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Who's Really Behind the Church Bombing on The Irrational? Episode 4 Has a Reveal

During a face-to-face interview, the convicted bomber falls into a revealing trap set by the FBI on The Irrational

By Joe Dziemianowicz

No matter what new case behavioral scientist Alec Mercer is working on, he is always trying to piece together a haunting personal puzzle on The Irrational, airing Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.

How to Watch

The Irrational returns January 29. Catch up on NBC and Peacock

Nearly 20 years ago, Alec (Jesse L. Martin) survived a church explosion that killed 13 people and left him with burn scars, clouded memories, and guilt, as he couldn’t place the bomber, Wes Banning, at the scene. That meant the assailant was convicted on lesser charges.

But recent events have raised the profile of the case: Banning tanked his own parole hearing, meaning he'll be behind bars longer — and indicating to Alec he may have been working with someone else. Alec also recovered a memory about the getaway van, leading investigators to determine a dry cleaning van was used. And after 19 years, the FBI has officially reopened the case.

Now, in Episode 4, the bomber has revealed a clue that helped to confirm a long-held suspicion.

What Breaks Came In the Church Case on The Irrational Episode 4

After 19 years, Banning agreed to an interview with Alec’s FBI agent ex-wife Marisa (Maahra Hill).

“I hear you’re ready to make a full confession,” Marisa said to Banning as she held a cassette tape recorder, leading him to remark on the “old school” approach.

Marisa on The Irrational episode 104

“It stops the defense from arguing that your confession is digitally altered,” she explained, as she pressed record. “Any time you’re ready.”

Banning quickly confessed: “It was me. I bombed the Methodist Church in April 2002. There was a big boom and then fire. I like fire, 13 dead. Will that suffice?”

RELATED: Jesse L. Martin Teases the Unfinished Love Story at the Heart of The Irrational

When asked by Marisa, he claimed that he worked alone, stating that he “doesn’t play well with others.” But Marisa pressed forward.

“For over a decade, you refuse to admit anything. Then right when you can walk free you confess. First the parole hearing, and now this. Why the change of heart?”

“I found religion,” Banning claimed. “Say I don’t want to sin again.”

“You said all the right things until someone walked in,” she continued, referring to the parole hearing. “Someone I didn't see. Then you changed your story. Who was it? What do they have over you?”

Banning called her idea of a “dangerous mystery man” a fabulation but she countered that Banning is covering for an accomplice.

“Maybe he was the one that drove that stolen FedEx van that you used to get away,” she theorized.

“I drove the FedEx van,” he said. “I’m a lone wolf.”

A wolf who fell right into her trap.

“Well, it wasn't a FedEx van,” she said. “You would know that if you had been at that church. You may have made that bomb, but you didn't plant it, did you?”

Still, he insisted, “It was all me.”

But when Marisa challenged him to describe the color of the van or a logo on it, he called for the guards.

“Get me out of here,” he said. “I’m done.”

Session one was over. But the mystery is heating up. Clearly, the church bomber is hiding something — and it seems likely someone else was indeed involved. But who could it be?

Watch The Irrational, airing Mondays at 10/9c on NBC and streaming the next day on Peacock.