Sunday, July 12, 2020

REVIEW: 'Hightown' - Jackie's Trust in Ray May Be Misplaced as the Case Against Frankie Comes to a Head in '#Blessed'

Starz's Hightown - Episode 1.08 "#Blessed"

Jackie and Ray try to return to business as usual after a depressing failure, only to learn the case might not actually be closed.

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 season finale of Starz's Hightown.

"#Blessed" was written by Rebecca Cutter and directed by David Rodriguez

Jackie demands a ton of emotional support from the people in her life. She relied on Junior to maintain her idea of what sober life could be. When she fell off the wagon, it was a massive mistake. She doesn't know how to move on with this part of her life after Junior overdoses. His death shakes her to her core. She still has value and purpose. But she isn't in the proper headspace to take this as the wake up call to fight even harder to stay alive. She must live with purpose knowing that her friend succumbed to this disease. He died because of these vices. It wasn't because of the unsavory company he kept. He escaped death many times throughout this season. His personal actions led to his demise. They can do the same to Jackie. She has to make that choice for herself. People care about her. Ed is worried after hearing she got shot. He has always been in her corner. He picks her up and ensures that she acts how a sensible person should in society. He gets her to Junior's funeral and reception. He knows it's important despite how unbearable the grief is. It's what she needs to do to address the pain and trauma she feels. Jackie and Junior got high together. They encouraged each other's worst impulses. She is alive while he is dead. She feels consumed by death now. She once felt comfortable flaunting her law enforcement credentials. It was mostly just a way to meet women though. She could convince them to get into bed with her just by flashing her badge. The power was intoxicating. She could exert herself as someone who knows what she is doing in the field. Ray propped up her abilities as well. He saw her as someone determined to solve this case. She was just as eager to get Frankie locked up for the rest of his life. That is the priority for both of them. They will do whatever it takes to make that a reality. Jackie relied on Ray. She viewed him as the responsible individual charged with ensuring justice would be found in this case. He was the reliable shoulder of support she came to need during these last few episodes. He places her directly in the action. And yes, she takes a bullet for the team. It's because of her quick actions that Osito is arrested. Sure, they both suffer gunshot injuries. However, they both survive. They will continue living. That is a blessing at this moment in time. And yet, the quality of life and the decisions a person makes have to be meaningful as well. It's not good enough to live as someone who constantly makes destructive decisions. It may not always end badly for that person. Sometimes the consequences are deeply felt amongst other people. Right now, Renee feels torn between Frankie and Ray. She has to choose a side and actively turn against the other. She pledges her loyalty to Frankie. He may be in jail but he has never deceived her or toyed with her emotions. She believes Ray was just faking their relationship to get as much information from her as possible. It's because she comes forward that the entire case against Frankie implodes. Ray's actions have been deplorable throughout the season. He abused his power and lambasted against anyone he deemed unwilling to take the necessary risks to win. He views life fundamentally as winning and losing. That's his perception of justice. He has to do his work the right way in order for the justice system to actual punish those who deserve it. Instead, he abused his power. He has to give up his job. He flaunts his influence hoping that's good enough to intimidate others into submission. However, he functions differently than the other detectives in his unit. They have every right to be upset and angry when racist or sexist behavior is done towards them. Ray's complaints don't have any merit to them. He is simply used to a certain amount of privilege. That means Jackie loses so much after investing in him. She gets support from Alan, who she has barely interacted with at all this season. The people in the police unit can be trusted to do the right thing and support their local community no matter what is needed. Ray was the problem. He was just the focus of this case which will ensure even more damage is done because Frankie is released. Jackie acknowledges that. That doesn't cause her to lose her sobriety. It could because all of this amounts to nothing substantial to change the landscape of the drug game in Provincetown. Police work is still being done. Jackie has to take care of herself to ensure she has the right perspective to help others. She failed at that throughout this season. She is given another break. This time she seems willing to take it fully knowing that life could be short if she doesn't change her behavior now.