Will Trent – Season 1 Episode 3 “Don’t Let It Happen Again” Recap & Review

Don’t Let It Happen Again

Episode 3 of Will Trent season 1 opens with an elderly man who seems to be having a mental issue crying on the banks of Lake Lanier, Georgia. A nurse tries to bring him inside, but just then a boat on fire with a body on it comes into view. The old man asks if the people on the boat have come for him, expressing remorse and apologizing.

Will Trent and Faith, two agents from the GBI, are tasked to investigate the murder of the mayor of Oakmead County, Randy Cordette, who was shot in the head and his boat set on fire.

The agents go to Oakmead, with Amanda expressing concern that the new sheriff may be racist.  Along the way, the agents experience car trouble, Faith was getting into it with her son on a video call and was not focusing on driving. She also has no spare tyre so they are forced to stop at a repair shop, where Trent hears about Cordette’s alleged involvement with some sketchy businesses.

Trent and Faith then visit the crime scene where they meet  Sheriff Josie Miller. They look at the mayor’s private dock and comment on its appearance. Trent takes out his tape recorder and speculates that the shooter of the mayor must have been trained and confident about his skills. He notes that the first shot hit the mayor’s shoulder,  the killer wanted to incapacitate him and then get close for the final shot.

Trent notices a blood-stained nail, which he deduces is the killer’s blood from nicking themselves. They believe the boat was set on fire to cover up the evidence. Through their conversation with the mayor’s widowed wife, they learn that the mayor was disturbed by finding a toy at their doorstep.

Deputy Riley is asked to bring a token found near the body of Alan Kramer. Trent now connects the two deaths due to the presence of the toy at each crime scene. Over a video call, Amanda informs them of an unsolved case from 30 years ago where a family was found dead in an orange station wagon in the woods. The killer was never found, and the then-sheriff seemingly covered it up.

In a different location, Ormewood and Angie are investigating a murder with a head injury victim. An eyewitness reported seeing the perpetrator flee while shouting at him. Angie is pleasantly surprised with the clear-cut case but is told by Ormewood that she must review some photos before dinner.

As they argue, the eyewitness identifies the suspect, only to complicate the matter when Ormewood discovers that the suspect is one of three identical triplets, all of whom have been arrested. After unsuccessful attempts to extract a confession, Polaski tries another approach.

Back at Oakmead County,  Trent and Faith share a motel room. Trent observes that the photos from the triple murder crime scene are strange, with the wagon positioned near the woods, away from the 4th of July fireworks.

Faith points out that a witness had seen four men near the scene and provided a partial license plate number. Amanda arrives at the Sheriff’s office and reveals that after cross-referencing the partial license plate with other old cases, 40,000 matches were found. But further investigation linked the Bronco to the now-deceased Alan Kramer.

Amanda tasks Trent and Josie with finding the two unidentified men in an old photo of the car with partial number plates. Trent questions Josie about Sheriff Merrick’s whereabouts, but Josie is skeptical. It turns out the senile old man from the first scene was Sheriff Merrick. Trent questions him about the night of the incident, but the old man is barely coherent.

The nurse and Merrick’s son interrupt the questioning, with the son explaining that Merrick was disturbed after investigating a triple homicide of a black family.  Josie finds a photo with the Bronco, and the license plate matches.

Josie recognizes two of the four men in the picture, but the third remains unidentified until technology identifies him as Otis Granger, the mechanic who assisted Faith and Trent. When Amanda and Josie arrive at Otis’s property, he is armed with a gun and two dogs. He refuses to peacefully surrender and  Josie shoots him point blank on the head.

Faith is on her way to meet Merrick and bring a picture to jog his memory, with Josie joining and driving the sheriff’s car. Josie sits with Merrick and asks him to identify the men in the picture. He mentions three dead men but becomes confused when asked about the fourth.

It turns out the fourth accomplice was Merrick’s son, David. Trent questions why Josie was brought along, as she is on administrative leave. Faith thought it would be best if she brought Josie along and drive her car.  On the other hand, Amanda is frustrated with the lab workers who claim the nail with the killer’s blood was never received.

Trent finds the wagon with teeth marks on the seat belt and a bag of powder, while Amanda retrieves a cassette from the car’s tape player. Trent deduces that Merrick had found the murdered family’s baby. The family had stopped and parked the wagon to feed the baby, they were not there for the 4th of July celebrations. Trent realizes that the baby is Josie.

In the meantime, Faith spills soda in the car and Josie offers to get her some tissue from the convenience store. Faith decides to rummage through Josie’s car as she waits and finds the same bloody nail that Trent had asked to be sent to the lab.  Josie had hidden it to protect herself and buy more time to finish her revenge. Trent informs Faith of the killer’s identity, but Josie shows up outside with her gun pointed at Faith. She gets in and drives to get David.

At Lake Lanier bridge, David Merrick is restrained by Faith as Josie demands the truth about what happened in the past. David confesses that he and his friends, Randy, Alan, and Otis, were drunk when they came across the orange station wagon and Alan confronted the family, leading to David shooting Josie’s father.

Josie shoots David in the knee and threatens to shoot Faith, but is confronted by Amanda and Trent. Amanda attempts to shoot Josie, but Faith pleads with her not to and tells Josie to surrender because her parents wouldn’t want their child to be another body in the lake. However, Josie had already planned how this story would end and she jumps to her death.

At the station, Will Trent brings Faith some hot chocolate. He informs her that Josie’s body has been found in the lake, but Faith’s emotionless response confuses him.

Faith, tearfully, shares her naive hope that Josie had swam to the shore and escaped to South America, but now she’s one of many ghosts in Lake Lanier.

Later that night, at the Ormewood’s, Angie enjoys spending time with the family. Mrs Ormewood privately reveals that another cop’s wife told her about Angie and her husband’s affair from two years ago. She warns Angie not to make the same mistake again.

Angie then goes back to Trent’s and confesses her past affair with Ormewood during a rough patch in her relationship with Trent. Trent listens and when asked why she’s telling him now, Angie admits that she can’t keep secrets anymore and doesn’t want Trent to see her as ugly.

Trent reassures her that he could never see her that way and they kiss. He offers to cook dinner for her, but mentions he needs to make a phone call first.

The Episode Review

This was a truly sad case, Josie deserved to get justice but it cost her so much. This all started because some drunk teenagers thought it was fun to confront a black family minding their business. The confrontation led to senseless deaths and the man in charge decided to protect his guilty son causing more harm to Josie, the only survivor.

This episode really struck a chord with me because it is another reminder of how the privileged elude justice when the victims drown in pain each day. This is why Josie chose to be a vigilante and pursue a different kind of justice. In the end, did she survive or was her death simply delayed?

Trent and Angie need to figure out what they are doing. Trent is all in but Angie seems to be iffy on whether she wants them to work or not.

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