'Presumed Innocent' Just Dropped One of My Favorite TV Episodes of the Year

a man and woman kissing
'Presumed Innocent' Ep 3 is a Thrill RideApple

I haven’t been on a rollercoaster in years, but watching Presumed Innocent on Apple TV+ sure feels like one. The premiere set up a mind-bending mystery, with Rusty Sabich (Jake Gyllenhaal) suspected of murdering his mistress, Carolyn (Renate Reinsve). Episode 2 upped the ante with a chilling cliffhanger: a paternity test concluded that Carolyn was pregnant with Rusty’s child—someone else knows about the affair, too. Now, episode 3 begins with Rusty receiving a terrifying text. You were there, I saw you.

Well, I’ve never been accused of murder, but I have a feeling that’s the last thing you want to hear before a trial! Rusty rushes outside to call the number, but it’s no use. They won’t respond. He shows the text to his wife, Barbara. “Saw you where?” she asks. “I wasn’t there to kill her,” he responds. Come on, man. When is he going to learn to stop keeping secrets? First the affair, and now this? So much for Rusty’s alibi.

The next morning, Rusty’s lawyer, Raymond, wakes up from a nightmare. He dreamed that Rusty killed Carolyn. Raymond’s wife, Lorraine, wonders if the dream signifies something bigger. Maybe Raymond knows, deep down, that Rusty isn’t innocent. Meanwhile, Rusty’s family is struggling to adjust to the media circus. A group of reporters swarm their home. “Don’t they have actual news to report?” Kyle asks. “We are actual news,” says his sister, Jayden. While they try to ignore the journalists outside, Rusty receives another text. This time, the sender asks to meet.

Before heading over, Rusty stops by Raymond’s house for advice. Raymond thinks it’s a bad idea. “If you do this, you have to assume that the person you’re meeting is wearing a wire. So whatever you say, I strongly suggest you keep it simple,” he says. “Watch your words. Definitely don’t say you hit Carolyn in the head with a poker.”

Does anyone believe Rusty’s innocent?!

a couple of men shaking hands
Rusty and Raymond. Apple TV+

I’m not so sure, but Barbara still does. While Rusty’s with Raymond, she goes to work and is promptly put on administrative leave. I guess a high-stakes murder trial is bad for business. Afterward, she wanders into a bar, befriends a handsome server, and spills her life story. “Did he kill his mistress>” her new friend asks. “He did not do it,” she says. “Beautiful women tend to have a lot of enemies.”

Even if Rusty is innocent, he’s still guilty of betraying Barbara. Lorraine points this out and encourages Barbara to look out for herself. “I admire your fight, your commitment to be in love, to stay in love with the man you married,” she says. “Rusty isn’t the man you married.” Oof. It's tough to hear, sure, but I’m glad someone said it. Justice for Barbara!

a man looking at the camera
Barbara’s new (and handsome) friend. Apple TV+

That afternoon, Rusty meets up with his mystery messenger. It’s Carolyn’s son, Michael. Remember when I said he was a little odd? I knew something was up! The kid is furious. “Why did you kill her?” he asks. Rusty dismisses the accusation. He offers to tell Michael anything he wants to know about their relationship, but Michael is persistent. He says he has photos and videos of Rusty at the house the night Carolyn died. Oh, and he’s already given them to the police. If Rusty wasn’t screwed before, he sure is now. Except... Michael’s evidence means that he was there, too. Interesting.

Later on, Rusty’s kids ask him to be honest about the prosecution's evidence. If you need a refresher, here’s what we know so far:

  1. Rusty was there the night of Carolyn’s murder.

  2. Rusty’s DNA was in her apartment.

  3. Carolyn’s DNA was on Rusty’s car.

  4. Carolyn was pregnant with Rusty’s child.

  5. Carolyn was tied up like a victim from a case that she and Rusty worked on.

“They’re going to make the argument that I was in a unique position to make it look like somebody else did it,” Rusty says. Kyle suggests he take a plea deal, but Rusty balks at the notion. “Why would I take a plea for something that I did not do?”

a person looking at something
Rusty’s daughter, Jayden, learns about the prosecution.Apple TV+

While they talk it out, the prosecution, Tommy and Nico, meet for a drink. Nico is concerned that Tommy is too invested in Rusty’s downfall. He also worries that Tommy is too narcissistic to handle the job ethically. “Do you remember what you said when I made you Chief Deputy Prosecutor?” he asks. “The first thing you said was, ‘The girls are sure gonna like me now.’” Gross. Before they part ways, Nico reminds Tommy that he can’t use this case to satisfy his ego. “We need hard evidence for murder,” he says.

Later on, Rusty recalls the moment he fell for Carolyn. They were working together on a sexual assault case, and the victim was a minor. He remembers Carolyn comforting the child and expressing care that most prosecutors don't have. He and Carolyn’s affair may have been messy, but he claims he was too in love to kill her. “I would have never hurt her,” Rusty says. “Somebody else did that. And whoever that person is, is having a good fucking laugh while everyone comes after me.”

The episode ends with Raymond sending Rusty footage from the night of Carolyn’s murder. There’s a photo of Rusty and Carolyn cuddling. A video of him arriving at the front door. A clip of Carolyn closing the blinds. Then, a shot of someone biking away. Rusty zooms in to get a closer look—it’s Kyle. Looks like three people were around that night.

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