It's only a matter of time before "The Good Wife" writers take on a fictional version of HBO's "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," and it could be a wakeup call for anyone who thinks Durst's number is up.
Because as USA Today television critic Robert Bianco noted in an exchange we had on Twitter Tuesday, "Imagine what Diane [Lockhart] could do" with the letter revealed in the fifth episode of "The Jinx." The envelope from that letter, on Durst's letterhead, whose block printing (and one misspelling) resembled that on the anonymous letter notifying "Beverley" Hills police of Berman's "cadaver," apparently looked potentially incriminating even to Durst, who on Sunday was arrested in connection with the 2000 death of his friend Susan Berman.
My uneducated guess is that Diane (Christine Baranski) would make short work of the electrifying "killed them all, of course" moment in Sunday's finale, because, as many have pointed out, it took place in a bathroom in which Durst was alone and likely unaware he was still being recorded. Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki has said the recording wasn't even discovered until much later (the timeline of some parts of the finale remain muddy). Would that matter?
I'm not even sure it was a confession, given Durst's previously demonstrated penchant for rehearsing his answers. What if he was trying out a bit of ill-considered sarcasm? Or (and I'm only half-kidding here) talking to an imaginary friend?
The envelope's stronger, but is it strong enough?
We're talking about Durst, whose lawyers managed to get him acquitted of murder in Galveston even after he'd admitted to dismembering the victim's corpse.
The man has deep pockets and high-priced lawyers, something the vast majority of incarcerated Americans can't say, and if he walked, he wouldn't be the first famous suspect to be freed by a Los Angeles jury.
As great a television moment as "The Jinx" finale provided, I'm not sure how good it was for television, or for the justice system, which already struggles with the expectations of jurors trained by "CSI" and its offspring to expect a level of certitude real trials don't often provide. Now they may want bathroom confessions, too.
At home, it's easy to be judge and jury. No one has to skip work or postpone a vacation and the evidence, admissible or not, can be discussed with everyone on our Facebook or Twitter feeds without triggering a mistrial.
"The Jinx," whose re-creations of events I still find as jarring as I do those on less-prestigious true-crime shows, is, like the absorbing but far less conclusive podcast "Serial," bound to spawn imitators and to raise the stakes for producers who'll need their own "Jinx"-like (or "Perry Mason"-like) surprises.
Jarecki's obsession with Durst's story may have yielded a lead the police didn't find, but this story is a long way from over.