Episode 6 of For Life Season 2 begins a reminder – in case anyone forgot – that there’s a pandemic outside. Straight after we see this implemented into the story as Wallace tells Marie she’s heading off to war. Just before she goes, Marie allows Wallace to stay in her room for the time being. It’s a small glimmer of hope for their relationship while Wallace heads out to speak to Jamal.
Unfortunately, he runs into a brick wall there when he learns the prison is on quarantine and no one is allowed in to Bellmore for the time being.
Well, Wallace instead phones Sofiya and asks how she’s dealing with the situation outside. Aftyer some pleasantries, Sofiya in turn talks to the prison board via a zoom call, trying to find a way into the prison. Alas, the plot thickens as Wallace finds out Jamal has been forcibly removed from his cell. This, combined with the quarantine that’s unknown to the families for those prisoners, prompts Sofiya to take the case to the judge and bag a meeting inside Bellmore.
It seems to work too, as Wallace shows up with Sofiya to see Jamal. While they’re waiting, the pair catch up on their lives before checking in with Jamal. He throws something on the ground on his way out, which Wallace picks up while tying his shoelaces. As he unfolds the note, it reads ‘Xavier Barnwell died of COVID inside the prison.’
On the back of this, Wallace and Sofiya speak to the new Chief and mention the threat of COVID. Dr Mirza catches up with the pair via a zoom call, mentioning how he can’t be sure whether Xavier died of COVID or not.
Well, they bring O’Reilly in next who discusses prisoner releases with them. Wallace believes this is a ploy to keep them both quiet while O’Reilly insists this is the solution they need. The Board are prepared to release 132 men from Bellmore if they’ll cooperate. Wallace and Sofiya agree not to walk the block but both want to talk to the prisoner rep before they decide anything.
With cameras switched off, Sofiya and Wallace hear from Hassan Nawaz himself. He mentions how he’s been kept in his cell for the last 5 days and they’ve been having one meal a day – essentially three portions in one and told to ration. Xavier’s death hits him hard, especially given this is the first time he’s heard of this, and it has clearly affected him. He admits that he’s not entirely sure whether his death was COVID-related or not but for now, Wallace is going to stay overnight because of protocol.
Meanwhile, Marie struggles in her job role as COVID hits the wards. She’s worried it’s going to affect her and she mentions to her colleague how there’s a lot left unresolved right now back home. With the guards acting shifty, Sofiya convinces Wallace to stay on his game, especially given they have the opportunity to allow 132 men to be released.
With Walter not replying to Wallace’s messages, the pair contemplate in the morning whether any sick inmates are being kept in solitary. Eventually though, they check the CCTV footage and watch as three guards cover up Xavier’s death. It turns out they were persuaded to do this thanks to the union.
Wallace and Sofiya head into solitary and see numerous people suffering and coughing. Sofiya takes charge of the situation though and demands stricter protocols as O’Reilly budges on his initial 7.5% and ups that to 15%, especially on the back of the situation inside Bellmore.
With 354 prisoners released and sent home, one question remains – have they been tested prior to release? Or are they just spreading corona around American?
The Episode Review
I’m not quite sure why every network TV in the West (and it’s always in the West, everywhere East of Europe is delivering decent escapist TV right now) is hell bent on throwing COVID into every show but given this is a trend now, it seems appropriate to review based on COVID guidelines.
For the most part this show does a relatively good job at adhering to the rules although a few characters weren’t wearing a mask up over their nose so that’s immediately a mark down. There’s also no mask wearing or social distancing in Henry’s office, despite Henry being called out for it.
In the meantime though, the episode itself was okay but it remains very heavy-handed surrounded the actual logistics of COVID. Henry is supposed to be a smart guy but seeing him called out for not social distancing isn’t exactly a great look.
That’s before mentioning the story which throws these referencing in constantly. It remains to be seen whether For Life will continue to keep up the protocols but if things return to the courtroom – based on the precedent set in this episode – we want every single character wearing a mask, anti bac gel everywhere, screens up and social distancing.
Let’s wait and see if For Life does this but for now, the show delivers a pretty good bottle episode, albeit one that’s a bit sloppily written and heavy handed surrounding its messaging.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|