Featured, Pop Culture, Recap

Underground Season 2 Episode 1 Recap

Underground is back, y’all! Season two premiered last night so let’s get started…

We open with an image of a well-coifed black man and… is that… why yes, it is! Bokeem Woodbine just blessed my whole year with barely any lines of dialogue. He plays a skilled worker who we see receive payment at the Fellow Plantation in Louisville, Kentucky, before returning to his humble surroundings where he appears to be teaching himself how to read by candlelight. The man appears to have some sort of plan in the works. These scenes are cut with Beyoncé’s “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar. The song continues as we follow Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett Bell) running through the Kentucky woods with Henry who’s been hobbled by an ankle injury. With the exception of Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” being played during the opening of season one I haven’t been much of a fan of the modern soundtrack that often undercuts the intensity of the scenes. This song, however, is a perfect choice and I may have paused my TV during it to run outside and play ding-dong-dash on my white neighbor out of inspiration.

Just when it seems our girl Rosalee is cornered on all sides by these racist bounty hunters, who to our wondering eyes should appear but Aisha Hinds as Harriet Tubman.

“My arms are mighty tired and I aim to end this quick.”

Ms. Tubman stay strapped and she suffers no fools. She’s here to let these white men know that she isn’t here for their racist shenanigans. Looks like we have a Mexican standoff on our hands as Rosalee pulls a gun out as well.

Next we visit Marc Blucas’ (Buffy’s rebound guy) John Hawkes as he defends Aldis Hodge’s Noah Macon in court. Hawkes argues that because Noah is technically stolen property (and not as Ben Carson would allow us to believe an immigrant working a temporary Georgia internship before he moves on to a cushy job with Google) that the trumped-up murder charges against him should take a back seat to the theft of a white person. And furthermore, because Noah has been locked up for the better part of five months (!) that his safe return to his rightful owner is of utmost importance lest the “property” be further damaged. Go ‘head, John, using the white man’s law against them. I see you.

Speaking of Noah, he’s been spending his time fashioning what appears to be a wedding ring for Rosalee while he grows out his Philly Freeway beard. He looks down but not broken and I’m just glad we can live in a world where Hodge and Queen Sugar’s Kofi Siriboe both occupy time and space. #lookatgawd

John is back at the safe house where apparently Rosalee and Harriet were able to pay those guys off. John reminds Rosalee to be careful because these guys sometimes want “the money and the trouble.” Ain’t that, America. Harriet also reminds Rosalee of the dangers ahead and that blood is thicker than water.

We catch up with Ernestine on her new plantation and she appears to still be haunted by her murder of Pearly Mae and the death of her son, Sam. She’s checked out emotionally from life which… who could blame her… but she’s also self-medicating just to make it through the day. The repetitive nature of back-breaking work- slaves tilling the soil daily on the land while they sing spirituals was my favorite scene and the editing and cinematography were stunning. I don’t know how we made it, y’all, but we did.  #sortof

Rosalee is working as a nurse with forged freedom papers and she uses this opportunity to sneak into the supply closet to find medicine for Henry’s leg. Miguel plays as we catch up with Elizabeth Hawkes as she meets the ladies of the sewing circle for the first time. I usually roll my eyes during her scenes and this time was no different but at least we got to see some badass ladies with screen presence who know how to shoot a pistol and make some “fantastic jam”. Oh, and they also oppose slavery vehemently. #internationalwomensdayaintshitwithoutintersectionality

Two of the guys Noah’s doing hard labor with have a half-baked plan to escape which he quickly thwarts. You see, he has his own plans on escaping the very next day and offers them an opportunity to be free with him. I loved how he demands they put some respek on his name by name-dropping the Macon Seven. Noah is a born leader so they wisely decide to put their trust in him.

Unfortunately, Buffy’s rebound loses his court case because the judge is on his Darth Cheeto and decides he can disregard federal law. Noah is to be hanged and John has been found in contempt of court. Rosalee is horrified, angry with herself for trusting John could get the job done. They devise a plan to rescue Noah at the last minute and I don’t know why they didn’t just ask Harriet because the Hawkes keep trying to dismantle the master’s house with the master’s tools. That rarely works.

