Monday, October 19, 2020

REVIEW: 'Manhunt: Deadly Games' - The FBI Tracks Down Eric Rudolph to North Carolina in 'Run Rudolph Run'

Spectrum's Manhunt: Deadly Games - Episode 2.04 "Run Rudolph Run"

The FBI identifies serial bomber Eric Rudolph and gives chase, but Eric escapes into the wilderness. Richard and Watson discover powerful evidence that could exonerate Richard and contemplate turning to the press for help.

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.

"Run Rudolph Run" was written by Nick Towne and directed by Jon Avnet

Richard Jewell has become associated with the bombing of Centennial Park during the Olympic games. It doesn't matter that he is still a free citizen. He has never been arrested. He never confessed to the crime. The FBI and media only have speculation. They are simply waiting him out. That's been the holding pattern for months. He and his family have been afraid to leave their house because of the reactions they would receive on the streets of their city. It's scary. Watson manages to inspire Richard to fight back. He does so here by proving that the timeline doesn't match up. The FBI and the media can present the 911 call believing it to be a damning piece of evidence. In reality though, it should exonerate Richard as a suspect because there is no logistical way for him to have made that call and immediately return to his posting. It doesn't make any sense. Kathy Scruggs sees the pair conducting this experiment. She understands that they are trying to come up with an alternate theory on the case and the timeline. She doesn't confront them. Both sides keep their distance. Richard will eventually call a press conference to provide the evidence of his innocence. He wants the world to own up to the fact that people targeted him for no good reason. He fit a vague profile. Everyone has seemingly moved off the case after that major declaration. Agent Brennan doesn't want to hear any other theories. He brushes Embry off when he suggests that the bombing in Birmingham was done by the same person who planted the bomb in Centennial Park. Brennan believes he already caught the guy for that crime. He was promoted for that accomplishment. But it's all just vague platitudes that come at the expense of an innocent man. Brennan only seriously motivates into action when a fellow law enforcement officer is killed. Richard may have been an easy target because he idolized law enforcement to the point where he was arrested for impersonating an officer. That was a serious offense. It can't be used to paint an extremely damning case against him in this case. The true perpetrator is someone who has such massive disdain for law enforcement and the federal government. It's because of the bravery of witnesses and local officials that the FBI manages to track down the true suspect as well. Eric Rudolph is the name of the man who has committed these crimes. Embry and Holliwell deduce that he wanted to see an officer die. He wanted to be behind the trigger when it happened. He left it behind in order to further taunt the investigation. It was just tricky for him to get away because he ran into a man perched in an apartment building who understood that he didn't look right. He was walking away from the blast and avoiding the police. It's because of this man that a license plate number and car model were made available to the investigation. It points the FBI back to Murphy, North Carolina. When Brennan and Knox land, it basically becomes a school lesson because this community is a haven for radicals and militia groups. Eric Rudolph also fits the profile of someone who could have committed these crimes. Brennan refuses to see the link between these latest bombings and the Centennial Park case. That is destructive. But he is also high on adrenaline as he pursues Rudolph through the woods. He believes the FBI is the greatest form of law enforcement in the country. No one can successfully escape from them. That grandiosity though has already proven to cause a lot of damage. That may very well continue the longer that the FBI stays in this community where everyone immediately notices their presence. All of this happens with a rush of energy. This is the true story of what happened two decades ago. But Richard Jewell's story is just as important because it reminds everyone of what can get lost when people disregard others in society. A press conference feels empowering to him right now. Watson can prepare him for the fight even when Richard wants to believe in the noble idea of the government protecting the people no matter what. That system failed him just as it prepares for this extensive manhunt for Eric Rudolph because he killed one of their own.