Episode 7 of “Accused” takes things up a notch in terms of twists while dealing with not one but two criminal offenses, each committed by a different person. The episode does throw light on how instigation can lead to unanticipated harm, as well as how sometimes what seems to be right isn’t so. There’s more to the episode than can be summed up in words, but let’s find out what happens.
A woman is crying inside a public restroom cubicle at a US District Court in Brooklyn, New York. Her lawyer calls out to her, and she comes out. The session is about to begin. This is Brenda Kramer’s story.
Brenda, a stand-up comedian, watches as her friend Zeke Thompson performs on stage at a club. He has made it big in the business and is about to go on tour. Brenda’s friends Chadwick and Aaron, also present at the club, tell her to pitch herself to Zeke at his afterparty. Brenda and Chadwick arrive at the afterparty and meet Zeke. However, there are more people he needs to meet, so Brenda will have to wait to talk to him about stuff. Meanwhile, Chadwick has to leave due to an emergency involving his dog. So Brenda is all by herself. She tells Zeke that she wants to show him some new content she has made. They both head to a room upstairs where Zeke can listen to the video. Zeke likes the video and agrees to let her host some shows, after which she can even feature. Brenda is overjoyed and hugs Zeke, who tries to kiss her. He continues to force himself on her despite her repeatedly telling him “no.” Zeke rapes Brenda.
Brenda tells her lawyer that she wants all this to be over. She is in a lot of pain. Her lawyer reminds her that all of it began because Zeke Thompson raped her. She cannot give up now.
Brenda leaves Zeke’s place and returns home. She is in shock and changes her clothes, after which she dials Joyce, the owner of the club where she performs along with Zeke and Chad. She tells her about what Zeke did, but Joyce tells her to look at the bigger picture. She now has the chance to be what she always wanted. She will be hosting Zeke Thompson’s cross-country tour. Joyce tells her to go to bed for the night and calls her the next morning. Brenda wakes up the next day to a call from Zeke, but she disconnects it. She goes for a medical examination. Chadwick picks her up from the medical center. She knows that he is her only support. Once back at her home, Chadwick shows her his phone. Zeke Thompson has been arrested for sexual assault [we do not know if her report is what got Zeke arrested or if it was someone else who lodged the complaint because Zeke has done the same to other women, as per Brenda]. Furthermore, her name is making the rounds on social media. While some are supporting her, others are abusing her and calling her a liar, among other things. However, there is one particular person on @RBGsCAPE who keeps defending Brenda. She replies to this woman’s tweet with a thank-you note. Meanwhile, Zeke has been calling her repeatedly, and she finally decides to speak to him. Zeke tries to make her understand that whatever step she takes will ruin both their careers. When that doesn’t work, he tells her that no one will believe her because everyone knows she is “crazy.”
Brenda arrives at the assistant district attorney’s office. ADA Edward Levigne will be in charge of her case. She tells him that she went to the room willingly to show Zeke some of her work. She also tells him that there is nothing more worth knowing about the relationship between her and Zeke.
ADA Levigne is in the witness box, where he tells the prosecutor that he found Brenda understandably upset. The court also has a group of female supporters among the audience, who have black tape over their mouths to show that they stand in solidarity with Brenda.
It is nighttime. Brenda and Chadwick arrive at the club and find out that Brenda has been sacked by Joyce. She cannot let Brenda work because Zeke is, after all, her golden goose. She cannot afford to lose him for her. Also, Chadwick has a performance scheduled for the night, so Brenda, contrary to his decision to quit for her, tells him to go in. Joyce gives Brenda her payment and heads inside as well. This is when she meets @RBGsCAPE, aka Tess Richards. They decide to have dinner together. They are at Brenda’s when Chadwick comes. Brenda introduces Chadwick to Tess. Chadwick finds out that Tess is an associate at a law firm. As the two are talking, Chadwick hears the sound of glass breaking. Brenda is too drunk and has dropped a glass. Tess takes her to bed and tells Chadwick to give Brenda some time. In other words, leave Brenda alone. Chadwick also finds cutouts of Zeke’s face from photographs that Brenda had of their friend group.
Levigne talks to Zeke, who tells him that he didn’t ask Brenda for a sexual favor in return for his job offer. The night she showed him her work in his room, they kissed, and the rest followed. Zeke also tells him that he and Brenda had slept together twice earlier. Chadwick confirms the same to Levigne. Aaron tells Levigne that Brenda slept with guys at the club. Tess is with Brenda at the former’s house. She finds out that Tess, too, was raped when she was a kid, and her parents and those of the boy “worked it out.” That’s when Chadwick arrives and tells Brenda about his talk with Levigne. The next day, Brenda meets Levigne, who tells her that owing to the information that she withheld from him [being physical with Zeke], he will not be bringing the charges against Zeke. He believes that she will lose the case owing to her drinking habit and her history of being physical with multiple men. Brenda is enraged and leaves the room. That night, when Chadwick returns to Brenda’s house [Tess is already there], it becomes clear to him that Brenda is angry with him for opening up to Levigne about her past with Zeke. Chadwick tries to tell Brenda to move on, and he and Tess get into a short argument when Tess throws alcohol in his face. Before it gets worse, Brenda asks Chadwick to leave. He leaves upset. Brenda has, meanwhile, posted on Zeke’s Instagram that she wants to burn him with gasoline. She tells Tess that she was drunk when she did that.
In Vino Veritas
Tess Richards is in the witness box and is being questioned by the prosecutor about Brenda’s post. Tess then reveals that she had gone to see Zeke’s performance at Goldie’s, the first of many as a part of his cross-country tour, the night after Brenda posted it.
After the performance at Goldie’s, when Zeke is about to get into his car, Tess approaches him, throws some alcohol on him, and throws a match, setting him on fire.
The prosecutor tells the jury that it was Brenda’s post that instigated and even gave Tess the idea to set Zeke on fire. This is when we realize that the case isn’t against Zeke Thompson but against Brenda Kramer [we can assume that Zeke filed the case]. That’s when Zeke enters the courtroom. All the women who support Brenda start banging on the desk to show their disapproval. The judge calms them down.
‘Accused’ Episode 7: Ending Explained – Is Brenda Kramer Found Guilty?
Brenda is in the witness box. She makes it clear that she never wanted to hurt Zeke. It was never her intent. However, the prosecutor asks her to just look at Zeke and try to comprehend what her words have led to. During the break, Brenda calls up Chadwick and asks him to come to the courtroom. He is the only person she needs to make amends with after how she behaved with him the night she told him to leave. She cannot face any of it alone.
The session resumes. The jury returns with its verdict. As the room waits for the verdict, the door opens, and in comes Chadwick, smiling at Brenda. The verdict of the jury is handed to the judge. On the count of “aggravated mayhem,” the jury finds Brenda Kramer not guilty. Brenda’s lawyer hugs her while Chadwick and the other women rejoice. As the people disperse, Chadwick hugs Brenda. She isn’t as relieved as she is supposed to be. She sees Zeke and goes to tell him that she had no idea Tess would do what she did. The other woman told her to apologize. Zeke remains quiet and excuses himself from the court. Brendan turns to the women and tells them that hurting Zeke isn’t the answer.
We are in no position to question Brenda’s decision but can only look at her in awe. She forgave Zeke despite how much he had damaged her, not just physically but mentally. “Accused,” Episode 7, goes beyond right and wrong and explores humanity from different perspectives. It hits each of us in different ways.