The Lizzie Borden Chronicles begins a few months after Lizzie’s acquittal. Lizzie (Christina Ricci) and Emma Borden (Clea DuVall) visit a lawyer’s office, where they learn that their father owed a great deal to William Almy (John Heard). Outside, the pair are followed by a group of little kids, while discussing the possibility of running their father’s business. Afterwards, we jump to Killington Peak, Vermont. A man is shot and killed, by Charlie Siringo (Cole Hauser). Charlie takes Warren Stark’s (Michael Ironside) belongings to the police station, in order to claim his bounty. While there, he receives a message and another job.
Back at home, Lizzie continues having flashbacks of killing her parents, before contemplating a move. On the streets, the pair speak to Officer Leslie Trotwood (Dylan Taylor), who was nice to Lizzie throughout the trial. The pair are sent to the police station and told to pick up their brother, William Borden (Andrew Howard, Hell on Wheels, Copper). Despite some reluctance, William is bailed and freed. Meanwhile, Charlie arrives in Fall River and finds a motel room.
The motel’s owner, Ezekiel Danforth (John Ralston), informs his wife, Isabel (Olivia Llewellyn), to clean the linen, as soon as Charlie leaves him room, in order to find out what he is doing. Back at home, the girls prepare for church, while William attempts to find the old man’s hidden stash. Meanwhile, Isabel discovers that Charlie has a treasure trove of information regarding Lizzie. Charlie enters and is asked to not pry into the case, since it caused a great deal of grief at the motel. William searches through the home, when he gets a visit from his sister’s attorney, Robert. Of course, William invites him right in.
When they arrive home, Robert tells them that Almy is prepared to take everything and the Borden sisters will be in debt to Almy. While Lizzie contemplates talking a walk that night, William continues his hunt. William Almy parties, while Lizzie watches from afar. William Borden discovers a potential baby corpse. In the morning, Billy Borden drinks at the bar, when he is interrupted by Skipjack (Bradley Stryker). Skipjack grows interested in the box, until William tells him a dead baby is inside.
Emma awakes in the morning and discovers a note from Lizzie. She meets with Lizzie at their new house. At the motel, Charlie questions Isabel about a school teacher named Mary, who was supposed to testify, but didn’t. William confronts the sisters and threatens them with the baby’s corpse. After he leaves, Lizzie comforts Emma and insists they’ll find Benjamin. Meanwhile, Charlie tracks down Mary, who seems to have lost her memory. Mary insists Lizzie was a sweet child, when it suited her.
William Borden confronts Almy on the streets and bashes him once with a crowbar. The police show up at the Borden house and look for William, but leave empty-handed. Charlie pays a visit to the old school, in hopes of finding Lizzie’s records. He discovers her report card, which is surprisingly not very good. That night, Lizzie confronts her brother, who has been hiding in the barn. The pair share a drink, as Lizzie insists she wants to help William escape. Back at the school, Charlie reads about Lizzie’s poor social skills. He winds up discovering something in the attic of the school.
Lizzie sneaks into Almy’s house and pretends to seduce him, before stabbing him in the back of the neck. She proceeds to beat the heck out of his corpse. In the morning, Emma discovers William hung from his neck.
The pilot of the Lizzie Borden Chronicles wasn’t bad, but it seemed to lack pizzazz. The premise could very well be solid and the acting wasn’t awful, especially for a Lifetime series. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t anything that blew my mind or left me hungry for more. I do enjoy Andrew Howard, although he may not make it another episode. Christina Ricci was enthralling in the previous Lizzie Borden television movie, but seemed to fall flat here. Hopefully, it gets better. Until then, the pilot deserves a 6 out of 10.