Warning: Spoilers from Thursday night's premiere of ABC's Notorious ahead.
If you caught the Thursday night premiere of Notorious, then your distrust of major news networks might have just skyrocketed, as did mine. The ABC drama takes a deep dive into the world of who brings us our news — and it's a pretty frightening picture.
The show's main protagonist, Piper Perabo's Julia George, is a ball-busting producer who doesn't bat an eye at manipulating public perception for higher ratings. As one of her lackeys said in Episode 1, "She decides what the country cares about. She creates heroes and monsters. Victims and villains. Julia George tells the world when to pay attention and what really matters."
It's not a sci-fi show or a horror picture, but Notorious is terrifying because it really drives home the point that many Americans blindly trust networks to inform us — when we really shouldn't. Notorious is kinda like a more soapy, less creepy TV version of Nightcrawler (the movie that starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo).
All the crazy narrative controlling manipulation aside, the most shocking thing about the Notorious premiere was obviously the twist at the end when Jake walks in to find Oscar Keaton cradling his dead wife — and Jake's lover — in his arms.
The two clear suspects are in the room at that moment. Jake was mad at Sarah Keaton for lying to him about her driving under the influence of Ambien, and it's also pretty obvious that there's a huge backstory between them that we don't know about yet. Oscar's also a viable candidate in Sarah's murder — they are practically estranged and the guy, quite literally, has blood on his hands.
But I'm going to go out on a limb here and say neither Jake or Oscar killed Sarah. Their guilt would just be too obvious. I have another suspect that might not seem as likely to be the murderer, but he definitely has motive.
I'm talking about Ryan, the new guy.
Think about it: Ryan is desperate to get ahead. Just look at him champing at the bit as he begs Megan for inside info about Julia.
OK, so maybe he doesn't have the most insidious demeanor, but the cute ones on ABC always have that special brand of crazy bubbling under the surface. And we know after seeing him hunt down Ella at a bar and then following her and Jake to the impound lot that he's willing to do pretty much anything to impress Julia and advance his career.
Sure, Sarah's death came at an inconvenient time for Julia since it caused Sarah to miss her big interview, but her murder could just be part of Ryan's bigger plan to control the narrative.
Also, Ryan is the son of the network president, so he's a rich kid who is used to getting everything he wants.
His dad said, "Sure, he might have just spent the last few years tooling around Europe trying to find himself, but he's back and ready to work." Right. Those kids never feel like they're going have a repercussions for gravely horrible actions — think "affluenza" cases like Brock Turner and Ethan Couch.
The only thing that doesn't quite fit with the Ryan theory are the P.I.-style photos sent to Julia of Sarah dead and in bed with Jake. It seems a little bit advanced for Ryan's skill set at this point. But who knows, Ryan could have learned a whole lot more than we thought on his jaunt through Europe.
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