All Rise Matters
We start episode 1 of All Rise season 2 in July 2020 as we see that our characters have been slowly getting back to the office. It is the end of the day and Sherry is heading home but not before heading to the store to get some supplies.
Mark breaks the rules and decides to pay a visit to Lola to let her know he got the job he applied for and will be working for the special trial unit. Lola congratulates him just as the bailiff comes to get him out.
They head outside but have trouble leaving due to a big protest. They see Emily running after Luke and they assume she is not happy he has been called in to help. Suddenly, Lola sees a young African-American girl being stopped by a policeman.
She rushes outside her car to help but the situation soon escalates when the girl tries to show him she was just looking for her phone in her backpack. This causes the officer to take his gun out and aim it at the teenager. Before things can explode into chaos, Lola jumps in front and shields her.
We then jump forward 4 months where we learn that Lola has to deal with a big back-log of cases and has to hire a new law clerk to help out. In a flashback, we see that Lola was actually arrested during the protest.
In the present, Lola heads over to court for her first case; the people vs Jesse Frost. Rachel Audubon is representing Frost and Mark is there for the people. Frost is accused of hitting people with a baseball bat at a protest and the defence is trying to add a hate crime enhancement.
Meanwhile, Emily speaks to one of her clients, Carrie. She’s in prison and panicking as many have caught the virus inside and she has an underlying condition. Emily promises to do everything she can to get her out. She later finds out that the DA on the case is Luke as she wants to attempt to get her released from custody. She was caught stealing to feed her children after losing her job due to Covid.
Lola is busy doing zoom interviews for the position of law clerk. Suddenly one of the candidates, Ness, arrives because her internet is down. Lola is unsure about her but she doesn’t give up and explains how she has always admired the woman. Benner walks by and is so happy to see Ness there that she hires her on the spot.
Emily decides to meet with Luke who she hasn’t seen in 4 months since that fateful night. We learn that sadly they have been taking a break. They meet for coffee and she tells him all about Carrie. He replies that he is onboard and after clearing the air, promises to keep her posted.
In the evening, Lola face-times Rachel who can’t help but ask her friend if she can really be impartial in the case because of her arrest. The next day, Amy asks the same thing to Mark who assures her Lola can separate both her personal and professional life.
Later on, Mark is getting frustrated as Lola keeps avoiding him. He decides to confront her as he knows she hasn’t been the same since the protest. Finally, she explains that she felt he was disrespectful to her. After dealing with disrespect from the policeman, she didn’t expect it from him as well.
The next day, Lola listens to both sides of the case and adjourns until the morning. Ness gives Lola her views on the case and how convinced she is that it was a hate crime. Lola thinks she is too prejudiced and tells her how important it is not to be biased and to do a thorough job as a judge.
Unfortunately, Emily finds out that Carrie has died of Covid due to her underlying condition. She tells Luke too who does his best to comfort her, while Sara visits her grandparents who are having trouble with their store. It was damaged during the protest but they stopped paying their insurance when they were closed because of the virus.
In the evening, Emily heads over to Luke’s place and is surprised to find Sam there. In another flashback, we see Lola telling Robin she is pregnant.
The episode ends with Benner showing Lola a video which has gone viral. Within this, we see Lola at the protest and it sounds like she is saying: “Defund the police!”
The Episode Review
All Rise is back for a second season and starts with a big bang. This time the show is diving head-first into some very serious issues surrounding racism in the police and the virus. One thing we’ve learned from season 1 though, this show has never shied away from making a statement.
These are very important topics to discuss and the show does a decent enough job depicting them here. There were, however, a couple times in the episode where I thought the Covid theme was a little on the nose. It may not please everyone watching this – especially those looking for a bit of an escape from the constant daily news.
The divide now present between Lola and Mark is quite interesting and I am intrigued to see what will happen to the lifelong friends. Let’s not forget the cliffhanger ending with the announcement of Lola’s pregnancy either. With her marriage already experiencing some obstacles, this is bound to create extra drama for our main character.
Another sad bit of news in the episode is the break-up between Luke and Emily. While it is still unclear what happened, evidence points towards the night of the protest and I am sure we will get some flashbacks in next week’s episode to explain it. I do hope we see more of the court case in the second part though as we spend very little time there during this episode.
The season opener was definitely one I will not forget, thanks to its honest portrayal of a very raw subject happening now in the world. It may not be perfect but it is still worth watching nonetheless and gets season 2 off on the front foot immediately.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!