01x17 - Stranger Beside You

You didn't.

I did.

And they're blueberry, your favorite.

These are cherry.

I thought you said they were blueberry.

They are.

What's wrong?

Nothing.

It's just, uh... this is when the scary thing usually happens.

Nightmares back?

No.

Just a dream.

Good. I was worried about you.

Well...

I have sleep issues.

He says to the girl who's been shackling him to the bed every night for two weeks.

Not that I'm complaining.

I think it's kind of hot.

What were you working on?

What were you dreaming about?

You.

Always you.

She's hiding something from me.

Two weeks in, and you're already sabotaging the relationship?

Sounds about right.

I'm serious, Ains.

In my dream last night, Eve gave me muffins.

She said they were blueberry, but they were actually cherry.

Why would she lie about that?

She lied to you... in your dream about imaginary muffins.

My subconscious was telling me something's wrong.

Or, maybe you just don't know how to be happy, and-and right now, Eve seems too good to be true.

Has she done anything in the real world to make you doubt her?

Yes.

She has a briefcase that's locked.

Ooh!

Okay, well, that's not so strange, but...

...she came back, after I nearly killed her.

Why would she do that?

Because she cares about you.

And for some reason, that's harder for you to believe than your girlfriend having some secret agenda.

99% of people aren't serial killers, Malcolm.

But we're part of the one percent.

Fine, you work for the NYPD.

If you're so concerned, check her out.

I'll do the same.

We can finally see who the better investigator is.

Bye.

"The better investigator"?

It's me!

Ready for something intense?

Always. Welcome to the wonderful world of mommy blogging.

The owners of this home were throwing a sip and see.

"Sip and see" what? The baby.

It's a way for influencer moms to debut their brand-new babies and post-baby bods.

Probably not in that order.

Victim is Ezra Cassavel.

Uh, heir to a textile fortune and husband of the host, Alessa Cassavel.

Perfect life, camera-ready family, but sometimes perfect can be an illusion.

Where's Gil, Edrisa?

Oh, in here with the stiff!

Really?

Sorry, is "stiff" inappropriate?

Death by a bottle of bubbly's got to be a new one.

Actually, official cause of death is a severed carotid artery.

Probably six to eight hours ago.

And from the spatter pattern and pooling, he lost a liter of blood in seconds, then fell backwards into the ball pit and, you know, died.

Ooh!

Careful.

That bottle is firmly lodged in his neck and aerobic metabolism has taken over, pressure is building and his body cavity is squeezing.

The cork is gonna pop?

Oh, yeah.

Edrisa... your hand?

Oh, sorry.

What are you seeing, Bright?

Well, the murder weapon was provided by the hosts... which means our suspect wasn't planning on killing Ezra when he woke up this morning.

Our suspect went from zero to killer in an instant.

Someone with a history of aggression.

Anger issues.

Or he took one look at the price tag on all this baby swag.

Let's go with the anger.

After thrusting the champagne bottle into Ezra's neck, our killer simply left him to die.

They showed both explosivity and indifference.

He may have what is clinically known as a "depraved heart."

Run backgrounds on friends and family with any reports of assault.

Who found Ezra's body?

The nanny, she's upstairs with Alessa and the baby.

Alessa and I got back from last-minute errands.

She took Nina upstairs to nap.

And... I... I went to finish setting up.

That's when I saw the blood and glass.

It was Ezra.

Can you tell us what you remember?

Christine started screaming.

And I... I ran downstairs.

And, um... and then I called you.

Are you hurt?

Oh, no, it's fine.

I, um... it's from a few nights ago.

I've-I've been in such a daze since I brought Nina home.

Baby brain.

That psychological haze is an adaptive reaction to help mothers connect with their newborns.

It's a cloud of love.

Nothing to be embarrassed about.

Sorry. I'll be right back.

Hello?

My boy! Oh, I've missed you.

I was getting worried you were avoiding me.

