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Murder in the First review: Erich’s inner psychopath flies free

The season finale came to a bumpy end and left a few loose ends dangling, but at least the dual murders of Cindy Strauss and Kevin Neyers have been solved.

Erich Blunt (Tom Felton) confessed all the dirty details to Bill Wilkerson (Steven Weber), unaware that the San Francisco police finally managed to get a step ahead of him. Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson) and English (Taye Diggs) got a search warrant that turned a cell phone into a recording device and transmitted his confession. He wasn’t even gleeful as he explained the details to Wilkerson, which made it all the more chilling. Sure, he was a little proud of himself for coming up with such clever murders, but mostly, he explained in earnest, it’s just that some human lives are worth more than others, and he was doing his part to cull the population.

Murder in the First and the dead girls dilemma >>

The tape was enough to seal his fate. Last week, he was abandoned by Ivana, who departed to form her own company when he refused to share the CEO credit. This week, he’s ditched by not only Daniels (James Cromwell), who refuses to take his business for the Neyers murder trial, but loyal David Hertzberg (Richard Schiff), the one person in the world who actually believed Erich was innocent of Cindy’s murder, has jumped ship as well.

He’s lost his counsel, his business, and the closest thing he has to friends — and facing an almost certain guilty verdict, Erich opts to hang himself in his jail cell.

Murder in the First review: Another day, another death >>

It’s an unsatisfying end for Mulligan and English, who’ve spent the season working so hard to bring Erich to justice, but then, the reveal that Erich was the killer all along was a little anti-climactic itself. It was never really a game of cat and mouse if the viewers knew from the beginning that Erich was the bad guy, and it makes all the violence against women, particularly the scene when Wilkerson punched his wife to make him seem like a viable suspect, even more hard to swallow, because it served no greater purpose. It was just there, a casual red herring, not condemning the perpetrators, and it’s time television moved past it as a storytelling device.

Murder in the First review: The verdict is rendered >>

And don’t even get us started on the DA condescendingly referring to Mulligan as “sweetheart” in Perez’s office as they went over the case details.

Now the only real threads left hanging in the case of a second season renewal are last week’s cookie-heiress murder and the sexual tension between Mulligan and English. As much as we were on board with their potential hookup when it first took place, too many episodes in a row without even a callback to that kiss have cooled our enthusiasm for it. In the case of these would-be lovers, absence hasn’t made our hearts grow fonder, just more forgetful that anything was ever there at all.

Our best guess is that’s also how we’ll feel about this show if it returns next summer, too.

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