TV Recap: “Will Trent” Episode 2 – “I’m a Pretty Observant Guy”

ABC’s new crime drama, Will Trent, ended its premiere episode on a cliffhanger, with Will’s childhood orphanage bully Paul showing up at his door before sunrise with blood on his shirt. He claimed to have shot the man who abducted his teenage daughter, but is he correct? After all, Will Trent didn’t yet have a lead suspect in the case. The wait to find out what happens next is over in the show’s second episode, titled “I’m a Pretty Observant Guy.”

It was 3:17 am in Atlanta when Paul Campano (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) pulled up to the home of Evan Bernard (Jay Huguley), demanding to know where his daughter is. Evan accused Paul of being drunk, and the two end up in a fistfight. As the two men were body-to-body, a gunshot was fired and Evan fell back on his driveway.

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

The flashback ended, Paul finishes telling his story to Will Trent (Ramón Rodríguez) and Angie Polaski (Erika Christensen) as Betty barks at Paul, causing Will to yell at his rescued chihuahua and make her shrink in fear. Paul tells Will that Evan was Emma’s English teacher and that his daughter used to love his class and worked on a lot of projects with Evan after school hours. Then one day, Emma requested to transfer classes and wouldn’t say why, so Paul assumes that Evan made a move on his daughter. “I didn’t mean to hurt him, Trash,” Paul pleads, calling Will by the mocking childhood nickname he always used. Abigail interjects and asks Paul not to call Will that name anymore, but he ignores her and reminds Will that with their upbringing, they know a predator when they see one. Abigail collects Paul’s bloody shirt in a plastic bag and Will lets him borrow another, and Angie handcuffs him because everything they do from this point on needs to be by the book.

Will pulls up to Evan’s house with Abigail, Paul in the backseat. An ambulance is on its way, but while they wait, Will and Angie get out of the car to look around. Evan is unconscious but breathing and Will soon realizes that his body has moved. There are drops of blood leading to the front porch, and dried blood on the lock. He shines a light through the windows to try and see inside, but can’t see anything. He also calls for Emma, but nobody responds from inside. In Will’s head, we see Evan get up after getting shot, go inside his house, grab something, lock the door, and return to where he was shot. “There’s something in there he didn’t want us to see,” he tells Angie.

In an interrogation room at the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), Paul is asked to write his testimony of everything that happened between him and Evan. As he writes, Paul asks Angie if she kept in touch with anyone from the orphanage, citing Mrs. Flanagan, their caretaker, as an example. Angie informs Paul that she passed away a decade ago. “I still keep my hankie, you?”, he asks her. “Sure, I’m a lady”, Angie replies. Paul asks her about her relationship with Will, seemingly admiring their close bond after all these years. She tells him she tries not to think about the past, a thought Paul shares. He slides his statement over to Angie, and she looks it over. “Wait, Evan was on the phone when he opened the door?”, she asks, a detail Paul left out earlier.

As Abigail exits into the main office of the PPD, she suddenly feels all eyes on her. She goes to Franklin (Kevin Daniels) and asks why everyone is staring at her, and he says it’s because she was at Will’s house at 4:00 am. He asks how long this has been going on. “25 years,” she tells him, saying that they grew up in the same group home and that she’s as close to Will as one of her arms. “We call that codependent in the program,” Franklin tells her, saying Will isn’t good for her sobriety. She defends her actions, saying they don’t talk about anything that matters. She comes clean to Franklin about her recent undercover operation and how she had to wear a Fenynol patch for a few hours. Angie steps away as Will calls her cell, telling him about the cheap black phone Paul said Evan was on when he came to his door. “That’s why he went back in,” Will concludes, who is at the hospital waiting for Evan to wake up so he can question him. “I’m glad you came by last night,” Will adds, “that was fun before Paul crashed the party.” Angie tells Will that everyone at the PPD knows and he says that’s a good thing, inviting her to a dinner date. “We don’t date,” she reminds him, “we scurry around in the shadows and wallow in shame.” He invites her for a second time, promising they can wallow after, and she agrees so long as he finds Emma. As Angie hangs up, Michael Ormewood (Jake McLaughlin) tells his new partner they have a dead body to go look at. As they walk out of the office, he asks her a personal question. “Does Trent keep the vest on during sex?”, Michael asks. Angie shakes her head for a moment before deciding to play along and responds “Yeah.”

