Suffice it to say that when you combine a former First Daughter, an ex-investigator, a district attorney, and a former felon and task them with exonerating prisoners convicted in bad trials, things will get interesting. On Conviction , Merrill Dungey plays Maxine, a former cop who is sort of against the whole point of the Conviction Integrity Unit, at least when it comes to coerced confessions and long interrogations. Maxine comes from a place of believing every police officer is an honest person, but I think Maxine will have to reform her views on police on Conviction .
Police officers are all human, and that means that they are not perfect, nor are all nice people. Maxine was a cop, and her father before her, and she is convinced in the pilot of Conviction that her father’s detective friend didn’t fudge a confession in order to get the most likely character in jail. Turns out that man was innocent, and her father’s friend wasn’t as nice a guy as she thought he was. In “Bridge and Tunnel Vision,” three teenagers were coerced into giving confessions for a crime that two of them did not commit. Obviously, the show can’t absolve someone of a crime every single week (that would be one inefficient district attorney’s office), but these reversed sentences and retrials will continue to happen, and Maxine is going to have to come to terms with the fact that there are bad cops, just like bad people, out there.
Will this affect the way she does her job on Conviction? It’s hard to say. I think she’s going to have a little bit of a crisis of faith — she’s lived her whole life thinking that she’s the good guy, that all of her brethren are the good guys, and well, maybe they’re not. To change your belief system is not easy. I think Maxine is going to change her thinking as the season goes on, and whatever doesn’t kill her will make her stronger.
Images: John Medland/ABC (2)