Why would I ever avoid you?

You must have mixed feelings after stabbing your old man.

I'm making a speedy recovery, by the way.

More nimble than ever.

And I accept your apology.

I'm not apologizing.

Oh, potato, potato.

So, what have you been up to?

What's been keeping your attention?

I thought we agreed on two visits every ten days.

Uh...

Just been busy.

Dinners, plays.

Those sound like dates.

No reason to be shy.

Is this that lovely lady partner of yours?

Dani? - No.

Look, I really can't... - Oh, come on!

I can hear it in your voice.

Love is in the air!

Was that... a baby?

My, you work fast.

I'm on a case.

A man's been murdered at his baby's sip and see.

Sip and what?

Careful.

- Tell me more! That cork is gonna...

Bright!

Was that champagne?

I think I mistimed that.

I got to go.

18 different vendors were in and out of the Cassavel residence this morning.

I want lists of everybody who had access to that bottle of Dom.

I hate to say it, but Alessa looks good for this.

No way.

Alessa's too obsessed with her image, her brand.

Killing her husband would destroy all that.

Unless she thought her image was in jeopardy.

Killing Ezra might help preserve it.

Exactly, all I'm saying is there are two sides to motherhood.

The warm, fuzzy one, and the one where you maim your spouse for eating all the pizza rolls.

Um, I think that the au pair is worth digging into.

She is the one who found the body.

What are you thinking, Bright?

Neither Christine nor Alessa appear to be murderers.

But that's the problem with a "depraved heart."

Our killer might not present as dangerous.

That's kind of a nonanswer.

Our crime wasn't premeditated.

So what matters most is motive.

We need to find out what caused our killer to snap.

JT, look into Ezra... just because he's the vic doesn't mean he was innocent.

Dani, run background on the au pair.

Bright and I will talk to the mothers in Alessa's group.

Great, moms love me.

Hey, uh... if you're running a background on Christine, could you do me a favor?

Uh, sure, what's up?

Could you also look up Eve Blanchard?

You want me to run a background check on your girlfriend?

It's a long story.

Starts with a serial killer father, ends with a whole lot of trust issues.

Bright, that's wrong on so many levels.

Guess you didn't get the trust issues joke, which wasn't really a joke.

I did.

If you're having doubts about Eve, I'm not gonna be the one who confirms them.

You can, uh, screw things up all on your own.

Good talk, thanks.

Alessa's my best friend.

I can't believe this happened.

Or that she's trending.

Oh, my God. This is...

Wow.

Deirdre, did Alessa ever confide in you about any issues she was having with Ezra?

"Issues"?

No.

They were the perfect couple.

And professionally, they were killing it.

Oh.

You're talking about their brand?

Yeah.

They made it look so easy.

But they had help. Christine?

You know they met her in Monaco on their babymoon?

Ezra was a bit of a flirt.

I know if I had just given birth, I wouldn't want a waif like Christine in my home, know what I mean?

Deirdre, would you mind if we asked your nanny a few questions?

Not about me, right?

No.

About Christine.

Oh.

Of course.

I just keep my head down and collect my checks.

All these women are crazy.

Like, "too crazy for Bravo" crazy.

Do you have any reason to believe that Christine and Ezra were sleeping together?

Christine only opened up to me once.

Said she had bad luck with men, but "Ezra was different."

He was "one of the good ones."

If that's not code for "we're smackin' uglies..."

I don't know what is.

So, you have something to show me?

Yeah.

Mom?

Uh, in here, darling!

I'm with Eve!

Eve Blanchard, Ainsley...

The well-adjusted Whitly.

What's that?

Eve is helping me search for the girl that Malcolm found.

The girl in the box.

You really think this might be her?

Maybe.

Um, her name is Sophie Sanders.

She ran away from a group home in South Carolina in '94.

Her mother's initials are A.M.S.

Ah. Amelia Sanders.

Deceased, 1993.

