TV Recap: “Will Trent” Episode 4 – “My Stupid Detective Brain”

The fourth episode of Will Trent takes its title from a self-deprecating quote – “My Stupid Detective Brain.” Viewers who are caught up on ABC’s new detective series by now know that Will Trent has dyslexia and tries to keep it a secret from everyone but his longtime love, Angie. But in this episode, he has to let someone else in on the secret. Let’s recap.

In Stone Mountain State Park, a man (Myles Moore) runs through the woods without a shirt on, screaming. His screams are heard by a podcaster named Blair (McKee Taylor), was doing an episode on the legend of the howling man. Shortly after the screams, she hears a gunshot, and then a car crash. She rushes to the sound of the crash and finds an SUV that hit a tree. A woman named Judith Coldfield (Deadra Moore) sits in the passenger seat, seemingly shaken up. Her husband, Henry Coldfield (Maichael Francis Horn), is standing over the body of the screaming man, who he hit. He is staring off into the woods as Blair gets closer and sees that the man on the ground’s eyes are white.

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

Inside an ER room, Dr. Farhad Pournazeri (Kayvon Esmaili) examines Faith Mitchell (Iantha Richardson), who reportedly fainted, although she insists that she just fell. Her partner, Will Trent (Ramón Rodríguez), is present and things get awkward when the doctor asks Faith if she’s pregnant. She asks Will to wait outside as the doctor runs more tests. In the crowded waiting room, Will sees a news report that a storm is coming soon. His boss, Amanda Wagner (Sonja Sohn), calls him and asks how soon her can get to the hospital because he’s been requested on a case. His commute will be very short.

Will enters the operating room where a team of nurses are fighting to keep the man with white pupils alive. Angie Polaski (Erika Christensen) is already on the scene. The man on the table’s vitals are decreasing, and Angie tries one last time to get him to say anything about what happened to him. “Timothy,” he whispers just before dying. Angie points out that his body is covered with different types of scars, making eye contact with Will as she says it.

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

In another room, Michael Ormewood (Jake McLaughlin) interviews Judith and Henry, who seems shaken up. Their son Tom (Derek Evans) enters, and he asks Michael to wrap this up as his parents have been through enough for one day. When Michael goes back to where he left his partner Angie, he gets angry to find out that Will is there and has been assigned to their case. Faith enters, and Will asks her how the tests went. “They all came back positive for mind your business,” she says, saying she’s fine. Will tells the group that they need to get to the crime scene right away before the rain washes any evidence away.

The sun has set as Will, Faith, Angie, and Michael arrive at the crashed SUV, where Blair is still on the scene. She points them in the direction she heard the gunshot fire, an unusual part of the story since the dead man didn’t have a gunshot wound. She also shares that while waiting for the police to respond, a green pickup truck came speeding by. Michael suggests they call a K-9 unit to help sniff out gun shells, but Will says there’s no time as a drop of rain falls on him. The four detectives search the woods with their flashlights. Angie finds the first piece of evidence, a string of rope that appears to be coated in blood. Next, Faith finds a driver’s license at the base of a tree and Will bends down to examine it. It belonged to a man named Phineas Lathrop, and as he looks at it, two drops of blood fall onto the ID. Looking up, Will sees the dead body of Phineas hanging from a tree. His eyes are completely white.

That night, Will Trent has nightmares that not only include the gruesome events of his newest case, but also scenes of Angie and Michael at a bar getting drunk and flirting. Angie then turns to Will and says “Timothy,” the dead man’s last word. Will wakes up to see Angie sleeping beside him in his bed. He lifts up his right sleeve and rubs a long, deep scar. Angie’s eyes open and she leans in to kiss Will’s scar. “Is this case stirring things up?”, she asks. Chihuahua Betty hears the humans talking and barks at the edge of the bed. Will bends down to scoop her up, placing her in his lap and petting her. He asks Angie if working with Michael is bad for her sobriety. She tells him that he sponsor believes that Will is bad for her sobriety. Angie gets out of bed to get ready for her support group. “Good luck,” Will says to her after they kiss as he lays in bed petting Betty.

Inside the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI), Faith pins all of the details of the case to a board, including the two deceased men. Phineas’ photo is next to the previously unnamed man, now confirmed to be named Radar Teely. Will comments about how unusual it is for a killer to seek out middle-aged white men. Amanda tells them that the press is demanding a press conference and she needs whatever information they have. Angie and Michael enter the conference room with boxes from their desks at the Atlanta Police Department (APD) downstairs. Will theorizes that both men were being held captive and broke free. Their captor chased Phineas up a tree and shot him, while Radar made it to the road and was hit by the Coldfield’s SUV. Relatives of the deceased are being contacted for interviews. Will wants to go examine the bodies, and Michael asks to join him. Before leaving, Will comments to Faith that he didn’t see her eat breakfast. She tells him she’s fine.

