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Underground - 28 - Review: "You owed blood. But you can't have mine."




It didn’t take long for Ernestine’s protégé, Clara, to let her first taste of power go to her head. She’s angry and more than happy to punish everyone who has hurt her. Her first move was getting Ernestine and Hicks’ drug of choice ‘outlawed’ and a pretty high punishment enacted. But, I can’t fault her for being unwilling to forgive Hicks. I understood her desire to kill Hicks.

Ernestine attempts to sway Clara from her decision to poison Hicks, but Clara doesn’t want to hear it. Clara learned the hard way that she’s not yet a match for Ernestine. Ernestine didn’t give Clara the poison she asked for, I think, in order to protect Clara from a mistake she’d have to live with. It turned out to be a wise decision, because Clara’s attempt to kill Ernestine failed.

Ernestine realized she would have to get herself off the island. I’m not sure where Ernestine was headed when she arrived on the mainland. If they were off the coast of South Carolina, wouldn’t it have been dangerous for her to wonder around the port on her own? Before I got that question answered Ernestine walked right into August. That was a bit of a let down.

If anyone was wondering if it would be a bad idea for Rosalee to go after her family alone, they were proven right. Being this close to rescuing her mother and brother made it impossible for her to think, let alone think logically.

When Rosalee doesn’t see her mother where she expects to, she seems fully prepared to go running across the plantation screaming Ernestine’s name at the top of her lungs.

Thankfully, Noah is there to stop her; to force her to take a breath and think it through. He reminds her to remember the lessons Harriet taught her. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the tales Harriet told her about rescuing her own family included her brother’s decision to turn back.

It never occurs to Rosalee that her brother wouldn’t want to run with her. Because of this, Rosalee just strolls in to fetch him rather than finding a way to make the offer. Although, James is no more than 12, and most adults don’t ask your opinion at that age.

Suzanna Macon got everything she wanted in the end; Ernestine off her plantation and James for her own. James is so brainwashed (?) that he screams for help when Rosalee wakes him and tells him they’re leaving.

Which leads to Noah finding out about the baby at the worst moment possible. As Rosalee is about to be branded she announces to Noah that she’s pregnant in order to stop him from a not clearly thought out rescue.

Neither of them have a strong sense of self preservation when the people they love are in trouble.

I am not enjoying Cato’s story so far. I’m hoping that it’s headed somewhere that’s worth the predictability. It was a pretty good bet that, given Patty is holding Devi, she was going to force Cato to do her bidding.

I was equally sure, the moment the topic came up, that Devi would not agree to the price of her protection. I was, however, expecting Cato to come up with a plan to get them both away from Patty rather than allowing her to ship Devi off to slavery.

My favorite element of the episode was watching Ernestine watch her protégé revel in her newfound power to have the girl find out that the student can’t surpass the teacher after one lesson. Watching Clara make that cocky walk across the compound only to find Ernestine gone was the best moment of the episode.

I’m really hoping that next week we get to see August moving closer to the man he was during the first season. The broken August isn’t as interesting.

I still love the show but it feels a little disjointed this season. Sometimes it feels like they have so much to say that they can’t quite figure out how to get it all in smoothly. I don’t expect or want season two to be a carbon copy of season one, but I do which that I felt, as a viewer, like the showrunner had control over the big picture. I had that feeling during season one, but find myself missing it this season.

What did you think of the episode? How do you thing the season is going so far?