Murder in the First (TV series)
|Murder in the First|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Production company(s)||TNT Original Productions|
|Original run||June 9, 2014– present|
Murder in the First is an American detective drama television series that airs on TNT. The series was created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal, and stars Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson. Set in San Francisco, the show follows a single case across an entire season. TNT ordered 10 episodes on September 19, 2013, which premiered on June 9, 2014.
On September 12, 2014, TNT renewed Murder in the First for a ten-episode second season.
San Francisco homicide detectives Terry English and Hildy Mulligan investigate what originally appear to be two unrelated murders. Ultimately, they learn both victims have ties to Silicon Valley prodigy Erich Blunt.
Cast and characters
- Taye Diggs as Inspector Terry English: an SFPD homicide detective coping with the death of his terminally ill wife
- Kathleen Robertson as Inspector Hildy Mulligan: an SFPD homicide detective and single mother
- Tom Felton as Erich Blunt: a young Silicon Valley prodigy
- Steven Weber as Bill Wilkerson: long-time friend, driver, and pilot of Erich Blunt
- James Cromwell as Warren Daniels: famed defense attorney of Blunt's, recommended by David Hertzberg
- Richard Schiff as David Hertzberg: Blunt's personal and corporate attorney
- Nicole Ari Parker as District Attorney Jacqueline Perez
- Currie Graham as Chief Prosecutor Mario Siletti
- Ian Anthony Dale as Lieutenant Jim Koto: the squad's no-nonsense supervisor
- Raphael Sbarge as Inspector David Molk: a philosophizing SFPD homicide inspector
- Lombardo Boyar as Inspector Edgar Navarro: A dedicated SFPD homicide inspector, Molk's partner
- Bess Rous as Ivana West: the chief technology officer of Blunt's company
- Mimi Kirkland as Louise Mulligan: Hildy's inquisitive six-year-old daughter
Murder in the First scored 68 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 20 "generally favorable" reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes currently reports a 73% "certified fresh" critics rating with an average rating of 6.8/10 based on 22 reviews. The website consensus reads: "Murder in the First fits happily into the over-arcing [sic] season-long murder mystery mold, offering pleasurably typical twists and natural, attention-grabbing characters".
|Title||Director||Writer||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|1||1||"Pilot"||Thomas Schlamme||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Eric Lodal
|June 9, 2014||3.76|
|English and Mulligan are assigned the case of a man shot in a drug den in the Tenderloin district, leaving behind an iPad with an email to Blunt. The parents of the victim's long-dead girlfriend tell them that Blunt is actually their grandson. English brings his wife home for hospice care, where she dies. The detectives find a likely suspect for the shooting, Chris Walton (Charles Baker), a drug dealer with a violent history identified as being at the scene. They question him about who might have hired him; he lawyers up and then insults Mulligan, whereupon English beats him. The flight attendant on Blunt's private plane—whom Blunt fired during her last flight, though he planned to take her back—is found dead in her home, naked, having fallen or been pushed down the stairs.|
|2||2||"The City of Sisterly Love"||Jesse Bochco||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Eric Lodal
|June 16, 2014||2.90|
|The medical examiner determines that Cindy, the flight attendant, was definitely a homicide, was two months pregnant, and had oral sex with a man (who could potentially be identified by DNA) within an hour of her death. The detectives bring in her ex-husband Mark, who has an alibi, and question Wilkerson, the pilot of the plane, who discovered her body. They surreptitiously obtain DNA samples from both. Walton takes a plea, but English is convinced the two homicides both involving Blunt must be linked. Against his lawyer's advice, Blunt appears for questioning by English and Mulligan, who play bad cop and good cop respectively. With his lawyer and English out of the room, Blunt tells Mulligan that although he is innocent, he has the resources to defeat any attempt at prosecuting him. Later he invites her to an off-duty romantic dinner, after which she kisses him, thus obtaining his DNA sample.|
|3||3||"Who's Your Daddy"||Rick Wallace||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Alison Cross
|June 23, 2014||2.65|
