Crack is Wack
Episode 7 of Hightown Season 2 begins with Char wandering aimlessly on Thanksgiving. With her sister dead, Char arrives in prison and lets her uncle know that Aileen has been killed. Off the back of this, Char wants to give up. “In chess sometimes you lose a piece, but there’s still a game.” Her father says, reminding Char that she’s top dog and needs to start acting like it.
Meanwhile, Jackie continues to fly off the deep-end, drinking and playing football on the beach. She’s still hanging around her father and his new bit on the side. Unfortunately this drinking soon leads to snorting coke. And then that turns to smoking crack later on.
Elsewhere, Renee finds herself conflicted over whether to leave with Ray on Thanksgiving or stay with Frankie, who’s wound tighter than a spring. Frankie is ready to pounce at any moment, and a pretty alarming scene transpires when Frankie Jr, knocks a toy into the guy. He stands up, seething with anger and ready to flip out. Instead, he composes himself and tells Renee to look after her son.
Alan’s Thanksgiving is interrupted by Jorge’s old car rocking up in the airport. When Alan shows and checks the trunk, there’s nothing there. Alan isn’t the only one rattled though, given Osito tries to throw a bone to Janelle, giving her a new Ford Explorer. She points out how inappropriate this is and denies the gift – but does tell Osito about an upcoming raid on his block the following day.
After surviving the raid, hiding his stashed drugs, Janelle and Osito end up kissing later that day.
Alan turns his attention to Frankie’s place and confirms Jorge’s car is at the airport. He wants to know who parked it there, but Frankie demands he leave. However, he’s definitely rattled. Sitting at the table, Frankie decides that he and Renee need to visit Charmaine asap. Somehow Renee manages to slip by Ray’s place for a quick hookup before they do so too. Once there, Renee reveals that Alan showed up at the house earlier on and she’s worried.
In the morning, Jackie wakes up to quite a commotion going on downstairs. Her father owes Petey – their dealer and party-host – 80 bucks. He suggests Jackie get cozy with him to pay their debts. This absolutely disgusting low-life soon shakes Renee to her core, as she realizes her father doesn’t care about her. Not really.
Off the back of this, Jackie leaves and phones Vince, the guy from the AA meetings. She admits she’s hit rock bottom and needs to get with the program. Properly this time. In order to do that, she wants him to be her sponsor.
Only, Leslie suddenly shows up at her door. She’s not there for personal reasons though, nonchalant to what’s going on between them. Instead, Leslie wants Jackie to try and find Daisy, confirming that Jorge has gone missing too.
A livid Charmaine shows up at the club. Frankie demands to know where Jorge is, and decides they’re going to shut down the operation. Instead, Char remains dead-set on keeping the drugs going in the cape. Frankie makes a split second decision and decides that Renee should fill in for Jorge and take his spot.
Ray continues to play both sides of the field. At the end of the day, he wants his job back and to be a credible officer again. And clearly, Ray will do anything to get back there.
He meets Renee and tells her that Jorge is a CI working for the DEA. Showing the tracker under her car (which he put there of course) is enough to convince Renee that he’s telling the truth. In doing so, Ray convinces Renee to be an informant for him and to reveal everything about Frankie’s operation. That way she can buy some immunity for herself and buy them some time.
That evening, Frankie takes Renee out to the middle of the woods. He’s got news about Jorge. With Renee all alone, she’s forced to walk toward an abandoned caravan…where stacks of cash are hidden. It turns out this is Jorge’s go-to spot for when things get hot. As the money and gear is still there, it means someone has killed him. We know who… but can Renee hold her nerve?
The Episode Review
If you’re going to do a descent into drugs and come out needing help, this is the way to do it. Unlike season 1’s misuse of Jackie, as she acted like a complete tearaway and caused no end of problems, this second season has handled her far more elegantly.
There’s some genuine empathy toward her plight this time, especially as she reaches out to Vince and asks for help. She knows she’s f**ked up but the fact she still has a badge shows there aren’t any long-lasting consequences for her actions. At least not yet anyway.
Meanwhile, Ray proves that he’ll do anything in his power to get back to the top – even selling out Renee to do so. It seems he’s been playing a very long game with her and now all the pieces are starting to align. It definitely makes a lot more sense why he’s still so willing to accept her back, and you can sense this is going to blow up in Renee’s face in a big way.
There are still elements of this season that don’t quite work, like the whole Janelle and Osito angle. It’s hard to believe that a woman working in a prison would be duped so easily by someone as sleazy as Osito. It just makes her look weak and devalues her as a character.
Either way, the ending certainly hints that things are about to get hot in the kitchen. Can Renee withstand the heat?