Ernestine and her man sneak away from a beautiful union ceremony/celebration to have steamy drugged-out chexuals. She can’t stop seeing the ghost of Pearly Mae and for the moment at least she is able to quiet the demons inside of her. This is short-lived as she’s forced to sit in silence as her partner is berated, beaten and called “boy” the next morning right in front of her. The psychological scars from slavery cut just as deep as the physical ones. Her lover rewards her silence by striking her firmly across the jaw in anger. Later, her ghost reappears and forces her to take stock of her situation and suggests she just end it all.

Noah is literally seconds away from execution when he hears the familiar sounds of whistling in the air. Rosalee is all decked out in her Hit ‘Em High Hit ‘Em High Hit ‘Em High get-up and she’s come bearing bombs. Suddenly bombs go off and people scatter. The beam holding Noah in his noose explodes and there’s John with horse and buggy there to carry our hero to freedom. But the marshals are quick to the chase and are able to overpower the men. Noah is taken again.

So that’s where we’re left until next week. Noah is headed God knows where with some guys that are definitely not U.S. Marshalls. Rosalee is beside herself with grief. Ernestine seems to have checked out for good and the Hawkes…

Well…

As John and Elizabeth celebrate John becoming a judge on the steps of the courthouse John is shot in the head by a nameless assailant. Looks like our white ally is a goner.

Ain’t that America, indeed.

Jordan Kauwling

Jordan Kauwling is an early thirties Philadelphian but she tells everyone she’s in her late thirties because she doesn’t understand how math works. When she’s not busy writing, singing, eating all the falafel or unsuccessfully finishing another craft project you can catch her talking junk on Twitter or on her website BlacknHippie.com.

  • So glad they renewed this show. I was getting worried for a second there. And, yes, I was too lazy to google if it was in production.

  • Sigma_Since 93
    • The Hawkes tho.
      Damn damn daaamn!

    • Shay

      I was like welp that wasn’t expected, where is Cato.

    • Shay

      I was also happy they pulled a Game of Thrones on us to let us know that no one is safe, don’t get attached. I was also kinda alright with him being taken out lest we get more character development of him than the folks we care more about. More bout Harriet, less about Hawke.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        It would have been interesting to see how many cases he could have gotten thrown out with having someone truly on the inside.

      • panamajackson

        [img]http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p728/Photobomb100/DancingOniggers_zps44d23b8e.jpg[/img]

      • panamajackson

        [img]http://i.imgur.com/5PxuLkdh.jpg[/img]

      • panamajackson

        [img]http://i50.tinypic.com/2yo747b.jpg[/img]

      • panamajackson

        [IMG]https://s10.postimg.org/g4n6lvrah/PBSet_06.jpg[/IMG]

        • RhetoricalReverie

          Ummm….you get hacked or something?

          • Your Mama

            yes, its a spammer/troll, not panama.. report.

    • PaulaGreen11

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    • Sabrina Whiteman

      Me too!

  • Somebody catch me up on Pearly Mae? Who was she? I didn’t start watching til late. Last I saw , she had a swole eye.

    Also…”Speaking of Noah, he’s been spending his time fashioning what appears to be a wedding ring for Rosalee while he grows out his Philly Freeway beard. ” I wondered what the heck he was making.

    Can’t stand Bokeem in anything, but didn’t you pump your fist when he learned a new word?

    • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

      Pearly Mae is Boo’s mom.

    • Val

      Bokeem was good in Ray. Otherwise he over-acts.

      • Tam
        • BrothasKeeper

          Cold.

        • Val

          So wrong and so right. Lol Lisa is nice to look at though.

          • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

            I remember the movie Rhapsody where Lisa Raye played her role as Victoria. My goodness. She’s a very beautiful woman.

        • Val

          Lol @ Bokeem’s signature looking like that. And I just noticed Tasha Smith’s name.

          Btw, Bokeem is a really interesting guy.

          • Tam

            Talk about type cast- Tasha

          • I saw him play some sort of futuristic/ detective/ vampire hunter once. Strange flick

        • Mary Burrell

          Yes that’s it! I saw that meme some years ago and hollered???

        • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

          You are so wrong. LOL.

      • BrothasKeeper

        He’s always gonna be Can’t-Get-Rite.

