TV Recap: “Will Trent” Episode 9 – “Manhunt”

After a three-week break, Will Trent returned on ABC with the 9th episode, “Manhunt.” In the episode, Faith gets taken hostage by a convicted cop killer, only to find herself framed for murder, too. Can Will Trent save his partner and friend? Here’s a recap of this week’s episode, featuring guest star French Stewart.

A protest is going on outside the courthouse as civilians seek “Justice for Andrew.” GPD Officer Michael Ormewood (Jake McLaughlin) stands with Officer Tate Grillo (Jason Wiles) as prisoner Sam LaPorte (Vince Swann) is brought in in handcuffs. “Cop Killer,” someone yells at Sam as he is taken through security. With metal handcuffs on, the metal detector goes off, but the officer escorting him says it’s fine. But as he enters, we see that Sam has a key hidden to unlock his own handcuffs.

Inside a courthouse bathroom, we see Faith Mitchell (Iantha Richardson)washing her hands as a woman named Bonnie (Yvette Freeman) compliments her outfit. Faith says it’s her favorite and when asked if she’s a lawyer, reveals that she’s a GBI officer and is there to testify on a case, which she has to do often. A gunshot from somewhere in the building startles them both and Faith tries to calm Bonnie down. She pulls her phone out of her purse to find that she doesn’t have a signal.

Meanwhile, Will Trent (Ramón Rodríguez) is grocery shopping with his dog Betty in the cart. His dyslexia is making shopping difficult since the store has moved the dog food to another aisle. Thankfully, his dog sitter Nico (Cora Lu Tran) is with him to help. A woman (Canecia Gordon) recognizes Will’s dog as “Bad Bitch Bety,” which is how he finds out that Nico made Betty a social media account. His shock is interrupted by a phone call informing him that the courthouse is under lockdown and that Faith is inside. Will arrives at the courthouse and is told by Tate that Sam is believed to have stolen a gun from his security guard and should still be in the building. Will says that he is familiar with the building and knows of six exits that are unsecured. Tate refers to Sam as a “cold-blooded killer” who killed his partner.

We see Sam, who has found a janitor’s outfit and changed into it. He moves down a hallway and bumps into Faith as she leads Bonnie out to try and help her exit. When Faith says “excuse me” to Sam, he grabs Bonnie and puts a gun to her head, taking her hostage. Faith pulls her gun out of her purse and informs Sam that she’s with the GBI, stating her full name, Faith Mitchell, which Sam seems to recognize. He asks her to kick her gun away and she does so, explaining that if he shoots Bonnie, then everyone in the building will know where he is. He knows this to be true, as he can hear the faint sounds of a search party looking for him.

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

Within a few moments, Will enters the same hallway with his backup. He finds Bonnie on a bench, too overwhelmed to speak coherently. She mumbles about a woman saving her, pointing to a purse on the ground. Will bends down and opens it to find Faith’s GBI badge. Will makes a call that Faith has been abducted by Sam. A manhunt is on.

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

Amidst police activity, Faith drives a stolen vehicle with Sam hidden in the backseat holding her at gunpoint. He orders her to drive calmly so as not to attract attention. Faith tells Sam about her son Jeremy and how much she loves him. She also reveals that she’s diabetic and that her kit was left in her purse at the courthouse. He decides to get her the medicine she will soon need. To do that, Faith finds herself handcuffed and locked in the trunk of the car while Sam robs a pharmacy. She tries to break free, kicking and losing her heels in the process. Calming down, she remembers that trunks now have escape hatches. She finds it and pulls it, only to find Sam is fast approaching as she starts to climb out. “This is not what we discussed,” he snaps, angrily pulling the gun out and announcing they’re changing cars.

Shortly after, Will and his team search the stolen car. He finds Faith’s shoes in the trunk and recognizes scratches in the interior from her heels. A black F-150 was stolen from the same parking lot, and the police make a call to put out an alert for one. Amanda Wagner (Sonja Sohn) is on the scene, and Will tells her that Sam stole insulin, which means he’s planning to keep Faith alive. However, they have no clue where he’s heading so Will wants to learn as much about Sam as possible to try and predict his next move.

