WGN America's new series Shoot The Messenger has it all: A tragic murder, sordid affairs, thrilling mysteries and family drama. Alone, these elements make for entertaining television — together, they make for a crazy ride.
Viewers meet young journalist Daisy Channing (Elyse Levesque) in bed with Kevin Lutz (Lyric Bent) while an unidentified man is being beaten to death elsewhere, an immediate revelation the series will deal with a lot of themes at a rapid pace.
Hassan, the person beaten earlier in the episode, meets with a friend who claims he has "changed his mind" about talking to the reporter, who is on her way. But Hassan says that if they don't he is dead.
Daisy arrives and sees the two men fighting. But before she gets out of her car, Hassan's friend is shot and killed. Hassan drives away before he gets hit, and Daisy sees a car follow Hassan before she is left alone on the road with the dead body and cash from his pocket flying around.
In a state of shock, Daisy calls 911 and reports the murder. Before the police arrive, she takes photos of the body. As the police investigate, viewers find out Kevin is a police detective assigned the case.
After Kevin releases Daisy, she goes to the offices of The Gazette, where she works. She wants to know if she can keep her source confidential with her boss editor Mary Foster (Alex Kingston). The lawyer thinks that since Daisy never found out what the big story was about before the shooting, not revealing his name to the police would be obstruction of justice.
Rather than going home for the night, Daisy insists on writing the story about the murder. She is interrupted by reporter Simon Olenski (Lucas Bryant), who says he can help her get in contact with the victim's Somalian family. He also wants in on the story.
Daisy tells him she wants to work on the story herself. She is fresh out of the entertainment beat and wants to prove herself, but she does ask for his contacts. He hesitates at first but agrees to share the names with her.
Daisy calls Kevin and tells him she's doing better after witnessing the murder. She also wants to know the name of the victim in exchange for Hassan's name.
Kevin reveals his name was Khaalid Suleman.
Daisy tries to find Khaalid's information by researching local schools and social media. She finds photos of a boy named Khaalif, who she believes is the victim. She writes an article exposing Khaalif as a gang member and drug dealer killed in a public park. The story leads to her first front-page byline.
But it turns out Daisy reported on the wrong person.
The real victim was Khaalid, an 18-year-old, A-student attending art school. His brother Khaalif — who is still alive — is the gang member. Mary tells Daisy she will not be fired, but she is tasked with apologizing to the family for the mistake and working with Simon on a feel-good piece about Khaalid. And then she's off the story.
Meanwhile, Kevin and his partner find out that the car Hassan used to flee the scene belongs to businessman Eric Lawson (Al Sapienza), they interrogate the businessman, who says Hassan used to work for him as a driver. He had a background in crime but Lawson gave him an opportunity. He says he fired him a week ago because he was dealing drugs to his employees. Lawson claims he didn't know his car was gone.
Hassan wakes up in the black Mercedes and says that despite Khaalid being dead, "the plan" must go on. And he tries to give his friend a phone he got from Khaalid's room after the shooting but he refuses to take it.
Daisy and Simon write the feel-good story on Khalid, and as Daisy starts to lament being taken off the story, a friend calls her to give her Hassan's address. She leaves Simon a note with the address and rushes there.
Daisy arrives at Hassan's apartment and finds the door open. The place is a mess, a sign someone has definitely gone through it. She inspects the bedroom and finds a black bag with drugs.3comments
The episode comes to a shocking end, which will surely hook viewers of the new series, when Daisy is kicked unconscious by a mysterious figure.
Shoot The Messenger airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on WGN America.