October 1, 2023
Professor T airs Sundays at 7:00 pm and is available to stream via the PBS app and wttw.com. Recap the previous and following episodes.
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Lisa marches into Christina’s office and finds her boss’s new boyfriend, Simon, canoodling with Christina behind her desk. Simon quickly leaves, and Lisa tells Christina that she is interested in the promotion, even though it will mean less time with her father—his pride in her convinced her she should go for it. Christina asks her to submit a written request, and not to tell Dan yet.
Lisa is also not telling Rabbit that she is providing Professor T with information about a case that is going to trial. It predates the professor’s consultancy with the police, and he believes the wrong person is being tried in the murder of Vincent Soames. He uses it as a case study for his class as the trial progresses.
A silent alarm was triggered at the Soames house one night. When police arrived, the car of the Soames’ groundskeeper, Shaun Hallett, was at the house. Shaun was standing near Vincent’s body; he was killed by a single gunshot. A hunting rifle was found nearby. A bunch of small items stolen from the Soames home were found in Shaun’s cottage, and Vincent’s wife Hester’s diamond engagement ring had recently gone missing. Vincent was going to confront Shaun, who was in the house polishing the floors the day the ring went missing, that night.
Shaun’s fingerprints were found on the barrel and stock of the gun, but not the trigger. There had been an attempt to the wipe the gun clean. There was no gunpowder residue on Shaun’s hands.
Shaun claims that Vincent had called him with an urgent request to come to the house to change a lightbulb in the cellar, where he thought he had heard a noise. It was not unusual for the Soames to call Shaun or his wife Anya, who cooked and cleaned for them, at any time of day. Anya confirmed that Shaun received a call, as do phone records, which also show it came after the silent alarm was triggered.
The alarm was new, installed after Hester’s ring went missing, and Shaun didn’t know about it. He didn’t have keys to the house, but the kitchen door was open when he arrived and found Vincent dead, he claims.
Vincent’s stepson Anthony says that Shaun had taught him to shoot with his hunting rifle, and confirms without a doubt that the weapon found at the scene was Shaun’s. But when he is shown a variety of other rifles, he demonstrates that he can’t distinguish between guns. Shaun admits to having a rifle, but it was unlicensed and so he eventually destroyed it. Anthony is a medical student who was working late that night—but he worked relatively close by.
While Dan is working late that night, he accidentally sees Lisa’s written request for a promotion.
The next morning, he’s at the station early to ask Christina about a promotion. She says she would support him getting one—after a few other people who are first in line. He just needs a bit more experience.
Christina was early to the office, but she still outslept Simon. He woke before her and logged into her laptop while she slept—while cuddling with her in her office, he was noting her password.
As the trial continues, the defense argues that Shaun was an exemplary employee. He only missed one day of work in nine years, when he was granted a day of leave because his wife had a stillbirth. The defense also establishes that Vincent wasn’t an exemplary husband: Hester filed an assault charge against him and called the police on him three other times. The night Vincent was killed, Hester was with her mother, who has Alzheimer’s and so cannot corroborate her alibi
The professor has a hunch, and asks Mrs. Snares to call a cab for him. Instead, she offers to drive him herself, “borrowing” the dean’s car. They visit Anya Hallett at her cottage, where the professor explains that kleptomania can often result from depression, like the kind that comes after the loss of a child. Anya asks them to leave. The professor tells Mrs. Snares that he has solved the case, then calls Lisa to request some things.
Dan visits Lisa that night, finding a series of plates of food with post-it notes underneath. A message is spelled out a word at a time, but before he can read it all, he asks Lisa about the promotion. He’s upset, and reveals the private security work he has been doing; Lisa reminds him that’s not allowed. They argue and Dan leaves.
On the last day of the trial, the defense adds a witness: Professor T. He argues that Shaun’s personality type makes him unlikely to murder his employer. His wife, on the other hand, would. Shaun, who did not testify, tries to interfere, saying that he will plead guilty.
Professor T shows the court a re-enactment of events, with everything as it was the night Vincent was murdered. The Halletts’ car seat is adjusted for Anya, not Shaun. She is the one who shot Vincent, then called Shaun from the house to try to help. She wanted to confess to the murder, but Shaun said no. He wiped the gun down and thought there wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict him.
Vincent had caught Anya stealing a worthless item and told her she and Shaun would lose their jobs and house—after all they had done for him. She had only gotten one day off when she lost her baby.
Rabbit is upset the professor worked against him in the trial, but the professor tells him that they need each other: Rabbit needs the professor’s psychological insight, the professor needs Rabbit’s evidence. The judge is grateful that the professor prevented a miscarriage of justice.
Professor T’s therapist has proposed a joint session with his mother. She has the professor share that he found his father hanging when he committed suicide, then hid and pretended as if he hadn’t seen it. The therapist suggests that the professor directs his anger and resentment at an absent, violent, alcoholic father at himself and his mother. Why?
You betrayed him, the professor tells Adelaide. He saw her with another man and believes that was the cause of his father’s misery. I was never unfaithful and wouldn’t feel bad if I had been, Adelaide responds. She sought comfort from one man after the suicide, that’s it. She leaves, crying.
The message Lisa had written on post-its for Dan was to ask him to move in with her. Instead, he is avoiding her and hanging out with his friend Calvin, who brought him the private security business. Calvin knows Christina’s boyfriend, Simon, who offers to pay for drinks with a suspiciously large wad of cash.