Saturday, October 31, 2020

REVIEW: 'Manhunt: Deadly Games' - Eric Prepares His Next Strike While Richard Fights to Get the Truth Out There in 'Eric'

Spectrum's Manhunt: Deadly Games - Episode 2.07 "Eric"

Eric manipulates locals, militia and FBI alike as he plans a major counterattack. Meanwhile, Richard appears on 60 Minutes in a high-stakes gamble to save his reputation once and for all.

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.

"Eric" was written by Andrew Sodroski and directed by Ali Selim

Richard Jewell unfortunately needs someone with legitimacy to co-sign on his claims of innocence in the Centennial Park bombings. His word should be good enough. The evidence provided by Watson should be good enough. It hasn't been though. The FBI and the media are still conditioned to write him off as the criminal behind that bombing. That's the extent of their investigation. They wanted a quick and succinct ending to that case. It didn't matter that he had never been charged or convicted of the crime. He was still treated as such. It took a completely independent investigation by 60 Minutes in order to corroborate the claims Richard made about having an alibi. He walks into that interview not knowing how it will go. He does so because he views this program as having journalistic integrity. They will report based on the facts and not just on the sensationalized headlines that have primarily driven the conversation so far. And yes, it does provide a sense of vindication. He appears on national television once more and is supported as someone who didn't deserve these accusations. He should be cleared of all speculation against him. But that places an inherent amount of doubt on the FBI and the media. It calls into question how they could have gotten things so wrong in the first place. That's not the image they need to conjure right now especially as many agents are in the field trying to avoid bloodshed in North Carolina. They are in pursuit of the actual bomber, Eric Rudolph. This episode aspires to delve into more of his personal motivation. It has definitely been noticeable that this season has only observed him from a far. He has been a character seen through the perception of others. He didn't have that personal intimacy and urgency himself. That allows the narrative to prop up that shocking moment where he kills the two brothers in the woods after they support him and even provide him with the supplies he needs. That's simply who he is. He may not be any more complex than a man who likes to see law enforcement officers die right in front of him. That may be all the nuance afforded to the situation. That makes him somewhat less engaging as an antagonist for a dramatic story. The season definitely benefits from the Richard Jewell aspects of it. But again, it's tragic that these two cases had to be joined in the first place. Eric is allowed to sneak by suspicion. He isn't even taking credit for the Centennial Park bombing. He is just going public with the attacks that allow him to appeal to a certain demographic. He needs that support now. He has it from Big John. But again, the story points out that he only trusts people to bring him the supplies he needs. After that, he has no problem killing them and taking it all for himself. He is a monster in that way. Only now are Agents Brennan and Knox worried that they have potentially opened the FBI up to a massive attack. Earlier this season, the ATF was quickly able to adjust to the pattern that Eric had adopted in order to avoid any loss of lives. He had to change things up in order to actually kill an officer. He had to be in the direct vicinity in order to do that. That increases the risk for him. And yet, he can craft these bombs with supplies from Walmart. He just requires the TNT. He already has some stockpiled in the woods. That makes him incredibly dangerous. It means he is just dreaming of when he can kill the federal agents trying to take him down. That's his end goal in all of this. He is not trying to escape this community so that he can righteously prevent the murder of more unborn babies. That's not what he is trying to accomplish. That is all a sham in order to create a wall of protection in this community. It works too. Everyone doesn't know what to trust or believe. The system has failed and that allows someone like Eric to walk right in and cause a fair amount of damage for no other reason than he likes it. It's freeing for Richard to be exonerated by the media. But it's just as terrifying to realize the threat still looms out there ready to strike again.