In ABC‘s Alaska Daily Episode 8, the government finally tested the DNA in Gloria Nanmac’s case. Much to the surprise of Eileen Fitzgerald and Roz Friendly, it didn’t lead to Reed Gallahorn, an extremist pastor. Instead, the DNA matched Toby Crenshaw, Gloria’s friend, who Eileen and Roz questioned in episode 2. And in Alaska Daily Episode 9, the reporter duo learned if Toby was truthfully the murderer or if something bigger was at play in Gloria’s case.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Alaska Daily Episode 9, “Rush to Judgement.”]
Did Gabriel leave in ‘Alaska Daily’ Episode 9?
As fans recall, Gabriel Tovar quit the Daily Alaskan in Alaska Daily Episode 8 following his traumatic experience with the Concerned Citizen. But Eileen wasn’t going to let him go that easily. At the beginning of episode 9, Eileen arrives at Gabriel’s house and forces him to accompany her to the office.
In the car, Eileen admits that she’s scared, too, after the hostage situation. But she explains that Gabriel has the potential to be a great journalist, and he shouldn’t throw that away because of fear. So Gabriel returns to work, and the rest of the reporters welcome him back with open arms.
Eileen resorts to her and Roz’s office to discuss Toby’s recent arrest. Apparently, the system contained Toby’s DNA because police arrested him for aggravated assault a few weeks after Eileen and Roz talked to him. And unfortunately, Governor Thacker is still peeved with Eileen after she confronted him in episode 6, so the Daily Alaskan is the last to know about Toby’s arraignment.
Eileen and Roz rush to the scene, where they run into Dennis Gibson from the Anchorage Eagle. Dennis apologizes for what happened with the Concerned Citizen, but Eileen basically tells him to shove it, impressing Roz.
At the arraignment, the judge reveals that the court is charging Toby with first-degree murder, sexual assault, and aggravated assault. Toby pleads not guilty, but the judge doesn’t grant him bail since he earlier confessed to murdering Gloria. And during the arraignment, Eileen and Roz learn that the DNA found on Gloria’s body that matched Toby was semen.
Later, Governor Thacker and Public Safety Commissioner Haynes hold a presser. They address their effort to combat the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis and Gloria’s murder. Thacker puts on quite a show, but Eileen and Roz press him about the untested DNA. The governor refuses to answer their questions and abruptly ends the press conference.
Afterward, Eileen and Roz write a story on the arrest and arraignment and get it to Stanley Cornik by their six o’clock deadline in Alaska Daily Episode 9.
Claire and Austin go after Conrad Pritchard
While Eileen and Roz continue to work on Gloria’s case in Alaska Daily Episode 9, Stanley focuses on Conrad Pritchard’s recent (protected) land purchases. The managing editor assigns Claire Muncy and Austin Teague to the developing story.
Claire and Austin ride a helicopter over the land and discover semi trucks labeled “Katona Resources.” After returning to Anchorage, Claire discovers that Katona specializes in “enhancing value through the mining of rare Earth materials,” which basically means that they don’t care about the environment. The team resorts to talking to Frank Moses, the senatorial candidate from Alaska Daily Episode 3, to get more dirt on Conrad.
As fans recall, Austin wrote an article exposing Moses’ ties to a shady mining company, retroactively destroying his campaign. But Conrad, who endorsed Moses, abandoned him after the story. So Austin appeals to Moses’ hatred of Conrad (and his love for Alaska), and Moses reveals the new senator (who Conrad is paying off) is sponsoring legislation to ease mining restrictions on federally protected land.
Stanley takes this information to Aaron, who is frustrated because he used the shady land purchases as leverage to get his father to sell him the paper. But regardless of the sticky situation, the Daily Alaskan publishes the story.
Environmental groups protest Conrad’s mining plans the next day, and the senator backs off the legislation. Conrad confronts Aaron at his hotel, but Aaron stands his ground, and his father literally declares war on the paper.
Elsewhere in Alaska Daily Episode 9, Gabriel struggles to work in the same place where he saw his abductor get shot and killed. Yuna Park helps Gabriel process his anger since she can relate to him through her experience with Jordan Teller. She takes him to an abandoned building, and they throw cement blocks off the roof. Whatever it takes, we guess.
The police coerced Toby’s confession in ‘Alaska Daily’ Episode 9
After publishing their story in Alaska Daily Episode 9, Eileen and Roz feel remorseful for portraying Toby as a guilty man before his trial. So they visit him in jail, where he claims that the sexual encounter between him and Gloria was consensual. Toby says that they were in a romantic relationship and loved each other. And, of course, the reporters are then confused as to why he confessed to murdering Gloria.
Toby reveals that two detectives coerced his confession — they wouldn’t let him sleep until he signed it.
Back at the Daily Alaskan, Roz gets her hands on the affidavits for Toby’s arrest. Dawn Howard is listed as the arresting trooper, but Commissioner Haynes is the one who signed it. Eileen and Roz confront Howard, who admits she disagrees with how Anchorage police interrogated Toby. So she didn’t want her name on the affidavit.
Eileen and Roz then go to Toby’s lawyer, who reveals that the police didn’t video-record the confession. It’s Alaska state law to get confessions on video, but Miller says there was “equipment failure.” So the lawyer has no choice but to bargain with the prosecutor for a deal. He brings the charges down to second-degree murder. And in a hearing in two weeks, Toby will change his plea to guilty.
Eileen and Roz later publish a story on the coerced confession, but no one reads it. However, these two reporters are relentless and will stop at nothing to get the truth.
Eileen and Roz return to jail and ask Toby about the night Gloria went missing. He reveals that Gloria’s frostbite was bothering her, so she went to Skeeter’s for oxycodone. Toby didn’t join her cause he thought Skeeter was “sketchy.” The couple fought, and when Gloria called him later, Toby didn’t answer. She left a voicemail, though, so Eileen and Roz go to Toby’s Uncle Ned’s house to retrieve his phone.
Gloria apologizes in the voicemail and says she’s scared at Skeeter’s place. She heartbreakingly pleads for Toby to pick her up, but the message ends before they learn why Gloria is so afraid. However, Eileen notes that the phone number from the voicemail isn’t Gloria’s. So Roz calls it, but it’s out of service. Hopefully, this new lead will help Eileen and Roz prove Toby’s innocence before the season ends.
Alaska Daily Episode 10, “Truth is a Slow Bullet,” airs next Thursday, March 23, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
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