The Surrogate Scandal (2023 Lifetime)
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Cast: Catherine Dyer, Veronica Long, Matthew James Dowden. Christine Milo, Luisa d’Oliveira
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Amelia is devastated to learn her estranged daughter, Beth, died during childbirth. Beth was a secret surrogate for celebrity couple Grace and Alex Hardy. Amelia believes Beth died under suspicious circumstances and poses as a nanny in order to infiltrate the Hardy household and learn the truth about her daughter’s tragic death. Stars Catherine Dyer, Luisa d’Oliveira, Matthew Dowden, Christine Milo, and Veronica Long (2023).
A pregnant woman packs her bags in a hurry. The key to the mother-in-law suite unlocks the door quietly as Beth calls her mother, Amelia. (She doesn’t answer because she is busy watching TV hosted by chef/hosts Grace and Alex Hardy.) Eventually, Amelia does answer the phone from a frantic Beth, who says she is pregnant and coming over. Amelia is confused because she didn’t even know Beth was dating anyone.
Beth explains it is complicated before hanging up the phone, going into labor, and then going missing.
Cut to the TV host, Grace Hardy, who was also “pregnant” and recently had a baby girl. Molly, Grace’s sister/assistant, and her husband, Alex, care for Grace, who is in poor health, and secretly hired a surrogate to have the baby. Molly assures Grace that just because she didn’t carry the baby doesn’t mean she isn’t her mother. Grace does live cooking tutorials with her baby to make money while not being on TV and keeping up the facade.
Amelia hires a PR to find out what happened to her daughter. David has a meeting with Amelia and explains that the Hardys hired Beth to carry the baby, and she had a complication during childbirth and died in the hospital. Amelia becomes even more obsessed with the celebrity chef couple and seethes as they lie. Amelia places a blind item on MgossipROOM about secret surrogacy and stalks Grace during walks in the park.
Little brother in law, Luke, is also stalking Grace and his niece in the parking lot. He is a junkie trying to get better; until then, Grace tells Luke to stay away from her family.
When news of the fake pregnancy goes public, Alex and Molly have to do PR damage control. They try to keep Grace in the dark as much as possible so as not to worry her. The ratings of the cooking show, Eat Hardy, have also started to slide, and Alex has second thoughts about bringing Grace back on the air.
An angry fan confronts Grace in the parking lot, and Amelia rescues Grace. Amelia does some quick thinking and says she is interviewing for the nanny position. Molly questions Amelia because she isn’t on the list. Amelia nails the interview anyway and gets the live-in nanny position without any references!
The house is gorgeous, and when Amelia arrives, the housekeeper Sophia looks like she has seen a ghost. Grace gives Amelia a tour of the house, which is a smart house filled with cameras. (Grace has blackouts and wanders around at night.) The smart locks on the door are to keep her inside.
Amelia writes in her notes app and keeps track of suspicious things, like a vengeful Nancy Drew. When she questions the housekeeper, Sophia eyes the cameras and leaves a message that reads, “I know who you are.” along with Beth’s cellphone. It doesn’t matter because the housekeeper is strangled in her car by someone in the backseat in a motorcycle helmet before she can talk to Amelia
Grace has a night terror and almost stabs Amelia with a knife. The next morning Grace embarrassedly apologizes for the strange outburst and blames her missed dose of medication. Amelia is gracious and says she understands. She even promises to keep the incident a secret from Alex and Molly. Grace blames herself for Grace’s death because she took a sleeping pill and didn’t hear Beth go into labor.
Luke breaks into the house, and Amelia almost kills him with a statue. Alex stops her and explains that Luke is just looking for drug money. Luke insists she is trying to get clean and promises he didn’t leak the surrogacy story. (Amelia overhears the conversation and is quietly collecting info.) Later, Luke says he has more revealing secrets about his brother that he could tell.
Amelia searches through Grace’s pill and tries to have into the security system but doesn’t guess the passcode before Grace catches her. Amelia says that she thought it was a baby monitor.
A detective arrives to look into Sophia’s murder. Amelia tells him everything she knows. Grace and Alex, however, don’t say much. It is the last straw; Amelia goes to her PI guy/lawyer to get him to file a claim that her employers are unfit parents.
Grace asks Alex about his brother, who she refers to as a liability. This prompts Alex to attack his brother, knock him out, and make it look like a drug OD.
After a heart-to-heart with Molly, Amelia considers dropping the case. Molly tells her that Grace really wanted a child and got along well with Beth; it was just a tragic thing that happened. David doesn’t get the memo and serves Grace papers from Beth’s mother.
Grace and Alex get nominated for an Emmy or something and host a large party. Amelia interrupts the festivities and calls Alex a murderer. Then she plays a video of Beth and Alex.
In the video, Beth accuses Alex of poisoning Grace to keep her off the TV show, so he can get all the attention. He kills Beth for knowing too much.
Grace is horrified her husband killed someone. Alex says he did it all for the show and their reputation. He also admits to killing Luke and Sophia before being taken away by the police. Alex takes the gun from the cop and stupidly falls into the pool.
Amelia apologizes to Grace and begs her to let her stay in her grandaughter’s life. Grace screams at Amelia and kicks her out of the house.
Sad music plays as Amelia looks through Beth’s social media. Then the movie flashes back to show Molly and Alex were having an affair. Molly was the mastermind behind everything, and Beth knew that too! (and recorded it on her phone. The phone that Amelia has.)
Amelia rushes back to Grace and the baby, hoping to show them the video. She sneaks into the garage and overhears Molly on the phone setting up Grace to look suicidal before she kills her with a poison latte. Amelia texts the detective for help, but he ignores her. Molly sees Grace and knocks Amelia out.
When Grace hears the loud noise, she rushes downstairs and trips over Molly’s purse. Molly’s phone falls out, and she gets a notification from an airline for tickets 1 adult and 1 infant. Grace asks Molly what is going on, and Molly tells her sister that she is here for her.
Amelia wakes up and screams for Grace not to drink the latte. Amelia tells Grace about the video and shows her the evidence. Molly is caught. She resorts to the fire poker and starts swinging. Grace tries to talk Molly into dropping the poker. The sisters duke it out, and it seems like Molly will be victorious until Amelia takes Molly out with the fire poker.
The police show up and take Molly away. He literally says, “You good?” before leaving. The worst detective ever! Amelia asks Grace for another chance, and Grace lets her take care of the baby still.
Grace hosts her new cooking show called Cooking Gracefully. Amelia and Matilda even make an appearance.
Minority Report: Grace, Molly, Detective,
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Number of Kills:
🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 knives)
Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale)
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*Photo Credit: © 2023 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®
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That movie was nuts lol
Alex doesn’t stupidly fall into the pool. He’s shot by the detective that was in the home investigating Sophia’s murder, and that’s what makes him step back.
THAT makes more sense, haha. Thank you!
I had to rewatch it over and over because I heard a gun go off and first thought Alex shot someone before falling into the pool, because then the detective says they need an ambulance. Then when I watched it again, I saw Alex holding his shoulder in the pool and realized, without any blood in the water, that the detective shot him and called in an ambulance for that.
Nice to see the return of the back seat stranglings. Nothing more classic then that in lifetime movies.