Secrets and Lies: Season 1 (2015)


Season 1
Secrets and Lies

Critics Consensus

While some may find its limited intrigue compelling, Secrets and Lies is ultimately undone by wooden performances, excessive red herrings, and bad scripts.



Critic Ratings: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 205

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Air date: Mar 1, 2015

Ben becomes the prime suspect in a murder after finding the body of his neighbor's young son, and he and his family are engulfed in a media firestorm after a detective's routine questioning.

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Air date: Mar 1, 2015

Ben starts to conduct his own investigation after learning shocking news about the murder case from Detective Cornell, and the deceased boy's mother suspects his estranged father may be responsible for his death.

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Air date: Mar 8, 2015

Ben struggles to keep his family together after a damaging revelation is made public right before the holidays, but he also discovers a shocking piece of evidence that could tie him to Tom's murder.

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Air date: Mar 15, 2015

Ben learns where Natalie was two nights before Tom died, when she was allegedly babysitting, which leads to a confrontation with his neighbors, the Richardsons, and a revelation about the death of their own son. Meanwhile, Cornell confirms the murder weapon; and Ben's memory continues to fail him about the night of Tom's death.

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Air date: Mar 22, 2015

Ben helps a neighbor's autistic son and discovers another piece of evidence related to Tom's murder, which causes Ben to suspect the boy's family may know more than they're letting on.

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Air date: Mar 29, 2015

Ben's unnerved by a vigilante who's been stalking him, but he rejects any police protection for himself while reluctantly accepting security for his wife and daughters. Staying with his friend Dave, however, isn't the safe haven Ben thought it would be.

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Air date: Apr 12, 2015

Ben talks to a prison inmate and wonders if Cornell is abusing her authority, so he plots to turn the tables on her with an assist from Fenton, but an anonymous tip makes Ben the prime suspect once again, which pushes the Crawfords to their limits.

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Air date: Apr 19, 2015

Ben retraces his steps on the night of Tom's death with help from Dave in a desperate attempt to counter video evidence uncovered by Cornell that could be proof of his guilt. Meanwhile, the Crawfords' marriage continues to disintegrate, and the turmoil is having a devastating impact on their kids; and Ben's lawyer conceives of an alternative theory of the murder.

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Air date: Apr 26, 2015

Ben's discovery in the attic makes his relationship with Christy even more tense as she continues to keep him from seeing the kids, though he does get to spend some time with Abby at a Christmas fair. Meanwhile, Cornell returns to the crime scene looking for clues after a leak at the crime lab makes most of the forensic evidence unusable.

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Air date: May 3, 2015

In the Season 1 finale, Ben tries to relax and enjoy the Christmas he missed with his family when he's certain he didn't cause Tom's death, but his plans are changed by a shocking discovery. Meanwhile, Cornell prepares to make an arrest after all the evidence has been retested.

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Secrets and Lies: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Season 1 of this ABC anthology series, based on the Australian crime drama Secrets & Lies, follows the investigation of the murder of 5-year-old Tom Murphy (Aiden Malik), whose body is found in the woods by neighbor Ben Crawford (Ryan Phillippe). Due to coincidence and some possibly incriminating evidence involving the lad's mother, Jess (Natalie Martinez), Ben becomes the prime suspect, and he and his wife, Christy (KaDee Strickland), and two daughters, Natalie (Indiana Evans) and Abby (Belle Shouse), are engulfed in a media firestorm while he is doggedly pursued by the no-nonsense Det. Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis). Despite having no recollection of the night Tom was killed, thanks to a night on the town with his tenant and best friend, Dave (Dan Fogler), Ben goes to extremes to prove his innocence, though it could cost him his family, his freedom and maybe even his life. Guest stars include Melissa Gilbert, Michael Beach, Denise Dowes, Greg Alan Williams and Meaghan Rath.


Ryan Phillippe
as Ben Crawford
Juliette Lewis
as Det. Andrea Cornell
KaDee Strickland
as Christy Crawford
Natalie Martinez
as Jess Murphy
Dan Fogler
as Dave Lindsey
Indiana Evans
as Natalie Crawford
Belle Shouse
as Abby Crawford
Steven Brand
as Dr. Joseph Richardson
Kate Ashfield
as Vanessa Richardson
Denise Dowse
as Elaine Williams
Tad Cooley
as Matt Daly
Michael Beach
as Jim Fenton
Dillon Lane
as Tyler Daly
Eric Lange
as Danny Pierce
Aiden Malik
as Tom Murphy
Charles S. Dutton
as Kevin Haynes
French Stewart
as John Patrick
Jake Weber
as Ethan Barrett
Griff Furst
as Billy Andrews
Caroline Aaron
as Ellen Lindsey
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Secrets and Lies Season 1

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (17)

The writers will lead you on and mislead you on, deploying false clues and red herrings until you feel as though you've been playing a game of Clue with a serial cheater.