Where does it say that her middle initial's "M"?

Uh, it's in the file somewhere.

You're from South Carolina, too, right?

No, North.

Oh. But weren't you in South Carolina before the Blanchards adopted you in 1995?

How do you know that?

Can't help it.

I'm a journalist.

You're perfect on paper, by the way.

You looked me up? Course.

Eve, ignore her.

My children can be socially bizarre.

But it's best to find it endearing and not deranged.

I shouldn't have come. Excuse me.

Eve, where are you going?

Please-please stay.

Ainsley.

Not every interaction has to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning feat of investigative journalism.

We need to talk about Eve.

Everything all right?

I can't stop thinking about the life Ezra and Alessa presented to the world.

They were... they were happy.

Thriving.

Was it all a lie?

Can you ever really know anyone?

Sure, you can.

What's going on... Got something.

Ezra withdrew $30,000 from his private account a week ago.

Married man pulling large sums from under his wife's nose?

That's good. But mine is better.

Christine Chartrand, the au pair?

She doesn't exist.

It's a fake name.

Alessa's as type A as they come.

There's no way she'd let someone into her home and around that baby without thoroughly vetting them.

I need to talk to her now.

To understand the real picture... no filters.

Right now? It's after 10:00.

Her baby feeds every two hours at night, and her husband was murdered.

She'll be up.

Powell, go with him, please.

Thank you for seeing us this late.

Yeah, it's fine. I just got Nina down.

And Christine? Uh, she's... sleeping upstairs in her room.

I don't know. Why?

That cut on your arm.

You said you got it a few nights ago, but it's bleeding, like it's fresh.

I'm a slow healer.

Um, I'm sorry.

What is going on?

We have reason to believe that Christine isn't who she says she is.

It's an alias.

That's impossible.

Ezra said her background check was spotless.

We also believe that Ezra may have been having an affair with her.

What?

Uh, no. I would have known.

Is that true?

You're exhausted, sleeping odd hours, vigilant when it comes to your baby...

But not with my husband.

You're worse than our trolls.

Alessa, is it possible that, behind this perfect exterior, something could have happened between them?

I can only imagine the pressure having a baby puts on a relationship.

No, no. It was the opposite.

We were almost separated before the pregnancy.

Nina saved us.

Is that Christine?

Can she hear us?

Uh, maybe.

Her room's right above us.

Where is she going?

The nursery.

Nina doesn't need anything.

She's taking her. Oh, my God.

She's stealing my baby!

Stay here. Don't move.

Baby's still here.

Where's Christine?

She's gone.

We've had teams out all night. No sign of Christine.

Dani's still at Alessa's, keeping an eye on her and Nina.

Do you think Christine really tried to steal the baby?

Let's say Christine did kill Ezra.

Why didn't she just steal Nina and run?

What is she after?

And who is she, really?

I know who can help.

About an hour ago, I got a call from a guy outside of Montreal claiming to be Christine's husband.

And the story checks out.

Lucas Gerard.

Got him on video chat.

Say hello. - Hello. Uh, can you hear me?

We don't always get the best connection up here in Stanstead.

But, uh, I-I called as soon as I saw her photo online.

Christine Chartrand is your wife? - Yes.

Her real name is Christine Gerard.

This is from our honeymoon.

I, uh, reported her missing last year.

I worried about her every day.

All the messed up things she could've been tangled up in.

But I-I never imagined it would be homicide.

What can you tell us about her?

Christine's a good girl.

She, uh, had a rough past.

Got in trouble for some robberies when she dropped out of school.

Fights, drugs, all that stuff.

That means she has a record.

Run it down.

So, why'd she run away?

I don't know.

She was always a bit of a wild one.

Yeah. But we had a good life.

And then... she vanished.

But I love her, and I want her to be okay.

Thanks for your help. We'll be in touch.

Lucas Gerard's description of Christine paints a picture of delinquency, compulsive behavior and aggression.

