Sunday, June 28, 2020

REVIEW: 'Hightown' - Jackie and Ray Work Together to Save Junior From Frankie in 'Everybody's Got a Cousin in Miami'

Starz's Hightown - Episode 1.07 "Everybody's Got a Cousin in Miami"

When Jackie realizes Junior's involved with Sherry's murder, she enlists Ray and the entire CCINU to track him down - before Frankie has him killed. Renee finds herself deeply questioning her budding relationship with Ray.

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 Starz's Hightown.

"Everybody's Got a Cousin in Miami" was written by Courtney Norris and directed by David Rodriguez

Jackie and Ray both believe they have the power and will to save people caught up in precarious criminal endeavors. They both have significant shortcomings though. The failure to recognize that and accept that they are incapable of saving everyone may only enhance the tragedy that befalls the people caught up in the case. They project a sense that everything will work out in the end because they are involved now. So many graciously accept that because it's a welcome change of pace from the lives they have been living. And yet, it's built on a false promise. Ray's true colors come out the moment Renee shows up at the police precinct. He doesn't want anyone to see her. He views this relationship solely as him working her for information. She believes she separated being a criminal informant and being his girlfriend. She thinks they have moved on to something much more rewarding and meaningful. She isn't wrong to hope for that either. She is chastised at work for thinking that men are good for anything more than sex and money. She got caught up in this fantasy because Ray treated her and her son better than Frankie did. She was ordered to get close to him. She was meant to play a double agent to keep tabs on his investigation. She didn't follow through with that because the feelings were real. With Ray, that was never the case. He can fake it and make Renee believe that things are perfect. In reality though, this is his job. Sure, he crosses the line and abuses people so that they comply with his wishes. That is a horrifying way to conduct business as a detective. It shows that he has a superiority complex where he believes all he needs to do is trap people in order to get what he wants. So, he enjoys both sex and information from Renee. He enjoyed the same benefits from Sherry. That ended horribly though. And yet, it doesn't quite matter that he has nightmares about what happened to her. He should be torn up because he failed to keep her safe. That has been at the crux of Jackie's psyche throughout this season. She saw solving Sherry's murder and protecting Krista as her purpose in sobriety. That was a path she needed to pursue because it brought value to her life. She slipped after seemingly achieving those arbitrary goals. Now, she may be clear-headed enough to present as a law enforcement officer who can be trusted in the field. However, she still doesn't trust people. That vulnerability has been destroyed. She confided in Junior. That may have gotten Krista killed. He helped try to cover up Sherry's murder. He was complicit this whole time. Jackie unravels that just as Junior accepts that he is a killer. He relapses because he has given up on life. Jackie and Ray place their hopes on him being the witness that can keep Frankie locked up behind bars for the rest of his life. That doesn't work out in the end. It's not because Frankie orders Osito to kill Junior either. It comes from Junior succumbing to his own vices. As such, the whole narrative may be in for a rude awakening about finding any sense of peace and resolution to the murders that have occurred this season. Jackie and Ray have fought to find justice. But they have been driven by ego. Whatever suites them is what they ultimately care about. They mess with people's emotional lives. They do so because they are erratic and unfocused themselves. Ray is allowed to operate with power. Jackie is trusted in the field and proves herself here. But she can't convince Junior that he can make things right by cooperating with the police. It's too late for her to save him. That is devastating. It means she will have to endure failure once more. She will face the pressure of being unable to protect the world from the viciousness she projects onto the situation. It's fascinating character work. It may not create the most engaging criminal thriller. It was essentially expected that Osito would kill Kizzle instead of Junior. But Junior still winds up dead by the conclusion of the hour. So, Frankie still essentially gets what he wants. Jackie and Ray may be working more closely together now. That too may be fleeting in the end. Everything is built on these false promises and associations with the world. Success may come from honesty and solid police work. But that can only occur from clear and concise minds. Jackie and Ray are lacking in that regard even though they believe they are perfectly fine and everything will work out perfectly.