10 Easter Eggs In The ‘Trial & Error’ Season 2 Premiere That Even True Crime Fans May Have Missed
Spoilers ahead for the Season 2 premiere of Trial & Error. The popularity of true crime documentaries has skyrocketed so much in the past few years that one of television's goofiest sitcoms is in its second season of sending them up. The two-episode premiere of Trial & Error is full of true crime references — so much so that even some of the most devoted fans of the genre may have let a few slip by them.
The first season of Trial & Error centered on Larry Henderson (played by John Lithgow) and parodied the popular docuseries The Staircase. Season 2, subtitled Lady, Killer, is mashing-up two more buzzy investigatory true crime series: The Jinx and S-Town.
The subject of The Jinx, which aired on HBO in 2015, is the wealthy and confounding Robert Durst, who is currently on trial for the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman, per The Los Angeles Times. (He entered a plea of not guilty and maintains his innocence.) The podcast S-Town begins with an investigation into a small-town conspiracy that is eventually disproven, and then morphs into being a character study of eccentric horologist John B. McLemore and an examination of small-town living — a far cry from the violent grit of The Jinx.
Pulling from two vastly different series, Trial & Error builds out the fictional characters and events of East Peck, South Carolina. The first two episodes alone are packed with references to The Jinx and S-Town, which means that there should be plenty more where that came from as the season goes on. Here are the nods that you may not have caught:
1. Lavinia Is "Jinxed"
At one point in Trial & Error, Lavinia details for her lawyer all the death she's experienced. She mentions the loss of her father, mother, brother, and husband and fears that she's "jinxed," and that she's the reason people in her life keep dying. This not only references the title of the docuseries, but also references how Robert Durst claimed in The Jinx that he, too, was "jinxed" by all the death in his life. Bustle has reached out to Durst's legal representation for comment on the series.
2. She's Also A Wealthy Heir
3. Lavinia Witnessed Her Father's Death
In The Jinx, Durst recalls his mother’s death and claims he witnessed it, per Politico. Durst claims that his father brought him to a window to look at his mother who was standing on a roof. Durst says his father told him to “look out” at her, and that Durst waved at her before she fell.
In Trial & Error, Lavinia tells a similar story. "That morning, mother brought me to the big window. She pointed to where father was standing on the roof. I said 'Why is father standing on the roof?' You have to understand I was an inquisitive child. She said 'just wave,' so I did. He waved back. Then he jumped to his death."
4. Supermarket Thief
The final shot of Trial & Error Season 2's second episode shows Lavinia dressing as a man and stealing from a supermarket. While he didn't do both at once, Robert Durst would allegedly pretend to be a mute woman named Dorothy Ciner, as reported by ABC News, and was caught stealing a sandwich from a Wegman's in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 2001 according to The Morning Call.
Trial & Error Season 2 introduced Nina Rudolph, played by Amanda Payton, a big-city podcaster who rolls into East Peck to cover Lavinia's trial for Season 2 of the fictional podcast M-Towne, clearly borrowed from S-Town. However, the overwhelming cultural excitement over Season 2 of this fake true crime podcast seems to be pulled from the excitement over Season 2 of Serial, which was not as popular as its debut.
6. Prestige Podcast Host
Nina Rudolph seems to be interested in not just interviewing the townsfolk of East Peck, but also presenting her own point of view with the story. Viewers may compare her to Serial's Sarah Koenig, S-Town's Brian Reed, and The Jinx filmmaker Andrew Jarecki, all of whom become somewhat involved in the lives of the people whose experiences they were documenting.
7. Maze In The Backyard
In the first episode of Trial & Error, Dwayne Reed and Anne Flatch investigate a large hedge maze in Lavinia's backyard. The subject of S-Town, John B. McLemore, constructed his own hedge maze in his backyard, although it was much smaller than the comically large hedge maze seen on Lavinia's property.
In Trial & Error, medical documents reveal that Lavinia's deceased husband was struck with something gold-plated before he died. In response, Lavinia quickly points out that she owns a gold-plated cane. The subject of S-Town, John B. McLemore, gifted the podcast's host Brian Reed with a gold-plated dime that he made through a dangerous process called fire gilding.
9. Jesse Ray Beaumont
Season 2 of Trial & Error introduces Jesse Ray Beaumont (Michael Hichcock), an eccentric citizen who proves to be a horologist — an expert on clocks, watches, and other timepieces. S-Town's John B. McLemore was also an eccentric horologist and had an expansive collection of rare and intricate timepieces.
10. Conspiracy Theories
John B. McLemore's theories about an unsolved murder in Woodstock, Alabama are what inspired S-Town host Brian Reed to visit the small town. Jesse Ray Beaumont proves to Nina Rudolph that he's also a conspiracy theorist — although his threories about "Area 52" are a bit harder to believe than McLemore's.
While the first two episodes of the season sneak a large number of references to both The Jinx and S-Town in under an hour, there are still plenty of quirks that the show can pull from for future episodes. It's highly unlikely that the series will end without referencing the shocking final moments of the Jinx or take another few jabs at the prestige true crime podcasting of S-Town. Trial & Error is a show that is clearly made by fans of true crime for fans of true crime.