Love and Death Episode 6 Recap: The Big Top

Image Credit: Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max

In the penultimate episode of HBO Max’s ‘Love and Death,’ the trial of Candy Montgomery begins. There are a lot of questions on everyone’s mind, but the most intriguing one is why a normal and pleasant person like Candy killed her friend with such brutality. This episode focuses on the testimonies in the court, which paint a horrific picture of the events that might have gone down that morning of June 13, 1980. Things move quickly, with Candy set to take the stand on the final day. Before that happens in the last episode, here is a look at everything that happens in the sixth episode of ‘Love and Death.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Love and Death Episode 6 Recap

Image Credit: Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max

It’s been around four months since Betty Gore was killed, and the trial finally begins in October 1980. By now, Don Crowder knows that the evidence against Candy is overwhelming, and there is no point in pleading not guilty. Rather than sticking to lies, he comes forward and tells the truth, revealing that Candy did kill Betty, but it was not the cold-blooded murder prosecution wants everyone to believe. It was self-defense, and that’s what he will prove in court.

Previously, people stood by Candy because they believed she couldn’t have done such a horrific thing. However, now that she has publicly accepted it was her, the tide starts to turn against her. Sherry Cleckler finds women theorizing about how Candy might have done it and if Allan helped her. Candy’s close friend, Jackie, also questions her. She confronts her about lying straight to her face when asked about what happened that day.

The media paints Candy as a monster, focusing on the gory details of the murder as the testimonies begin. Fortunately for her, Don can turn everything around in her favor. Allan is the first one to testify, and through his questioning, Don confirms that there was no way Candy planned to kill Betty. He does the same with the testimonies of the neighbors and the cops, highlighting how messy the crime scene was, and that’s now how someone would go about murder if they’d planned it. However, he is shaken when the pathologist testifies, and all the wounds on Betty are discussed in staggering detail.

Love and Death Episode 6 Ending

Image Credit: Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max

There is no doubt that Candy Montgomery didn’t plan to kill Betty Gore. When the cops walked onto the crime scene, they noticed the same thing. It happened in the heat of the moment and could be a crime of passion. Don Crowder uses this to twist the case in Candy’s favor. He points out how meticulously Candy had planned her and Allan’s affair before they even went on their first date. If she was so cautious was the affair, wouldn’t it be the same if she were to plan a murder?

The first couple of days give them a head start, but Crowder knows that the prosecution is leaving the pathologist for the last, and that’s when they’ll rest their case. Crowder wants to prove self-defense, and had Betty had just a couple of wounds on her body, it would have been easier to explain, but why did Candy stay to hit her 41 times? She could have easily run away but stayed and didn’t stop. This doesn’t justify self-defense, and that’s where lies the problem.

The number of wounds on Betty suggests that the killer was either unhinged or extremely cruel. In both cases, they had to be a monster to do such a thing to another human being. Crowder doesn’t care what other people do, but he knows that it will take only one person on the jury to see Candy as monstrous, and that’ll take the whole defense down. This is why he focused so much on what Candy should look like and how she should behave in court. He wanted the jury to believe that Candy was a good, kind, church-going woman who would have never resorted to such violence if it wasn’t to save herself. However, his client isn’t making the job any easier for him.

When the details of the case are discussed in court, everyone flinches and gasps when the witnesses talk about the bloodied crime scene or when the pathologist talks about the condition in which Betty was found. Candy, however, doesn’t react at all. She sits still with no expression on her face, as if dazed. This happens from day one, leading the press to call her “a zombie.” And then Crowder realizes that it’s because Candy has been taking something.

Image Credit: Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max

When he confronts her, Candy confesses that she is on Serax because it helps calm her nerves. The whole thing is so difficult for her that she worries she’ll break down in court if she doesn’t medicate. Crowder advises her against it and tells her that showing emotions will help her case. However, Candy believes that reacting like that will only give more fodder to the press, and they’ll paint her as a hysterical woman. She doesn’t want to be undignified like that, which is why, despite her lawyer’s advice, she continues to medicate herself.

The problem arrives when the judge asks Candy to testify immediately after the pathologist’s testimony. Crowder thought they’d do it the next day. By then, he could convince Candy not to medicate and be sharp for her testimony. The judge, however, is in no mood to give her or Crowder any leeway and gives them ten minutes to sort things out. He wants Candy on the stand immediately, and this worries Crowder.

It is one thing to sit emotionlessly while the others talk about the case, but doing the same while talking about it yourself is sure to give a wrong impression to the jury. Crowder wants Candy to break down and express her shame, guilt, and regret about Betty’s death. But she can’t do that if the medication is still in her system. He’d thought a day’s break would help them with it, but there was no way he could get Candy to be her usual self in ten minutes. Unfortunately, he has already destroyed any goodwill he might have had with the judge, so there is no option but to put Candy on the stand while she is sedated.

Read More: Was Betty Gore Pregnant When She Died?