They appear to have it all. They’re the beautiful people of Manhattan with enviable wealth, glittering careers, perfect marriages, gifted children and fabulous homes.
But it’s all a hollow sham — a sparkling facade that masks a world of infidelity, tarnished reputations, bitchy Tiger Moms … and murder.
No wonder the nation is gripped by psychological TV thriller The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant as Grace and Jonathan Fraser, a couple whose world is rocked when he is charged with murder. The mini-series has given Sky Atlantic one of their biggest ever audiences, second only to Chernobyl, with 1.7 million viewers.
Psychological TV thriller The Undoing stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant as Grace and Jonathan Fraser, a couple whose world is rocked when he is charged with murder
On Monday we finally find out who killed Elena Alves (Matilda De Angelis) a sexy and mysterious artist.
THE PLOT SO FAR
Grace is a beautiful, successful psychologist from a wealthy family, Jonathan a handsome and charming paediatric oncologist.
They live in a stunning townhouse near Central Park and appear devoted to one another and their only son, teenager Henry.
But their world is turned upside down when Elena, a beguiling new mum at Henry’s posh school is murdered. It turns out that Elena is Jonathan’s mistress. Detectives later discover he’d fathered her baby daughter.
But their world is turned upside down when Elena (pictured), a beguiling new mum at Henry’s posh school is murdered
To make matters worse, Jonathan goes on the run on the night of the murder. Grace and son Henry escape to the family’s fabulous beach house where Jonathan turns up. He admits to Grace that he cheated on her but insists he is not a murderer. A torn Grace calls the police. Jonathan is arrested, charged and stands trial for Elena’s murder.
But the list of potential suspects is a long one. Here, CLAUDIA CONNELL brings you her own forensic examination of the case …
The Seven Suspects
THE DIRTY DOCTOR
Jonathan Fraser is an eminent cancer doctor, as devoted to his sick patients as he is to his beautiful wife. He’s funny and sexy but also a pathological liar who has led a double life.
Every morning, he pretends to go to work at the hospital to perform the job he lost months earlier due to an inappropriate relationship with a patient’s mother — Elena.
Jonathan is estranged from his parents. His mother tells Grace that he was responsible for his sister Katie’s death when she was four — a death he has never shown remorse for.
LINKS TO THE VICTIM: Elena was his mistress. A married artist, they met when her son Miguel was a patient of Jonathan’s. An affair ensued, the couple having steamy romps at her studio. Jonathan is also the father of Elena’s newborn daughter.
Jonathan Fraser (pictured, Hugh Grant) is an eminent cancer doctor, as devoted to his sick patients as he is to his beautiful wife. He’s funny and sexy but also a pathological liar who has led a double life
CASE FOR PROSECUTION: It’s pretty water tight. Jonathan’s DNA is all over the murder scene. He met Elena the night of her murder, had sex with her then argued with her (supposedly about Elena’s obsession with Grace). But it gets worse. His bloody footprints were found at the scene.
CASE FOR DEFENCE: Jonathan may be a liar and cheat, but Elena wasn’t just a bit on the side (it turns out he’d had another bit on the side for that) he truly loved her so why would he kill her?
He claimed that after having sex with Elena he returned to the studio and found her body — that’s how his bloody footprints were present. He didn’t report the murder to police because he knew he’d look guilty. Instead he goes on the run — which doesn’t make him look guilty at all, does it?
In a TV interview arranged by his lawyer, Jonathan seems to point the finger at Elena’s husband Fernando.
VERDICT: Likely. The murderer is the prime suspect all along? That would be a bit of a damp squib but if even his own mum thinks he’s a monster then things don’t look good for the doc.
THE WRONGED WIFE
Grace Fraser is a psychologist who acts as a relationship counsellor to Manhattan’s elite. But if she hasn’t noticed that she’s married to a pathological liar and sociopath then perhaps she’s not a very good one. Then again, maybe she’s distracted by all the sizzling sex they are forever having.
LINKS TO VICTIM: They first meet at a school fundraising meeting where Grace coos over Elena’s baby — unaware Jonathan is the father. They seem mesmerised by one another and share a kiss at the fundraiser itself.
CASE FOR PROSECUTION: Grace is captured on CCTV just a block from Elena’s studio on the night of the murder. Was Elena having an affair with Grace as well as Jonathan? Or had super shrink Grace discovered Jonathan’s adultery, then killed her rival knowing her husband would be a suspect?
Grace Fraser is a psychologist who acts as a relationship counsellor to Manhattan’s elite
Viewers are also convinced that the opening credits have to be significant. They show Grace as a little girl playing with bubbles along to the song Dream A Little Dream (sung by Kidman). Is her perfect bubble about to burst?
CASE FOR DEFENCE: Walking at night was how Grace de-stressed at the end of the day and it was just a coincidence that she was close to Elena’s apartment. Her son is her world. Would she really commit murder and risk him growing up without her?
VERDICT: Highly likely. Aloof with an impenetrable layer, there’s something about Grace you just don’t trust and why does she keep having graphic visions of Elena’s murder if she wasn’t there?
