Wednesday, September 18, 2019

REVIEW: 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' - Divine Presents a More Sympathetic Case to the Judge in 'Cold World'

Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga - Episode 1.05 "Cold World"

Divine returns home, but it doesn't feel the same.

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 Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga.

"Cold World" was written by Ryan O'Nan and directed by Jet Wilkinson

Divine's arrest was the central event that sent much of the narrative into motion. Bobby was told that he could no longer straddle the worlds of crime and music. He had to abide by the rules that his older brother had set for him. And yet, Bobby forged his own path. It was one that paid for all of the bills for the family and allowed him to continue tinkering with music in the basement. It has created a happy existence for this family. The only stress largely came from Divine still being in prison. They were working hard in order to be there for him and ensure that he didn't get a lengthy sentence. This hour begins with Divine telling a judge that he has caused his family a lot of pain and wants to leave that behind him as a reformed addict. It's a story that the judge believes. Power is in the back laughing at the whole show. Instead of 20 years, Divine is already released to the world. Sure, he has a strict parole. He is being closely monitored. But he can also be with his family once more. And yet, the power dynamics have shifted significantly since he was last at the home that he got for his family. He saw his path towards success as the only viable option. He doesn't care to hear how Bobby has done so differently. He just sees a plan that isn't sustainable for the longterm. A drug business always has to be growing. It constantly feels the pressure to expand otherwise the revenue stream will dry up and leave the family with nothing. That's the way that Divine has always experienced the world. He sees the importance of getting back to business the way he ran things. And yet, he doesn't have any allies in that pursuit. The family pushes back against him. His girlfriend does the exact same thing. He can't even get the product from Haze. He feels isolated. But this is also the action that is doing so much harm to this particular family. Divine needs to control things according to a certain way. Linda just wanted him home again. She wants to celebrate that. Meanwhile, he is quickly throwing his life in jeopardy once more. He has several close encounters that could prove that he may not be destined to stay on the outside for long. It's a tragic pattern that condemns too many people in society. The series started with the idea that drugs were the only way to make something in this world. But now, the show offers a changed perspective. Now, it can be just as enticing to release music in the hopes of making it big some day. It's inspiring when people just get behind the microphone and hit record. This is a neighborhood that is incredibly supportive of one another. Sure, the various people of this world are also beefing with one another. Dennis doesn't like the apparent diss that Shotgun has on the track that is being played around the local circuit. That leads to the release of a track that starts a feud. It's all incredibly personal because these individuals have such love and support for their neighborhoods. They are proud of where they came from. They will attack anyone they believe is disrespecting them. It may leave Bobby and Dennis on opposite sides though because Bobby doesn't personally feel slighted. But that doesn't ultimately happen because they are still friends at the end of the day. They may have heated conversations and cause each other pain. But they will also try and uplift the other to ensure that their families are taken care of. Sure, Bobby doesn't know how much pain his sister is in. Shurrie has endured so much because the world is constantly belittling her and taking her for granted. She no longer has that support from Dennis. She may not need it either. She may feel inspired to chase her own dreams. That too would be very welcome. It all ties into the idea that it's meaningful to dream big. But the reality of life can still be absolutely crushing as well. That's why Divine is all alone in his rehab bed with a new bag of cocaine he'll have to sell by himself.