I Got This on Lock is the title of this week’s episode. It might as well be the mantra for all the characters in this prestige drama. Or, the mantra they project on the exterior. While everyone is settling into their new roles, it takes some adjustment. Rather than show any weakness or fear, everyone flexes and puts on that steely outward resolve as though nothing could break them.
The episode opens at a random drug store in Washington D.C., where an attempted robbery goes awry. A local cop, officer LaVerne “Jukebox” Ganner, played by the brilliant Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls, The Good Wife, Roots) arrives on the scene and appears to deescalate the situation. The 90 seconds that immediately follow set up this tremendous episode. Ganner instructs one of the men robbing the store to kill the store clerk, revealing herself as a dishonest cop. As she scolds the two men – whom she knows – for failing to plan accordingly, one of them tries to explain his thought process and she shoots and kills him. As the other looks on in horror she loudly affirms, “I got this!” Officer Ganner returns home after the incident where we find her girlfriend and Crispy Kanan!
The introduction of Jukebox and the return of Kanan and their backstory (which I hope we get more of) was the most interesting part of this week’s episode. We learn the two are cousins and they both feel a certain indebtedness to the other born out of a shared personal experience. Rose is the perfect actor to play Jukebox, while diminutive in stature she wields a tremendous amount of power. Not only as a crooked cop that is running some sort of con that I imagine is profitable. But also as the head of her household and the one with the upper hand in her relationship with Kanan. Jukebox withholds Kanan’s meds, and uses her girlfriend’s sex as attempts to seek truths from her severely burnt cousin. Kanan tries to show strength and push back on Jukebox but ultimately succumbs to her demands for no more secrets. Jukebox is intimately familiar with Kanan’s relationship with his deceased son, Shawn and Ghost. Jukebox seems to be the ultimate ruthless pragmatist giving us the line:
Shawn was a pawn and you sacrifice pawns for the greater good.
Back in NYC, suspended FBI agent Greg Knox is still stalking/lurking. Trailing Ghost, he spots him outside of Tommy’s apartment and takes photos of him as visual evidence when he confronts Angela with his truth about Ghost. Knox connects with agent Medina (you remember him from season 1, he was part of the original Lobos task force), to ask for his help on proving that Ghost is the actual distributor. Greg is a man on a mission and clearly will not rest until he proves who Ghost really is. I fear that his vigilante justice crusade does not paint him in a favorable light. He comes off as a desperate, slightly crazy, scorned ex-lover. Even though he is 100% correct with everything relating to Ghost and Angela.
The three new best friends Tasha, Tommy and Holly are checking out their legit business and discussing how they will launder the drug money. Last week we wondered how LaKeisha got the money for Weave Got The Funk? Now we know. Tasha staked cash as the initial investor and the salon is the new front. As a part of this new alliance, Tasha and Holly are forced to spend more time together and it appears to be going well. The ladies had their “come to Jesus” moment over the stolen earrings from season one. Holly admitted she took them and Tasha seemed to forgive her. The duo even reverted into a character sketch when pulled over by cops for an illegal lane change. Holly had bundles of cash on her, which if the cops effected a search (though there was no pc) would have caused problems. Holly went straight for the “she’s my nanny” move and the cops let them go. It was a little campy and too easy, but given the dynamics in the car and in the scene, it made sense.
On the St. Patrick home front, Tariq is facing expulsion for bringing Angela’s gun to school. Ghost and Tasha meet with the school principal to discuss alternatives. In a “ripped from the headlines” ploy, Tasha rehashes all the incidents at the school in which white children were given lesser punishments despite actualized violence and/or criminal wrongdoing. Nice job by Courtney Kemp and the writers with that.
Ghost and Angela discuss the gun situation and it leads to a very tense exchange. Both sides are getting used to the new arrangements and Tariq taking Angela’s gun from her bag and bringing it to school was an unfortunate byproduct. In the scene, Angela confronts Ghost About Tommy as the issue of trust (surprise surprise) comes up again. Ghost tells Angela choosing between her and Tommy was difficult and that he chose her but needed to connect with Tommy. Although he wasn’t 100% honest with her in that moment as to why he needed to see Tommy.
Ghost and Tommy do wind up meeting under false pretenses and the two share an awkward moment. Despite Tommy not killing Ghost last week and Ghost being aware, to a certain extent. Serious damage has been inflicted upon that relationship, I’m not sure it heals any time soon. We will see what this means as it relates to Lobos and all the other players that orbit the Ghost and Tommy dynamic.
I enjoyed this episode a lot. We began by saying the characters’ outward projection is one of confidence. I enjoy the moments where the characters show their fragility when they are around people they love. Ghost and Angela, Tommy and Holly, and Tasha and LaKeisha.
It’s hard to believe but next week puts us one episode away from the halfway mark of the season. Get ready for some drama and WTF moments.
A few extra thoughts:
What do you all think? Use the comment section below. Please share with your friends and people you think would enjoy the show. As always thanks for reading and visiting BSO. See you next week!