Will’s partner Faith Mitchell (Iantha Richardson) steps out of the elevator at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) with two coffees in her hand. She passes her boss, Amanda Wagner (Sonja Sohn), who asks why she’s not at the hospital waiting for Evan to wake up. “Who?”, Faith asks in confusion. “Paul Campano shot one of Emma’s teachers last night,” Amanda informs Faith. “He thinks he had his daughter kidnapped. I should not have to recap your case for you.” Amanda asks Faith why she didn’t know this already, and Faith gets angry. Will didn’t contact her.

The nurse (Rabiyah A. Karim-Kincey) taking care of Evan passes Will in the hallway, and he asks her if he had a phone on him during intake. She doesn’t think so, but Will asks if he can look through the trash before it gets collected. She tells him that’s fine, but takes him in to see Evan first, who just woke up. He confirms Paul’s story to Will, that Paul showed up at his door, seemed drunk, accused him of kidnapping his daughter, and then shot him. Will asks him if he was on the phone when Paul arrived. “No, he woke me from a dead sleep,” Evan claims. Paul asks Evan if he went back to the house after getting shot and he denies it. While Evan was under, Will dug into his past and saw that he began his teaching career at the university level and chose to move down to high school. “I wanted to be the one to open young minds,” Evan says of the decision. Will tries to pry into Evan’s finances, asking if tutoring students after hours was a way to stay solvent and pointing out that the Campanos are wealthy. Will asks Evan if he ever tutored anyone with dyslexia, name-dropping Warren Grier, the sound engineer who committed suicide in the previous episode. Will tells him that Warren went to his school. “Did you know Kayla Alexander?”, Will adds, referring to Emma’s friend. “I didn’t know her personally, but I understand she’s quite a handful,” Evan claims. Will tells Evan that Kayla is dead, too, before asking why Emma transferred out of his class. “She took a less challenging course,” Evan claims, adding “not everyone is ready for Beowulf.” Will becomes direct, asking Evan if he ever made a sexual advance on Emma. Instead of responding, Even tells Will he has to urinate and asks for his help getting up to use the restroom. Leaning on Will, Evan is escorted to the door and watches as Will pushes on the handle when the sign reads “Pull.” “I notice you don’t take notes, Agent Trent,” Evan says. “I have a good memory,” Will says. “Plus I’m a pretty observant guy,” he adds (giving the episode its title). Through the bathroom door, Evan tells Will that he’s never done anything inappropriate with a student. Will asks if he can search Evan’s home. “I want to talk to my lawyer.” Will shakes his head. “Well, by all means, I’ll be in touch,” he replies before leaving.

Will walks through the hallways of the hospital, recapping his conversation with Evan on his tape recorder as Faith arrives. “I need you to keep me in the loop,” she says as Will holds up a finger to shush her, continuing to dictate. Just as he finishes, Faith’s phone rings, and she shushes him. Will talks over her signal, declaring that Evan definitely abducted Emma. “I don’t see how it could be your guy,” Faith says as she hangs up her call. “Abigail Campano just got a ransome call 5 minutes ago,” she says, “they want $3 million.”

In a conference room at the GBI, Will and Faith watch the Ransome video in which Emma (Aline O’Neill) sits in front of a wood-paneled bookshelf and cries, begging her mom to pay. “I just wanna go home, I’m so scared,” the teenager sobs. Will pauses the video and steps in front of the screen, obstructing Emma’s face with a legal pad and asking Abigail Campano (Jennifer Morrison) if she recognizes anything about her daughter’s surroundings. She doesn’t, and she wants to pay the ransom as soon as possible against Will and Amanda’s recommendation that they not pay. “They get the money, there’s nothing stopping them from killing her,” Amanda says, so Abigail looks to Will for a better idea. He shares that Evan knows more than he’s saying, which Abigail thinks is insane given that her husband shot him. “He must be working with an accomplice,” Will concludes, announcing that he would like to go question teachers and students at the school. He is given just 6 hours to solve the case before Abigail pays the ransom. In private, Amanda pulls Will aside and warns that he better be right about this.

