Trial 4 episode 5 recap – “Hidden Link”

November 11, 2020
Daniel Hart 1
Netflix, TV Recaps


Shocking, corrupt, and unforgivable, “Hidden Link” encapsulates everything wrong with Sean’s conviction, and the Netflix series begins to hit home the truth.

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Shocking, corrupt, and unforgivable, “Hidden Link” encapsulates everything wrong with Sean’s conviction, and the Netflix series begins to hit home the truth.

This recap of Netflix limited series Trial 4 episode 5, “Hidden Link” contains information on the chapter.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive.

The opening

“Hidden Link” discusses how Detective Mulligan’s finances were investigated. Sean’s lawyer Rosemary Scapicchio believes she can use the finances to prove his innocence. She laid all out the finances between the main four detectives; Mulligan, Brazil, Robinson, and Acerra. She’s trying to make sure that the judge makes an informed decision for the evidentiary hearing.

A corrupt cop was worse

A former drug dealer explains how a corrupt cop is worse than a criminal because they are working for both sides — there’s a theme running in this series; there’s a human flaw in policing that needs to be accounted for. The plot thickens; Mulligan submitted overtime vouchers for court sessions, and some sessions didn’t even exist.

Governance and red tape

Episode 5 sees Rosemary Scapicchio submit a request to Internal Affairs regarding Detective Mulligan — she tries all avenues and is told she needs a court order for anti-corruption files. Rosemary describes how it takes years to get them — she details how this happens to many convicts trying to prove their innocence in prison. Eventually, the FBI send Rosemary Mulligan’s file; the report states that the detective was “as dirty as they come”.

“Hidden Link” begs the question — why wasn’t this available to the defence in the first place?

The evidentiary hearings

In 2013, Rosemary Scapicchio had all the documents she needed to request a motion for a new trial — the documents present plenty of corruption. The evidentiary hearing is a three-day session. Rosemary raises how the four detectives robbing people and drug dealers would have changed the perspective of the initial trials. Sean’s ex-defense lawyer attends the hearing, and he states that if he had all of this corruption evidence, they would not be here trying to free Sean — he would already be free. They even interviewed the prosecutor who did the original trials — Phyllis Broker. She remembers removing Acerra from the task force, but she doesn’t remember it being for misconduct — this goes back to when the police union tried to take Phyllis Broker off the case.

The newly released documents

In November 2014, the DA’s office hands over documents that Rosemary has never seen before. The judge is exasperated that these documents have been turned over now. The Boston police had stonewalled the defense lawyers for 21 years. These documents were 500 pages. Rosemary tells the audience that someone’s life is on the life and you sense the disgust she feels for this in her voice. The newly released documents find an anti-corruption unit report on detective Mulligan. Before Sean’s first trial, Mulligan and Robinson had been investigated for robbing a drug dealer together in 1991. Sean’s lawyers at the time did not have this information — they find the information incredible.

The ending

And the plot deepens even more; before the evidentiary hearing, Rosemary Scapicchio discovered evidence of an allegation that a fellow officer killed detective Mulligan; Detective Armstead had a young daughter who Mulligan was apparently fooling around with — Armstead once said that “Mulligan will be shot between the eyes outside Walgreens”.

Rosemary tells the judge that Sean did not get a fair trial based on the new evidence.

Shocking, corrupt, and unforgivable, Trial 4 Episode 5 encapsulates everything wrong with Sean’s conviction, and the Netflix series begins to hit home the truth. It’s truly shocking to watch as important documents are revealed, and it’s apparent that Sean has had over 20 years of his life wasted by authorities that are meant to protect him.

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1 thought on “Trial 4 episode 5 recap – “Hidden Link”

  • November 30, 2021 at 2:25 am

    This lady sucks… Phyllis Barker should be extremely ashamed of herself. Threatening to take a young mother’s child away because of your politics of a high profile case. One sad and sick woman. In my heart and I hope in the hearts of others can understand where I’m going from that Phyllis Barker “your judgement day will be in front of GOD.!” I have no I’ll will toward anyone but people who do kill cops
    that are getting up every day and just doing their job at balancing the scales.I will let you know mine was one.For a woman of Phyllis Barker’s stature gives other woman that work to actually balance the scales of justice a bad name it’s just completely and utterly wrong. Your just blatantly trying to hurt a child. I am sorry that at 19, 20, years old that Sean Ellis’s wife/fiance was caught in that kind of f line if fire.

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