        • Tam

          1 day closer BK…

          • BrothasKeeper

            Tam……I can taste it…..smell it……touch it……..feel it…….

        • Lmao. So with that character and his scene in Underground, he does better acting parts without uttering a word?

          • BrothasKeeper

            That should tell you something. LoL

      • Wizznilliam

        Another one is Russell Hornsby (Grimm / Lincoln Heights). I love the dude, but man… He is ALWAYS severely over acting. He just can’t help it.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cf0c254cdf440a169c5c24fe766341520af67bdbd9e4c7fc2c9f8d9abe595705.jpg

        • fedup

          I don’t think he overacts regularly. I think on Grimm, everyone overacts at times. The way the characters have evolved requires it.

          Wu wouldn’t be Wu if he didn’t do his normal over-the-top eye role towards the beginning of every case.

          Ok, I really just like Russell!

          • Kelly Kell

            Grimm is so bad good.

          • Wizznilliam

            Lol.. I REALLY like him too. He does over act though in pretty much every role and every episode I’ve seen him in. Especially in Grimm and Lincoln Heights. That Wu guy is pretty bad too though. He might even have Russell beat in that regard. I’m usually cracking up at both of them.

        • Mary Burrell

          I like him too

      • Vanity in Peril

        Wait, Bokeem the Woodbine is not a good actor? And like, everybody already knows this? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bad4f1748769c7156fa65eb1875e9ad6e8aa3b5f96ffd2ec5c5691b4a67f8240.jpg

        • miss t-lee

          Yeen know? LOL

      • Rewind4ThatBehind

        That’s why he’s the greatest actor in the world Val.

        • Val

          Lol Yes, but only in his mind.

          • Rewind4ThatBehind

            My cousin sincerely calls him this. He has all of his movies. Nobody outranks Bokeem in his mind.

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        I don’t even know who he is

        • Val
          • TheUnsungStoryteller

            Well, he’s definitely an interesting looking black man. He looks like he could be one of my uncles. He doesn’t look like one of my uncles, but he looks like he could be an uncle. Lol…I’ve never seen a single movie he’s played in.

    • Bokeem Woodbine has become some sort of Black mascot. We all know he can’t act but every time we see him we go “Holy smokes is that Bokeem!?”

      • Mary Burrell

        The Bookem Woodbine School of Acting for black folks.

      • miss t-lee

        Him and Clifton Powell.

        • Mary Burrell

          Crying ????

    • Ess Tee

      Pearly Mae was one of the original runaways until she got caught just outside the plantation. She told her hubby to go on with their daughter, Boo.

      Later, the evil bih of the plantation offered to give Pearly Mae, Boo, and the hubby freedom papers if she ratted out the plan. Pearly Mae was gonna do it, too. However, Ernestine had other plans.

      If Pearly Mae snitched then that would mean Rosalee would be caught, returned, and likely killed. So, Ernestine ended up poisoning Pearly Mae before Pearly Mae could give up the runaway plot.

    • Linda Pritchard

      I read ahead and folks done took a detour to Grimm, so I’ll catch you up. Pearly Mae was going to be a part of the Macon 7 but got caught before they could leave the plantation. She put herself between the slave catchers and the runaways (her husband and daughter included) so they could escape. She was tortured to talk, but resisted. Then, the master and mistress decided to try the “soft touch” to get her to talk and offer her and her daughter their freedom if she talked. Ernestine knew they might get to her and put the rest of the runaways in jeopardy (Ernestine’s daughter Rosalee especially) so she pretended to coach Pearly Mae on how to respond, poisoned her and then faked her suicide–Ernestine ain’t no punk. At the end of last season the mistress turned on Ernestine, sold her and now Pearly Mae is haunting her. This show is too good. Any questions?

      • ak1991200

        “At the end of last season the mistress turned on Ernestine, sold her and now Pearly Mae is haunting her. This show is too good. Any questions?”

        Just a little addendum, the mistress always hated Ernestine, but she was the master’s side piece so she could never do anything about it. Then Ernestine orchestrated the masters murder, but when she did that she kinda played herself, cause then there was nothing standing in the way of the mistress selling her.