As Will heads toward the elevators, he passes Faith, who has the black burner phone in a plastic bag. The hospital found it in Evan’s pillowcase, and she already inspected it, declaring it free of fingerprints. “You’re going to the school without me, aren’t you?”, she asks her partner. “You’re welcome to come,” he shares, asking Faith to drive.

Meanwhile, Angie follows Michael up the stairs of an apartment building with a broken elevator. Out of breath, Michael asks Angie what she sees in Will. “Confidence, it’s sexy,” she tells him, “and he’s objectively hot.” She also tells her partner that Will is a good listener, which he jokes he couldn’t hear. Inside the apartment, they examine the body of a dead woman laying on the floor bleeding. “She had a lot of visitors if you catch my drift,” the landlord (Allen Burns) tells them. Michael asks him how long the elevator has been out of service, prompting the super to ask if he’s investigating a murder or his building. Asked how he found the body, he says the tenant was late on rent, and when he came to ask about it, the door was open. Michael goes into the bathroom and calls Angie to come to see something, a bathroom covered in blue hair dye stains and a handprint on the window. They follow blue footprints down the hall to another door, knocking.  

(ABC/Matt Miller)

(ABC/Matt Miller)

On their drive, Will asks Faith if a dog’s feelings can get hurt, regretting yelling at Betty and the way she cowered. She shares that dogs do have feelings just like people, asking him to call her when he gets a lead on the case and that she doesn’t care who is in his bed at the time he gets the news. Faith asks Will to recap everything so far. He does and then surmises that Evan likely had enough influence over Warren to convince him to commit suicide. Faith asks if the ransom is really financially motivated. “Money is power,” Will says. “Paul swears he made a move on Emma and she rejected him by switching teachers, so punishment for rejecting him with the bonus of financial gain.” They believe Evan’s accomplice must be a student and as they arrive at the school, they see a group of girls surrounding a vigil they made for Emma. In response to Faith’s request to be kept in the loop, Will says “Keep yourself especially looped in for this next part” as they approach the group. Will and Faith learn that the girls didn’t like Kayla, but loved Emma. Asked about Evan and if any students seem unusually close to him, one says “Well, there are the Kayla rumors.” The conversation is interrupted when the school principal (Orelon Sidney)steps outside to ask what’s going on, inviting Will and Faith into her office. As they walk, Will asks Faith to check on when they will get the DNA back from Paul’s shirt, presuming that Evan is who Kayla had voluntary intercourse with the morning of her death.

“I didn’t kill her, I swear. I know this looks bad,” Nico (Cora Lu Tran) pleads as Angie and Michael stand at their door. Michael asks what happened and Nico shares that their shower is broken, so Sasha, the deceased woman, offered to let them use theirs. But when they got out of the shower, they heard screaming and fighting, followed by a horrifying sound, and then silence. When Nico came out of the bathroom, Sasha was dead. Nico doesn’t offer up good answers when asked why they didn’t call the police or if they recognized the voice of the other person in the fight, so he arrests Nico. Michael talks to Angie about Nico as they pull through a drive-through to get some food, asking Angie how old she thinks Nick is and whether or not they should call “her parents. “No, don’t call the parents, please,” Nico begs, correcting Michael on their pronouns. Angie steps out of the car when she gets a call from Will, who asks her to check on Betty for him. “I feel terrible I yelled at her,” he adds and as Angie agrees, Will also asks her to put a little water in her kibble to soften it and put on some soothing music.

