To Kill a Stepfather (2023 Lifetime)


To Kill a Stepfather (2023 Lifetime)

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Cast: Alex Camacho, Jamel King, Kelly McCart, Joe Finfera, Avis Wrentmore

Director: Peter Sullivan

Writer: Peter Sullivan, Robert Dean Klein, Jeffrey Schenck

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Nicole learns that her stepfather, whom she hasn’t seen in years, suffered a deadly fall down the stairs at the family home and that her estranged mother has been arrested for his murder. As she begins to investigate what happened, she discovers that not everything is as it seems.

Recap/Wine Thoughts. Inspired by True Events
A woman and man argue so loudly that they wake the neighbors, who call the cops. The woman screams, “I’ll Kill You!!!” the man goes flying down the stairs to his death.

Protein-shake-loving lawyer, Nicole, is on her way to work and gets a call from her sister Riley. Riley tells her sister that their mother, Kate, is being charged with murder. (Kate and Matthew were the couple arguing.) Nicole flies home to see what is going on.

Kate was drunk during the fall and didn’t remember what happened. Nicole interrupts the detectives questioning. Kate is ungrateful and annoyed that her hot-shot lawyer daughter is back in town uninvited and tells her to “go to hell.” 

Nicole refuses to stay at her family home and stays in a sleazy motel instead. Someone peeps into her window as she drinks protein shakes and watches old movies. Then Nicole reads the police report and learns there was no sign of forced entry, but there WAS an empty bottle of whiskey. She focuses on the temperature for some reason. (Oh, because the house had no central air, and it is weird for the windows to be closed and locked.) Kate hires her daughter after reviewing the evidence Nicole found. (But she still isn’t happy about it!)

Riley introduces Nicole to a woman named Sadie at Mathew’s wake. It is very random and means that she probably killed Matthew. Matthew’s hot brother, Wyatt, is also there, convinced that Kate killed Matthew. A business partner from the whiskey distillery named Kirk talks to Nicole and insults her choices in clients. Kirk is too interested in the case and doesn’t drink whiskey. (Which is a specific detail.) Oh no, is this a murder mystery? Damn it, Lifetime! 


Nicole is surprised to see her ex-boyfriend Bobby is the DA. The arraignment goes off without a hitch, and Kate pleads not guilty. (Tell me WHY the court has no AC, what is up with this town!)
Bobby and Nicole unintentionally meet at a bar after and talk about the case, which seems like a conflict of interest. Bobby asks Nicole why she left town and their relationship, and Nicole says they are just from two different worlds. 

Nicole interviews the inexplicably hostile neighbors; they tell Nicole that they heard her mother scream, “I am going to kill you.” They also imply that Matthew may have been having an affair with a blonde woman. (Kate later confirms that Matthew was having an affair, but he ended it.) Nicole becomes annoyed because the motives for killing Matthew keep stacking up against her mother. 
Nicole goes more investigating at her family home. She finds a heart-shaped locket, takes a beer bottle out of the trash to run some DNA, and looks through emails. (Basically, everything the detectives should be doing.) Someone is in the house with her the whole time. 

Riley has been busy working as a nurse, and Nicole finds her in the parking lot to update her sister. Riley didn’t know about the affair and is upset by the news. (Later, Nicole thinks that Riley has something to do with the murder because Riley updated the will.) 

Someone breaks into Nicole’s hotel and ransacks the place. They leave a note that reads, “Go home. ” 

Bobby offers Nicole a deal for 15 years for a guilty plea. (Not sure this type of meeting should be happening in the bar, but whatever!) They are interrupted by Matthew’s brother Wyatt, who is drunk, hot, and angry. He picks a fight with Bobby and is kicked out of the bar. 

Nicole brings the deal to her mother, who wants to go to trial. Nicole breaks down because of all the harassment she has been dealing with for defending her mother. (Oh, and because her mother hates her!) Kate doesn’t feel sorry for Nicole and actually fires her ass! WOW! 

Nikki decides to leave town, and she says goodbye to Bobby on her way out. Riley gives her sister footage from her doorbell camera to prove her innocence. The sisters make up before Nicole heads to the airport. 

Nicole stops by the neighbor’s house to look at THEIR doorbell footage. Harold shows her a video of someone getting out of a car during the murders in front of Kate and Matthew’s house. Then she sings, “It had to be you.” because it was written on that locket, she found. The pieces are coming together????


Nicole texts detectives and lures Sadie to the house. She pours some wine in an attempt to get Saide’s fingerprints. They toast to “complicated relationships.” Then Nicole shows Sadie the locket and goes into full lawyer mode. 

Sadie admits to sleeping with Matthew while reaching for a flower vase. The two women fight while Sadie shouts, “Congratulations! You wanted to find the killer… and you did!” (Haha, okay! Calm down, Sadie.)

Now in full Lifetime Villian mode, Sadie grabs a knife from the knife block and almost stabs Nicole, but the detective stops her just in time. 

Kate is released from police custody and thanks her daughters for never doubting her. She promises to go to a treatment center for her alcohol addiction and get a job at the diner. That’s enough for Nicole to forgive a lifetime of neglect; they are one big happy family! The end! 

Side Note/Stray Thoughts

I was so disappointed with the lack of To Kill A Mockingbird, besides lawyer and no AC

Minority Report: Detective McManus, Bobby, Judge, Harold and his wife, 

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Overall rating
Number of Kills: 🔪 (1 knife)
Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale) 🍷🍷 (2 Glasses of Wine)
Should you watch it?

Pour it up! (Give it a shot)

Put a Cork in It (Skip It)

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*Photo Credit: © 2023 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

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