Televised on Friday, 26 April 2019, the latest episode of the popular courtroom drama “Proven Innocent” addresses the phenomenon known as shaken baby syndrome. The episode, “Shaken,” directed by Jon Amiel, features a teleplay and story penned by Terri Kopp and Adam Scott Weissman.
“Proven Innocent” is unlike other courtroom dramas because it revolves around courtroom battles to get wrongfully convicted individuals out of prison.
If you have yet to watch this episode, please note there are spoilers beyond this point. Consequently, it is advisable you watch this episode before you continue reading.
Brief Episode Synopsis
Gabrielle Parcell (Annie Munch) is a mother who was wrongfully convicted to a life sentence for apparently shaking her infant daughter. Assumptions were made based on commonly held misconceptions. Consequently, at the original trial, the child’s death was attributed to shaken baby syndrome.
Meanwhile, Levi Scott (Riley Smith) and Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre) uncover more truths about Rosemary’s past and their high school class. Gore Bellows (Kelsey Grammer) and his team continue their mission to send Madeline back to prison.
There is this ridiculous misconception that women somehow have an automatic maternal bond with their babies. This is not always the case. Postpartum Depression is not something either Kopp or Weissman created for the benefit of the episode narrative. This form of depression is a real thing that exists in the real world.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “The birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. But it can also result in something you might not expect — depression.”
Raised with Privilege
People like Deborah Vandenhey (Deanna Dunagan) frequently prove their lack of class by merely opening their mouths. Such individuals seem to think they are better than other people simply because of their social standing. Because of their social standing, they feel ordinary everyday rules do not apply to them. They are born into a class, the aristocracy, for instance, it goes to their heads. The power of money affords many people in such positions to pretty much do whatever they want with impunity. For the privileged few, this is the way their world works. Relative to the narrative seen in this “Proven Innocent” episode, it is how the Vandenhey family operate.
The Tail End
Did you catch the tail end of the episode? Anyone that has been paying close attention to what Bellows has been doing would have seen this move coming. In an obvious end-run-around the double jeopardy, Bellows has Madeline arrested for the murder of Rosemary Lynch (Casey Tutton).
Bellows entire case revolves around a lantern that has been lying at the bottom of a lake for ten years and the testimony of a begrudging woman that has a strong disdain for Madeline and her brother, Levi. The Cook County state attorney could run tests on the lantern, not that he would. Even if he did run such teats, there is a strong likelihood the evidence no longer exists.
Does what Bellows have against Madeline satisfy probable cause? Bellows has possibly met the benchmark for probable cause but not by much. The evidence is weak. No real world state attorney would consider bringing such a trail to court.
Is there a trailer for the series?
The final thoughts for this article are those expressed by one of the show’s own characters. “Criminal prosecutions are about punishment not healing,” Violet Bell (Nikki M. James) said during a live broadcast of her podcast.
“When I look around, I don’t see a world that’s lacking in retribution. I see a world suffering. There is a deep dark pain steering in many of us. We are afraid to be shaken out of that pain because it feels safe and familiar like we need it to survive but the opposite is true,” Violet said, “We need to shine a light onto the darkness. We need to face that pain and see it because that is the only way we will truly heal.”