“THE RED ROAD” Recap: Season 1
In the small town of Walpole, New Jersey, a college student has gone missing in Lenape territory, creating tension between the two communities — the townsfolk and Native Americans. While local sheriff Harold Jensen investigates the student’s disappearance, his old rival Phillip Kopus, now an ex-con, returns to town. Meanwhile, Rachel (Harold’s older daughter) and Junior (a Lenape boy) are in the midst of a high school romance frowned upon by Jean, Rachel’s mother who — trying to track them down one night — injures a Lenape boy in a hit and run.
Elsewhere, Junior’s foster mother Marie discovers her son Phillip is back after six years in prison. Far from reformed, Phillip falls back into criminal behavior, enlisting Junior and sidekick Mike in pharmaceutical robberies, eventually under a deadline from Albanian drug dealers. Junior has second thoughts, however, after Mike reveals that he murdered the college student who Harold is looking for. Rachel, for her part, has second thoughts about Junior.
Staying with her grandparents in lieu of the chaos at home, Rachel chances upon some old cassettes made by her mother’s dead twin brother, Brian. From the tapes, Rachel learns that her mom dated Phillip in high school. Concurrently, Jean is exhibiting increasing mental instability.
Suffering from schizophrenia (no longer masked by drinking), Jean admits to hearing voices that leave her unsure of what happened the night of the hit and run. To protect her, Harold fixes her car to avoid police suspicion, and assures her of her innocence.
Phillip blackmails Harold: Keep the cops away and the Lenape community will keep quiet about Jean’s guilt. Because of this alliance, Harold finds himself misleading the force to keep them off Phillip’s trail while Phillip reconnects with his estranged father, Jack Kopus, only to discover that’s who had him sent to prison.
After a stint in the psych ward, Jean becomes more lucid and has questions about the night of the hit and run. Her father asks her to sign a settlement offered to the victim’s family, which drives Jean to accuse Harold of hiding the truth.
Phillip frames his father Jack for the missing student’s murder, planting a gun with his dad’s fingerprints at the scene. Phillip gives Harold a map, which leads to the student’s body in the same lake where Jean’s twin drowned in high school. A discarded old cassette tape from the night of Brian’s death also turns up at the crime scene. Harold steals it from evidence.
Harold has Jean listen to the tape, which reveals Harold was with Brian that night. Jean had always blamed Phillip for getting Brian into drugs and letting him drown. With Marie’s help, Jean tracks down Phillip. Once together the two talk and share a kiss, but Phillip leaves angry upon learning Jean knows he’s innocent of her brother’s death.
Jean starts to hallucinate again and walks out into the lake. Harold finds her and pulls her to shore before she drowns.
Later, Jack shows up at a Lenape BBQ where he attemps to kill Phillip. Junior steps in and shoots Jack, leading to both he and Phillip’s arrests. As Harold drives Phillip to the station, they are confronted by the Albanian drug dealers who demand he hand over Phillip. Harold starts a bloody shootout, successfully freeing Phillip and leaving the criminals dead.