Featured, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Recap

Underground Season 2 Episode 2 Recap

I’m 1:30 into episode two of WGN’s Underground and I’m already crying. Sure, Venus is in Retrograde, my car is stuck in the ice and I’m craving salty snacks but I’m mostly crying because Bokeem Woodbine’s Daniel has been teaching himself how to read and write. This is courageous AF for any slave to do but his reasoning behind this is what has me boo to the hooing. You see, Daniel has been learning how to read and write for his lady. He comes home early one day (did slaves get PTO days when we weren’t even getting paid?) to share his secret with her by writing her a note that reads “Love”, something he feels deeply for her and their cute little baby that keeps cooing, “dada” in the background. Daniel’s excitement at surprising his woman is so touching. Meanwhile, I can’t get my dude to stop backwashing the orange juice from out of the fridge when he’s sick. These little displays of tenderness between black slaves during a time when African-American people were afforded little time for romantic overtures, having to prioritize survival above all, is something Underground does best. Even though she absolutely cannot keep the note, it’s scenes like this one and Noah’s determination to do anything to retrieve his engagement ring for Rosalee that keep me coming back for more each week. Otherwise, we’re just watching chattel slavery torture-porn. So glad we as a people no longer have to harden our exteriors against a world that criminalizes our color even to the detriment of our relationships. Oh wait!

Moving on…

We cut back to the steps of the courthouse where John Hawkes was last seen getting murdered by some fanatical sectarian. Now, Elizabeth just sits in shock, intercut with scenes of her panicked cries for help seconds after John was assassinated. I was reminded of the footage of Jackie Kennedy as she held the head of her husband JFK and the stoic despair she displayed up to and including the late president’s funeral. For the first time this series I felt empathy for the widowed Hawkes.

Rosalee is going through all the stages of denial at once and she really needs to get it together. Thankfully, Harriet Tubman and Georgina from the Sewing Circle are there to help her get in Formation and formulate a successful escape plan. Only problem is Black Moses has just suffered another bout of what appears to be temporal lobe epilepsy. She’s going to need a minute. While she is unconscious, Georgina and Rosalee speculate on the mystical or possibly biblical cause of her seizures. Some say Ms. Tubman receives special prophetic visions while unconscious. Me no know and neither does anybody else but when Harriet comes to she drops the whammy. “The plan has changed.”

Later in the woods, Rosalee is leading a group of three male runaway slaves to the water. For people trying not to be found these dudes sure do a lot of loud-complaining. And one of them can’t stop coughing. When they arrive at the safe-house Rosalee takes Harriet’s good advice to listen to her instinct and bails on the homeowner’s request to bring her “cargo” around back. It’s a good thing, too, because that house has been compromised by gun-wielding slave-catchers who hold a gun to the homeowner’s head. These slave catchers are led by Sadie Stratton’s Patty Cannon, a no-nonsense pioneer-type woman. I get that she’s supposed to be a badass but she’s a slave catcher so eff her. We later watch as a biographer documenting her escapades hoping to tell the tale of the country’s most famous slave-catcher throws major shade her way. He wonders why he even bothers writing a book about her when she has been as of yet unsuccessful in not only catching Black Moses but has an additional runaway (Rosalee has been nicknamed “The Black Rose”) ruining her trash reputation. I hate her y’all and I was happy to see her get read for filth.

Elsewhere, Noah is still being transported somewhere by carriage. He Houdini’s his way out of his chains and then sabotages their ride to escape. He’s quickly caught and Noah is lead into the woods by some guys who don’t appear to speak English and while the men work on fixing their transportation he takes the opportunity to add some much-needed levity to the episode by trash-talking. Surprise, surprise! These guys shockingly do speak his language and as they trade insults the position one lackey takes it upon himself to steal Noah’s ring. I mouthed, “You know you dun f*cked up, right?” at my screen and as they take him to a fancy plantation Noah quickly takes the master hostage to retrieve his ring and flip the tables. Except tables got flipped on him as the actual master is revealed to be none other than… Cato! Somebody in the comments called it last week and I am all like “what did I just watch!?”

