Truth Be Told season 3 ends with confessions and a judgment call [Apple TV+ recap]


Octavia Spencer and Mekhi Phifer in a scene from the ★★★★☆
Poppy (played by Octavia Spencer, left) and Markus (Mekhi Phifer) wrap up loose ends in the Truth Be Told season three finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewEva’s been shot and might be dying on this week’s season three finale of Truth Be Told, the Apple TV+ show about a true crime podcaster.

After last week’s shooting, podcaster Poppy goes looking for the truth behind the recent grim series of events. Trini blames herself for Eva’s fate, and Markus has only one more chance to redeem himself. Can they catch the person responsible for all this misery before it’s too late?

The episode, entitled “A Kiss Not Mine Alone,” brings a nicely plotted, excellently performed close to a very fine season.

Truth Be Told recap: ”A Kiss Not Mine Alone”

Season 3, episode 10: In the first seconds of this week’s show, a doctor tells a small assembly of people — including Poppy (played by Octavia Spencer), Detective Aames (David Lyons), Zarina (Merle Dandridge), Markus (Mekhi Phifer) and Trini (Mychala Lee) — that Eva (Gabrielle Union) is dead. The gunshot that hit her outside the courthouse, just before Trini was due to testify against her abuser, Bill Ochoa (Anthony Fernandez), killed Eva. Now Trini wants out. She doesn’t want to testify anymore.

Unfortunately, the suspect list is long. There’s tech giant Lee Hackman (Xander Berkeley) — whose involvement in the murders of Andrew Finney (Peter Gallagher), Trey (Isaiah Jarel) and Drea (Nia Sondaya), and also in a sex-trafficking ring involving disgraced Detective Sun (Tim Chiou) — is about to be firmly established. Poppy questions Hackman’s wife, Sybil (Susanna Thompson). She’s incredulous, but she can’t deny there are a lot of uncomfortable coincidences surrounding her husband

A few days later, Hackman talks to the board of his company into shutting down his social network (and secret surveillance) app, which would get rid of a lot of evidence in a hurry. That doesn’t look good.

Poppy gets one piece of good news. Before Eva was shot, she called and retracted her condemnation of Poppy to her podcast’s sponsors after last week’s blow-up. They’re back on Poppy’s side, and want her to finish this investigation her way.

Poppy’s gonna crack this case

First things first: She needs to get hold of Rochelle (Reign Edwards), who is finally back on the block after a few days’ absence in the wake of murdering Finney with her car.

Markus and Aames chase Rochelle down the street before finally grabbing her. She confesses to killing Finney. She knew Sun killed Trey, and that Trey’s job was open for the taking, so she approached Finney about it. But then someone told her to kill Finney if she wanted Trey’s job, so she knew right then and there that Finney wasn’t the one in charge. Whoever is running the show is supposed to meet Rochelle later today.

Markus, Aames and Poppy go to a parking garage, where a bald man in a black SUV pulls up. They follow him to a groundbreaking event hosted by Hackman. Seems pretty cut-and-dried until they notice something. The bald guy doesn’t report to Hackman, but to his wife. Hackman tries to cover up for her, but accidentally undersells her intelligence. So Sybil has no choice but to chime in and incriminate herself, as all supervillains must. Poppy records it all, and it’s off to jail for Sybil.

A dream and a decisive judgment call

Later that night, Trini wakes from a dream and realizes that the posture of the gunman who shot Eva was the same as Bill Ochoa, the man who assaulted her. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be good enough in court. The question of whether Trini will get justice remains open. She asks her parents if she can go to a treatment facility in Wyoming that the social workers recommend for her right after her baby sister is born.

The only loose end, and it haunts Poppy and Markus, is that Ochoa is still out there walking around. She tells this to Leander (Ron Cephas Jones), who makes a judgment call that night. Nobody like that ought to be walking around, endangering people, eh?

Truth Be Told season 3 finale does what this show does best

Ron Cephas Jones and Octavia Spencer in "Truth Be Told," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Leander (played by Ron Cephas Jones, left) takes matters into his own hands this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

I loved the ending of the Truth Be Told season three final even more than expected because I thought for a minute it was about to go very dark. Instead, one of my favorite characters got a reprieve — presumably because they’re going to give him a very protracted and operatic final arc next season, which should make for very fine stuff indeed.

The real reason to look forward to new seasons of Truth Be Told is that the show’s creative team hires veteran TV directors who consistently provide a clear runway for some of the best actors on TV. The show’s big guest stars are all great. But Ron Cephas Jones, Tracie Thoms, Mekhi Phifer — these actors desperately need the kind of showcase Truth Be Told gives them.

I’m grateful to see a show where the characters mostly communicate anger at the system (pick your system) and love for each other. Truth Be Told’s fine procedural elements make a perfectly good fit for the rest of the drama. But I’m here to see this cast turn in this work. And this season delivered a lot of great stuff, from a lot of great, underrated actors.

Bring on the next season of Truth Be Told, I say. Let’s see what happens next.


Watch Truth Be Told on Apple TV+

You can now watch the entire third season of Truth Be Told on Apple TV+.

Rated: TV-MA

Watch on: Apple TV+

Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at


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