TV Recap: “Alaska Daily” – Episode 9 “Rush to Judgement”

Gabriel (Pablo Castelblanco) may have said he wasn’t going to return to the paper, but Eileen (Hilary Swank) is not letting him quit. Knowing that he needs a push to come back to work, Eileen picks him up and brings him and forces him to come back to work. Wondering why he should come back Eileen tells Gabriel that he is a great journalist and only starting to discover his potential.

Thinking he would be able to slip in to work without others noticing, Eileen ensures that the entire newsroom sees that Gabriel has returned. Greeted with hugs from Claire, Yuna, and Austin (Meredith Holzman, Ami Park, and Craig Frank) it’s easy to see how excited Gabriel’s friends are at having him back at work.

In their office, Roz (Grace Dove) is looking at a report about Toby Crenshaw (Brandon Alexis), who has been arrested for the murder of Gloria Nanmac. When Eileen joins her, the two discuss how Crenshaw’s DNA was in the system, and how they missed him as a suspect.

When Stanley (Jeff Perry) alerts them to Toby Crenshaw’s arraignment, the two learn that the paper was the only news source that wasn’t alerted. At the courthouse, Eileen and Roz sit in for the proceedings, and learn that Toby Crenshaw pleads not guilty, and bail is denied.

Roz and Eileen wonder why he would have plead not guilty, when DNA evidence ties him to the crime, and that he signed a confession. They separate to try and get more information about Toby’s confession, but before she goes, Roz smirkingly reminds Eileen that they have to get everything done by 6 pm because they have a deadline.

Visiting Sylvie (Irene Bedard) Roz learns that Toby was often around with Gloria, but never violent. Roz listens as Sylvie tells her that journalists from all over are wanting to speak with her, but she will only speak to Roz.

Stanley is still pursuing what Conrad Pritchard (John Getz) is doing by buying up land in a federally protected area. He decides to send Claire and Austin to investigate in hopes of learning more about the nefarious businessman.

Gabriel may be back in the newsroom, but all he can focus on is the image of ‘Concerned Citizen’s’ body as it laid dead on the floor. Unable to pass the spot where he died, Bob (Matt Malloy) sees Gabriel in the middle of the room, and tries his best to help.

Roz and Eileen attend the governor’s press conference. Eileen interrupts the question portion but is ignored by the governor. Roz and Eileen tag team the governor about the lack of action by the governor and the police which leads to the end of the press conference.

Yuna sees Gabriel outside the newsroom and asks him how he is doing. Admitting that he constantly thinks about the hostage situation, he tells her that he is worried. Yuna tells him that she searched for an outlet for her anger. Instead of giving her secret away she tells Gabriel to find an outlet for himself, and if he still can’t find something by the end of the day, she will let him in on how she manages her fears and frustrations.

Roz and Eileen get their story to Stanley just under the wire, and at the bar they celebrate their success but wonder if their story has helped to push a rush to judgement on Toby and ignored the real killer.

Claire and Austin discuss the future of the paper, and whether or not it will be sold. Talking about what to do if the paper is purchased, Austin mentions that his ex-wife wants to move to Chicago. Not sure what to do, Austin is anxious about the future.

Talking with Toby, Eileen and Roz learn from the accused murderer and Gloria Nanmac were in a relationship. When Eileen asks why he confessed, Toby says that he didn’t have a choice because he was constantly pressured by the detectives. Blaming himself for not going to the party the night Gloria died, Roz tells him that feeling guilty is not the same as being guilty.

While Roz and Eileen learn that there might be some questionable tactics by the state troopers, Claire and Austin are hovering over picturesque land in a remote part of Alaska, wondering what Conrad Pritchard is doing. Noticing a large road being built and a massive amount of workers, they fly over the sight and get lots of photos.

Speaking to the arresting trooper, Roz and Eileen are met with resistance. Asking why Commissioner Haynes (Sue Cremin) signed her arrest report, the trooper refuses to answer initially, but then tells them that the Anchorage Police had Toby in an interrogation box for over 24 hours, and that she wasn’t signing her name to whatever transpired in there. They eventually learn from Toby’s lawyer that the video tape of his interrogation wasn’t recorded due to equipment failure. They also learn that Toby will plea to a lesser count and be spared the maximum sentence.

Austin and Claire report to Stanley the Katona Resources is partnered with Conrad Pritchard in the extraction of rare earth minerals. Stanley sends Austin out learn about what Pritchard set up with former failed senate candidate Frank Moses (Scott Fee) that he backed, but Austin’s investigation derailed.

Meeting with Moses, Austin asks about his connection with Conrad Pritchard. What Austin learns from the former candidate is that the new senator for Alaska has sponsored legislation that would allow for mining on protected lands.

Back at the office, Austin and Claire inform Stanley about what they have learned, while Roz and Eileen make a plan to visit Commissioner Haynes and pressure her about the coercion of Toby Crenshaw. Though they make excellent points with the commissioner, Roz and Eileen are told that the police and prosecutors will do their job as they see fit to solve the case.

Yuna decides to show Gabriel how she channels her rage. Bringing him to an abandoned construction site, they each take turns throwing cement blocks off the roof and celebrate in their destruction.

Stanley tells Aaron Pritchard (Shane McRae) what his father is up to. He also tells Aaron that the paper will run a story tomorrow on what they have learned. Aaron is worried about the story because he promised he would leave his father’s business dealings alone when he purchased the paper. Stanley reminds him that Conrad Pritchard probably bought a US Senator, and the future mine could be an environmental catastrophe, and hopes that Aaron will give his support.

Worried that they have caused an innocent man to be arrested, Eileen and Roz interview Toby again about the night Gloria disappeared. The two learn that Gloria called him the night she disappeared and that she left a voicemail.

The Pritchard story breaks, environmentalists are protesting, and it looks like the mining has been stopped. Confronted by his father, Aaron stands up to his dad, and tells him that he is done protecting his father and his business interests. Conrad is not happy and states that if his son wants a war, he’s got one.

At Toby’s Uncle Ned’s (Bernard Starlight) house, Eileen and Roz are looking for Toby’s phone so that they can hear the message. The uncle hands over the phone, and they hear the voice mail left by Gloria. Eileen realizes that the phone number Gloria called from isn’t from her phone number. Roz calls the number that Gloria used and learns that it was disconnected.    

Bill’s Final Thoughts:

Gabriel was coming back to the paper, and who else would get him back but Eileen. The callback to when Gabriel picked up Eileen was nice, and the fact that the least sentimental and friendly person becomes the support system that everyone needs, shows how much Hilary Swank’s Eileen is a great character.

What is Stanley’s endgame? I love the fact that Jeff Perry gets his own side story that confronts the mega businessman Conrad Pritchard, but why has he decided to start a war with the tycoon. The paper is now owned by Aaron Pritchard, is there something deeper we are about to learn from Stanley’s past?

Alaska Daily continues to intrigue and propel a great narrative. I like how after all their hard work, Roz and Eileen spend this episode wondering if their stories forced a rush to judgment and arrested the wrong person. Roz and Eileen want the truth, not an arrest.