At the start, the episode focuses on a young woman, Mia Lorimer, who is being brutally battered and raped by her husband. Her neighbor, an older woman named Linnie Malcolm, strives mightily to convince Mia to admit what her husband has done and let Olivia help her. Mia presses charges against her husband but later recants out of fear and goes back to him. And the husband murders her. It is then that we realize the true focus of this episode. Linnie Malcolm has kept some terrible secrets for more than thirty years, and Mia's murder brings them slowly to the surface. Linnie was herself a horribly abused woman and killed her abuser after repeated rapes and beatings. She was arrested but escaped, and quietly assumed a new identity and a new life with Jonah Malcolm, a man who adores her. Now she goes back to jail, facing murder and escape charges. She finds that she may not be able to defend herself against the murder charge without revealing what made her so desperate to escape after her initial arrest. The acting is excellent as always, but Brenda Blethyn stands out as Linnie. She is determined and fiery in the beginning when fighting for Mia, but there is something haunted about her. And after her arrest, the frightened, insecure, self-hating woman from thirty years ago re-emerges. In an episode of sad endings, Linnie's is perhaps the saddest. Brenda Blethyn's performance here touched me deeply.
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