To that end, Michael and Angie Polaski (Erika Christensen) have been assigned surveillance of Sam’s mother’s house, which is where he was living. While they wait, Angie asks Michael how well he knew Andrew Hollis, the slain cop that Sam allegedly murdered. Michael shares that they were classmates at the academy, that Andrew was very smart, and that he wanted to give an ex-con a chance, which is why he hired Sam to do his landscaping. As they talk, Angie sees a man on the street that sends a chill up her spine. She has a flashback to when she was young and in foster care. “That’s him,” she mutters out loud, confusing Michael. She lies and tells him she’s fine.

Sam drives Faith to the house of his friend Glen, who he tells her can clear his name. He says he was with Glen the night he allegedly killed Andrew and that Glen has proof. When they enter, “Just Got Paid” by Johnny Kemp is blaring on the radio and Sam goes upstairs to find his friend. Faith steps into the living room to find a man unconscious on the coffee table. She rushes to him and sees he’s been shot, grabbing a throw pillow and trying to stop the bleeding. She calls for Sam, saying they need an ambulance. “On its way,” Tate says as he steps around the corner. Faith thinks he’s there to help, but he steps closer and fires another shot into Tate’s head, which makes Faith jump back and scream as blood splatters on her face. Tate grabs his walkie and calls in, saying that Glen Denato was dead on arrival and that the shooter was GBI Agent Faith Mitchell. Faith notices that Tate is wearing black gloves. Sam enters the living room with his gun drawn and Tate points his at Sam, making another call to say that Sam and Faith are working together as a team. With Tate distracted, Faith jumps behind him and uses her handcuffs to choke him, forcing him onto his back. She releases her grip once he passes out. They hear his radio declare that backup is on its way, warning officers that Sam and Faith are armed and dangerous. Sam says they need to go. Faith wants to stay and explain the situation, but he convinces her that the cops will shoot them before they can plead their case. She agrees to leave with him.

In the GBI, Will and Amanda both listen to a recording of Tate’s call. Will doesn’t see it as proof that Faith is dangerous. Amanda is in shock as she tells him that the bullets in Glen were traced to Faith’s gun, which confuses her because Faith has never had to pull a trigger on the job. Will points out the fact that Faith’s heel marks were found in the trunk of the stolen car as evidence that she isn’t working with Sam. However, GBI Director Armstrong (Ric Reitz) steps in and gets angry with both Amanda and Will for not treating Faith as a criminal, ordering them to get her in ASAP or they will be taken off the case. Amanda defends herself, saying that Faith is the officer who arrested Sam for burglary seven years ago, but Armstrong won’t hear it.

Sam drives the F-150 as Faith brainstorms, thinking out loud that anyone at the GBI’s phones will be tapped so calling them isn’t safe. Turning on the radio, they hear an announcement for drivers to be on the lookout for both of them in a black F-150. Sam knows of a cabin that should be vacant that they can hideout in, but he needs to stop to use the bathroom at a rest stop. Faith asks to be freed of her handcuffs, and while Sam goes inside, she cleans the blood from her face. Another car pulls up and as the mother goes into the gas station, Faith sees a kid (Austin Pulliam) in the backseat and approaches the open window. She offers to show the kid her friend’s cute dog, and he hands her the phone. She pulls up Betty’s profile and sends a direct message that she’s safe, she didn’t kill anyone, and that her gun was left at the courthouse. The boy’s mom comes out and scares Faith back into the F-150 just as Sam returns and they speed away. The woman promises she will call the cops.

Angie visits one of her recovery group therapy sessions and announces she’s been sober for 81 days, but that today has been hard. She opens up to the group, telling them she saw someone who made her feel powerless when she was 15. Someone who was meant to protect her and it has caused her to spiral. She feels guilty because she should be focused on helping to find a missing colleague, but she declares that since she is there, it means she’s still in control. During the meeting, she declines a phone call from Michael.

