I didn’t think it was possible for a TV episode to synchronously awe me with the terrific emotional magnitudes of the central performances and bewilder me with its ability not to pick a side. But that is how the 5th episode of the true-crime drama Love And Death went about capturing Candy Montgomery’s disarrayed mental state as the walls closed in and the world pointed its condemning fingers at her. Elizabeth Olsen soared with all her magnificence in the scenes where the cracks on Candy become undeniably obvious, and the legal conundrum was paced just right to keep you right on the edge of your seat.
Why Does Candy Hire Don As Her Attorney?
It was only a matter of time until the cops brought in Candy and broke the news to her. Candy’s false nonchalance as each of her fingers is pressed on an inkpad is only one of the ways she is striving to keep her cool and hold on to her denial-induced facade of zen. She may be unaware that her unbothered demeanor is her biggest tell, but what stands out as the most curious glitch in Candy’s well-crafted disposition is how closely she has embraced her denial and has almost convinced a part of her mind that it’s the truth. The cops have bagged enough evidence to nail Candy Montgomery. But for the sake of the legal process, she’s only been outed as the prime suspect in the murder of a widely disliked Betty Gore. People love a good show. What they love more is an evidence-backed conclusion to a murder case that steals their quiet night’s sleep. So Candy is as good as convicted.
With blood-thirsty media flocking around her like a pack of wolves and the cops trying to get a warrant for her arrest, Candy turns to the only person she can trust, Don. She does try to lie her way through the hush-hush meetings with Don, who’s the lawyer Pat has just retained, But Don knows Candy too closely for her to keep up the ruse. But I doubt the attorney-client privilege is the only reason that Candy comes clean about her heinous crime to Don. She is not a seasoned criminal. Therefore, she’s been in need of a safe space for her to let the truth out. Turning down the sage advice he gives her about hiring the best possible criminal lawyer; Candy settles on Don as the only person she trusts with saving her life. Candy’s life revolves around the church, and its people would have been her lifelong friends had it not been for what went down in Betty Gore’s utility room. So it’s no surprise that Candy opts for the one person who she knows will give it his all to clear her name.
What Is Don’s Plan For Candy?
Don’s instruction about keeping mum about everything only helps Candy use it as an excuse to distance herself from Pat. Carefully dodging every question and reasonable concern Pat throws her way, Candy only cements the suspicions that have already been brewing within him. Don can’t do the unthinkable and mess with the damning evidence that the cops already have. What he plans to do is to strengthen the narrative that there’s no way a mousy little housewife like Candy could ever swing an axe that big, let alone commit the kind of brutality that took Betty’s life.
To look the part and sway the jury, Candy is even advised to lose weight to appear smaller than she is and give herself a more conservative makeover. Don puts all of his wiles to use when he tactfully manipulates Ron into taking the church’s future into account and convincing his flock to support one of their own in court. You wouldn’t think that this is not what Don’s days look like in general when you see him, and Robert get into character and fight tooth and nail to keep Candy from getting arrested. What will make you crash down to reality is Don’s lack of foresight when it comes to the cops and the DA rejecting the bond and getting Candy arrested anyway. Sure, it’s easy to bring her back prior to the trial. But the traumatizing strip search and showering in a jail shower aren’t things that Candy is likely to heal from for a long time yet. The struggle is far from over.
What Does Candy’s Hypnosis Reveal About Her?
If Candy was, in fact, a sociopath, there would certainly be more signs than just one stray, unimaginably vicious explosion. Candy has evidently been a perfect social butterfly, liked by all and loved by her family and friends. Of course, Love And Death has taken creative liberties with its depiction of how the affair between Candy and Allan commenced, but if you think about just how prevalent and common extramarital affairs are, you wouldn’t really think that Candy would have to be, especially odd to let go of her inhibitions. It’s Don who is the first to wonder if some sort of a split personality disorder was at play when Candy did the deed that would eventually make her one of the most terrifying axe murderers in history. Whether it’s for the sake of quenching his own curiosity or to gather more ammo for court, Don suggests that Candy take a few sessions with a psychiatrist in Houston. It isn’t unusual to take the mental illness plea route for a suspect who will be buried under rubble when the plethora of evidence against them comes out.
So after putting up a bit of a fight, Candy comes to terms with the fact that it is for her own good and heads over to Houston with Don and one of his associates. This is where Love And Death is once again given a rather macabre opportunity to spread its creative wings and make the infamous hypnosis session as affecting as possible. The real hypnosis session performed by a certain Dr. Fred Fason–the one groundbreaking piece of evidence that made it possible for Candy Montgomery to avoid doing time–still remains one of the most fascinating reversals of fate in the gruesome arena of true crime.
In Love And Death Episode 5, the session is impressively kept as close to the real description of it in Texas Monthly as possible while being so bizarre that it almost comes off as a gimmick. Dr. Fason expertly makes Candy let her guard down and revisit the memories she would rather lock up in a little box and dump in the darkest, most unfrequented corner of her mind. Peculiar moans and groans echoing throughout the office force Don into interrupting the session only to learn that Candy has confessed to the crime and the very nature of it. Through the impeccably conducted session of hypnosis, Dr. Fason has discovered that Candy isn’t a sociopath. She snapped when Betty, unbeknownst to her trigger, shushed her and set her off. The trigger that made Candy do the unthinkable was rooted in a childhood memory of her obnoxious mother shushing her as a crying, wounded Candy was being wheeled into the hospital. We’ve previously seen Candy discard her usually sweet demeanor and lash out when Allan shushed her as they were putting an end to the affair. So far, Pat has been intentionally kept in the dark about what is really going down with the case which would soon have his wife face a life-altering trial. But as the ending scene reveals, Don finally knows enough about the murder and Candy’s convoluted innocence even as an axe-murderer to let Pat in on the truth.