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TV/Film Reviews

Underground Season 2 Eps 5 + 6 | Harriet Tubman and the White Devil @UndergroundWGN

Retrograde is in full effect and I recorded this review with my mic off so the audio will be different. But let us get into it. Last week, I didn’t do a traditional review instead I talked about the importance of Ernestine’s storyline because it’s important very important to the narrative casted over Black women and the crackhead trope. For all intents and purposes, Ernestine is a crackhead, but the way her story is developed and how we connect to her humanity gives us a different perspective on how we have been shaped to view the “crack epidemic” and the choices of Black women.

This week we have Aisha Hinds portraying Harriet Tubman as the sole protagonist of the episode delivering a speech to a room of abolitionists in Philadelphia for the duration of the episode. It is historical, though I wonder how this held people’s attention for over an hour. The episode was just the speech. Either way Hinds overall performance as Tubman is amazing, it gives nuance and a humanness without following into the asexual mammy trope. Tubman ain’t one to be fucked with but she still has a heart that emotes deeply and pumps blood that runs red when it hits the air.

Last week’s episode, Whiteface, was especially riveting with the developments of Cato and Ernestine’s storyline. While Cato’s plot is getting deeper into the fantastical side, leaving me with a lot of questions of just how did we get here? I guess it’s the vehicle in which we get that punch of action and high drama. Somehow Cato made it barely across the Mason-Dixon and on a boat to Europe with a major bounty on his head and huge identifying scar across half his face. Then he had the nerve to come back to the States, settling down in Philadelphia amongst the abolitionist literati, still not a free man and he waste no time agitating the white folks on a grand scale. He’s right hand man forewarns him that this ain’t Europe and he can be kidnapped back into slavery. Then someone how August and that devilish white woman slave catcher make it from Ohio, across the mountains of Western Pennsylvania, into Philadelphia in time to clean up for Cato’s invite only party, where they kill all his men and take control of his house. If we must, I guess. It was very enjoyable to watch and seeing John Legend as Frederick Douglass was delightful!

Rosalee wants Noah to go back to save her momma and brother, while she’s how many months pregnant? And they don’t know that ‘Stine has been sold on down river to the coast of Georgia. This is heart wrenching but it’s easy for us to suggest she walk away from her family but how many of us what be able to do that without serious torment?

Lastly, Georgia, played by Jasika Nicole, did anyone us of realize she was passing as a white woman before they revealed that she was passing as a white woman? I thought she was always a free lightskin Black woman. So that setup was confusing and I was oh that wasn’t a reveal that was a duhhhh.

What stood out to you in the past two season? Do you have any favorite quotes from Tubman’s speech? Leave a comment down below and if this retrograde don’t stop me see you next week!

Click here for previous reviews on Underground Season 2.

Tags : african american historyUnderground
Jouelzy

The author Jouelzy

Jouelzy is a #SmartBrownGirl, Author, Vlogger & Writer, addressing lifestyle issues that impact women of color from beauty, culture to technology. With 162k+ subscribers she's reshaping the image of women of color, who honor their right to revel in their diversity. Find her on Twitter Shop #SmartBrownGirl
  • Ashley Trustar

    You should of saw my face when I realized that Georgia was suppose to be passing lol. She looks like a light skin black woman with straight hair. Do you watch Shots Fired because Aisha and the girl with the pretty eyes are both on that show as well?

    • I don’t watch much TV honestly. I’ll have to look it up!

  • Josie

    Yeah I have an above average attention span, I couldn’t finish episode 6. Only made it to 25 minutes. I just felt like I was in a lecture and was so bored. They should have included flashbacks to make it not as dry. The actresses’ name is DeWanda Wise (Clara), she is married to Alano Miller (Cato) in real life.

    Lol, “Detective Stabler.” The character’s name is August Pullman. I’m literally crackin up with you talking about Cato’s storyline. I just wish this show focused on Ernestine and Clara on the Gullah rice plantation.

    I remember Jasika from Scandal, she played the ex-wife of Huck. I always thought she and her characters were mixed/Black.

    • I think tonights episode will focus on Stine and Clara, it’s definitely an interesting plot. I wonder if they’ll cover the dynamic of light vs dark skin.

  • Lakiah Bankston

    The last episode kept my attention. I guess because I don’t know as much of Harriet’s story as I would like, and when I figured out she was telling her story I couldn’t stop watching it. But I can see how it could be hard for most people. Yeah, I’m just as confused on Cato’s story line. No clue what he’s doing. I LOVE that Rosalee and Noah are back together but I’m cringing at the thought that she’s doing all of this being pregnant. As for the Georgia character, I always just figured she was a free light skin black lady, so i was a little shocked when they revealed she was passing. And the character August Pullman is played by Christopher Meloni. 🙂

    • I don’t think ANYONE saw Jasika as passing lol. Quirky.

  • Brittany

    “How foolish it is for temper to make mischief?” from the episode Harriet Tubman

  • rj

    “A passionate debate about action is important, but it should never be mistaken for action itself.”

    “They strengthen it through government. They justify it through religion, calling it Christianity. That ain’t my Christianity! Calling it God’s will. That ain’t my God!”

    “We make enemies of ourselves over our deep fear of the real enemy.”

    “Beat back those that are trying to kill everything that’s good and right in the world and call it ‘making it great again’…Ain’t nobody gets to sit this one out, you hear me?”

    I’m sixteen and came across this show through watching your videos. I can’t speak for other teenagers but, personally found it hard to take my eyes off the screen. These quotes, especially the last one, seemed to mirror so many issues prevalent in today’s society. Although I’m not from America (I’m actually from the Bahamas) it made me feel motivated, her staring into the screen at the end felt as if she was speaking directly to me. That even I could achieve that trophy of #blackexcellence. Lol, idk, the episode was just very moving to me. Anyways, always looking forward to your reviews!

    ps: Georgia always looked black to me lol

    • That is so great to hear!

  • Zaria

    but did you catch that little snub at #45 at the end of episode 6 though? i live.

  • isah maazing

    Mom and I spoke about Georgina’s character too. I just assumed she was a light skinned free woman from Canada or London or something. She doesn’t make me think of “passing” at all. Maybe she wore a cake-y makeup or something to fool folks.