The plot thickens in “Revenge” as a new suspect emerges and Ezra Wolf uses public perception to steer the case.
This The Fix Episode 2 Recap, for the episode titled “Revenge”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The opening scene of “Revenge” reveals some potential problems with The Fix. In it, the police and Los Angeles District Attorney Maya Travis (Robin Tunney) smugly raid the home of accused double-murderer Sevvy Johnson (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). The key word there is “accused”. But Maya often speaks with certainty about Sevvy’s guilt, despite on other occasions suggesting that all she wants to find out is whether or not he did it. Is she not convinced? Or is this just sloppy writing? You can’t help but giggle when she says to him, “Evidence doesn’t lie. People do.” You’d imagine someone who lost the previous case despite overwhelming evidence wouldn’t necessarily hold that view.
But evidence helps, especially when its cold cash, spare keys, and a burner phone taped up in Sevvy’s daughter’s dollhouse. But evidence on its own isn’t enough, not with Sevvy having been advised by Ezra Wolf (Scott Cohen) to keep up public appearances and plant seeds of dissent among the public. Maya is still the lead on the case, but there’s lots of rivalry in her office as even her ex-loverboy Matthew Collier (Adam Rayner) disagrees with her on how to proceed, and just might be eyeing up the job of his boss, District Attorney Alan Wiest (Breckin Meyer).
Loni Kampoor (Mouzam Makkar) is even more pissed off since Maya has unseated her as lead on the case; she believes she’s a better lawyer and that, since its 2019 and “optics matter”, her being a person of color would prevent Wolf from spinning the narrative as a vengeful white woman returning to victimize an innocent black man. Maya holds her own, but she considers the viewpoint, asking CJ (Merrin Dungey) if she’s right. “She isn’t a better lawyer” isn’t an answer that totally assuages her suspicions, to say the least.
A lot of “Revenge” revolves around suspect of the week Ben Mitchell (Michael Gladis), whom Wolf has followed and catches in the act of dumping incriminating evidence. He’s pretty clearly innocent, but it swiftly emerges that he had more of a connection to Jessica (Taylor Kalupa) than he’s letting on. What if that bag of money wasn’t Sevvy’s escape plan, but hers? And what if she was planning to escape with Ben Mitchell?
Meanwhile, Wolf’s crack team of fabulous PR experts prepare Sevvy and his children for an upbeat family brunch which includes Sevvy’s reticent daughter, Star (Chasten Harmon), despite her information last week having given Maya probable cause to raid her father’s home. It’s also strongly implied that Wolf believes Sevvy to be guilty and doesn’t much care either way, which says a lot about him; he’s in it for the money and the limelight, not the justice. This is, thus far anyway, an incredibly cliched part, but Cohen is selling the hell out of it.
One thing I do really like about The Fix is how heavily it leans into the completely stage-managed nature of Sevvy’s public perception, all the better to influence the narrative of the case, and particularly how it leverages social media and viral video; a modern-feeling twist on the legal drama that works well with the recasting of the accused as an actor, rather than a sports star. There’s a moment during the brunch where Star, feeling sick and uncomfortable at the fakeness of it all, exits the restaurant, leaving Sevvy to perform right into the papparazzi cameras as Wolf nervously looks on. “Oh, he’s good,” croons Wolf’s PR expert, Ares (Abraham Lim).
More departmental politics: Loni, initially pissed off at Maya having been given the lead, started feeding inside information to Wolf; now she has to continue because he’s blackmailing her. As the net closes around Ben Mitchell, a new witness emerges from the beach party who saw Jessica the night she was killed and saw Ben arrive after the fact. The new information exonerates him just as he’s live-streaming his “confession” to the world, but it’s too little too late. Ben, overwhelmed by all the public and media scrutiny, throws himself out of a window to his death.
Ben’s fate helps Maya and CJ to reconcile; after seeing what can happen when someone becomes an object of public fascination, CJ understands why Maya sequestered herself away all these years. It also has the knock-on effect of giving Maya a strong angle in the case; Wolf, indirectly or otherwise, killed Ben Mitchell by insisting that he was guilty when he wasn’t. According to Maya, it’s time to let Jessica speak for herself. On the press podium, she plays footage of Jessica showing off wounds, apparently inflicted by Sevvy.
“Am I a terrible person?” asks Wolf of Ares, while watching this. “We’re people of our time,” he replies. “And it’s a terrible time.” Does Wolf have a conscience? Whatever next? Sevvy is guilty after all? Well, perhaps not. In the final scene of “Revenge”, he visits what is presumably another squeeze of his, demanding to know if she killed Jessica. The plot thickens.