The Mother
Season 1, Episode 9
Secrets and Lies Logo
Episode Information
Air Date:
  • April 26, 2015
  • 5.83
Written by:
Directed by:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode:

"The Cop"

Next Episode:

"The Lie"

Tom's killer is female.
Detective Cornell

"The Mother" is the ninth episode of the first season of the American version of "Secrets and Lies" and the ninth episode of the series overall.


Ben's discovery in the attic further exacerbates his tension with Christy, who, to make matters worse, continues to keep the kids away from him. When Ben finally does get some much needed father-daughter time with Abby at the Christmas fair, an unwelcome guest changes the course of the evening. Meanwhile, after the leak in the crime lab left most of the forensic evidence in Tom's case unusable, Det. Cornell refuses to sit idly by and wait for everything to be re-tested. She returns to the crime scene, hoping to find something new to drive her towards an arrest.


Cornell stares at the murder board and one of her colleagues comes into the room with a transcript of Ben’s statement. The two chat about Ben and she makes it clear she no longer believes he is the killer. Meanwhile, Ben confronts Christy about the money stash and she defends it, calling it much needed help from Michael. He tries to strike a deal with her: he’ll give back the money in return for the girls. She serves Ben with divorce papers and threatens to not only get the girls, but also the money.

Ben goes over to Jess’ house, only to find Nicole on her way out carrying boxes of Tom’s toys. Nicole tells Ben that Jess asked her to clean out Tom’s room. When Ben asks if Jess is okay, Nicole informs him she’d feel better if she took her meds. He thinks she is talking about sedatives, but he is mistaken. Nicole tells Ben he doesn’t really know Jess at all before speeding off. Ben shows Dave the money he found and confides in him that his lawyer wants him to float Christy as an alternate suspect. Dave doesn’t dispute the theory and tells Ben why he thinks Christy could have done it, leaving Ben conflicted.

Natalie and Abby surprise Ben at the house; Michael brought them to get more clothes. Abby tells Ben she thinks Christy’s client Sam is her new boyfriend. She also divulges that Michael told her that Ben loves Jess and that he wants to be with her. Ben confronts Michael, who is surprisingly apologetic. When the girls come outside with their bags, Abby refuses to go with her uncle. Reasoning they didn’t get a Christmas, she wants to go with Ben to see the fireworks. Michael allows both girls to stay with their father for the event, but Natalie passes to allow Abby more time with Ben.

Cornell returns to the scene of the crime to further investigate with a crime scene investigator. With Ben no longer her prime suspect, she seems to have her sights on someone else – she just needs to prove it. Going to the river, she takes a look around and finds evidence in a child’s toy: it was Tom’s. Despite the fact that the crime scene was further away from the river, Cornell tells the investigator that the crime scene wasn’t originally supposed to be where it was – it was supposed to be near the river. She mentions that water killing is a female’s MO. Tom’s killer is female.

When Ben approaches Abby, she hides her phone from him. He notices and she confesses that Christy told her not to let Ben see it, as it was a present from only her. As they get ready to head out, Jess approaches and tells them her car won’t start. Finding out she is also going to the fireworks, Ben invites Jess along, much to Abby’s dismay. At the fireworks, Abby notices Ben and Jess getting cozy and goes out of her way to make Jess feel excluded. Ben thinks he sees Cornell but Jess convinces him he’s mistaken. Abby ends up dropping her new phone and bursts into tears, afraid that Christy will be angry.

Meanwhile, Cornell visits Christy, who is entertaining Sam at Michael’s. Cornell reveals she’s done some investigating on Sam, who thinks he’s not involved in the case. After an interrogation by Cornell, Sam leaves in a huff. At the same time, Ben drops Abby off at Michael’s. When he tells her she has to live with Christy, Abby gets upset and accuses Ben of wanting to be with Jess. Upon seeing Cornell harshly interrogating Christy, Abby comes to her mother’s defense, revealing she heard Christy and Ben fighting. Christy apologizes to Abby and Cornell leaves for the night.

Arriving home, Ben volunteers to walk Jess to her house. She declines him initially, but ends up giving in. Things get heated and Ben and Jess end up having sex… again. The next morning, Jess suggests they make another baby and Ben realizes something is off. While Jess showers, Ben comes upon a photo of Tom and Jess, who is wearing a blue jacket – the same jacket he found in the woods. He looks for answers and is shocked to find numerous bags of pills. At the station, Cornell follows up on a blood spatter report. It’s not ready yet, but the results will aid her investigation and pinpoint the killer once and for all.

After doing some research, Ben goes back to Jess’ and snoops around. He finds an urn wrapped in a pink blanket, revealing Jess had a baby before Tom. Jess catches Ben snooping and freaks out when Ben inquires about the pills and the two dead babies, throwing a vase and a pair of sharp scissors at him. Thanks to information from Dave, Ben goes to Nicole for answers. Later, Abby goes missing and Ben thinks crazy Jess is behind it. In the lab, Cornell finally gets the results of the report and discovers she was right about Tom’s killer.



Recurring and Guest Starring



A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

Notes and Trivia


Episode Stills

A more complete gallery with pictures of The Mother can be found here.



A complete transcript of this episode can be found here.

See Also