Feb 27, 2015 | Full Review…

An arresting performance or two would enliven matters. But Phillippe and Lewis as the two principal characters are not potent enough to get the juices flowing in an unfolding crime tale that's neither terrible nor scintillating.

Feb 26, 2015 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

After a relatively strong premiere, ABC's thriller quickly becomes overheated, overwritten, and generally convoluted garbage.

Feb 26, 2015 | Full Review…

Secrets and Lies fails to create much sense of location, or character, or even jeopardy after two hours and oodles of interpersonal conflict. It feels observed, rather than lived in. Enacted, rather than unfolding.

Feb 26, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Since the plot and some of the other performances are sufficiently compelling to pique our interest, Secrets and Lies is worth sampling for a few episodes. But if it doesn't get stronger at its center, viewers are going to drift away.

Feb 26, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's a fairly mundane mystery populated by cardboard characters with poor decision-making skills, starting with Ben, who immediately becomes the prime suspect, and his wife Christy.

Mar 3, 2015 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Unfortunately, it's measured approach is a little too undramatic and unrefined, which leaves much of Secrets and Lies feeling well-produced, but hollow and whitewashed to the point it has no personality of its own.

Mar 12, 2020 | Full Review…

Those who enjoy mysteries and melodramas will find a lot to like about Secrets & Lies, a show that's as interested in the reaction to the crime as it is to the whodunit.

Mar 1, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Taking a decidedly soapy approach to the who-killed-the-kid subgenre, Secrets and Lies is by no means revolutionary, but those who give it a chance may easily lose themselves in its titular subject matter.

Feb 28, 2015 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

One of the worst murder-mysteries to come along in a while, ABC's Secrets & Lies is completely undone by its casting and writing.

Feb 27, 2015 | Full Review…

The show delivers the secrets and lies, but isn't compelling enough to justify yet another story about a child's murder. BBC America's Broadchurch set that bar too high.

Feb 27, 2015 | Full Review…

Juliette Lewis, who plays the lead detective with all the charisma of a fence post, seems particularly out of place. Also, haven't we had our fill of dark dramas tied to dead children?

Feb 26, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Secrets and Lies: Season 1

  • Jul 19, 2018
    The script may be slightly uneven with questionable coincidences for plot convenience here and there, but overall, Secrets and Lies' debut season provided just enough intriguing and anxiey-ridden moments to keep me satisfied until its finale.
  • Jul 06, 2018
    I liked most of season 1, there was lots of mystery but at times it seemed like just too many red herrings. I didn't like how it ended at all. I also didn't like that in the start of season 2 I only heard about what happened to Ben and his daughter from season 1. I really wanted it to do so much better then it did. ?? Currently watching season 2 now.
  • Jan 28, 2018
    I really liked nearly all the characters in this show, bar Cornell and Ben's wife. I didn't like her character from the start, and she really put me off. In the end I was really hoping that Ben was innocent, I wanted him to be innocent. I wanted him to be without his wife, as she appeared to be only out for herself and appearances. But I really didn't care if Cornell caught him or not. She wasn't likable, and the whole performance really ruined the entire show for me.
  • Dec 10, 2017
    So addictive couldn't get enough. I think I've told everyone i know to watch this and review it. Everyone has come back and said omg so amazing. Plots twists perfect!
  • Oct 01, 2015
    One of the best shows I have watched in a while! Great finale, alot better than Broadchurch.. It really baffles me how this got a bad rating by critics, this is why I don't listen to them anymore absoloute clueless!!
  • Sep 17, 2015
    Oh yay, a drama about a murdered child. It just ironic that this show is being broadcast by the channel known as the ABC FAMILY. They may as well purchase the rights to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and make this the go-to hour of family fun
  • Jun 18, 2015
    I was very skeptical and began to dislike the show in the first 3 episodes... but i gotta say... this show turned out to be fantastic. what a ride! I called the ending about half-way through the 2nd to last episode, but it still took me by surprise! Very good show, I have no clue what they plan on doing with season 2... but wow... BINGE WATCHING IS A MUST
  • Jun 12, 2015
    There are so many possible suspects. They get you believing anyone could have done it.
  • Jun 07, 2015
    Great show! You need to be very attentiv while watching not to miss any clues but it's really good.. I already have 2 theories.. can't wait to see if i'm close
  • May 17, 2015
    Absolutely wonderful. The tension starts at the very first scenes and keeps such a high level until even the last moment. All the loose ends get tied together just perfectly, the way the murder, whoever it may be, gets revealed is so shockingly good. The series had me chew my nails off, tremble in excitement and feel for any character involved. A must see for anyone who likes darker scenarios. The term "dark" may be understood differently, but personally, the ending and the actual end of the story was so cruel and tragic yet the best way to do it. Not for easily saddened people, but for anyone else, give it a shot!

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