Add attempted baby-napper and extortion to that list, and it's quite the résumé for a nanny.

Women who commit child abduction fall into four categories, one of which is cluster B personalities.

Unpredictable, manipulative.

They often ingratiate themselves with the family prior to abduction.

Christine fits the profile.

You said the killer had anger issues.

If Ezra found out about Christine's rap sheet or stopped her in her first attempt at taking Nina, there's your motive. The trigger.

We stopped her once.

But if she's willing to kill Ezra, it's only a matter of time before she tries to take Nina again.

Help Dani keep an eye on Alessa's place.

Don't let that baby out of your sight.

I'll set up a 24-hour watch on the house.

Yo.

You okay?

Dani told me you asked her to run a background check on your girl.

Wow. News travels fast around here.

And, yes, I've been told that I'm very bad at relationships.

I ran a background check on every girl I dated when I was single.

Even Tally? Hell yeah.

And she didn't talk to me for weeks after she found out.

I almost lost the best thing in my life because I was too afraid to be honest with her.

Honest like, "I'm sorry, Eve.

"I'm a profoundly suspicious person, "afraid that everything good in my life is hiding some terrible lie"?

Yeah, maybe not that honest.

Just let her know how you feel.

You don't want a relationship built on secrets.

Martin, your dinner date is here.

Ah.

I'm sorry about the spread.

If you think I'm a criminal, you should try our cook's vegan lasagne.

I'm not hungry.

But you'll eat with your, uh, new girlfriend?

I don't want to talk about her.

So, there is a her.

And you look upset.

Trouble in paradise?

How can I help?

You're the best liar I know.

You fooled Mom, me, everybody.

And you made the lies feel so real.

How did you do that?

Well, I wasn't lying.

Of course you were.

You pretended to be the perfect father.

I was the perfect father.

I mean, living a double life, for sure.

But... that doesn't mean I loved my family any less than the next man.

You think this woman you're seeing is lying to you?

I think she has secrets.

All women do, my boy.

It's one of their best qualities.

But if she's hiding something important from me, if she's lying...

Then she's human, Malcolm.

Real love is about accepting the parts of another person that are... unknown.

Opening yourself up to the possibility of being duped.

Or hurt.

It's terrible business.

But if I'd never done it, then...

...you wouldn't be here right now.

No.

I'm not.

We are not having a moment.

We're having a little bit of a moment.

Fine.

Tell me about your case.

What do you got?

A dead husband, a frayed mommy blogger, a baby-napping au pair and no idea who the killer is.

Mm. Salacious.

Have we ruled out the baby?

We're focusing on the au pair.

But the mom has secrets, too.

She lied about a cut on her arm.

She said it was from a week ago, but it opened up and started bleeding.

Anything else with her?

She was drinking a soda, though she preaches clean eating across her social media.

She take pills?

A few.

What are you thinking? Well, the wife may have type 1 diabetes.

Nerve damage can cause slow healing.

The tablets she took with the soda could be glucose pills.

Why would she lie about that?

Unless a diabetic pregnancy would be considered high-risk.

Of course.

Did your mommy blogger post about complications or bed rest before the baby was born?

No.

She was in Monaco, sailing.

Sailing?

What obstetrician would let a high-risk pregnant woman...

What if she wasn't pregnant?

Are you still sitting on Alessa?

Yeah. Unis are changing shifts, but we got it covered. Why?

She lied about being Nina's mother.

She's leaving the house right now.

Just when she thought no one would be watching.

Follow her.

What is she doing?

No!

Alessa.

Alessa! Hands!

Turn around and put your hands up!

Put them up!

Thank God.

Please, it's not what you think.

It's exactly what we think.

You used these to fake your pregnancy.

Nina isn't your baby.

No, I am her mother, I swear.

Then how do you explain this?

All you ever wanted was a child.

But in a cruel twist of fate, your body wouldn't let you carry one.

Not without risk, at least.

