Sunday, May 5, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Red Line' - Jira's Expectations for Meeting Tia May Be Too High in 'For We Meet by One or the Other'

CBS' The Red Line - Episode 1.03 "For We Meet by One or the Other"

After hearing Paul's testimony about Harrison's shooting, Daniel has an angry outburst that puts his lawsuit against Paul at risk. Jira's first meeting with her birth mother, Tia, doesn't go as she expected.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of CBS' The Red Line.

"For We Meet by One or the Other" was written by Sue Chung and directed by Aurora Guerrero

This hour feels a little more predictable and conventional than the previous two hours did. Sure, there are interesting dialogues still happening. Daniel wrestles with the complicated racial issues at the heart of his lawsuit and his central role to it. He wonders if he is the right face for this specific issue that has had major connotations throughout the country for centuries. Is he the perfect spokesperson for racial injustice? Or is the system only moving so quickly to settle this case because he's a white man speaking out on these issues? He isn't perfect. He has been so blind to the racial dynamics at play within his own family. He has simply been trying to protect Jira for as long as possible just like any other parent. Harrison understood there is a different burden for people of color and that Jira would be subjected to that discrimination from a young age. She couldn't be protected forever. Those are two different parenting styles that come from two distinct perspectives. But now, Daniel is the father that Jira still has and he is upset that she lied to him about meeting Tia. That meeting doesn't go how either of them planned. It was a little too expected that Jira would keep it a secret from her dad. That would ensure it would stay dramatic for a little while longer. It would simply be too sensible to keep him in the loop so that he can be there for her every step of the way. She has to continue being rambunctious and reckless. That too needs to be a consistent quality of the show. She and Daniel have to lock heads because they simply don't understand each other despite them both going through the same grief together. They are mourning a loved one. They want to get justice. Daniel wishes to remain optimistic. Tia cautions Jira to be more realistic considering how these cares are usually resolved. She is running for City Council because she wants to change the way that things are done in Chicago. And yet, she is distracted from her campaign because of this meeting. She is already being played as an underdog going up against a beloved incumbent. She has growing support. But she may not be doing enough to get elected. Nor can she articulate her reasoning behind it taking 17 years for her and Jira to meet like this. Jira feels like she is the one constantly searching for something more. She doesn't even know what she's been searching for either. She just hopes that spark would suddenly click something within her. Life doesn't work like that. Daniel and Tia are willing to support her on this journey. They are just trying to figure everything out as they go as well. Throughout all of this, there is also newfound tension between Tia and Ethan because of his actions to potentially find some dirt on the alderman. It's not the tactics she wishes to endorse. It actually makes her defensive. That's not the position she wants to be in. She feels forced to do so because of Ethan. But she's also just struggling to balance everything going on in her life. It's complicated. Meanwhile, Daniel just wants everyone at the deposition of Paul Evans to refer to his husband as doctor. It shouldn't be a big deal. And yet, it is. Daniel is right to point that out. It seems trivial that the counsel for the city uses that as evidence of emotional instability which voids the deal. It's mostly just a twist ending to keep everything tense moving forward. It's just a little too cloying to be all that effective in a way that lands emotionally with the audience.