    • Sabrina Whiteman

      Pearly Mae’s husband and child were part of the Macon 7. She was offered papers by theither owners wife if she talked. Ernestine wasn’t having it and made it look like she committed suicide. Ernestine drugged her and slit her wrist for her. She wanted her daughter Rosa Lee and the rest to get far away. Pearly Mae’s daughter made it but not the husband.

  • Lara

    I’m going to check this out even though it probably has too much anti white propaganda for me. I love stories about the Old South.

    • Vanity in Peril
    • All of American history is anti-white propaganda.

      • Lara

        I don’t expect the white characters to be portrayed as saints or perfect, because very few of us are. In addition, they wouldn’t be interesting characters. Sometimes, though, they are just stereotypes and have no redeeming qualities.

        • Cheech

          Shut the fuck up, Dmitry.

          • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

            I just cackled sooo loud at Dmitry

          • Lara

            Are you a man or a woman?

          • Brown Rose

            I don’t know why people keep responding to them. Its a mystery.

          • Mary Burrell

            I love you for that??

          • Mary Burrell

            Now that you mention it it’s possible it could be a Russian internet troll. I have read about those.

            • Cheech

              It’s either that or one of milo’s minions. Amounts to the same thing.

              • Mary Burrell

                I very well could be is that why it’s so tech savvy in not being able to block it?

                • Cheech

                  That’s the working assumption.

          • miss t-lee

            *hollering*

    • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

      I think someone needs a sleepy time (i.e. nap) and a hug (said like one of the adults from the PBS channel)!!

      C’mere…..tee hee hee

    • Rewind4ThatBehind

      You love squealing like a pig don’t you?

      I knew it.

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      K. Bye.

  • Other_guy13

    Adds to list of shows to watch

    • Val

      You’re always so behind. Smh. I haven;t seen it either though. Lol

      • Other_guy13

        I have a lot going on. Tryna be great like you

      • Mary Burrell

        Val it’s not working.

        • Val

          It might take a minute for Damon to see all the flags.

          • Mary Burrell

            Oh okay

  • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

    Sooo, is this like a real series? I’m so under a rock. Tee hee hee

    • Other_guy13

      Think so

      • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

        Okay, might have to check it out. I don’t well reliving history (it ain’t healthy IMO…..tee hee hee), and from the picture up top, this gone take me back a hundred years or so.

        • Other_guy13

          I really don’t do slave movies or shows but I hear it’s good. I’ll give it a look

          • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

            It might be worth at least a peek

          • Brother Mouzone

            I don’t do slave movies or shows either. The point of over saturation with this genre was reached at least 20 years ago. There IS more to us than slavery, civil rights, and tragic inner-city stories. But hey, that’s just me.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          It’s different than other movies and shows. The slaves are vigilant and they are getting ish done!

          • The slap downs got to me though. Kept cracking ole boy in front of his girl.

            • TheUnsungStoryteller

              Yeah…there are some tough scenes to watch in that show.

          • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

            Okay, kewl. I can do vigilant and upwardly mobile. I can’t do the whoa is me slave stories. We spent enough time living through that real time. I don’t want to relive. History yes, play by play re-enactment not so much.

            • TheUnsungStoryteller

              I am totally the same way. Yeah, this show is different.

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      Yes it is. And you need to watch it because it’s sooo good. It’s intense. But good.

      • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

        What network?

        • rikyrah

          WGN

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          WGN

          • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

            Thank you!!

  • BatmansExWife

    I have to watch Season 1, but a few people on my FB timeline was talking about this episode as a reflection of what’s going on now.

    • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

      Season one is on Hulu. This show has ruined every other show on T.V. for me. It is THAT good.

      • fedup

        Hooba, as in the the artist formerly known as stankyleg?

        • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

          She is I, and I is she. ?

          • fedup

            Ayyye! I like the new look.

            I’ll get used to this name change thing yet!

            • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

              Ayyyyyyyeeeeeee!!!!! LMAO! Wait, I was gon’ change it every time I feel like I’ve topped myself. But alas… I think I’ma just stick with being irked and tired for now. How you holding up out there?

              • Mary Burrell

                Is it derived from Earth, Wind and Fire?

                • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

                  Yea. ?

          • Mary Burrell

            That’s what Crissle from The Read says sometimes.?

            • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

              Really? lol I was thinking of Snoop Dogg.

  • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

    I need to know where Cato is. Ms. Ernestine was sniffing on her sizzurp and I don’t know if she was doing it to numb the pain, or if she was doing it to see Mrs. Pearly Mae. She got read for filth by The Ghost of Pearly Mae. It must feel odd to be comforted and tormented at the same time. I’m glad they found a way to work her character back in. I want to know how the kids are holding up. But John getting blasted in the end took me out! I’m bouta do my Google’s on whether or not that’s actually how he died although I’m pretty sure it is.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      They showed Cato in the tease. That sizzurp Ms. Ernestine is sniffing on is to numb the pain of losing her kids, the blood on her hands, losing her station in life, and getting Iked by her man since he can’t lash out at Massa.

      • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

        Oh no. I get that. I guess what I’m saying is she danged if she does, and danged if she doesn’t. On one hand, she just lost EVERYTHING, on the other she gets high and is seeing Pearly Mae. So being high isn’t really numbing the pain, she’s just trading one pain for another. Also. Her new man’s bouta come up dead. He put his hands on the right one. That look she gave him like DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! took me out! lol

  • BrothasKeeper

    I guess I know what I’m bingeing over Spring Break.

    • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

      You didn’t see the first season?

      • BrothasKeeper

        No. I think I was experiencing Antebellum ethnic fatigue at that time, between this show and the Roots remake.

        • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

          That’s completely understandable. But this show is nothing like Roots. It’s so raw that by the time I saw Roots it made it seem low key PG. Or maybe because I already knew the story of Roots and therefore knew what to expect. Either way, everybody I asked to watch it is now hooked. As am I, but I was hooked from episode 1.

        • “M”

          And the current so-called Administration …

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Yesterday would have been ideal for you since they showed all of season 1 back to back to lead up to the premiere.

      • BrothasKeeper

        Dang. I was tryna be grown and shid yesterday, car shopping and whatnot.

        • fedup

          You can catch it on Hulu (where I watch it).

    • I didn’t finish season one. Still debating if I want to watch. Now a show about Harriet Tubman doing ish in rural SC might be a good watch.

      • “M”

        Didn’t they say they were going to do a mini-series or something?

  • Kelly Kell

    Anybody take else take issue with Ernestine’s wardrobe? It was so obviously meant to be sexy with the crop top hanging off her shoulder? You could put a rag on that woman and she’d still be fine as a muthafucker, and in that situation would be in rags like her peers we’re in those work scenes.

    • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

      I think she was dating the ‘Cato’ of that plantation. Perhaps it was a way of saying that even though she was in the field, she still aligned herself in the highest position possible. I could be wrong. But I didn’t have an issue with it. I saw in a behind the scenes interview that she was with the Gullah people and that is why the wardrobe was a bit different than the Macon Plantation.

      • Kelly Kell

        I peeped the Gullah references but wasn’t sure. Good to know. She already stands out in the field. I just hole because ita a TV show getting more steam that they don’t start sexing it up for sexy TV’s sake and sacrifice the historical integrity. Her outfit looked like something you’d wear to a summer festival.

        • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

          I hope they don’t do it either now that you mention it. I’ma give it a couple more episodes to hopefully get acclimated to this new plantation. It kinda seems like each plantation has it’s own culture. I noticed all of the slaves’ clothing was colorful, but this show moves soooo fast I have to watch it several times and I still find something new every time I watch it. So when I watch it again tonight with the family I’ma keep my eyes peeled.

          • Kelly Kell

            I’m excited about the different cultures in each plantation too. I expect some voodoo or witchery to come in South Carolina, or at least I hope so, especially with Ernestine’s knowledge on herbs and all the pain she’s feeling.

            • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

              I know right?! I need Ms. Ernestine to push through. She was a cold piece of work last season, so to see how she’s fairing now is heart breaking. I completely understand her plight. I hope she finds someone or a reason to keep fighting. I can’t wait to see the magic these Gullah women unleash so I’m with you on that! I’ma watch again tonight after I’ve gotten some sleep. I snuck and watched but I haven’t slept since the day before yesterday so I’m not as sharp as I’d usually be. But I’m ready.

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