New Teen Mystery Takes a Guilt Trip

Strobing lights, loud music and a brutally murdered 20-something girl. The channel Freeform, previously known as ABC Family, recently aired its midseason finale of the new murder mystery “Guilt.” It’s a show set in England and based around a dead Irish girl and her American roommate that everyone thinks killed her. It’s shaping up to be the new “Pretty Little Liars.” While the characters and mystery are different, the plotline and teen-appeal are virtually the same. The opening episode is filled with the constant twists and turns you expect to see in a teen murder drama, but it also seems more harsh, much more defined, more questioning of the power of the elite and certainly much more dangerous.

Who wouldn’t want to get swept up in the drama?

Enter Grace Atwood, the main suspect in the murder. She’s spoiled, beautiful, and quite frankly, very annoying. There’s something very off about her character and her relationship to her step father and sister throughout the first few episodes. Grace’s character is simply unlikeable. She wasn’t made to be a martyr; she was made to be a suspect, and an untrustworthy one at that.. She perfectly fits the storyline that later includes a few angry ex-boyfriends and the ulterior motives of a prince and an artist. After Molly is found dead and the suspicion is passed on to Grace, her sister Natalie, a lawyer in New York City, flies to England to take care of Grace. Natalie then hires a hot-shot attorney to represent Grace, and their constant banter with one another lets a little bit of comic relief into an otherwise dark story. Actress Daisy Head is perfect for the role of Grace — the facial features and expressions she makes make her one with her role. Head easily portrays the raw emotion of a girl who just lost her best friend, but also of the same girl that nobody seems to trust.

The big question of the season, is “who killed Molly?” As the show progresses, more and more suspects are brought into the light for various reasons pertaining to the highly secretive and scandalous life Molly lead prior to her murder. Although Grace is the main suspect, a professor both girls had and even a member of the royal family could be the answer. “Guilt” originally raised more questions for me than it answered, but more was revealed as the life of Molly was explored. Her character was dead in the first episode, so what you learn about her is more from other people about her past and previous mistakes.

Her only redeeming qualities that are discussed are when her brother, Patrick, enters the storyline. Angry, brooding and desperate for revenge, his character makes for the perfect bad boy. Patrick loved his sister more than anything, and he is constantly blaming himself for not keeping her safe. Kevin Ryan, who plays Patrick Ryan on the show, does an amazing job of portraying the betrayal and hurt his character feels after the passing of Molly. He’s full of darkness and despair, but there is still a part of him fighting on to see justice, and because of that he is one of my favorite characters to watch. The diverse cast of characters isn’t complete without Roz, club DJ and scammer extraordinaire. She was one of Molly’s closest confidantes, but it was a very well-kept secret. Out of all the suspects in “Guilt,” I think I’d put my money on Roz. Her character is constantly keeping secrets and scamming people out of money. She also played a huge role in the more scandalous part of Molly Ryan’s life. She despises Grace and is constantly blaming her for everything that happened. Grace is financially much more well off then Roz, and Grace’s problems seem insignificant to her. Her accusations feel more like projection of Roz’s own feelings onto someone else to cover herself up. Overall, “Guilt” surprised me with how much I enjoyed watching it. I’m a big fan of the genre it’s a part of and the characters really drew me in. It brings up many questions throughout the first few episodes, but answers and clues are provided if you look for them. It’s set in London, but it never loses that homegrown feel of America because of all the characters based there. Everyone is a suspect, meaning you can’t automatically count out anyone and trust them. Guilt is on every Monday 9/8c. If you catch up, you might just find out “who killed Molly?”