We learn in this episode of Betty Broderick that successful trial lawyers don’t seek truth. They’re the ones who define truth itself. Review Inside.
One of the most fascinating things I find about court cases is that it’s not about the events as they occurred but, rather, the perception of the law in itself. This is very much highlighted by Dan Broderick as he teaches some incoming law students in the show’s opening scenes.
It’s stressed that the differences in how people see things matter less than how the game of logic is played. The evidence that arrives and when and how to present it must have the appropriate language and intention. It’s a logic game, and Dan’s good at it.
He’s been good at it since the beginning of the series. We see it not only with how he treats Betty but even in their initial courtship: how everything is a game to him he wants to win. In both cases, the victim and the loser is Betty.
We’re in the future of this reality Dan’s created now. He pays Betty off, and she sees the kids, in accordance with his rules of the settlement. Unhinged, Betty shows the boys her gun, claiming that her life, living alone and scared, is why she bought yet.
Yet, deep down, the audience knows that these same children, meant to weaponize the parental arguments on both sides, would inevitably share this with Dan. We get more fighting, more secrets, and a who-said-what and who-stole-what in the courts, as we’ve seen this dance play out throughout the series. We even see Betty, still in spite and hostile towards Dan, manipulate his relationships by sharing info on those not invited to Dan’s wedding to Linda.
Betty can’t help but do the threatening phone calls and harassment speeches. This leads to more legal feuds, this time between herself and Linda. And, though things eventually settle and everything returns back to court, we are metaphorically seeing a defeated woman lie down and die. Betty celebrates her small victories, continuing the harassing phone calls and angry feuds with Dan because her life has become this: ruined.
This episode lets us dwell in the sadness. It makes the audience see how pathetic Betty’s life has become, defined by her antagonistic relationship with her ex-husband, who doesn’t help the situation by letting her be and letting the cycle continue. Defeated, Betty realizes she has nothing left…
So she goes off to visit Dan, one final time. The phones ring. The echoes of sins spill abound. Children cry. Sadness overwhelms us. Betty Broderick, in tears, with her family, spends the latter evening sleeping in jail.
After having just murdered Dan and Linda.
Tune in for the conclusion next week.