Friday, October 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'Raising Dion' - Nicole Prepares Dion for the Harsh Realities of the World in 'ISSUE #103: Watch Man'

Netflix's Raising Dion - Episode 1.03 "ISSUE #103: Watch Man"

Following a run-in at school, Nicole has a difficult but necessary conversation with her son. A mysterious figure from Mark's past resurfaces.

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 Netflix's Raising Dion

"ISSUE #103: Watch Man" was written by Leigh Dana Jackson and directed by Rachel Goldberg

It takes until the third episode for the drama to explain how its possible that certain people have powers in this world. Even then, it remains an ongoing mystery. It's fundamentally a quest where science has the answers. The scientists just have to figure it all out together. Mark and Pat may have both been in Iceland to record this storm. However, one came home with powers and the other did not. Charlotte wasn't a scientist. She went to Iceland as a tourist to see something magical after her life fell apart. She came home with these incredible abilities. That's what allowed a connection to grow between her and Mark. They weren't having an affair. They were simply kindred spirits going through the same thing in this increasingly crazy world. They had to rely on each other in order to get ahold of the powers they now had. Nicole was completely in the dark though. She didn't know that her husband was struggling in this way. He passed it onto their son too. That's why Dion is now presenting with these incredible abilities. Nicole feels powerless because she wasn't given the tools to know how to handle any of this. She wants to protect her son from the harsh realities of the world. And yet, she needs to prepare him for what is out there. She can have that conversation with him at the end of the hour about racism. She may be hesitant to do so because she still sees him as a young boy who doesn't need to feel like the world is constantly against him. She doesn't want to crush his aspirational and imaginative spirit. However, he needs to be aware of the truth so that he knows how to act when he leaves the apartment. He is already racially profiled at school. When a fight seemingly breaks out, he is the one the principal looks at with suspicion. If Nicole weren't present, then it's very likely he could have gotten a suspension. Esperanza was the only person who saw the event though. She knows Dion didn't push the other kid. It was something else that did so. She can't explain it but she does support her friend. All of this is clarifying and meaningful for Dion. It's tragic as well. He grew up believing Martin Luther King Jr. fixed racism in the world. It's never been as simple as that. He will still find people who were raised poorly and are conditioned to believe that he is trouble simply because of the color of his skin. It's such a significant moment especially because it takes place in a superhero show. This isn't usually the format where that conversation is seen. And yet, it is vital for the audience to understand exactly who these characters are as well as the world they live. They aren't just a family where the incredible appears to be happening to the young son. They are a black family striving for opportunities while mystified as to the secrets that have been kept. Nicole is desperately looking for answers. She gets some of them from Charlotte. She essentially delivers the ominous message that there is a creature in the storm that is hunting down those with powers. That's how Mark truly died. He died so that Charlotte could live. That is absolutely true. There are still some questions about that tragedy though. Nicole needs to know just how concerned she should be about Dion moving forward. She saw Mark in the storm earlier. That was significant to her and Dion. And now, she is told to fear the storm. Meanwhile, it's clear that Pat's office is still researching all the science that took place in Iceland. That is bound to become something important eventually. Right now though, it's simply more interesting to see Pat as Dion's mentor. Someone who does encourage him to push himself and his powers while still showing that he has control over them as well. Overall, this episode does a nice job of grounding the characters in reality while showcasing the mythology that is soon to consume their lives.