The principal introduces Will and Faith to Mary Clark (Taylor Shurte), the school’s guidance counselor who escorts them to Evan’s office. Faith mentions the rumors of Evan’s relationship with Kayla. “I never heard or saw anything like that,” Mary says, adding that they will need to open an investigation. Mary unlocks Evan’s office door before taking her leave. As they enter, Faith gets a message that the DNA results on Paul’s shirt will take at least another 48 hours, but they only have 3 hours until Abigail pays the ransom. He asks her to call the lab to put pressure on them, and Faith steps out to make the call as Will examines the pristinely clean office. In a drawer, he finds a charging cable that is compatible with Evan’s burner phone. His search is interrupted by the lights turning on. “Can I help you find something?”, Evan asks as he enters his office. Will pulls out his tape recorder and asks Evan if he can record this conversation, getting his approval. He tells Evan that they got his DNA off of Paul’s shirt and that it matches semen found on Kayla’s body. “We are in Georgia, age of consent is 17,” Evan declares. “You’re not going to bother to look at least a little ashamed?”, Will asks. “She was of age and she wasn’t coerced so I haven’t broken any laws,” Evan shares. Will points out that as a member of the school faculty, Evan was Kayla’s guardian. “You’re under arrest,” Will commands as Evan brags about being out on bail shortly. “Maybe by that time we’ll find some other things to charge you with and take a look around your house,” Will threatens as Faith re-enters the room with her head buried in her phone, announcing that the lab can’t get the results until tomorrow morning at the earliest. She looks up to see Evan in the office, but he’s already admitted to something incriminating. Shortly after, Will and a team of officers enter Evan’s house, which is even cleaner than his office and has the fresh smell of bleach. An office calls Will down a hallway to show him a bedroom, decorated with pink neon accents and a live stream set up at the foot of a bed. “Why clean the whole house but keep this here?”, Faith asks. “He’s showing off, having fun with us,” Will respond.

Angie brings Nico with her to Will’s house and watches as Betty jumps into Nico’s lap, kissing their face. Angie tells Nico about her upbringing with Will and brings up how Will turned his life around when he was about their age. Since Nico isn’t talking about what happened to Sasha, Angie begins to think out loud, presuming that Sasha had the only working shower in the building because she was having sex with the landlord. She believes that Sasha wanted to end the arrangement and the landlord got mad. “Guys like that can be scary when they don’t get what they want,” Angie concludes as Nico begins to cry. “She was my friend,” Nico sobs as Angie consoles them. “Then let's do this one last thing for her,” she asks as Nico nods, confirming that it was the landlord and that after the event, Nico saw him throw something in the dumpster. “Let’s go get this guy, Nikko,” Angie invites them.

Amanda watches on the security camera as Will goes to Evan’s jail cell, asking Evan if he ever brought Emma to his “pedo suite.” Evan asks Will if the Campanos know their lead detective is illiterate. “I’m a pretty observant guy, too,” he quotes Will, asking how old he was when he realized he wasn’t able to keep up with his peers. Will vows to find Emma and put Evan away for good. When Will gets back to his office, Amanda is angry with him and wants him to seek help from Faith. “She’s smart, and she can read,” Amanda adds. Faith enters and Will asks her to search the recording studio for anything that connects Evan to Warren, unsatisfied by her answer that the police are already doing that. He moves to leave, and Amanda asks him what he’s doing. “Tell the Campanos to pay their ransom,” Will tells his boss.

Angie and Michael search through the dumpster in the apartment building’s alley. As they search, Michael apologizes to Angie for the night when they got too drunk together and made a mistake, saying he never told anyone about it. Angie doesn’t want to hear it and, finding the hammer, lifts it up and says “So, you wanna go arrest this guy, or you wanna keep being vulnerable in a dumpster?”

In a conference room at the GBI, Abigail records a video message to Emma’s kidnappers confirming that the money has been transferred and that she’s not interested in justice, she just wants her daughter back.

A cloaked figure comes into the woodgrain room for Emma, who screams as they carry her to a car and put her in the trunk. It’s raining outside, and the car drives fast. The driver pulls over on the side of the road, puts the car in neutral, gets out, and pushes it off the road into the bank of a river. Emma is screaming in the trunk.

Will arrives at a rundown shack with police backup, rushing inside and calling for Emma. He comes outside to confirm that she’s not there, bringing Abigail and Paul to tears. “We’re gonna find her, alright? We will.” His phone rings, and he steps away as Faith informs him that Kayla and Emma recorded a song together at the recording studio for a school project. “Mary Clark was the chaperone,” she adds.

