Underground: Season 2, Episode 1 “Contraband” (B)
This show isn’t like most of the other fare that I watch, set in the past where slavery was still lawful and a few were starting to revolt and try to change the times. The season finale was extremely eventful, and we’re now starting this year off a few characters down. This show does do a great job of using music to underscore its events and give it its own feel, and that was truer than ever during the extended opening scene of this episode. It’s interesting to see John using his position as a white lawyer to try to defend property theft rather than murder, using legal means to ensure that he has control over where the slaves that he’s trying to save are. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t work too well, with the judge ruling against him and ordering a hanging. Fortunately, the runaway slaves are doing a good job of intimidating the catchers who are after them and engineering a series of explosions to try to rescue Noah as he literally had a rope around his neck. That plan wasn’t all that well thought-out since the cavalry was on them right away, and Rosalee was clearly distraught by not being able to save Noah. The far more troubling development came at the very end of the episode when John emerged triumphant from the courthouse with Elizabeth on his arm ready to make a much bigger impact as a judge and then promptly got shot in the head. I’m not sure what comes next – I’m not feeling like I need to stick with this show but will probably give it another shot.