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

Pete Chin (Kurt Yue) has Radar and Phineas’ bodies next to each other for Will and Michael to examine, showing them that both men have unusual scars on their bodies, both in the exact same spots. He also hands them an evidence bag with remnants of an abrus precatorius bean, commonly used as prayer beads that are toxic when crushed up and ingested, and can also cause blindness. Michael theorizes that both men were being punished, but Will believes this was ritualistic and assumes the ritual was for the person inflicting the torture. Will recognizes some of the scars as cigarette burns. When Will compliments Michael on not being grossed out by the dead bodies, he brags about being able to take anything and adds that Angie is the same way. It causes Will to give him a questioning look.

The next of kin of Radar and Phineas are interviewed. Phineas’ ex-wife Elyse (Brooke Jaye Tayler) tells Will that he abandoned her and her kids. Radar’s daughter Leslie (Anne-Marie Kennedy) tells Faith that her father used to beat her and her mother and left when she was young. Leslie notices that Faith is sweating and asks if she’s okay. In a bathroom stall, we see Faith testing her blood sugar, bandaging her finger up. Angie enters the bathroom looking for Faith, telling her that Will wants to go back to the woods.

Will tells Faith, Angie, and Michael that he wants to find out where Radar and Phineas were running from. He brings up the urban legend of the howling man and believes that both men were held captive in the woods for a long time, giving birth to the myth. Michael disagrees with Will’s theory, believing the men were dumped by the driver of the green truck that Blair saw speeding away. Will dismisses Michael’s theory and notices a small stream of water, which Michael is standing over. Suddenly, the ground under Michael’s feet gives away, and he crashes into a hidden underground bunker. The GBI arrives shortly with a ladder and backup as Michael refuses medical care for his injured leg. The bunker is full of car batteries, restraints, a dirty mattress, cigarettes, strings of prayer beads, and a prayer bench with broken glass where your knees go. Faith also finds journals, which contains the same bible verse repeated over and over, with different handwriting as she flips through the pages. The verse is about being a bad father. Examining things more closely, they find a name under the prayer bench.

Will and Faith trace the name on the bench to a priest (Justin Miles) at a local church. After showing him photos, he shares that the church sold some old prayer benches several years ago at a yard sale. Will asks for a list of everyone who works for the church and all of its registered parishioners. When his watch buzzes, the priest excuses himself. Faith draws Will’s attention to a community board full of fliers, pointing to one in particular. He asks her to read it to him. It’s an ad for jobs for men looking to turn their lives around. The bottom of the post contains a bible verse about fathers from the book of Timothy. “Do you think this is our Timothy?”, Will asks, suggesting that this is how the victims are lured.

A man named Duke (Peter Leake) sits on a bench at a rest stop. A shadow steps in front of him and he smiles, sharing how excited he is to hear about the job. A man’s hand enters the frame, holding a string of prayer beads.

In the GBI, Will listens to Blair’s audio recording over and over. He tries to imagine how the events unfolded, but his thoughts are routinely interrupted by visions of Angie and Michael together at a bar. Faith enters to room frustrated because the number on the flier belongs to a burner phone that’s been deactivated. Will hands her a protein bar, and she takes it, asking when he started carrying them. Angie and Michael enter and share that a man was reported missing who answered an ad on a flier about a job. His motorcycle was found at a rest stop. Michael argues with Will about who gets to go, with Will ordering Michael and Angie to work on filing missing person reports, suggesting that Michael’s leg needs time to recover. Angie notices the tension between Will and Michael.

Will sits in Faith’s passenger seat listening to the audio again, getting frustrated with himself for not being able to focus. “My stupid detective brain doesn’t have an off switch,” he complains to Faith. As they walk, she starts to get dizzy and Will helps her to a bench. Will offers her help, which makes Faith angry. “Stop treating every person in your life like a crime scene,” she tells him as she pulls out a bag. Will tells her that a boy in his group home had diabetes. “I can help you if you want.” Faith hands him the insulin and asks how he knew. “Fainting, a dead giveaway. Change of eating habits. Bandage on your fingers. As far as cases go, it was a piece of cake, which you can’t have anymore. Blood sugar humor.” Faith asks Will if he ever planned to tell her that he can’t read, sharing that she understands not wanting to be treated differently and saying that’s how she feels about her recent diabetes diagnosis. After giving Faith her injection, he notices that she has a piece of confetti on her blazer from when she stumbled. “Plastic, from a taser cartridge.”

The AFID (anti-felon identification) from the taser was traced back to the priest, who is brought in for questioning. He explains that the church had a taser just in case it was ever needed and that it had never been used. Will asks where he went yesterday and he tells them he had a dentist appointment. They bring up the flyer they found in the church, which seems to be connected to this case. “I’ve gotta say, pastor, you’re making me a believer,” Will comments. The priest goes quiet, asking to speak to his lawyer.

Michael and Angie interview Stephanie (Tamika Shannon), the girlfriend of a missing man who left his wife and kids to be with her. She tells them that he wasn’t a churchgoer, but that there was a worker from a nearby farm who would often ramble at her boyfriend about how bad fathers go to hell. Asked to describe the farmer, Stephanie shares that he was young with brown hair. Michael gets the address of the farm and heads there alone. He calls Jimmy to request employment records and notes that it appears to be abandoned. He parks his car and limps out, finding a green pickup truck in an open garage. As he gets closer, he notices prayer beads around the rearview mirror. He pulls out his phone to make a call, but is suddenly tased from out of sight.

