Sunday, May 19, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Red Line' - A Newcomer Shakes Up Jira's View of Her Family in 'I Must Tell You What We Have Inherited'

CBS' The Red Line - Episode 1.07 "I Must Tell You What We Have Inherited"

Tia's campaign for alderman is in jeopardy after it is revealed that Jira is her daughter, whom she gave up for adoption. In order to help indict Paul, Daniel tries to find the anonymous sender of the security tape that shows him shooting Harrison.

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.

"I Must Tell You What We Have Inherited" was written by Sunil Nayar and directed by DeMane Davis

This episode takes a significant detour on the way to learning whether or not Paul Evans will be indicted and how Tia will deal with the fallout of the public learning she is Jira's biological mother. The hour introduces Jira's biological father, Isaiah, to the proceedings. He is absolutely given an important perspective. He offers potential for even more family to be added to Jira's world. She has been craving that all season long. Her strongest connection has been with Tia. But she has been introduced to Ethan, Benny and Suzanne as well. As such, she has new family to help her navigate her ever-changing life. She is curious to learn more about her father. She sees the value in him coming back to the city after the truth is revealed. He comes back despite the anger awaiting him for leaving in the first place. Tia tries to convince Jira and Daniel that Isaiah shouldn't be trusted. She is forever scorned by what he did to her when they were teenagers. He does present as a new person now though. However, he is still a person full of hate even though he has found religion. The show is somewhat subtle in that regard with Isaiah believing that Daniel and Harrison were living in sin. But it's also so empowering to see how Jira takes that as an immediate rejection of her life and the family that raised her. She is proud to have had Daniel and Harrison as her parents. She may have spent this season searching for more after her dad's murder. But she is also so glad to have Daniel guide her along this journey while looking out for her whenever he can. And yet, all of this does feel like a distraction in order to pad the story out across eight episodes. Isaiah debuting now doesn't seem like it will shake anything up in a significant way. It's mostly just another shocking reveal that has the potential of damaging Tia's campaign. He wants to speak out in support of her. She doesn't want anything from him. He walked out on her. It's ultimately up to her to pull off this victory. If not, then she has the encouragement from Ethan to get as much justice as she can while she's in the public spotlight like this. She can help an innocent man get out of prison and expose the corruption that exists within Chicago politics. Of course, she may also have to corrupt her morals by buying off the support of one of Nathan Gordon's campaign aides. She may be willing to do that though in order to expose just how much Nathan has failed his district over the years. Tia is a smart and capable woman who understands exactly how the world works and has the conviction to fight for change. It's because of Tia and Jira that the State's Attorney is bringing the evidence against Paul Evans in front of a grand jury. It's also meaningful that the State's Attorney herself is the one presenting this case. That presents less as a point of the significance of this story and more as the show not having a strong legal understanding to know that another prosecutor in the office probably would reside over the case. And yet, major progress is made in the pursuit of indicting Paul for murder. Carranza comes forward as the man from within the department who sent the security footage to Daniel. He did so because Daniel made the plea at the station that anonymity is not good enough to help get justice for Harrison. Carranza has to come forward to expose the racial biases of the department even though it means he will be harassed and targeted. That is effective because the season has established that he feels like an outsider in this world despite having such respect for the actual job. Meanwhile, the show somewhat rushes the moment where Vic turns on Paul in order to protect her two sons. Her boys haven't even been seen before this episode. She spends the night with Jim and there's no urgency for her to get back home to care for her children. The season hasn't put in the effort to make her seem like a parent. But now, it's the only thing that is fueling her decision to provide testimony against her former partner. That should create a damning case against Paul. Because the hour doesn't end with an answer though, it seems likely that it really could go either way which doesn't feel entirely right either.