After 5 months of online communicating, texting and talking; Jemma Whitbeck, (Chole Levine) meets him. She is surprised. He’s Ryan Mitchell,(Jonathan Tchaikovsky) and he is much older than his profile. More than twice her age. She’s 16 & he’s old at 35.
I don’t recall the reason given for the deceit, because the voices in my head were yelling, “run!” She didn’t. She is sweet talked into dinner & a beer! (She’s 16, dude!) She also drove his sports car #predator. 😔
Four days later, her mom, Maya (Marin Ireland) is on the news crying for Jemma. Her friends are posting flyers. Jemma is missing.
Eight months have passed. During a smash & grab at jewelry store, Jemma is busted, as she exits the store, along with Ryan. #strongarm
Thalia Macera (Nadia Dajani) is representing Jemma & seeks to hire Bull to do his thing. But for Bull, Its a slam dunk, she’s guilty; caught with the goods & a gun. It’s a no win; and Jason Bull likes to win! However, Bull owes her, so…
He proceeds with a defense like, “Stockholm Syndrome” Patty Hearst & whatevs. She’s looking at 25 years for the armed robbery, yet wants to see Ryan & won’t cooperate in her own defense. #wtf
Cable steps up & works overtime. She recalls a similar experience. She was duped, but got away. She understands.
Sidebar: Background on the staff is always welcomed. No matter how small. Still waiting on Chunk’s kid & Danny’s wounded solider to resurface.
Meanwhile, Chunk & Danny visit Jemma & Ryan’s “home” It’s a trailer & it is disgusting. They find the “guest room” which was Jemma’s. It’ s a closet!
It’s very small with 1 pillow & what looks like cuffs & a bucket! She really was a prisoner! Ryan had her under lock & key. She survived by developing feeling for him, he surmises. Arguing duress & a fear for her life, she adapted to her circumstances. #survivalinstinct
Sidebar: loving your abuser is real. Learned Helplessness, it was called.
Ryan is called to testify. He looked old in his dress, even older than his 35 years. All I could think of was how nasty & old he looked & how this nastiness harmed this child.
As Bull suggested, Ryan turned on Jemma for a 5 year sentence reduction. He all but called her the mastermind! He claims, he didn’t force her & everything is her fault. The robbery & gun; her idea. He claimed they were in love 💕 She also had free will & she stayed because she wanted to.
However, with the jury pool all red; she testifies. She tells her story in all if it’s ugliness.
After dinner she was raped on the ground. Bound & gagged, he took her to her closet, where cuffs, pillow & bucket became her “home”
Ryan threatened to do her mother if she fled. She was repeatly beaten & raped, but he “took care of her” She developed “feelings” to survive.
Jemma felt dirty, & when she had the opportunity to escape & go home, she stayed; convinced it was her fault.
The jury was deadlocked, 11 to 1; a mistrial. Yet the DA felt the gut wretching testimony of Jemma was truth. Charges are dropped & additional charges are added against her predator; kidnapping & statutory rape!
Jemma goes home, a free woman…and turns on the internet. 😞
Not one of my favorite episodes. I don’t like tales of child abuse in any way. And sex trafficking, kidnap & abuse is what this was.
With the greater highway (cyber) of “snatch, grab” coerce & steal, alive & well; we’ll see more like this, “based on a true story” story telling.
And so, I wonder, “What DID we do, before the internet? 🤔
Bull airs Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time