Love & Death Episode 6 Recap: “The Big Top”

Candy and Don leave the courthouse.
Screenshot / Max

The following recap contains spoilers for Love & Death Episode 6, “The Big Top” (written by David E. Kelley, James Atkinson & John Bloom, and directed by Clark Johnson)

After a most comical investigation, Candy finally made it to trial. “The Big Top” was noticeably shorter than previous episodes, coming in at 45 minutes, thus making this episode fly by with little to show for it.

The Trial Begins

Candy sits looking ahead.
Screenshot / Max

It is now October of 1980. Candy (Elizabeth Olsen) is preparing to leave for the courthouse, as it is Jury selection day. Before she leaves the house, she makes sure to put on the infamous glasses. You will notice her hair is shorter as well. She looks 10 years older than she did in the previous episode, but this is intentional as Don wants her to look as basic and innocent as possible. Perhaps, she should’ve asked Pat (Patrick Fugit) for pointers.

Speaking of Pat, he questions Candy about why he isn’t allowed in the courtroom. She explains that any witnesses or potential witnesses aren’t allowed in.

At the courthouse, a press mob surrounds Candy as she exits the vehicle. Welcome to the Big Top Circus!

Inside, both the defense and prosecution prepare. The prosecution speaks briefly to the potential jurors about their duty in the courtroom. Don follows this with his speech, which begins by buttering up the potentials. He then shockingly admits that Candy is indeed guilty of killing Betty. There are gasps all around. Don makes sure to add, “In self-defense!”

Afterward, Don speaks to the press. Informing them to “buckle up and get ready!” If you recall from last week, the judge specifically told Don not to speak to the media. It comes back to bite him right in that tight arse of his. Judge “fat fuck” holds him in contempt on the first day of trial and sentences him to a $100 fine and 24 hours in jail, which will begin immediately following the end of the trial.

After speaking to the reporters, Don runs into Pat. Pat explains to Don that everyone looks at him like he’s a cuckold. I mean if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

The trial officially begins, and the prosecution calls Allan (Jesse Plemons) as the first witness. It doesn’t do much to benefit them as most of his testimony worked in Candy’s favor, much to Betty’s fathers’ dismay.

Allan sits on the stand.
Screenshot / Max

Later her father confronts Allan. He says none of this would have happened if he hadn’t cheated. (CORRECT!)

“You looked at that bloody ax and had no reaction, showed no remorse. Betty is dead. Why doesn’t that bother you?” Her father questions Allan. And Allan, simpleton as he is, simply says, “We weren’t getting along too well.”

What the actual fuck, Allan?

The prosecution questions the police chief, neighbors, and anyone else who was there at the scene of the crime. They all describe the blood and horror of it all.

Candy’s legal team says everything can be brushed off as self-defense except that Candy whacked Betty 40 times. Yikers. Don also notices that Candy seems unfocused and in a daze. He learns she has been taking Serax which is a “benzo” used to help with anxiety. He tells her she needs to stop immediately because she is coming off like a zombie and “unfeeling buys you prison.”

The prosecution saves their most important witness for last, the pathologist. He describes the brutality of each blow. As he does, autopsy photos are shown. I questioned whether these were real or not because they did not look like Lily Rabe, but then again I suppose that’s the point. One of the blows to her face destroyed it. He says there really was no face anymore.

Betty’s dad is crying. I don’t blame him as the pathologist goes on about how the ax was stuck in the bone at one point, and Candy would have had to constantly wiggle it back and forth before yanking it out. Then, she continued to swing. The jury is aghast. Even Don, when called to cross-examine, takes a moment to collect himself.

Don’s cross-examination was to prove one thing and that is no one could say for certain who started the fight, not even the pathologist.

The prosecution rests. The judge tells Don it’s his turn to call his first witness (which is supposed to be Candy.) He is shocked because he assumed they would resume the next day but the judge says now. Candy is zoned out on her Serax, and Don asks the judge to reconvene in the morning. The judge says he has ten minutes, “tick-tock.” It is then that the camera zooms into Candy’s eyes as they stare directly into our souls. Fin.

Where is the Je Ne Sais Quoi?

I’m not sure what I expected from this episode. It felt lacking in some way. Maybe more emotion from all parties involved would have been nice. I mean, a woman who was potentially pregnant was hit with an ax 40 times. This woman had part of her body smashed in and chopped off. Her toddler was left alone all day in the heat and in her own defecation. It was sad and it was brutal. Yet, I felt like I was watching the trial of someone accused of embezzlement. The only emotion came from Betty’s dad and the occasional “ooh’s and ahhs” of the jury.

It’s not surprising, considering everything that has happened until now. Allan, Candy, and Pat are just so out of touch with who they are and who they keep in their company. The police force is a joke, and the judge, according to Don, is a fat fuck who is looking to be on television.

I assumed this episode would cover the whole trial and next week’s finale would show us the aftermath of everything, but it looks like we are set to see Candy testify next week and get the verdict. I am sure in true Candy fashion she will snap out of her Serax coma and be ready to charm the jury.

Written by Felicia Nickens

Lover of television, film, & the macabre.

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