THE BETRAYED HUBBY
Fernando Alves (Ismael Cruz Cordova) is a broken man. He lives in a squalid flat, his son Miguel suffered a serious illness and the love of his life has been murdered. Jonathan has done everything in his power to point the finger at him.
LINK TO VICTIM: Her husband. Young, good looking but — let’s be honest — a little bit boring.
Fernando Alves (Ismael Cruz Cordova) is a broken man. He lives in a squalid flat, his son Miguel suffered a serious illness and the love of his life has been murdered
CASE FOR PROSECUTION: In an earlier episode, Fernando was shown peering through the window of his wife’s studio at night. Did he see her and Jonathan during one of their many romps? If he knew about the affair, he would have the perfect motive for murdering his wife. He stalked Grace and the pair had an aggressive confrontation, proving that he has an explosive temper. His alibi is also weak. He was at home with his son — but his son would lie for him.
CASE FOR DEFENCE: He appears genuinely distraught at his wife’s death and there’s no evidence he found out the baby wasn’t his until after Elena’s murder.
VERDICT: Not guilty. He’s just a dim-witted daddy angry at himself for not realising his wife was doing the dirty on him.
THE DOMINANT DAD
Franklin Reinhardt (Donald Sutherland) is the wealthy, art collecting, music loving father of Grace. It’s at his apartment that she and Henry stay during the trial. His only daughter is the apple of his eye.
LINK TO VICTIM: On the surface there appears to be none but one scene showed him loitering outside the Alves’s apartment after Elena’s murder. Was he also having an affair with Elena? Or as Franklin had many affairs, perhaps Elena was his daughter?
CASE FOR PROSECUTION: Franklin has always loathed Jonathan. When he visits him in prison (while on remand) he threatens to kill him. He also threatens his grandson’s headmaster when he suggests that Henry should be home -schooled during the trial. He confesses to having cheated relentlessly on Grace’s mother. All in all, he’s an angry, flawed man. Did he murder Elena to frame Jonathan?
CASE FOR DEFENCE: If Franklin wanted to extract revenge on his son-in-law for cheating on Grace, wouldn’t he kill Jonathan — not Jonathan’s mistress? And why would he pay for Jonathan’s bail and legal fees if he wanted him convicted of murder?
VERDICT: Don’t rule him out. Franklin has featured more heavily in the last two episodes hinting at a twist to come. We don’t know how Grace’s mother died — perhaps he did her in, too.
THE TROUBLED SON
Henry Fraser (Noah Jupe) is the poor little rich boy whose life has been torn apart. Quiet and awkward, he spends much of his time playing the violin in his bedroom and seems to be a loner at school.
LINKS TO VICTIM: Elena is a school gate mum but Henry isn’t friends with her son Miguel.
Henry Fraser (Noah Jupe) is the poor little rich boy whose life has been torn apart
CASE FOR PROSECUTION: The little tyke is only hiding what looks like the murder weapon in his violin case! Grace discovered the large metal mallet in the penultimate episode where he confessed he’d seen his dad and Elena flirting at the school gates and twigged they were having an affair.
Did he follow them to the studio and bludgeon Elena to death as she was a threat to his family?
CASE FOR DEFENCE: That’s a heavy hammer for a weedy boy to wield.
VERDICT: Not guilty. It’s more likely Henry is harbouring the murder weapon to protect the real killer — like his mum or dad.
A BENT DETECTIVE?
Joe Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez) is the cop in charge of Elena’s murder case. He has no time for the Frasers and their privileged life and is certain Jonathan is the killer.
LINKS TO VICTIM: None that we know of — yet.
CASE FOR PROSECUTION: He refused to entertain the idea that anyone other than Jonathan, could have killed Elena. That’s not a very open-minded cop, is it? Could there be another reason that he’s out to get Jonathan?
Joe Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez) is the cop in charge of Elena’s murder case. He has no time for the Frasers and their privileged life and is certain Jonathan is the killer
CASE FOR DEFENCE: There has been nothing to suggest that Mendoza is corrupt. Incompetent, maybe.
VERDICT: No way! Bent copper is all a bit Line of Duty.
THE BITCHY BEST FRIEND
Sylvia Steineitz is Grace’s BFF. A lawyer, a pushy mum and Queen Bee at Reardon school.
LINK TO VICTIM: Sylvia hosts the fundraiser evening where Elena kisses Grace. Sylvia looks down on Elena and appears jealous that she is attracting so much attention from the Reardon dads.
Sylvia Steineitz is Grace’s BFF. A lawyer, a pushy mum and Queen Bee at Reardon school
CASE FOR PROSECUTION: It turns out that Sylvia advised Jonathan when he lost his job, meaning she must also have known about the affair with Elena, information she didn’t pass to her best friend.
When quizzed about his infidelities, Jonathan admits to his lawyer that Elena was not the only one — there had been another. Was it Sylvia?
CASE FOR DEFENCE: Sylvia might be a forceful character but if she’s in love with Jonathan then why would she murder his mistress but befriend his wife?
VERDICT: Not guilty. It would be a very odd twist.