|Evidence begins to mount against Blunt: lab tests show a high probability he is both the father of Cindy's unborn child and the source of the semen in her mouth, and Molk's acquaintance Hannah reveals to him that Blunt drugged and raped her, nearly choking her, some five years ago. The medical examiner is confident off the record that Cindy died at 8:30 p.m., though he can only testify to a range from 8:00 to midnight; a text came from Cindy's phone to Wilkerson at 9:00 but the detectives learn about ways this could have been faked by a technical expert like Blunt. Blunt reconsiders his strategy and hires famed defense attorney Warren Daniels. The boy who helped locate Walton finds Mulligan and tells her that his mother is in danger from her boyfriend. Later D-Hop, the boy, phones to say that an attack is in progress. Mulligan goes to the address and kills the boyfriend when he comes at her with a knife. She is placed on administrative leave for ten days. A drug dealer named Milan tells English that Blunt is an expert in krav maga; with heavy backup, English arrests him for the murder at his dojo.|
|4||4||"Burning Woman"||Ben Bolt||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Alison Cross
|June 30, 2014||2.49|
|Blunt is released on $10M bail, but soon violates the conditions of his bond by flying to the Burning Man festival, where he is photographed. The judge revokes his bail and returns him to custody, and Daniels withdraws from his case. Before that, Milan reports that Blunt has arranged a drug buy, but when English stakes out the location he is met instead by Blunt's employee Salter, English's former SFPD boss. At her hearing on the shooting, Mulligan finds D-Hop's mother represented by an unscrupulous lawyer and misrepresenting the circumstances in the hope of winning a wrongful death suit. After English talks to D-Hop and Mulligan talks to his mother (with both detectives risking charges of witness tampering), the mother recants and Mulligan is both exonerated and returned to duty. At a dinner at Mulligan's house to celebrate, English and Mulligan share a kiss, but he leaves before things go further.|
|5||5||"Pants on Fire"||Allison Anders||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: David Maples
|July 7, 2014||2.55|
|Despite his lack of criminal experience, David takes over Blunt's defense. He meets with the mayor, and soon after the judge recuses himself and David is able to get the new judge to reinstate Blunt's bond. Salter leads the detectives to surveillance tapes destroying Mark's original alibi for the night of the murder, but his new story of a spontaneous tryst in a car is confirmed confidentially by the other party, one Dr. Smoot. When Blunt begs Daniels to return to the case, he gives Blunt a polygraph test and then agrees when he passes. Wilkerson's wife leaves him and serves him with divorce papers; he finds her with Blunt's help, and learns that she has somehow acquired a video of him having sex with Cindy. After an awkward discussion of the kiss with English, Mulligan returns home to find Blunt on her doorstep, asking for a date after his case is resolved.|
|6||6||"Punch Drunk"||Reggie Hudlin||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Brian Nelson
|July 14, 2014||2.67|
|Six months later, Blunt's trial begins. English testifies to his belief that the two murders are related. Mulligan's ex-husband, as part of his alcohol recovery process, apologizes to English for a drunken fight three years ago. Inspired by this and by Mulligan's criticism of his quick resort to violence, English travels to San Quentin to apologize to Walton for beating him during interrogation. With no one else present, Walton recants his confession and urges English to find the actual killer of Blunt's father. At the trial, Mark Strauss is unable to convincingly assert his alibi under questioning from Daniels. Just as the prosecution is about to bring Dr. Smoot to the stand to verify the alibi, the trial is interrupted: Mark has been found dead of an apparent drug overdose, leaving a laptop with a suicide note in which he confesses to killing Cindy. Also, Wilkerson and his wife come to blows at a meeting arranged by David to discuss their potential divorce.|
|7||7||"Suck My Alibi"||Mike Mayers||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Brian Nelson
|July 21, 2014||2.53|
