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Black-ish - One Angry Man - Review:"Civic Weirdo"

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Of all the juries in the country, we get the one with the guy who’s just watched a documentary.

Documentaries really are the scourge of humanity, aren’t they? They ruin Dre’s fantasy draft and force him to do his duty as a civic weirdo.

Dre wasn’t the one who watched the documentary. It was Junior who had his mind blow by the inadequacies and general prejudices of the American Justice system. Junior is so fired up that he meticulously pieces together Dre’s shredded jury summons and signs his father up for his patriotic duty.

Dre hates it. He calls it “justice at one-eighty an hour.” He may have been picked for the jury, but he adamantly claims that he’s not going to listen to a word of the case. Then he finds out that the defendant is black and Junior’s words come flooding back. Dre was the only black person picked and he decides that young Antoine is going to get a jury with at least one engaged peer.

The other jurors have the same original attitude as Dre. They’re busy ranking the Die Hard movies and thinking about getting home as soon as possible. Dre is the lone holdout when the jury convenes to vote. It’s not surprising. Antoine has such a bad defense attorney, he accidentally entered a guilty plea at first. He also posted a picture on social media wearing the alleged stolen merchandise.

Dre knows the evidence doesn’t look good, but he also knows that his fellow jurors can’t tell him apart from Tyler Perry. There’s no way that they can relate to this kid. Dre can.

Dre is self-aware enough to admit that his motivations may be a little suspect. When he stops off at the office to talk to his coworkers, they wonder if he would be this enthusiastic about his civic duty if the defendant was white. Dre can’t say for sure. He is, however, forcing the jury to not write off a case just because they want to get home in time for Scandal (some ABC synergy there).

Dre gives his coworkers a lesson on the biases of the criminal justice system, starting back in 1880 when the Supreme Court ruled that black men were allowed to serve on a jury. That didn’t stop them from imposing insane regulations on things they perceived as black. Dre points out that while 1/17 of white men are incarcerated, it’s 1/3 of black men. The system is inherently prejudiced.

Dre, however, can’t come up with good evidence to exonerate Antoine. It’s his fellow juror, Bernice, who comes up with evidence of his innocence. It would help if she actually knew Antoine’s name and didn’t keep calling him Jerome. Dre is salty. Bernice gets all the glory and the steak and Dre is left with nothing except for the satisfaction that he helped an innocent man stay out of jail. Junior may be impressed by something like that, but Dre still wanted some of the accolades.

Meanwhile, Bow is trying to get to know her children better. She takes the advice of her neighbor Janine and allows swearing in the house, in the hopes that it will encourage the kids to open up. It works. Suddenly Zoey, Junior, Jack, and Diane are telling Bow all about their problems. Even Ruby is forced to admit the idea is working. She thinks it’s so great, she tries to claim it was hers.

But things go bad. Quickly. Suddenly, Bow is learning things she really didn’t want to know, including that Zoey watches her friends shoplift (which I think is something that Bow probably should know). She puts the rules back in place, only to be confronted with another challenge when she and Ruby find out that Diane is in a fight club. That’s also something Bow probably should know.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!

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