The primary theme running through episode two is motherhood. We see this in the way Elizabeth mourns the death of her husband and the piqued loneliness she feels due to not being able to have a child with John. We also see the importance of motherhood and its hold on some women as we check in with Ernestine. Ernestine is having a bad week (what else is new?) Her lover, Hicks, ( The Perfect Match’s Robert Christopher Riley) is doing his best Ike Turner as he washes her feet, compliments her looks and gives some half-ass apology for slapping the dog shit out of her last episode. With his fine but raggedy ass. She’s still on that stuff and now she’s seeing visions of her deceased husband. His ghost both comforts her and taunts her for the decisions she’s been forced to make as a mother. To protect her children. To make matters worse, one of the Gullah Plantation slaves named Clara (played by Dewanda Wise who is married to Cato irl) is asking for her help in terminating her pregnancy. A pregnancy caused by her laying with her man! And this chick had the unmitigated gall to try to make small talk with her too. Poor Ernestine. Clara later has a change of heart however Ernestine goes through with this woman’s forced abortion under the threat of Hicks. Although this world makes no promises toward the safety and well-being of children brought up by black women during this era, the desire to recreate life even out of anguish has a strong hold.

Speaking of motherhood, The Black Rose and her Unmerry Men are making a run or the riverbank when she is shot down by none other than that Basura-arsed Patty Cannon. Rosalee falls straight into the muddy waters and I screamed, “That’s enough, Underground!” but my cries went unheard as seconds later it was revealed that Rosalee is eating herbs for two. Yep, she’s preggo.

Filed Under: , , ,
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.

  • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

    This was an excellent follow up episode. I was actually not sleep deprived this week so I was able to pay better attention.

    I need to know who Daniel is.

    In my heart of hearts, I knew it was Cato who sent for Noah. I’m hoping he sent for him as friend not foe being that the men showed up to the gallows to collect him.

    Patty Cannon is wack. Not only for her job description, but also because she wants to be a ‘Hollywood starlet’ and wants her name in lights (Or print) for basically being a barbarian. I know she was a person who existed which is simply just unfortunate.

    Georgia and the Sewing Circle rub me wrong and I cannot put my finger on why.

    Ms. Ernestine… I’m mad she’s on the Sizzurp. But I need her to keep huffing until she sees Sam. It goes back to my theory that even though her ‘demons’ are haunting her, she is still finding comfort in seeing these people. I don’t want to make excuses for her, so I won’t. How she did old girl was truly messed up. She has PTSD and everything else, but she needs to bust Mister’s head open.

    I’m wondering if Rosalee was simply hormonal or if she’d been having contractions all day and was just pushing through it. She had been weeping all day and it didn’t seem like grief from John Hawkes.

    I feel for Elizabeth. I honestly thought she was going to blame the black people for her husbands death. But not for him trying to save y’all he’d still be alive type of reaction.

    Still waiting on the kids, and Detective Stabler. I’m aware his name is August, but until he do right by us I’m messing his name up on purpose.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      “I’m wondering if Rosalee was simply hormonal or if she’d been having
      contractions all day and was just pushing through it. She had been
      weeping all day and it didn’t seem like grief from John Hawkes.”

      It’s a combination of things:

      The failed rescue attempt
      Lack of knowledge of where Noah is
      John’s death
      Missing her BAE and she’s pregnant his his child

      • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

        Yeah… But it’s always been a combination of things… Perhaps you right. Maybe I’m seeing something where there isn’t anything to see. It wasn’t grief even though she’s grieving. It wasn’t anguish, even though she’s tired. It was just different. *Shrugs* Welp, Noah’s going to have quite the surprise if they link up again. lol

    • Annalise Keating

      “Patty Cannon is wack. Not only for her job description, but also because she wants to be a ‘Hollywood starlet’ and wants her name in lights (Or print) for basically being a barbarian.”