|The DA tells Mulligan and English that she can delay, but not prevent, public release of the note found with Mark. They suspect Blunt's tech director, Ivana West, of writing the note, although digital records appear to give her an alibi. They bring West in, and, after she asks for a lawyer, English confronts her with stylistic evidence and threatens her with a media circus that would harm her firm's stock. She says that she picked up Mark at a bar intending to kill him, but that he died of a drug overdose first and she wrote the note. This testimony is inadmissible, but it allows the DA to truthfully say that Mark's death was neither a homicide nor suicide, and that he left no note. Mulligan and English then destroy the laptop. At the trial, Mulligan withstands Daniels' questioning, and Hannah testifies to her rape by Blunt, though she admits that she has no physical evidence of it.|
|8||8||"Win Some, Lose Some"||Jesse Bochco||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Alison Cross
|July 28, 2014||2.74|
|Blunt takes the stand against Daniels' advice. He testifies that he saw Cindy that night, had sex with her, left her alive and well, lied to the police because it wouldn't look good, and learned about her pregnancy only from the leak of the autopsy. He also says that Hannah was his lover but that she made up the rape story to get a better settlement when Blunt sold his former company. A devastated Hannah is consoled by Molk. English again visits Walton and now believes his story. He also has sex on the first date with his realtor, but drives her away when she expresses love for him. West testifies that she was with Blunt later that night, and that she would take over the company were Blunt to be convicted and thus has no motive to protect him. Both sides make closing arguments, and that night Blunt tells Wilkerson that he was the one who sent the sex tape to his wife, believing that Wilkerson was better off without her. The jury returns quickly with a verdict of not guilty on both counts. On the way out of the courtroom, with no one else in earshot, Blunt reminds English and Mulligan of the rule of double jeopardy and then says that he killed Cindy.|
|9||9||"Family Matters"||Bethany Rooney||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Eric Lodal
|August 4, 2014||2.69|
|English and Mulligan pursue the theory that Blunt directed the murder of Kevin Nyers, his biological father. Questioned by English, D-Hop and his friend recant their identification of Walton, saying that an older man threatened them with a gun into silence. Noting that the killer took care to leave no clues, English questions Salter, who denies his guilt and brings Blunt's political influence to bear so that Koto orders them off the case, assigning them a new one out of rotation. This is the death of a wealthy drug user who overdosed, possibly from drugs injected by another, before being left for several days in a bathtub. The obvious suspect is her husband, but Daniels later appears with evidence that the husband (his new client) was in rehab since before the wife was seen alive. English again visits Harbach, Blunt's maternal grandfather, who is dying of cancer. He denies involvement in Nyers' death but D-Hop identifies him as the one who threatened him. Harbach is then found dead with an apparently self-inflicted wound from the gun that killed Nyers, leaving a note saying that he killed Nyers and acted alone. Walton is released, and Koto forbids Mulligan and English from further pursuing their theory that Blunt was involved. West tells Blunt that she is leaving his company to form another; Blunt reacts angrily and later English confronts him and vows to find him out.|
|10||10||"Blunt the Edge"||Jesse Bochco||Story by: Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal
Teleplay by: Eric Lodal
|August 11, 2014||3.39|
|The detectives learn that the gun that killed Nyers once belonged to Salter. Questioned, Salter tells them that he gave the gun to Blunt some years ago; he then quits his job with Blunt. This circumstantial case is not good enough for the DA, who will only try Blunt for the second murder if she has ironclad proof. Mulligan and English again visit Mrs. Harbach and win her confidence, finally learning that Wilkerson was involved in Blunt's dealings with her husband. Wilkerson visits Blunt, who finds the recording device hidden in his watch and then explains how he committed both murders. Blunt arrives at the police station the next morning, claiming evidence that Salter and Wilkerson killed Nyers, but he is surprised to learn that the NSA (with a federal search warrant) hacked his own phone and recorded his conversation with Wilkerson. He is arrested and his company's stock loses all its value. Daniels refuses to defend him again, telling David that he knew all along that Blunt killed Cindy and actually failed the lie detector test. The detectives' celebratory walk in Golden Gate Park is interrupted by the news that Blunt has hanged himself in his cell.|
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