After last week’s hiatus, For Life returns with an episode of flashbacks as we jump back in time and see the moments leading up to Aaron’s arrest. While interesting and offering some crucial characterisation for Marie, the episode itself struggles with its own pacing, as it sporadically jumps forward in quick succession and feels like a filler episode.
Episode 4 of For Life begins with some dialogue of the past, as we cut back a year before Aaron’s arrest with Marie and Aaron looking forward to their new life together. They toast to their future, building a new club with partners Angela and Michael, as we cut forward to Jasmine’s princess party. Aaron tells Marie to slow down and enjoy the party while Aaron’s Mum teases him about having more grandchildren upon seeing the two of them kissing.
After the party, Aaron tells his partner to move forward with her nursing career before heading into the club, complete with a 50 cent song in the background of course. As they dance and have a good time, the DEA suddenly arrive and arrest Aaron, as he looks back in regret at Marie as he’s taken outside in handcuffs.
One day later we see Marie enter Rikers Island and prepare for Aaron to arrive. He mentions Maskins and undercover police before going on to admit Michael was dealing previously, which may have been linked to him. This threatens to tear them apart as the future plans for the club are thrown into jeopardy.
8 months after that day, Jasmine celebrates another birthday as Marie and Darius embrace. Back in prison however, Aaron learns that Michael and Angela have been turned and are accusing him of being a drug crimelord. Both Marie and his lawyer implore Aaron to plead guilty and be out in 12 years. Unable to accept this, Aaron stands by his principles and refuses to take the plea.
We then jump forward to the court where Aaron is forced to listen to witness testimonies of him being a drug lord. Aaron takes to the stand next and Maskins grills him, going on to catch him lying in the act through footage outside the club of him talking to Michael about a previous drug incident. This, unfortunately, leads to him being arrested.
We then skip forward to Bellmore Prison where Aaron greets Jasmine but she winds up disappointed when he’s unable to come home with them. “Mum’s got us,” Marie promises and after another future jump, we see Marie beginning her nursing career, just as Aaron wanted.
Time jumps again as Marie passes her exams and officially becomes a nurse. From here we skip through a sporadic amount of years as we see her struggling to juggle Aaron and Jasmine’s lives. After so much false hope, Aaron phones Marie from inside the prison courtesy of a smuggled phone, which is enough for her to doubt his entire plan. With her mind now made up, she heads into prison and breaks up with him.
With this chapter of her life over for now, Jasmine grows up and starts dating while Marie tells Darius that she loves him. As he looks set to leave, unsure of how to process this news, she kisses him. This leads us back to present day as we see Marie conflicted and unsure on her own feelings, especially with Aaron starting to gain some momentum in prison.
In essence, this episode serves as a character examination of Marie as we deep dive into her psyche and see what she’s been through in the years since Aaron has been arrested. Seeing things from her perspective is certainly interesting and does add to her character background but beyond this, the episode really doesn’t do an awful lot to progress the plot. While not an outright filler, the sheer amount of flashbacks laid upon one another in this episode certainly gives that impression.
Still, the episode itself serves its purpose, doing enough to keep things watchable but beyond this brief history of Marie, there just isn’t a whole lot else going on here.