      So true.

      “Georgia and the Sewing Circle rub me wrong and I cannot put my finger on why.”

      I feel the same way!

      “Ms. Ernestine… I’m mad she’s on the Sizzurp. She has PTSD and everything else, but she needs to bust Mister’s head open”

      This is not the Ernestine we have come to know and love from season 1. They need to bring the old Ernestine back! I can almost forgive the ether addiction but taking that mess from abusive guy too? Why?

      • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

        I agree with you on that. Lmao! My cousin brought something to my attention though. She said: At first I thought Ms. Ernestine was doing what she simply had to do to keep her family alive, but now I’m starting to think that maybe she is just kind of mean. There was no need for her to kill Pearly Mae. They were in the same situation. Ernestine’s daughter would be taking care of Pearly Mae’s. I honestly don’t think Ms. Ernestine killed Pearly Mae to save her own child, she did it because if Pearly Mae can read and Ms. Ernestine couldn’t, that actually made Pearly Mae harder to manipulate.

        Fast forward to this season with her and the young lady. It was totally unnecessary for her to make that girl lose her baby. But the pattern I’m noticing with Ms. Ernestine is that she’s a manipulator. And when she can no longer manipulate, she simply kills. So, I said all that to say, she hasn’t killed Ike’s Great-Grandaddy yet, she must be still manipulating him for something. The question is, what?

        • Annalise Keating

          “At first I thought Ms. Ernestine was doing what she simply had to do to keep her family alive, but now I’m starting to think that maybe she is just kind of mean. There was no need for her to kill Pearly Mae. ”

          I have to kind of disagree with you on this. Pearly Mae was going to give up the location/travel details of Macon 7. Pearly Mae even admitted this much to Ernestine point blank. Remember she knew the travel details thanks to her husband.

          I agree about Ernestine being Manipulative. She was manipulative all through Season 1. It’s one of the reasons I like her so much. She is so cunning.

          I also don’t fully understand why she had to tell the abusuve guy the location of the abortion inducing drink. Just like I don’t understand why she tolerates this abusive guy. She is fierce, and usually ruthless for “good reason.” But so far everything she is doing this season seems senseless. I wonder if she is tolerating him and complied with the request because he gets her the ether which she is addicted to. I hope they really show us more about this as the season progresses.
          The other thing is: once she realized what she had become/done for the sake of her children she may have felt she was doing pregnant girl a favor (she seemed sympathetic and almost supportive of the pregnancy going as far as telling the girl her children were the best thing to ever happen to her until her ex-husbands ghost pointed out all the sad and terrible things she did to protect her children because she loved them so much). Remember pregnant girl wanted the abortion at first. And it was Ernestine who initially convinced her to keep the baby by telling her about her children being the best thing to happen to her. Until French pointed out her children were the worst thing to ever happen to her.

          Another thing is I think once you’ve been through a certain amount of trauma, sometimes you become de- sensitized to it and almost start to see it as normal behavior. E.g people who were abused usually end up being abusive too. I wonder if life as a slave hardened Ernestine to making her who she was in Season 1 and to some degree in Season 2.
          Just my thoughts. I could be completely off the rails with this.

          • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

            I see what you’re saying and I agree with you on every point. I may have to go back and rewatch season one because I didn’t do the marathon as a refresher this year. But off the top of my head, if I remember correctly, she didn’t even give Pearly Mae an opportunity to make up her mind as to whether or not she would tell. She’d dug the woman’s grave before she’d ever walked in the room. She made her a ceremonial bath, got her casket ready, fed her her last meal then poisoned her with the tea. I honestly think that Pearly Mae could’ve said: I’m not going to give up their location and Ms. Ernestine would have still killed her. The fact that she she brought up the papers on the desk being freedom papers, in my opinion, justified the killing in Ms. Ernestine’s mind. (At the time because it’s eating at her conscience now)

            “I also don’t fully understand why she had to tell the abusuve guy the location of the abortion inducing drink. Just like I don’t understand why she tolerates this abusive guy. She is fierce, and usually ruthless for “good reason.” But so far everything she is doing this season seems senseless.”

