Sunday, May 19, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Red Line' - The Grand Jury Verdict Shakes Up Tia's Campaign in 'This Victory Alone Is Not the Change We Seek'

CBS' The Red Line - Episode 1.08 "This Victory Alone Is Not the Change We Seek"

Tia receives a financial windfall from an unlikely source, putting her back in the race for alderman against Nathan Gordon. Paul makes a profound and life-changing revelation about himself.

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 season finale of CBS' The Red Line.

"This Victory Alone Is Not the Change We Seek" was written by Caitlin Parrish & Erica Weiss and directed by Thomas Carter

The previous hour laid out the case to the grand jury for why Officer Paul Evans should be indicted for the murder of Dr. Harrison Brennan. Several officers took the stand and testified against him. And yet, the final verdict wasn't delivered in that particular hour. As such, it made it clear that some big twist was coming. That's exactly what occurs at the top of this finale. The grand jury opts not to bring charges against Paul. The State's Attorney even takes this as a victory lap that will guarantee support from the police in her upcoming election. Again, the show doesn't do quite enough to call out the clear conflict of interest regarding Amanda being the prosecutor bringing this case to the grand jury. She is a direct beneficiary because a police officer isn't charged with murder. She even goes to Paul saying that he should be grateful and issue a statement expressing exactly that. None of this ultimately moves the needle on her reelection either. She sails through to victory. It's not a strong showing like the mayor but she still wins. That proves that it takes so much for the system to actually change. Amanda was given the responsibility of getting justice for Jira and Daniel. She failed to do so. Instead, they had to settle with the money from the civil case. They saw the value in putting all of this to an end now in order to better move on with their lives. They never want to forget Harrison and the profound influence and love he had in their lives. However, they want to smile and be happy once more. Those emotions don't come from Isaiah who continues wanting respect for his beliefs while being hateful to an entire group of people. That too shows just how embedded these horrifying views can be as well. So many people want to position themselves as the heroes of the world. Nathan Gordon sees himself as a good guy. He is willing to play Chicago politics but he also believes he has made a difference for his community. He sees the voters continually bringing him back to the office as the proof that his actions are actually supported. And yet, that's only because he hasn't faced a serious challenger who called out his demeaning views towards powerful women as well as him using his power to cover up a crime his youngest son was involved in. Tia was resigned to the fact that getting an innocent man out of jail was the best thing she could hope for from this campaign. But now, she gets the money to receive the information Nathan wanted to keep private. It blows up into a whole scandal. It ensures that she actually emerges victorious in the race for alderman as well. That is a very hopeful note the show is choosing to end on. It proves that change is possible of happening. Everyone continues to exert their power and corruption towards her even after she wins. She will have to bend her morals in order to do this job. She doesn't want to believe that. But she still got to one of Nathan's staffers. She did so simply by connecting to her humanity and identity. She spoke to the concerns that this other woman had even about her own candidate. Tia is inspiring as a politician. She can hopefully make a difference. That's what her entire family believes. She even accepts that she is a better person because of this expansion of love in her life. And yet, the system still doesn't hold Paul accountable for his actions. Instead, he is the one who has to decide whether or not he still belongs on the force. That may be the most optimistic conclusion of this situation. He debates whether inherent racial bias informed his actions. It's clear to the audience that it did because of how despicable his brother and father have always been in their proud and apparent belief that cops are superior and people need to respect and fear them. That has been so destructive to his worldview. Paul ruins so many lives here. He gets Vic fired simply because he's incapable of quitting this job. He wants to get fired but is too much a coward to actually step forward with these concerns. The system won't change unless it is forced to do so. Even here, it's an imperfect ending. But Daniel, Jira and Tia will continue to fight for love and change to hopefully make the world better.