Will went to Glen’s house to have a look at the crime scene, finding Michael there with Tate. Will instantly sees a throw pillow that looks like it was used to stop bleeding, asking who did that. Tate is angry that Will is even there, telling him that Faith tried to kill him. “Why didn’t she?”, Will asks. He points to Tate’s neck bruises, saying it looks like ligature bruise caused by a chain, like on handcuffs. Michael escorts Will outside and they have a fight in the front yard, with Michael defending Tate. “Either you’re bad at your job, or you’re in on it too,” Will snaps. “If Faith really shot Glen, why didn’t she use the same gun on Tate too?” Michael goes back inside, but his expression suggests that he’s thinking hard about what Will just said. Left alone, Will receives a phone call from Nico, who tells him about the message Faith left on Betty’s account.

Faith and Sam arrive at the cabin Sam knew about. Faith has handcuffed Sam to keep him there. “You really don’t remember me, huh?”, he asks her. He remembers that Faith is the one who arrested him for burglary seven years ago, but she was kind and he never forgot her. Faith tells Sam that she needs to shower and she handcuffs him to the freezer door. As she goes into the bathroom, we see him testing the extent to which he can reach for drawers and cabinets with the freezer door open.

Will reviews video of Sam’s interrogation when he was arrested for Andrew’s murder, but he’s interrupted when Michael walks in with the bloody pillow from Glen’s house in an evidence bag. He asked the BPA to examine it and Will was right, the stain matches what would be expected if the pillow were used to try and stop bleeding. Will tells Michael that he has a meeting at his home with Andrew Hollis’ widow and asks if he’d like to join. Cut to the two of them answering the door for Maia (Gissette Valentin), who is at first reluctant to talk in front of Michael. She reveals that Tate was the officer in charge of the murder case and that she wasn’t allowed to testify in court because he told her nobody would be interested in her story. But Andrew had suspected that Tate was stealing evidence and was working on compiling proof in a folder. When he died, she couldn’t find it. Asked to recall his final days, she mentions that she didn’t like the bamboo in the backyard and Andrew was working with Sam to replace it with other plants. The project was left unfinished and she moved out of the house after Andrew’s death because the memories there were too painful. Maia characterizes Tate as “a sociopath.”

Faith gets out of the shower and dresses, but her relaxation is ruined when she hears the front door slam. She races out with her gun drawn, chasing after Sam and threatening to shoot if he doesn’t turn around. She has to fire a warning shot, which upsets her because there were only two bullets left in the gun. But Sam does return, begging Faith to join him on a drive to North Carolina where he has friends who could protect them.

Angie goes to Michael’s desk and asks for an update on Faith. He asks her where she’s been, but she doesn’t answer. Instead, she hands him a document with information about a man named Lenny Broussard, asking him to verify the address. Michael pushes back on the request, but Angie comes clean that she can’t have her name on the search records. Michael won’t do it unless Angie explains, so she gives him as little information as possible: “I was in his foster care… it wasn’t great. He must’ve paroled, and no one told me.”

Back at his desk, Will resumes watching Sam’s interrogation. He describes the last time he saw Andrew alive. He was working in his backyard helping to replace bamboo but Andrew wanted him to stop for some reason. Faith’s son Jeremy Mitchell (Deion Smith) interrupts, asking Will for any information about his mom. Amanda chases after Jeremy, reminding him he is to stay in her office and announcing that his pizza has arrived. With Jeremy out of the room, Amanda asks Will if he has any ideas. “I think it’s best to keep you out of it,” he says. Amanda seems to understand that he’s about to break some rules and she should look the other way. Alone, Will makes a call – “How quickly can you find a shovel?”

Will’s call was to Michael, who meets him at Andrew’s old house. They both have shovels and Will tells Michael that he believes Andrew hid the evidence against Tate under the bamboo trees, which is the only reason he can see Andrew suddenly wanting Sam to stop digging. Soon, Will strikes something hard in the soft soil. He and Michael work together to pull out a briefcase. Breaking it open, they find meticulous evidence against Tate, the last photo taken a week before Andrew’s murder. Amanda calls Will and tells him that Faith and Sam were spoted at a gas station near a cabin that Sam has been known to visit. Will tells her about th evidence and Michael offers to take it to Amanda’s desk while Will goes to the cabin.