            This!!! She’s using him for something. I don’t know what it is yet. But that’s the only reason (Besides the obvious grief and mourning) that that man is still breathing.

            I don’t want you to misunderstand me. I love Ms. Ernestine like she’s one of my Auntie’s. I completely understand her motives. But she’s a mean little heffa which only makes me like her all the more. She’s actually my second favorite character next to Cato. I like him simply because he made his intentions clear from day one. He said I don’t like you, I’ma use you, and you are just going to have to deal. He made it clear out the gate that he is in this for himself, and it is what it is. And then there is Boo, who almost assassinated John Hawkes last season for raising his voice at Elizabeth. Did I mention I’m a sucker for a good villain? LOL It’s like nobody understands that most ‘villains’ don’t wake up one morning and decide they’re going to go hard. Most of the time they are reacting to something that has been done to them.

            I’m with you on Ms. Ernestine coming back though. The world needs her now more than ever. But like Elizabeth said: Everybody grieves differently. Hopefully she wakes up before she’s in too deep to get out.

            • Annalise Keating

              When you have lived and worked with someone for so long you know what they are going to do and say even before they say it. When Massa’s wife offered pearly Mae those freedom papers for her daughter, Ernestine already knew what pearly Mae was going to do even before she said anything. She knew she would betray the travel plans of Macon 7 and therefore compromise Rosalee. And She was right.

            • Maxine Shaw

              If Stine thought she could trust PM, she probably would not have served her the poisoned tea.

        • Shay

          Oh Ernestine had to kill Pearly Mae to keep her from telling where they were. I don’t think she wanted that girl’s baby to die, but do you really think she was gonna be able to sindlehandedly stop that from happening?!?! If she didn’t tell dude he was gonna beat her half way to death AND THEN find another one of the lady’s to make the concoction. So really wasn’t much she was gonna be able to do for homegirl, that was on him not her.
          As far as her behavior this season, she has lost hope. When you feel helpless you are no longer going to put up a fight, she has succumbed to her circumstances thinking her children, her only reason to fight, are gone and she can no longer protect them. You think she gonna risk getting lynched, beat, or raped by killing ole dude who clearly does massa dirty work by getting everyone hooked on the sizzurb?!?!?! She doesn’t have a strong enough motivation to do that anymore, her kids, and their protection, were what empowered her before. Just like her dead husband’s ghost told her, everything she ended up doing and becoming was BECAUSE of those kids. Without them nothing matters.

    • Elissa Malaikah

      Detective Stabler <~~ Ah hate'chu for that….LOL

      I'm still in SVU mourning

  • Pillows McGee

    I didn’t see Cato coming.. I been wondering this whole time where he was? It never even crossed my mind that Cato was the one who kidnapped Noah.. That end shot of Jurnee’s beautiful pregnant belly gave me all the feels… Im glad they included her pregnancy into Rosalee’s story

    • Corinepsanchez

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !dr116c:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !dr116c:
      ??
      ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs406DigitalInternetGetPaid$97/Hour ????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!dr116c:….,….

    • Florenennelson

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !da33c:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !da33c:
      ??
      ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs323TopMotorGetPaid$97/Hour ????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!da33c:….,……..

  • Tensch

    How is everyone watching this show other than normal TV? I don’t have cable, but it seems I could stream it off the WGN America network’s website using my parents’ cable sign-in information, but it doesn’t seem to have Comcast/Xfinity? I’m dying to be up to date, but I don’t wanna torrent it every week.

    • Vanity in Peril

      I believe it’s available on the Hulus.

      • L8Comer

        only season 1 is :/

    • Annalise Keating

      Last season I bought the season on iTunes and just downloaded episodes the morning after it aired.

