Monday, May 17, 2021

What I’m Watching: The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad: Season 1, Episode 6 “Chapter 6: Tennessee – Proverbs” (B+)

After opening with three installments that featured large crowd scenes that demonstrated the capacity of the masses for participation in cruelty, this show has become far more personal and focused on just its primary characters as it has progressed. I was sure that Ridgeway was returning home to a long-dead father and not merely to the shell of a man who couldn’t possibly recognize in his son what he so desperately needed. Being greeted by the man he once tricked into going into the well felt strange, especially as he had a chained Black woman with him, and it was very interesting to see how that turned out, when he wouldn’t let him be killed and still went to go get Ridgeway a drink before he ended his life, something that did not end up working out in his favor because the eternally loyal Homer got his gun instead. I was excited to see William Jackson Harper from “The Good Place” in town, and even more enthralled when he showed up at the house that night to spirit Cora away and straight to the Underground Railroad. There was something so stylish and fancy about it all, with the alcohol and the flair both at the station and aboard the train, and it almost felt too easy. I’m glad that she’s on a better path at the moment, and her lengthy interactions with Ridgeway in a place that was very personal for him were informative and thought-provoking, particularly when they went out to a restaurant together with her as his clear prisoner.

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