Officer Nina Lau (Stephanie Hong) informs Angie that she has a suspect waiting to be interrogated. She goes to the room, peeking in at the man at the desk before entering. “I was told I’m being brought in for disorderly conduct, I don’t understand,” Lenny Broussard (French Stewart) says. But then he has a moment of recognition and says he’s sorry. “You’re sorry for raping me when I was 15?”, Angie asks. “Or for getting me pregnant? Or for all the other girls, because I can’t be the only one.” Lenny tells her he’s sorry for everything and that prison changed him. He says he even wrote a letter to her to apologize, but couldn’t bring himself to send it. He says he’s been clean for 12 years and wants to make amends. He’s proud that she grew up to help people for a living. Angie gets overwhelmed and announces that she can’t do this, exiting the room. As she leaves, we see Lenny wipe tears from his eyes. But then, shortly after, as Angie paces by her desk to shake off the anxiety, she sees Lenny approaching the elevator with his wife, Diane (Brittany Wilkerson), and a young girl named Crystal (Chapel Oaks). Angie watches in horror as Lenny puts his hand on Crystal’s back, rubbing it in such a way that makes the girl look uncomfortable as the elevator doors close.

Sam and Angie flirt as they cook dinner from whatever ingredients were left in the cabin’s kitchen. He talks about his mom, who not only taught him how to cook, but also gave him the money to start his landscaping business. Their cooking is interrupted by headlights shining into the cabin. They both duck on the floor just in time for a bullet to fly through the window. Tate calls for Faith, saying they can work something out if she gives up Sam. Faith tells Sam she has to go out there as she removes his handcuffs. He kisses Faith, thanking her for protecting him. She gets up and exits the cabin through the back door with her gun and its single bullet. She moves around the side of the cabin to get a view of Tate and asking him to get back in his car. Instead, Tate starts shooting in Faith’s direction and she is forced away from the cabin into some nearby trees. “You and your mom are leaving quite the legacy,” Tate announces as he tries to kill Faith (her mother was an officer taken down in an investigation led by Will Trent). As Tate hunts Faith down, Sam appears behind Tate and jumps him. Tate is quick to overpower Sam, holding his gun to his head. Faith uses her last bullet apprehensively and both men fall to the floor. Thankfully, Sam is the one to get up. Tate was shot in the head. Police cars pull up and Faith drops her weapon as she and Sam surrender.

The next morning, Amanda is at the cabin and Faith is cleared of all charges, free to go. Among the evidence retrieved from Tate’s home was the murder weapon that killed Andrew. Sam will be cleared of that conviction. Will steps out of the SUV that will take Faith home. “This is how you decide to tell me Betty has a puppy gram?”, he playfully asks as he offers her the front seat.

Faith goes to visit Sam in jail, who asks if he can go home. She brings up that while he is cleared of the charge of killing Andrew, he did attack a courthouse, abduct her, steal two vehicles, and break into a cabin. “I’ll put in a good word with the D.A.,” she flirts. As she walks away, Sam asks if he can call her when he gets out. We see Faith blush as she leaves without answering.

Angie is making a sandwich in Will’s kitchen when he returns home. She asks about Faith and he gives her the good news, asking how she’s doing. He sees a beer bottle in the garbage and asks about it. “It’s non-alcoholic,” Angie swears. Will asks what happened and realizes she’s withholding something from him. “C’mon, we’ve been doing so good, Angie. You can tell me. Whatever it is.” Angie takes a deep breath and chalks it up to just a tough day. She hugs Will and we see his face. He doesn’t believe her.

Will Trent will return to ABC next Tuesday, March 28th at 10/9c with “Pteradactyls Can Fly”

A trailer park massacre leaves a young boy without his family; and Will, strongly opposed to leaving him, becomes his temporary guardian. Meanwhile, Faith receives a visit from her mother, and Angie spirals from incidents of her past.

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).