Will pays March Clark a visit, listening to Kayla and Emma’s recording of “We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters as Mary makes him tea. Will asks her if she remembers anything about Warren’s time as a student at the high school and asks her for any paperwork she has about the arrangement for the recording session. Will watches closely as Mary opens her cupboard to grab mugs, the back of which is lined with familiar wood paneling. Will asks to use the bathroom but instead goes to Mary’s home office. He calls Evan’s burner phone and hears a ringing in the other room. He steps out of the office with his gun drawn to find Mary with a gun pointed at him. Will puts his gun on the coffee table calmly, but as Mary reaches for it, he kicks the table away and gets his back. Mary’s hands are shaking, and Will convinces her to put the gun down. But with Mary distracted, Faith rushed in through the kitchen, approaching Mary from behind and tasing her. “This is why you keep me in the loop,” Faith tells Will.

(ABC/Matt Miller)

(ABC/Matt Miller)

With Mary Clark in the interrogation room, Faith produces a rape charge her parents filed in 2004 against her teacher, Evan. Mary refused to testify back then. “You’re protecting a monster, are you ok with that?”, Faith asks her. “You don’t know anything,” Mary says. Will exits, seeing that he and Faith won’t be able to get far with Mary. He finds Angie by the vending machine, celebrating her first homicide case with a candy bar. Will asks Angie for a favor. “I want you to talk about your mom,” he tells her. Having only had one bite, Angie tosses her candy bar out as she musters up some courage and goes into the room, telling Mary Clark about how her mother was a drug addict. “I was five the first time she pimped me out,” Angie reveals. “She’d leave me with men for days. She made some good money off me.” Will and Faith watch from behind the mirror and Faith asks him if this story is true. He nods his head. Angie tells Mary how much she loved her mother, who passed away when she was seven. “I know what it’s like to want the love of a terrible person.” Mary starts to tear up, recalling how she once felt like the only woman in the world to Evan. Angie tells her how good it will feel to break free. Mary starts to sob, sharing that Evan wanted her to kill Emma, but she couldn’t do it, so she drove her into a creek.

Will and Faith arrive at the creek and rush to the car, the trunk of which is not submerged. Abigail and Paul watch as Will opens the trunk to find Emma tied up inside. She sobs as she is reunited by the safety of her parents’ embrace.

Will returns to Evan’s jail cell and tells him about how he learned as a child that a lot of adults treat kids like prey. “You can imagine it’s pretty satisfying coming in and telling you that we found Emma alive,” Will gloats. “And we got a witness who is gonna tell us everything you did. You’re going away, Evan.” Will walks out and passes Faith, who smiles at him. “We did it,” she says, asking Will if he has anything to say to her. He doesn’t. Amanda enters the office and announces that she wants to keep Will and Faith paired up. As Will leaves, Faith congratulates herself in a voice mocking Will.

Will stops by Angie’s desk to ask if they’re still on for their dinner date. Angie tells him she picked up another shift and is staying at work. He apologizes for making her talk about her mom, saying there was urgency in finding Emma. Angie says it was the right call, but it reminded her of why she and Will can’t be a couple. “All we do is remind each other how broken we are,” she says. Will tells Angie that when he looks at her, he sees the person who saved him. Angie points to Nico and tells Will this is his new dog walker, adding that she gave Nico her key to his house.

Sometime later, Will does some remodeling on his home, painting the ceiling a brighter shade of white as Betty watches. Paul knocks at the door. He asks Will if he still has nightmares and confesses that he does too. Will shares that he and Angie are off again and Paul is confused about how they got back on again. Will compares it to a bad restaurant that’s convenient so you keep going there. “What’s the upside?”, Paul asks. “I love the chef,” Will answers. The reason Paul stopped by is that he wants to repaint Will’s vandalized car and offers to do it for free. Paul’s demeanor is macho, but before he leaves, he pulls Will into a childlike hug. “Thanks for getting my daughter back, Trash,” Paul says. “I mean Agent Trent.” Paul closes the door and will answers “Happy to help” to the ether. He resumes painting as Betty watches.

Goes back to painting. Betty watches.

First case closed! Will Trent will return on Tuesday, January 17th with episode 3, titled “Don’t Let It Happen Again.”

Will and Faith’s investigation into a small-town murder has large implications when a connection is drawn to a decadeslong, covered-up cold case. Meanwhile, the death of a security guard perplexes Angie while she contemplates an unexpected dinner invitation from Ormewood, which may rehash some memories from their past.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).