I did everything right.

But I still had three miscarriages.

That's what put the strain on your relationship.

You tossed the evidence, which shows you're not delusional.

But you know you're not Nina's mother.

So who is?

I am.

It was my egg.

We just used a surrogate.

We're gonna need proof.

Records. I don't have any.

It was all done under the table.

Ezra handled it.

You're scared.

Because you think the same person that carried your baby also killed your husband.


Your surrogate was Christine.

Alessa and Ezra used a black market surrogacy to protect their brand.

Keeping it off the books made it easier to fake, but it also meant that Christine wasn't properly vetted.

They didn't know about her criminal history or her mental instability.

Now the crazy au pair wants that baby.

We have her on every watch list from here to the border.

If she comes out of hiding, we'll know about it.

Canadian area code.

Must be Lucas, the husband, wanting an update.

Tarmel.

What's up, kid?

You got that look again.

Is it this case?

Yes and no.

Christine makes sense as a child abductor.

It fits the profile.

But something about it feels off.

Or maybe I'm just off.

Go home.

Take care of yourself.

I'll call if we get anything.

What's going on?

It's about Eve.

And my historically questionable taste in cohorts.

What did you find? She is a human rights attorney, and her name is Eve Blanchard, but we think she infiltrated the family to get information on The Surgeon and his victims.

So my subconscious was right.

That and, you know, like, I'm a great investigative journalist.

But that's, like, neither here nor there. It's fine.

I should never have let her into my home.

Into your life.

Oh, no. It wasn't your fault.

I had nagging doubts for a week.

I just pushed them aside.

You said Eve was trying to find out more about The Surgeon.

Why?

Because she grew up in the same orphanage as a runaway she was presenting to Mom.

I think Eve is connected to the girl in the box.

You're right.

She's my sister.

How could you?

I came here to explain, but I can see now it doesn't matter.

You've already made up your mind about me.

Eve, wait!

Malcolm.

Malcolm, I'm sorry.

Stop. Please.

No one else has to apologize.

I knew deep down something was wrong with Eve.

With-with us.

With me.

Is it Eve?

No.

It's Dani. She found Christine.

Our suspect.

I have to go.

Malcolm. You can't just leave.

You have to deal with this. No, I don't.

I can't solve this.

This I can solve.

Thank God you're here.

She wouldn't tell us anything, not even her name. Come in.

Um, hey, I'm not trying to pry or anything, but you seem on edge.

Normally, I would let that go, but we're on a case.

I need you focused.

Eve was hiding something from me.

Her sister was the girl in the box.

What? Do you...

Do you want to talk about it?

Not even a little.

What happened?

Lucas.

Your husband did this? Ex-husband.

I left Lucas.

I ran from him, but, um, he found me.

Ezra tried to pay him off, but Lucas said no and, um... and killed him.

I thought if I agreed to go with him, he would stop.

He wouldn't hurt anyone else.

What are you saying?

Get out!

Lucas has been in New York this whole time.

I should have known.

Before, he wasn't talking about a woman he cared about.

He was talking about a possession.

He also knows about Nina.

Please. Please, you have to save her.

What does he know, exactly?

That, um...

That she's our baby.

Mine and Lucas's.

You weren't trying to steal Nina.

You were trying to say goodbye.

I-I didn't mean to tell him, but he was hurting me, and I...

It's all my fault.

I'm the reason Ezra's dead, and now he's after her.

We need to get to Alessa right now.

If Lucas is going after Nina, she's in danger.

Alessa geotags all of her photos.

She just posted.

Send the location to Gil.

I'm gonna stay with Christine.

Go.

Let's go shopping, my love.

Thank you.

All in mommy's head. Nothing to worry about.

Oh, you scared the crap out of me.

What is going on?

I know Christine is Nina's biological mother.

How? Did you find her? Yes. But so did her abusive husband, Nina's birth father.

What? No...

Now he's here to take your baby.

