We finally see Franklin’s dark side in the tense fourth episode of The Undoing
This week’s episode of The Undoing is here, and the show continues to refuse to rule out any of its suspects. Warning: this article contains spoilers for episode four of The Undoing.
We may have reached the halfway point in this series, but things are more muddled than ever. From Grace’s unreliable narration to Fernando’s stalker act, The Undoing refuses to rule out any of its characters in this brutal game of whodunit.
Episode four starts by clearing up the big reveal we saw unfold at the end of last week’s episode – Grace (and her iconic hair) walking near Elena’s house on the night of her murder. According to Grace’s lawyer Haley Fitzgerald, the police aren’t treating this as a link to the crime scene because they have footage of her walking after the murder took place – but they still think she’s hiding something because, as Fitzgerald aptly says, “it’s what rich, entitled people do when threatened”.
After paying Jonathan a visit in prison – during which he admits to having had an affair with one other woman beside Elena – Fitzgerald tells him that it’s time to sort out bail. According to her, seeing Jonathan out of prison will help potential jurors to have a more favourable opinion of him – leaving Grace with no other option but to ask her father for the money.
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However, Franklin isn’t about to hand over two million dollars just like that. Instead, he takes a trip to visit Jonathan in prison and confront him about the crime. “I believe you killed that woman,” he says, before telling Jonathan he’ll kill him if he hurts Grace or Henry again and reluctantly posting his bail.
With Jonathan out of prison (and the press hounding the family upon his release), Grace spends the rest of the episode trying not to slip back into the comfortable family life she enjoyed with Jonathan and Henry. She sums it up when Jonathan makes an absent-minded attempt to hold her hand in public: “While you may not be a murderer, you’re not my husband.”
It’s also worth noting that somewhere in between these moments of personal struggle Grace is confronted with another uncomfortable truth about Elena: she rang Grace’s number countless times before she was murdered, and she happens to have a ginormous oil painting of Grace’s face in her art studio. Casual.
This is (understandably) a lot for Grace to handle – so much so that, during one of her long, night-time walks (during which Elena’s husband, Fernando, continues to follow her), she ends up wandering until sunrise and collapsing in a park due to stress.
Flash forward to sometime afterwards (timing is hard to measure in this program) and Jonathan decides it’s a good idea to pay Fernando a visit to warn him off of Grace. After barging into the family home and terrifying Elena’s son Miguel, Jonathan tries to reassure Fernando that he did not kill Elena, telling him, “I know your grief because I feel your grief,” before sitting down to hold Elena’s new-born baby (who also happens to be Jonathan’s daughter).
Unsurprisingly, Fitzgerald is furious when she finds out what Jonathan has done. Not only has he involved himself in witness tampering, but she finds it hard to believe that Jonathan thought he could change Fernando’s mind about his role in Elena’s murder simply by having a chat.
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However, although changing Fernando’s mind won’t be easy, Fitzgerald does have a plan to change any potential jurors’ opinions of Jonathan – a TV interview. As Grace sits in front of the TV with Henry, Franklin, Sylvia and her daughter, Jonathan makes an appeal to the people of New York City – he may not be an honourable person, but he did not murder Elena. It is then when he drops a final, earth-shattering bombshell: he did not kill Elena, but he has a pretty clear idea of who did. The end!
No matter who you think killed Elena (I’m leaning towards Franklin being involved, because of his 24/7 shady act), we’re going to have to wait and see who Jonathan suspects in next week’s episode. For now, however, let’s take a closer look at the big questions thrown up by episode four of The Undoing.
Why is Jonathan estranged from his family?
During his first conversation with Fitzgerald, Jonathan reveals that he is estranged from his family – that asking them for bail is out of the question, because they don’t have “the means or inclination” to help him.
We don’t learn much more about why he’s estranged from his family, but Jonathan’s reluctance to share what happened with his lawyer leads us to think it’s probably something pretty bad. It’s not like it’s a recent estrangement, either – Jonathan says he hasn’t spoken to his family since he went to college.
Whether or not we find out more about Jonathan’s backstory in the next episode, this fact could serve as evidence that Jonathan has a long history of transgressive behaviours – and that doesn’t bode well for his innocence going forward.
Why is Grace meeting with Jonathan’s public defender?
Even after Grace hires Haley Fitzgerald to take over from Jonathan’s public defender, she organises to meet with him over lunch and ask him about whether he thinks Jonathan is innocent.
For the record, he thinks he is – despite the fact that he thinks he’s a “dick head,” he seems pretty certain that Jonathan isn’t a murderer.
The weird bit about all of this is that he’s already told Grace that that’s how he feels – so why is she asking to talk to him again? The only reason I can think of is that she needs reassurance that she’s doing the right thing by getting Jonathan bail – in releasing him from jail, she’s nervous about the fact that she could be defending a brutal murderer.
Why is Franklin so intense?
I’ve suspected Franklin from the beginning (who hires Donald Sutherland to play a straightforward father figure?), and with every episode that passes my suspicion towards him grows even stronger.
For one thing, he’s incredibly intense. Besides the fact that he tells Jonathan he will kill him himself if he dares to hurt Grace or Henry again, he also threatens Henry’s principal when the school ask Grace to home school her son.
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“Make no mistake, I am a cocksucker,” he says, extremely straight-faced.
“And I don’t mean that in the sense of gay belittlement as it’s currently come to be interpreted. No, I’m an old-fashioned cocksucker. The more traditional kind. The kind who fucks over anyone who hurts me or a loved one. You speak of ugliness, Mr Connaver, you have not yet met ugliness.”
If that kind of comment doesn’t scream, “I’m-capable-of-killing-a-woman-because-she-threatened-to-ruin-my-daughter’s-family-dynamic” I don’t know what does.
Who does Jonathan think killed Elena?
It’s the biggest question to come out of episode four, and one we’ll hopefully get the answer to come next week’s episode.
It’s hard to tell where Jonathan’s suspicions lie – he may suspect Grace’s father Franklin (I think there’s an unspoken relationship going on between the two of them), but he could just as easily suspect Fernando, Grace or someone else entirely.
Personally, I’m still wondering what those men who crowded around Elena on the night of the fundraiser in episode one were doing. Surely they have to have something to do with her murder? Were they hired to intimidate her? And does Jonathan know about it? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
The Undoing episode four airs tonight on Sky Atlantic at 9 pm. It is also available to watch now on-demand on NOW TV and Sky Go.
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