Sunday, May 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Red Line' - Jira Organizes a Walk Out to Protest for Change in 'We Turn Up This Music Louder Than a Mother's Cry'

CBS' The Red Line - Episode 1.06 "We Turn Up This Music Louder Than a Mother's Cry"

Daniel fears for Jira's safety after receiving a threatening phone call warning her to stop speaking out about the shooting. Jira rallies her classmates to walk out of school to march against police brutality.

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.

"We Turn Up This Music Louder Than a Mother's Cry" was written by Brendan Kelly and directed by Kevin Hooks

This show has articulated how it can be very daunting to go up against the power systems that lord over our lives. Within those power structures are people who believe in the inherent goodness of those making decisions even when it pertains to matters of life and death. Communities of color understand that they are always looked at with suspicion by the police. When a fight breaks out, it's Liam who is arrested and not the white man who started the brawl with his threats towards Jira. But the show also runs into a significant problem where it's easier to see the complexity and humanity of those fighting to change the system than those who are fully enmeshed with it. Nathan Gordon and the State's Attorney making the decision over whether to indict Paul Evans on murder charges are politicians who believe that things can't change in Chicago. This is a unique atmosphere where things are simply done a certain way. It doesn't matter what bright ideas any newcomer to this world might have. They have to fall in line or be pushed to the side by this huge mechanism that protests its own interests. The State's Attorney doesn't want to file this case. She says so directly to Tia because she has been so actively talking about it. That whole dynamic may get even more complicated now that the truth is revealed to the public that Tia and Jira are mother and daughter. They wanted to keep that relationship personal for now. Tia didn't want Jira to get caught up in the ugliness of her campaign. And yet, the vitriol has already arrived in Jira's life. She may be protected from some of the horrifying realities. Daniel and Tia are the ones who receive the brunt of the death threats. But she is aware of them to the point of reconsidering whether or not she'll stage a walk out against police brutality. She wants to be an active part of her community. The show is being very explicit in saying that the younger generation is so inspiring at the moment because they are organizing and speaking out on issues that directly impact their lives. Jira is fighting for justice for her father. She does so without caring about who might get hurt in the process. That has been the way she has operated all season long. And yes, people do get hurt during this protest. Both Daniel and Liam are suspended from their teaching jobs because they supported the students. Daniel wants to be there to help his friend. But they also recognize that things are awkward now because they pursued a romance before Daniel was ready to take that step. They don't know how to move forward even though they are still supportive of what's going on in each other's lives. The protest is a hard day. One filled with agonizing sights that could easily go awry in so many ways. The police are there to protect everyone. The show just points out how much they don't agree with what's going on. Liam is held without any charges being filed for ten hours because the police are trying to send a message. That's horrifying and corrupt. It ties into Paul's story as well because he's surrounded by people who are lifting up the narrative that his father was a good guy and great cop. That's simply not true at all. Now, Paul is neither of those things either. He has killed twice now. He doesn't even know if he has any regret for doing so either. He will be facing consequences for Harrison's death. He may be doing so alone after alienating everyone in his life. But his whole story shows just how tight-knit the police can be. That can be so damaging for the families simply trying to get justice for their loved ones who were gunned down by a man who wore a badge.