    • L8Comer

      u can stream w/ Comcast/Xfinity the next day, but cant stream live

  • Val

    Off-topic: Would someone please tell me on what channels and when I can see the women’s NCAA basketball tournament?

    • Sigma_Since 93

      You don’t have cable so you will suffer. A lot of the early rounds are on Tru Tv and TBS. The games this evening will be on CBS. Streaming ESPN is your friend

      • Val

        I have Sling, Sig. So I have all of those channels but all I see are men’s games.

    • Cheech

      Go SC!

  • Annalise Keating

    Did I miss the episode where Rosalee and Noah had Chex???? All of last season before Noah got caught they were too busy running and trying to survive. When did this happen? Like why would you let this happen Rosalee??SMDH

    Harriet Tubman nicknamed Black Moses- LMAO ?????

    Cato, a plantation owner???? Did my eyes deceive me??? What?

    And question for Underground showrunners: what have you done with my beloved Ernestine?

    • Allison F

      They hook up after he sees her crying in the bathtub. Episode 10, I think? John just told her about Sam.

      • Annalise Keating

        Ok. Thanks. I can’t believe I don’t even remember it. But then again I am not a fan of the Nolee union.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          Why not?

          • Annalise Keating

            Part of it maybe there wasn’t enough plot development of their love storyline for me to find the romance believable. And lord forgive me for saying this but I found rosalee of season 1 kind of annoying. Didn’t really see her as a good match for the cunning and more admirable Noah

            • Allison F

              Noah definitely saw something in Rosalee I didn’t until at least 1.07 or so. I like it, on the whole but I totally understand why someone else wouldn’t ship it

              • Annalise Keating

                “Noah definitely saw something in Rosalee I didn’t until at least 1.07 or so”. Yes i I think it’s called Lust????. Just kidding. she definitely evolved towards the end of Season 1. It just happened a little too late for me-by then I had already picked my favorites and she wasn’t one of them. Perhaps I was being too hard on her. She is one of the youngest on the show and was relatively sheltered during her early life thanks to her mother. And she has grown a lot over the course of the show. Like most younger folks eventually do.

            • TheUnsungStoryteller

              I see your point. But, I guess it’s just because they are two attractive people that are on the same mission. They are also leaders.

        • Allison F

          No worries. I only remember because I just binged on season one last weekend.

  • SoonToBeMrs

    I always feel like crying when this review is done. I hate this show.

    Brass come over I do a review on you and your gorg neck.

    • L8Comer

      lmaoooo

  • I’m hollerin’ cause Noah was clowning while still chained up.

    “…Otherwise, we’re just watching chattel slavery torture-porn..”
    You too?!

    “Coughin’ Slave” deserved “one in the foot.”

  • Valerie

    Since Trevante Rhodes is claimed, I claim Aldis Hodge as my boo
    http://i58.tinypic.com/30j2quf.jpg

    • I Came I Saw

      Who claimed Trevante? I mean, it’s just as well. You can’t wife nobody whose name ends in “ante.” But I was willing to overlook that for him…

      • Valerie

        LMAO. Michelle Is My First Lady (I think that’s her username) claimed him.

        • I Came I Saw

          -kicks dirt-

          Fair enough…

    • ?Lauren?

      Well we’ll have to fight. Aldis been on my boyfriend list. Oh and Trevante is still available until the day he is married. LOL.

      • Valerie

        He’s been on my list since Friday Night Lights and Leverage. I’m prepared to fight for him lol

  • MsCee

    I knew she was preggo last season that Chex scene with her and Noah was hot fiya!

  • MilaXX

    Sojourner Truth was hit in the head with an anvil and had seizures as a result. When I was growing up I read these education comics by Golden Legacy. It’s one of the few things I remember from it. Of course I had to google. I just found out the entire series is available in a hardback edition. http://golden-legacy.com/shop/

    • 909girl601world

      I’m about to order these! The ONLY comics my parents allowed – I learned a lot of history from those bad boys. Awesome!

More Like This