Presumed Innocent episode 1 recap: Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

Rusty finds himself the prime suspect of the murder of his colleague, Carolyn, in Presumed Innocent episode 1.
Presumed Innocent
Presumed Innocent /

The first two episodes of Presumed Innocent are now streaming on Apple TV+ and it's safe to say it is our new favorite legal drama on streaming! Let's recap the premiere episode by breaking down the top moments and the biggest questions we have.

Spoiler alert! If you have yet to watch the premiere episode of Presumed Innocent, titled "Bases Loaded," please note there are spoilers ahead as we chat about significant events. Go stream the episode on Apple TV+ before reading ahead.

Presumed Innocent episode 1, "Bases Loaded," opens by introducing audiences to Rusty Sabich (Jake Gyllenhaal), the chief deputy prosecutor at the Chicago Prosecuting Attorney's office. It's obvious why Rusty is the best in the business. Rusty gives the court a speech about how he is not there to prove the accused is "likely" or "very likely" guilty. He is there to prove "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." A task that isn't always easy, even for the top prosecutors in any state, but this is just how confident Rusty is at what he does.

After seeing Rusty in action as a prosecutor, audiences meet his family. He is married to Barbara (Ruth Negga) and has two kids Jaden (Chase Infiniti) and Kyle (Kingston Rumi Southwick). Rusty is spending time with his family out in the yard before getting a phone call informing him that his colleague Carolyn Polhemus (Renate Reinsve) has been murdered. Rusty is shaken and heads to the scene of the crime immediately.

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Rusty's dirty little secret comes to light

The murder is horrible and tough to stomach. Carolyn was bludgeoned to death and found hogtied. This is not your typical murder. There was a strong motive here, and Rusty is determined to find the person who did this.

Back at home, Barbara embraces Rusty, telling her husband that she'll be there for him, but that she can't get herself to go to the memorial. This is a strange thing to say, and we immediately realize that there was something romantically going on between Carolyn and Rusty. Our suspicions are verified via flashbacks of Rusty and Carolyn together. Not to mention, Barbara straight up asks Rusty not to get involved in Carolyn's case, commenting that Raymond (Bill Camp), the State Attorney and Rusty's boss, should find someone Carolyn hasn't slept with to lead the case.

At Carolyn's memorial, Rusty spots Carolyn's ex-husband with a kid (in his teens) and is surprised to learn that the boy is Carolyn's son. It seems like Rusty may not have known Carolyn as well as he thought.

Presumed Innocent on Apple TV+ /

Tommy is planning on showing Rusty no mercy

While in therapy, Rusty tells Dr. Liz Rush (Lily Rabe) that he can't stop thinking about Carolyn and we get more flashbacks. Understandably, Rusty is upset, but now we're wondering -- was he still cheating on his wife? Earlier, worried that her husband's affair will eventually come to light and ruin their family, Barbara confronts Rusty. He, however, reminds Barbara that he and Carolyn were done "years ago," reassuring her. But is this a lie? Viewers quickly learn the answer.

Raymond loses the election and is no longer the State Attorney. This means that the new State Attorney, Della Guardia (O-T Fagbenle), who is not a fan of Raymond or Rusty, demotes Rusty as the chief deputy prosecutor. The new man in charge is Tommy (Peter Sarsgaard), and he jumps right into things. In the final moments, he tells Rusty and Raymond about Rusty's fingerprints and tells Rusty that Carolyn was pregnant at the time of her murder. When asked if he knows who the father may have been, Rusty is silent.

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Who killed Carolyn?

Here's what we know about Carolyn's case:

  • There were no signs of struggle or break-in
  • The above means that Carolyn knew her killer
  • Carolyn was pregnant at the time of her murder
  • Tommy has figured out about Carolyn and Rusty's affair
  • Rusty's fingerprints were found at the scene
  • Rusty is now a prime suspect

Be sure to check back for the episode 2 recap, where we'll be adding more facts about the case in our attempt to get to the bottom of things. What are your theories so far?

Presumed Innocent episode 1 and 2 are streaming on Apple TV+. The third episode, titled "Discovery," will drop on the platform on Wednesday, June 19. Don't miss it!

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