Secrets and Lies Review Pilot

Secrets & Lies

As the show opens, Ben Garner (Ryan Phillippe) runs through the woods, after discovering a dead body. He rushes home and informs his wife, Christy (KaDee Strickland), who notifies the authorities. After a brief conversation with the neighbors, he returns home to see his daughters, Natalie (Indiana Evans) and Abby (Belle Shouse). He is caught off guard by Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis), who begins questioning him about the boy, Tom. Ben’s younger daughter, Abby, enters an interrupts the conversation, before learning about Tom’s death. A scream outside, alerts the group to the presence of Dave, who is trying to help one of his one night stands escape.

Christy Garner

Although Christy is against it, Ben decides to speak to the boy’s mother, Jess Murphy (Natalie Martinez). Andrea intervenes and suggests the gesture is a bad idea. Andrea again questions Ben about his night out drinking and when he got home. He reveals he moved the body and attempts to resuscitate the boy. Andrea questions Ben’s plans for Christmas, before hastily departing.

Dave Secrets and Lies

Afterwards, Ben speaks to a neighbor, Vanessa, who explains that police are searching the garbage. Ben listens to a radio report about the discovery, while at work. He is bombarded by reporters, when he returns home, but he refuses to speak. Dave apologizes to Ben for his behavior. The pair discuss the boy’s death, before Dave admits the detective was weird. Ben reveals he can’t remember anything about the night before. After a family dinner, Ben calls the Murphy home, but Jess doesn’t answer. Next, Ben attempts to work things out with his wife. The pair end up sleeping separate.

Vanessa Secrets and Lies

In the morning, Ben is escorted to the police station, as the neighbors watch. Danny arrives and agrees to work, as Ben’s lawyer, against his wishes. Andrea requests a DNA sample. When left alone, Ben questions his lawyer what he should do. Danny insists he wouldn’t give it to them. Ben returns home to find Michael, who is babysitting the girls. Ben checks on Natalie and discovers social media posts accusing him of being a killer. Afterwards, Ben hangs out with Dave and discusses his relationship status.

Forensics Secrets and Lies

At home, the family gets a visit from Kevin, who gives them some lasagna, before he insists child killers should be killed. Afterwards, Ben questions why nobody has gone to see Jess yet. He braves the reporters and heads to Jess’s house, as Andrea arrives and pulls him back home. She asks Ben, if he has some specific tools. When he attempts to find them in his truck, they’re gone. That night, Ben confronts a motorcyclist outside and is nearly run over.

Crime Scenes Tom Murphy

In the morning, Andrea forces Ben to show her the murder scene, before questioning about the flashlight. Andrea brings up the fight between Ben and his wife, but he insists they’re focusing on the wrong person. She questions Ben’s reasons for refusing to give a DNA sample, before he leaves. When he returns home, he discovers police scouring through his home. Ben grows angry and demands to be arrested, if Andrea suspects him, before the cops pack up and leave. Ben and Abby head to the store, where they purchase some candy. Again, they’re ambushed when they return home. Abby breaks down and confronts the reporters, before Ben heads to the station and gives up his DNA, as Andrea watches.

At home, Christy insists she didn’t tell Cornell about the fight, before the family puts up and decorated their Christmas tree. After the pair are left alone, Abby tells her dad she knows he didn’t do it, before they turn on the Christmas lights. The next morning, Ben finds “child killer” painted on his gate. After cleaning it up, he questions Dave how they got home that night. Dave insists he put Ben in a cab and stayed behind. Ben is confronted by Mr. Arkin at work. Mr. Arkin pays him off and sends him home, despite the job bend unfinished.

Secrets and Lies Juliette Lewis

Back at home, Ben attempts to call and find new clients, with no success. Eventually, he gets a call from Andrea, who requests another sit-down. Ben breaks down, while reminiscing about Tom. Next, he finds himself in an interrogation room with Andrea, who speaks about her past experience and other child murder cases. She suggests accidents happen sometimes and attempts to coax Ben into admitting to the murder. Ben continues to claim his innocence, before Andrea questions his past relationship with Jess. She reveals that Ben is actually Tom’s father.


As a copy of the Australian show of the same name, this show should be pretty good, but it feels a little bit strange, at times. For starters, as much as I love Juliette Lewis, it took awhile to get used to her as Andrea Cornell. At times, it felt like she was overly dramatic, which put a damper on the realism of the show. Ryan Phillippe played the role of Ben pretty well though. This is definitely an interesting take on a murder, if you haven’t seen the Australian version. All in all, a decent start.

Weird enough, the Australian version is 6 episodes, whereas the US version is 10. Hopefully, this doesn’t become painfully drawn-out. Either way, the twist at the end was nice and there were a few emotion moments to keep you entertained. A 7 out of 10 is likely realistic here.

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