Say His Name
We begin episode 7 of For Life Season 2 with a man named Andy Josiah and his son Marcel out shopping. What happens next, changes his life forever. Their trip turns ugly when police sirens and flashes of red and blue appear in the rear-view mirror of his car.
Back home, Aaron is uncomfortable with the idea of Jasmine baptizing her baby. Of course, Ronnie is all for it which causes a rift to begin growing between the pair. Unfortunately this rift only grows larger when Jasmine gets involved in protests and Ronnie continues to push the baptism angle.
All of this stems from the death of George Floyd, which we see manifest itself in the form of Jasmine crying at her computer. News of his death spreads across America as Wallace receives several calls to check up on him One of which comes from Richardson, who tells him, “Now’s the time to be a troublemaker.”
The next day at work, Aaron receives another case, this time tying the opening intro with Andy Josiah into the BLM and collars for dollars issues Wallace has been working on. The man in question was shot in the back in front of his son, which unfortunately left him paralyzed.
Aaron Wallace shows up at the hospital where he talks to Andy about the situation. With COVID rampant, he reveals that the courts are closed at the moment. Andy discusses what happened, including how the police manhandled him for no reason. Marcel was wriggling in his car seat, Andy leaned back to try and comfort him but a bang pierced the air, causing him to black out and collapse.
Back at the office, Wallace teams up with Sofiya and Henry to zoom call Craig Salkin and ask for his help. Salkin’s hands are tied though, as far as the handcuff policy with the NYPD goes, but he does help get the ball rolling for the trio. Henry learns that there’s one judge on Staten Island who could help, sending Wallace and Henry over to see him in court.
Both sides fight over the handcuff situation, with Wallace impassioned to try and do his best for Andy. Unfortunately he’s interrupted by Jasmine calling and bringing him out, as Ronnie has been arrested. Thankfully, Sofiya manages to help Ronnie go free.
After checking in with Andy again, Wallace heads home and speaks to Marie, telling her she can lean on her family as she doesn’t need to do this alone. She’s been working for 8 weeks straight, clearly drained as this pandemic takes its toll on her wellbeing.
Midway through their chat though, Wallace receives a call confirming Andy is on life support after a blood clot went straight to his brain. As a tiny consolation, Wallace is able to remove his handcuffs, but things don’t look good for Andy.
This brings Wallace and Henry to see Alan Burke, where they ask him to try and help get an impartial and fair case for Andy. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Burke is going to budge.
Instead, Wallace convinces Andy’s wife Elaine to go on the news and call out Burke personally to look into this case. It puts the official on the spot completely, with Jasmine content that this could bring protestors outside his house to help move him.
It works too, as Burke caves and heads up to see Richardson. He suggests appointing Aaron Wallace to the case as a special prosecutor. If he fails, then no harm done aside from a knock to his pride. If Wallace wins? Burke would look like a saint.
As the episode closes out, a beautiful montage ensues as we cut back and forth between Andy’s funeral and AJ’s baptism in a lovely stylish ending to this show.
The Episode Review
So we’re back with another episode of For Life, and just like before it’s only fair that we judge this COVID-centric narrative on safety protocols. To be fair, the episode does a pretty good job keeping things consistent and accurate, with a couple of wobbles with characters not wearing masks easy to forgive given the context. The real question is – did For Life really need to go this route?
After all, For Life has always been about empowering stories of characters standing up for what they believe in and fighting tooth and nail to get justice in the court room, overturning corruption through the arm of the law.
It’s partly the reason season 1 worked as well as it did, with the pressure cooker situation of the prison working alongside the inspiring true story of Aaron Wallace fighting to leave prison fairly. The story already tied into themes of race and corruption, but here everything has been amplified to tie into the present day situation in America.
Because of this, the dialogue is a bit of a mixed bag but the episode undeniably has some stand out moments. The ending montage was absolutely beautiful; the contrast between life and death, through the ideas of black and white, while intentionally showing the broken and joined family units is easily up there with one of the stand out moments from this show, at least in terms of symbolism and visual flair.
The show is clearly gearing up for a larger storyline though as Wallace fights against the police in Staten Island. Does he know what he’s getting himself in for? We’ll have to wait and see.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|