Ezra tried to pay him off last week, thinking he'd leave all of you alone, but it didn't work.

Oh, why didn't he tell me?

Because Ezra loved you.

And he died trying to protect you. He was a good man.

But now... a very bad one is coming for you and Nina.

Do you trust me?

Yeah.

If I had my Le Mans, we'd be there by now.

No, it's blocked.

Bright?! Give me my daughter!

No. Don't make me say it again.

She belongs... to me.

Lucas, wait.

The police are on their way. If you take her, you're putting her in danger.

No one else needs to get hurt, especially your daughter. That doesn't matter.

She'll be with me... where she belongs.

Think about it, Lucas.

Christine never wanted you to have Nina.

Ask yourself: why?

Give her to me! No.

She knew Alessa and Ezra would truly love her.

They'd give Nina a chance to break the cycle.

What cycle?

I gave Christine everything.

I loved her.

No, Lucas.

Someone in your past... beat you down, made you feel powerless.

And then... they made you believe that was love.

It isn't.

It's abuse.

No! No!

No!

Where is she?!

Where's my daughter?!

That's...

Alessa!

Stop.

You're safe.

Nina... is safe.

Oh, I don't know what came over me.

Maternal instinct.

You'll do anything to protect your daughter.

Yeah.

Bright?

We need a bus.

He's got a pulse.

Are they all right?

She's fine.

They're both fine.

What's going to happen to Nina?

From Christine.

She completed all the adoption paperwork.

Well...

She always wanted you to have Nina.

Now it's official.

No more lies.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

Okay.

I know I said motherhood makes people crazy, but what Alessa did back there... that was badass.

Well, parents will do almost anything to protect their young.

Congrats, by the way.

On what?

On eating all the pizza rolls and knowing way too much about sip and sees.

Yeah. Classic couvade syndrome, also known as sympathetic pregnancy.

Tally's pregnant.

The thing's the size of a peanut, and you're already profiling it.

Don't tell anybody, okay?

It's early, and I don't want to jinx it.

I promise.

I'm happy for you.

You don't do happy.

And I don't know the first thing about being a father.

What if I screw the kid up?

What if it ends up like you?

First of all, don't become a serial killer.

But more importantly, listen to your own advice.

Be honest.

That's always the best way.

What does it say?

I'm sorry. I didn't think you'd be home.

Solved my case last night.

That's good.

It's an explanation.

Does it explain why you lied to me?

I didn't want to hurt you... or your mother.

I just wanted to get close to her to see if she knew anything about my sister.

And when I spent time with her, I realized she knew as little as I did.

And then there was you.

I didn't know this would happen, how I would feel.

I'm sorry.

It's okay.

You wanted answers.

I know what that's like.

Your sister's the other half of the heart, the woman you lost.

Her name is Sophie.

She was 16 when she ran away.

I was young when our mother died, so I had a better chance of getting adopted.

She was a teenager.

She sent me postcards from New York, and then they stopped.

I spent years searching for her, and... then I read about The Surgeon.

And he was arrested a few weeks after her last postcard.

I thought if he had 23 victims...

Maybe there were more.

You really think it's her?

You have a picture of her in there.

Show me.

I can't.

If Sophie's the girl in the box, I can confirm it. That's what I'm afraid of... that my worst fear is true, and that she's really gone.

That's why I waited so long to show Jessica.

Don't you want the answer?

Not if it destroys you.

I've seen what your repressed memories, what your nightmares can do.

Eve, we can't hide from this.

We have to face it head-on.

We can't.

I have real feelings for you, Malcolm, and no relationship can withstand this... search for the truth.

We should just stop looking.

It's the only way for us to move on.

Life doesn't work like that.

We can't keep secrets in locked bags, or girls in basements and not expect them to come back to haunt us.

We're living proof of that.

I need to remember.

And you deserve the truth.

It's the only way.

I'm sorry.

Your sister's dead.

Greg, move your head.