Other People’s Tears Are Only Water
Episode 1 of Truth Be Told Season 2 sees us return to a brand new case for Poppy to unravel. A clunky bit of exposition gets us up to scratch, with Micah claiming she’ a “discarded child”, talking to herself about how she was prey for nearly two decades. Getting dressed up, she heads off and sleeps in her car.
Fresh off the Warren case, Poppy Parnell is hot stuff in town but that doesn’t stop her reminiscing on old times with the others at her usual hangout spot. Micah shows up too, although it’s a brief chat in truth. She’s busy with the opening of her exhibition, putting on a brave face and showing Poppy all of her work.
Josh is there too, who warmly embraces Poppy as the latter comments on the couple’s skyrocketing fame. However, there’s trouble in paradise. Josh is guarded, and encourages Poppy to show up at her studio later on. He has something he needs to tell her.
Before that, Micah addresses the people and talks about her past and how she was on the streets from 13 onwards. She’s determined to make sure all “discarded” children don’t suffer the same fate she did and to give them a home. When Micah thanks Josh for his support, he doesn’t show.
At the studio, this strange thread continues as Poppy and the gang try to find Joshua. Well, he’s there but very much dead, lying in a pool of blood with another man draped over him.
So we’ve got a new case to unravel, and fronting that on the police side of things is Inspector Aames. There’s certainly no love lost between Poppy and Aames, with the latter asking outright if she’s recording. Micah is also in a rough way, in shock and asking for a lock of Josh’s hair before her husband is taken away.
The next day, police take Micah’s statement as strange people start sniffing around the complex. Poppy believes she should get some private security. Interestingly, Micah’s assistant Ramon is completely nonchalant about the whole event – he actually hated Josh. Could this be a clue?
Meanwhile, Poppy heads up to see Marcus, where we’re introduced to his daughter Trini. After quick introductions, Poppy cuts right to the chase. She wants Marcus to help keep an eye on Micah’s property, especially given he has a private security firm.
First step is the hate mail addressed to Micah…which takes up an entire room. It’s fair to say the girl has a lot of enemies. The crux of the issue here though stems from something Josh was keeping secret. After all, he asked Poppy to meet him at the studio later on so it seems like this could be part of the issue.
The other problem stems from the police. Truth Be Told has gone out of its way to show law enforcement are bad and have no good officers, leading Micah to decide she needs to find other means away from the police to get answers. And that includes asking Poppy to look into this.
When Poppy learns that Aames is closing the case as a murder-suicide, she’s unhappy. In fact, she threatens them and decides they’re not doing their job properly. Poppy is going to dig deeper and if she finds anything, promises the department will be destroyed in the process.
With Micah in a rough way, Poppy decides to proceed with this podcast on Joshua. She’s going to look into this properly from the very beginning. This, in turn, will force the police to play ball. That is, if this whole case isn’t actually a murder-suicide of course.
As the episode closes out, we cUt across to a strange dollmaker who has pictures of Micah up on the wall and a model house that looks eerily like Micah’s.
The Episode Review
Just because you can renew something, doesn’t mean you should. Truth Be Told’s first season closed everything out nicely, with a neat little bow and a conclusive end to that series. It wasn’t the best crime drama but it was solid enough to stick with until the end. This second season though, pales by comparison.
Without the intriguing case and acting to back it up, Truth Be Told hangs its story on an indifferent murder that may or may not be a suicide. And wouldn’t it be hilariously ironic if this really was a murder-suicide? Either way, Poppy is going to hit back at those evil police officers and get justice for Joshua.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a show dive into racial and social issues but as we’ve seen across the past year, there’s been a whole slew of shows that have handled it really, really poorly. Whether it be This Is Us suddenly throwing in masks and going in hard on the virus or Grey’s Anatomy doubling down on racist issues, all these highlight are how poor some screenwriters handle shoehorning topical issues into the fold.
There are some exceptions of course but Truth Be Told certainly isn’t one of them. The second season feels like a caricature at times, with no less than 4 different montages in the first 10 minutes, cheesy narration and a big story about how evil and terrible the police are. There’s no shades of grey here, although to be fair it’s only one episode in and that could change going forward.
Either way, Truth Be Told confirms that earlier point mentioned at the start of this review. Sometimes shows don’t need to be renewed. Sometimes it’s good to have a conclusive story but as Poppy herself mentions at the end – here we go. Let’s see if season 2 delivers.