Will listens to Blair’s audio again, his visions of the death of Radar and Phineas interrupted by Angie and Michael. But this time, Angie turns to him and tells him to “Just listen.” He does, paying close attention to the sound of the crash. “That’s it,” he exclaims. He returns to the priest in the interrogation room and asks if Judith and Henry Coldfield are members of the church. The priest shares that Judith was sheltered at the church a few years ago before the death of her first husband, referring to him as a monster. Outside, Will tells Faith that the SUV was trying to kill Radar.

Judith and Henry are brought in for questioning. Will and Faith show Judith photos entered into evidence against her ex-husband, which show her scars – cigarette burns just like the victims. “No one should suffer like this,” Faith says, asking Henry if he knew Judith when this was going on. “Yes, we met at church when she was married to Travis,” he confirms. Will asks Henry if he killed Travis and he goes quiet. “Whose idea was it to do it again?”, he asks. “To find other men who deserve to be punished and do unto them as Travis did unto you?” Judith gulps and confesses. They ask about Duke, and Judith and Henry look confused. “Who shot the guy in the tree?”, Will asks. “Someone who was also hurt by Travis. Someone you’ve been protecting in a way you couldn’t since he was a boy. Your son. Tom.” Judith bursts into tears. As Will exits the interrogation room, Amanda tells him that Angie is worried about Michael, who has gone missing. Will asks for his last known location.

Inside a slaughterhouse, Duke and Michael are bound. Tom enters with a duffel bag and sets it on a table. He pulls out prayer beads, cigarettes, a staple gun, and sheers. Michael asks if this is the place his father used to take him for punishment. “Look at you, Tommy, you’re just like him,” Michael says. Being called Tommy is an obvious trigger for Tom, who pulls a knife from the bag and lunges at Michael. Even though Michael’s hands are tied together, he is able to evade the knife and roll on top of Tom. Michael helps Duke out of the slaughterhouse, both men limping as they enter an abandoned barn and find a stall with hay to hide in. The GBI pulls up outside and we see Will, Faith, and Angie split up with their guns drawn. Tom has his gun, too, and is searching the barn for Michael and Duke. As they hide, Duke begins to writhe in pain in his side, and all seems lost. Michael grabs a shepherd’s hook and raises up to defend himself from the shadow approaching the stall, only to find that it’s Will. His gun is raised away from Michael, pointing right at Tom, who has his gun facing Michael. “Drop your weapon,” comes Angie’s voice from Tom’s left side. He turns to look at her. “She said drop your weapon,” Faith adds from Tom’s left. He bursts into tears as he complies. Angie calls for paramedics as Faith puts handcuffs on Tom and walks him out of the barn. As the EMTs arrive, Michael refuses care and sends them to Duke. Will sits next to him on a haybale and says he should get looked at, offering him a handkerchief to dab his wounds. “So, green truck,” Will says, acknowledging that Michael was helpful.

In his office, Will records his notes from the case into his tape recorder. Faith enters and shares that he has an endocrinologist now to help with her care. “Don’t you find hiding your secret more stressful than it’s worth?”, she asks him, acknowledging that she knows he has dyslexia. He tells her that Angie knows, but she says he’s still hiding it from everyone else. “Before I had dyslexia, you know what I had? Stupid. Lazy. Useless. I got cigarette burns for fetching the wrong kind of soup from the pantry, so I had to figure out other ways. Learn how to navigate the world without words. Every step of the way, there was someone there to tell me that I was broken, worthless. I decided long ago that I’m not letting anyone look at me that way ever again.” Faith tells Will that having dyslexia doesn’t make you broken, but he says that knowing and believing are two different things. Faith tells him he’s just trying to protect himself from getting hurt again, but getting hurt is just part of the human experience.

At home, Will asks Angie how Michael is, and she tells him that he’s recovering with his family. Will is lying in bed when  Betty suddenly pops up all on her own, thanks to a ramp Will built for her. “What is it with you and this dog?”, Angie asks. “Abandoned, misunderstood, underestimated, what’s not to love?”, Will responds. He tells her that he was thinking about those men who went missing without anyone noticing. “Betty would notice you’re missing,” Angie confirms. Will tells her he wishes she had told him about her and Michael earlier. She asks if he’s worried she will start using again, but he says he knows her well and is there for her. He asks if that scares her and she says it might. “How about the next time you wanna run, give it 24 hours, see if it passes,” he asks. Angie crawls into bed and pets Betty, agreeing to that plan. Will leans in and he and Angie begin to make out.

Will Trent will return on Tuesday, January 31st with “The Lookout.”

When the wife of a local football hero is shot in a robbery gone wrong, Will is determined to quickly solve the seemingly simple case. Meanwhile, Angie and Ormewood investigate the murder of a local realtor in an investigation which quickly takes a dark turn.

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).