Accused Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Danny’s Story


Accused is a pivotal show during a pivotal time. Accused Season 1 Episode 3 confirms that this show is more than a legal drama; it is also a testament to the fragility of our mental health.

On Episode 3, we meet a family on the precipice of their lives changing forever. We see a mother in hospice with two young sons who love her and are passionately devoted to her quality of life.

Grief doesn’t begin with death; it often starts when the knowledge of the upcoming loss is realized. This is why most bereaved families so profoundly treasure hospice workers. 

Allison, the hospice nurse, seems likable. She seems attentive to his mother, but Danny never entirely trusts her intentions. And initially, there is no reason for his apparent derision. 

Danny’s demeanor and interaction with his mother show a soft, loving teenager, but his gaze, countenance, and demeanor changes when he speaks to the nurse, Allison. We don’t see what caused him to feel antagonistic toward her.

Hospice scene - Accused Episode 3 Season 1 Episode 3

Viewers will notice that the dog snarls and growls at Allison when she enters. Since animals are known for their discerning natures, this creates a sense of foreboding, leading us to believe that there may be a dark side to the beautiful hospice nurse.

In my line of work, I spend a lot of time with families. I’ve just never really been a part of one.


Reid Miller is an actor to watch as he dives into Danny’s character in a way that reveals the unraveling of his sense of sanity. After losing his mother, Danny spirals into paranoia, believing the hospice nurse was the cause of her demise.

This belief, of course, means the entire family is in danger. Allison is dating his father and has something to gain from his mother’s expected yet untimely death. The uncomfortable family dinners where Allison is now seated at his father’s side were almost unbearable to watch.

Her job is to help people die. And now she’s boning the grieving husband.

The father, a mild character who doesn’t outwardly grieve his wife’s demise, immediately tries to create a sense of normalcy in his home. His attempts to acclimate and blend his family with his lover are both awkward and unsuccessful.

For a time, the father is the villain — a bad guy who cheated on his dying wife. How dare he move on so fast, move her in, and pretend that everything is normal?

Dad in courtroom- Accused Danny's Story Season 1 Episode 3

The groundwork is designed to establish Danny’s shaky mental health. His teachers express concern to his father over a pattern of behavior. We see Danny fixating on Allison and her intentions with his family. His suspicion of poisoning even leads him to transport a bowl of oatmeal in his bookbag for analysis.

He seems untethered. The combination of untreated mental illness compounded with unprocessed grief creates a Danny with whom it is difficult to sympathize. His behavior gets increasingly erratic, and he pushes away those who attempt to get close to him due to his manic behavior.

Danny: Do you think I made this up?
Dad: I know it felt real.

His father’s attempts to write off his concerns and blame them on mental illness seem like gaslighting because of the certainty of Danny’s claims. It’s nearly impossible to take a side until the end when all the information has been presented.

There are so many triggers for Danny that are somewhat revealing to the audience. He is enraged when the family dog is hit while on a walk with Allison. He suspects poisoning when he has suspicious abdominal pains after eating her food.

What may have hurt Danny is that he is upfront about his suspicions. He alienated and frightened his only friend, and telling people something bizarre reinforced the belief that he was mentally unstable.

danny phone- Accused Episode 3 Season 1 Episode 3

We see discussions of treatment and family history of mental illness, but we do not see any actual treatment. We know his father loved his son, but what stopped him from seeking immediate help?

Danny: You’re lying. You hated Chester. You did this. You killed him–
John: That’s enough!
Danny: Like you killed my mom.

Danny is shown in prison orange numerous times during the episode, but it’s unclear what crime he committed. We can assume that he hurt or murdered Allison, but we don’t get the answer until his fear and paranoia of being poisoned come to a head.

Danny wields a knife and barricades himself in his mother’s (now Allison’s) closet. His ordinarily stoic and calm father showed the most emotion at this moment. You could see that he was scared for his son and frightened that the police might harm him.

John: I can feel Mom here, can’t you?
Danny: No!
John: She doesn’t want this for you, Danny. She wants you happy.

That moment meant a lot for the humanization of this character. For a father that didn’t take action to get his son help, he wanted to ensure that he survived this potentially dangerous encounter with the police. This passionate action redeemed John as a protector of his child.

Allison: The police are on the way.
Dad: Did you tell them he’s a kid???

A family was in peril, but who was the true source of the danger? As Danny stabs Allison, it appears that Danny has been the villain all along.

We see in the trial that Allison survived the attack. She sits next to the family as if supporting Danny in his journey to mental health. But even that doesn’t feel right.

A beautiful quality of this show is that by showing the defendant’s perspective, the viewing audience almost gains a defense attorney’s perspective. We see the evidence of poisoning, the impending threat to his family, and the suspicious timing of her relationship with his father all give us material for a self-defense case.

Danny: No,I told you. I’m not doing this
Lawyer: Its just a conversation. They’ll ask you some questions
Danny: They’ll use these answers against me so you can put me in a mental hospital. I’m not crazy. how many times do I have to have this conversation. I’m not.

But somehow, his attorney railroads him. She makes him feel his defense is so irrational that he must be committed to a mental institution. She gaslights him and uses his brother to manipulate him into not pursuing his defense. She tried to get him evaluated, but he was adamant about his results being used against him.

Could she not have looked into Allison’s past? Couldn’t she have built a case for self-defense? He felt his family was being threatened. Why was his grief not being considered?

Hospice - Accused Episode 3 Season 1 Episode 3

At this point, he seems defenseless. The “be evaluated or be proven to be unfit” threat seemed more in line with what the prosecutor might say and not his lawyer.

So not only did he lose his mother, he lost his freedom. Six months later, we see him in a depressing psych ward. This child who needed proactive help is now receiving care with profoundly mentally ill patients.

Danny, no one wants to see you get hurt. They don’t. If you don’t change your mind, I have to go up there and tell everyone you’re crazy. I don’t want to do that to you.I don’t. I can’t.


It seemed extreme, and he appeared highly alone. When Allison visits, which is suspicious, and announces that his father has passed away and that his brother is too sick to visit, he is triggered into a righteous rage.

Rachel Bilson played this role in such an earnest and mild-mannered way that it made Danny seem crazier in comparison. It also helped blindside the audience for the twist at the end.

Allison smiling- Accused Danny's Story Season 1 Episode 3

It is a sorrowful way to end an episode, but morbid in the way that you can’t wait to watch another. This poor child had been gaslit all along, and while he may have had some undiagnosed mental condition, he didn’t deserve this ending.

Grief is a beast. This episode evokes several stages of grief — denial, bargaining, and depression. But not acceptance. One can’t help but think his mother would have fought harder for him. And that makes it even sadder.

How did you feel about the ending?

Did you know Allison was evil all along? Did his lawyer do all she could do in his defense? Was he mentally ill? Do you fault the dad for how things ended?

Drop your thoughts in the comments.

Brandi Powell is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

Articles You May Like

‘The Night Agent’ Boss on Star Gabriel Basso’s ‘Badass’ Turn in Gripping FBI Action Series
Julianne Hough Returns to Dancing With the Stars as Co-Host
‘VPR’: Raquel Leviss Denies Threesome Rumors
USD POLL : Which recent TV show has the best music?
Should You Watch ‘The Magician’s Elephant’ on Netflix?