

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You can read our full season review for So Help Me Todd Season 1 here!

 

  • Episode Rting
    (3.5)
3.5

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