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Wait, What Was That in Alec's Ex-Wife's Closet?! The Irrational Episode Ends on Cliffhanger

Alec Mercer's ex-wife, Marisa, is getting closer to catching the church bombing mastermind, but somebody is listening in on her every move. 

By Jill Sederstrom

She’s made a career out of tracking down criminals — but now, it looks like someone is tracking her.

How to Watch

Watch The Irrational Mondays at 10/9c on NBC and next day on Peacock

The jaw-dropping final moments of The Irrational Episode 9 chillingly revealed that someone has bugged the home of FBI Agent Marisa Clark (Maahra Hill) just as she’s closing in on the mastermind behind a deadly church bombing.

The tiny bug was hidden inside Marisa’s downstairs closet, just off her living room, and was transporting the audio it captured back to a computer in a dark unknown lair. 

Who planted the bug In Marisa Clark’s home on The Irrational?

The creepy reveal came just moments after Marisa may have made a major break in the case and — not knowing anyone was listening — laid out her latest theory to her boyfriend and fellow FBI agent, Jace (Brian King). 

Just who is spying on the seasoned investigator? That remains a mystery, but it’s clearly someone sophisticated who is willing to use any means necessary to stay one step ahead of the FBI. 

Marisa on season 1 episode 7 of The Irrational

What do we know about the church bombing on The Irrational?

Marisa and Jace have been hot on the trail of the church bombing mastermind, known only by the alias Mathias, for most of the first season, but every time it looks like they could get a lead to expose Mathias’ true identity it evaporates before their very eyes.

For years, authorities believed the deadly church bombing  — which claimed the lives of 13 people and left Marisa’s ex-husband and behavioral scientist extraordinaire, Alec Mercer (Jesse L. Martin), with severe burns on most of his body — was carried out by a “lone wolf attacker.” The suspect, Wes Banning (Ben Cotton), was convicted of two counts of federal hate crimes for possessing explosives and building the bomb, but there was never enough evidence to charge him with the murders.

Then, when Wes purposely tanked his own parole hearing after seeing a shadowy figure in the doorway, Marisa and Alec begin to suspect that someone else may have been pulling the strings all along.

Investigators linked a second suspect to the crime after tracking down a van used in the bombing. The suspect, Peter Shelby, was a member of the fundamentalist group known as the New Apostles, but just as Marisa and Jace moved in to question Peter, they find him hanging in his home in what they believe was a murder staged to look like suicide. Peter’s mother was able to offer them one significant clue, however. She claimed the bombing was arranged by a man known only as Mathias. 

Alec Mercer on The Irrational Episode 109

In Season 1 Episode 9, Marisa and Jace consider the possibility that “Mathias” is really Senator Sanford (James Tupper), a political candidate who had a speech scheduled at the church the night of the bombing. Sanford had been behind in the polls, until public sympathy after the bombing earned him the win. 

But when Marisa goes to covertly talk to Sanford, pretending to be pondering a political race of her own, Sanford admits that while he did get some “sympathy vote” from the bombing, he had already pulled ahead in the internal polling numbers and didn’t need the extra bump. 

“The truth is at the time I was more worried about the opposite, that folks would be too scared to come out and vote and I end up losing because right before the bombing, internal polling had put me ahead of Gilbert,” he told her.

The internal polling numbers backed up his story and Marisa and Jace concluded that “he’s telling the truth.”

What is Marisa’s new theory in the bombing case?

Later that night, Marisa had an epiphany about the complicated case while cleaning and called Jace over to her house. Peter’s mom told them the bomb was supposed to go off an hour after Senator Sanford’s speech, but Peter accidentally set the bomb to 60 seconds rather than 60 minutes, causing an explosion while people were still inside the church.

Marisa and Jace first assumed the mastermind meant to hit an empty church, but then Marisa reconsidered that theory. She told Jace she believed the bombing may have really been targeted at someone specific who was on the cleanup crew the night of Sanford’s speech.

”I found some of Sanford’s campaign schedules,” she said. “His team always designated specific people for clean up.” 

Marisa and Jace Richards sitting on the couch with their faces close to each other with an orange light illuminating the scene.

Marisa and Jace agreed their next move should be to track down the senator’s old staffing schedules, but then their conversation turned to their own burgeoning romance. 

Marisa initially resisted the idea of Jace moving some of his clothing into her house at the start of the episode, but now found herself reconsidering. 

“I have been keeping you at arm’s length. I thought I had to, to find myself. I’m working on getting better boundaries, because what we have is good,” she said. “So, I want to show you something.”

In a heartwarming gesture, Marisa then moved to her closet and opened the door, revealing that she had made space for him to bring some of his things. 

But the romantic moment soon turned chilling when viewers saw that the closet was bugged. Still unbeknownst to Jace and Marisa, their entire conversation was being transmitted to a computer in a dark room, surrounded by other electronic equipment.

It’s not clear just who is listening in, but someone is determined to find out what Marisa knows and they’ll stop at nothing to find out. 
To see where the mystery goes from here, tune in to The Irrational Mondays at 10/9c on NBC or available streaming the next day on Peacock.