Friday, December 6, 2019

REVIEW: 'Truth Be Told' - Poppy Struggles to Track Down Josie While Warren Is Attacked in 'Black People in the Neighborhood'

AppleTV+'s Truth Be Told - Episode 1.02 "Black People in the Neighborhood"

Markus drops a bombshell about a potential suspect's motive. Warren gets a visitor.

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 AppleTV+'s Truth Be Told.

"Black People in the Neighborhood" was written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman and directed by Rosemary Rodriguez

Honest journalism can be absolutely life-changing. There are real life-or-death stakes to it. Those potential consequences shouldn't dissuade anyone from looking for the truth. There can be a massive release of understanding when the truth is discovered and everything can be explained. Right now, Poppy is operating with full certainty that Warren Cave is innocent of murder. That reversal came from seeing one piece of evidence. That wasn't enough to persuade a judge to reopen the case. For Poppy though, it was all that it took for her to re-analyze the work she did and the mistakes that could have been made. Now, she is eagerly and passionately investigating the case once more. Some people appreciate that. Melanie sees it as the only way she may get justice for her son even if she doesn't live to see it. And yet, there are many more people who see this as a disruption of the ordinary lives they have tried to build in the aftermath. Warren has suffered for years. He continues to face the burden of punishment for this crime. He is stabbed during a riot here simply because it's convenient for him to stay in prison. His father, Owen Cave, even testified against him during the trial because he was certain prison was where his son belonged. He doesn't offer any insight or alternate view of the evidence. It's simply something he deems right. He has the power to make that kind of decision because he is a high-ranking officer in the police department. He has a lot of influence. And yet, he may operate from a place of survival and the need to keep certain secrets buried. Melanie operates in that way too. It has never before been revealed that Melanie was having an affair with the murder victim. That could be used to produce a motive for his murder. Poppy sees it as a damning piece of information. But that also highlights how the pursuit of truth often comes with all these ugly realities being forced to light. Josie Burhman has tried to run as far away from this tragedy as possible. She no longer wants any kind of connection to her former life. Her aunt Susan may have kept in contact from time to time. However, there was the understanding that no communication was necessary. It had to be urgent. Lanie sees this new investigation as dire and destructive. She needs to protect her sister from the wrath of this reporter. And yet, that impulse leads to Susan's death. That is a startling moment here. It's absolutely devastating. It also showcases how desperate people can be in their search for answers. Lanie needs her connection with Josie once more in order to get through all of this. She may not need that sisterly love on a regular basis. However, she may be lost without it. Josie may operate in the same way. However, she views her sister as a toxic individual who would only make her life worse. Sure, it would be her embracing her true and authentic life instead of pretending to be an English woman needing a visa in order to stay in the country. Everything may ultimately present as an illusion. That motivates Poppy's pursuit of the truth. She sees herself as the only person who can rightfully get the answers to these major questions. Some may only question her determination. What is so special about this particular case? Why is she making such a big deal about this? Will the damage she creates ultimately weigh on her soul? Poppy is the one who delivers the news of Susan's death to Josie. That may scare her away. It may open more questions as to how Josie got her aunt's phone. But it may also highlight that Poppy may be willing to embrace whatever tactics are necessary in order to feel good about the work she does even if that comes at the expense of her own personal relationships. Right now, she is more focused on helping Warren Cave then remembering anything having to do with her family. She is committed to her work. Others may fear her outing their secrets. They may be willing to take extreme actions to ensure they remain silent. And yet, everyone may be worse off because of this determination. That shouldn't be seen as a toxic side effect of this career. And yet, that may very well define how Poppy conducts herself in this particular investigation as she loses a sense of her own identity to get to the truth. That's awkward considering she places so much blame on herself for Warren's current fate.