Monday, October 12, 2020

REVIEW: 'Manhunt: Deadly Games' - A Series of Bombs Go Off Targeting Law Enforcement Officers in 'Bombingham'

Spectrum's Manhunt: Deadly Games - Episode 2.03 "Bombingham"

While Richard fights back against the FBI and the media, ATF Agent Embry investigates a serial bomber terrorizing the Southeast and discovers a crucial link to the Olympic bomb.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Spectrum's Manhunt: Deadly Games.

"Bombingham" was written by Denise Harkavy and directed by Jon Avnet

Bombs are going off across the Southeast. Embry and Holliwell are there to follow them every step of the way. In fact, both members of the ATF are trapped within the blast radius at different points. That makes this a very precarious story for them. The show may run the risk of putting them in harm's way too frequently. And yet, that highlights the danger of their jobs. They are heroes too. They are the ones who stand firm in investigating this case. Sure, that may come at the expense of Embry's own personal health. He is always of service to others. When he is injured, he doesn't want to be immediately treated knowing that there are many more victims in the area. He is grateful for a random act of fate that spared his life. That is the only reason he survives the first attack designed to lure law enforcement into a trap. Even injured, he is the one who quickly deduces what the bomber was hoping to achieve. It's easy to initially read it as an attack on an abortion clinic. Many would be quick to write it off as such. Embry understands that the second bomb was more deadly. He senses that the killer is targeting law enforcement. He runs into danger when the second attack occurs. In that instance, Holliwell succeeds in saving lives even though there is no random car to block the blast radius. These agents learn from everything that they have experienced on the job. They see this as a serial bomber and must adjust to his tactics. Sure, he eventually changes up his pattern to ensure that an officer dies when he crosses state lines into Alabama. That is the action that catches the attention of the FBI. It's what brings Brennan and Knox back to the area. That is a hassle that Embry and Holliwell can't afford right now. But they are investigating all of this truthfully knowing that it all connects back to the bombing in Atlanta that has been pinned on Richard Jewell. They always knew that he was innocent. His profile didn't match the ballistics from the bomb. But now, they have the proof that more bombs have been going off while he's been under FBI surveillance. There is no way that he could have escaped in order to carry out these attacks. It's equally unlikely that he has a partner in all of this. As such, Richard and his family are justified to sue the FBI and the media for destroying his reputation. It's sickening to watch just how chilling and cruel people act towards him now. The family needs to get a new phone number. They can't trust any food that is delivered to them. Nor can Richard go out in public. Whenever he does, he is assaulted and no one is there to help him. The world wants him to be guilty. They have already made up their minds about this case. It doesn't matter that it isn't Richard's voice on the 911 call alerting people to the bomb. And yet, that's the way that Kathy's story is constructed. She sees value in this story. She refuses to be pushed off it. She continues to show her worth. But again, she is set in a fixed narrative that is inherently false. She may not be able to see that because of her various addictions. That makes her a more complicated character in this story. It certainly condemns her as someone who shouldn't be trusted with this information. The entire world is corrupt and just looking out for their own interests. Embry doesn't operate from that place of ego. That's not what drives his actions forward. As such, he'll be the hero for eventually stopping the bomber. He examines the evidence knowing that he isn't entitled to it. He puts in the work and his results pay off in the end. Richard has the potential to be a hero in his own way too by possibly creating a reasonable alibi that explains how he couldn't have made the 911 call from the pay phone. That is exciting and provides much more agency in the situation at the precise point where he needs to prove his innocence. That was a right taken away from him. Some know his innocence in their core. But that may not be enough to ensure justice is presented in this case.