Sunday, March 27, 2016

Round Two: Underground

Underground: Season 1, Episode 2 “War Chest” (B+)

I hadn’t expected to tune in beyond this episode, but it was more engaging and enticing than I expected. It doesn’t mean that I’m committing to watching this entire season, but I’m definitely in it for the moment. I mentioned in my review of the pilot that I wouldn’t have thought of this as a premise for a weekly television series, but it’s clear that there are dynamic characters here whose stories deserve to be explored. On the plantation, the planning for the escape is going well and is actually quite sophisticated, with talk of following the song’s words and making preparations for false papers to ensure safe passage once they make it out of Georgia. Tom hosted some vicious guests with degenerate opinions, and that was followed up by an unexpected reveal of the intimate affair he’s having with a domineering Ernestine, who has Tom under her thumb and is making the most of the unfortunate situation in which life has put her. John and Elizabeth picked quite the time to visit William’s operation, and what a plan they put together to ensure that the runaway slave they were harboring could safely escape while those who sought to catch him were sent to prison for attacking a free man. I presume that the stories will continue to intersect as things move forward, and the fact that John and Tom are brothers will come up again. I imagine that will prove complex and intriguing, and I’m curious to see how it will all play out.

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