Thursday, November 26, 2020

REVIEW: 'For Life' - Aaron Finally Returns Home to His Family and Immediately Receives a Job Offer in 'Homecoming'

ABC's For Life - Episode 2.02 "Homecoming"

A newly liberated man, Aaron acclimates to family life outside of prison. As he attempts to help Jamal with his case, Aaron encounters Jamal's sister who needs legal help of her own. Former nemesis Spencer Richardson proposes an intriguing work opportunity to Aaron and Roswell.

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 ABC's For Life.

"Homecoming" was written by Hank Steinberg and directed by Russell Fine

Being released from prison is an adjustment. That is certainly true for Aaron. He wants to believe in the righteousness of his cause at all times. And yet, he internalizes a lot as well. He struggles with letting people into his world and his decision-making process. Marie and Jazz are so glad to have him home again. It's a victory for the entire family. They were all willing to risk so much in order to ensure this happened. He gets to have his grand reunion here. It is incredibly sweet and rewarding too. All the hard work has paid off. Life still continues though. He is still battling a system that always wants to look at him with suspicion. The parole office still sees him as a dangerous criminal. He is more capable than the system as it currently exists because he was given the opportunity to learn the law and free himself. As such, he has the power to grow his criminal empire. That's the cynical view of how he can now conduct his life. It's not a practice of ensuring that people coming from prison acclimate to life on the outside to ensure that they don't make the same mistakes that landed them there in the first place. Instead, it's all perceived as a list of things he is no longer capable of doing. He has to do everything right and will still be seen with skepticism. It's brutal and disingenuous. Aaron's parole officer essentially spies on him. And yet, he still wants to provide Aaron with the resources that could afford him a better life. The effort is there. It's not personal though. Aaron inherently distrusts the intentions of others. He has been deceived and hurt too many times. That has closed himself off to his family as well. Marie wants to be a part of his world. She wants this relationship to work once more. She still views herself as his wife. She waited for him. She helped prove his innocence at great risk to herself. She wants to be treated with the respect she deserves. And yes, Aaron is perfectly fine calling her when he needs a favor for his latest client. When it comes to discussing the future as a family and in his career, he keeps his distance. The chemistry is still there between them. They have fond memories of the past. They want things to work. But Aaron is just starting to grapple with what he wants from the world now that he is out of prison. He knows that he is going to help Jamal. That case is important to him. He can't let his friend stay in prison any longer than he needs to. That means he has to help Jamal's sister as well. That provides Aaron with some clarity. Even defending her in court proves dangerous because his parole officer doesn't approve of the clients he will now be interacting with. It could all be seen as a descent towards crime once more. It doesn't matter that Aaron was exonerated. He still has to go through probation which comes with the overall aura of criminality to it. It's a sense of atonement. It can be an adjustment period. It's mostly just a monitoring service to ensure that the prison system maintains its population. That is the sad truth. Most people aren't afforded the opportunities Aaron has had. He got his law license. He can mull an offer to run his own practice once he is released. Spencer Richardson can't inherently be trusted. He just wants to appease his guilty conscience. This is still a good deal that will allow Aaron to make a huge difference in his fight against the system. He wants to reunite families. He is passionate about that after receiving such grace from his own. It's special. It's worth pursuing. It still has to be on his terms. He has to be the one calling the shots if Spencer is ever truly to feel like he atoned for his past actions. Justice comes in numerous forms. A lot of it may not be deeply felt. Aaron at least has the chance to do right by the people hurt by the system. That good will can do a lot even though it won't solve everything. He walks into this arrangement with that absolute clarity. He doesn't want to be beholden to a powerful man's influence and demands. The pressure is always real and present. This may just be the right decision because of the money involved. Aaron has to think about that though. His family needs that support. He has to provide structure to appease his parole officer and build a better future. Things are nice now. People still look at him with suspicion. That may change. There is no guarantees though.