Picking up where it left off from before, Wu-Tang returns and adds more artistic flair to the series, this time with some nicely implemented animation mid-way through the episode. New York continues to be the star here though and the city lives and breathes that early 90’s flavour that helps to keep the series interesting and realistic. As things begin to settle down, it does become a little easier to figure out who everyone is, but there’s still an air of confusion as the series switches between the two rival groups.
We begin episode 2 of Wu-Tang: An American Saga with our characters adjusting to Divine being arrested. Bobby arrives in the midst of a drug deal and, after being patted down and checked, he’s led down a long corridor and past several doors until he’s told personally that, because of his devotion to music, they won’t be doing business. However, Dennis is relentless and slams the money down on the table nonetheless and demands some food. The man smiles, impressed with their tenacity and agrees to do business with them, for an extra G of course; a “new member fee” to sweeten the deal.
Back at the hideout, Bobby worries about their stash being kept in one place before heading home and awaiting a call from Divine. Surrounded by inmates, he’s rushed through a phone call with Bobby before running into an old friend in the mess hall. While catching up, one of the inmates starts rapping but for now, Divine ignores his antagonistic behaviour.
After the shoot-out at his house, Dennis plots his next move after his meeting with the drug boss, while Bobby invites Shotgun over where they play music and spit beats until Sha arrives and discusses his gun. After some nicely implemented hand-drawn animation, a stacked Bobby heads back to the record store to buy the 1200 drum machine, only to learn a hip-hop producer has got there before him and bought the last one. However he’s offered the floor model instead but it doesnt come with any instructions. Without missing a beat, Bobby agrees to take it and neglects a night out with the family in order to learn how it works.
With one head in the rap game, Bobby fails to recognize a growing danger and after phoning Sha’s parents (where he’s no longer living, as it turns out, given he’s homeless), Dennis shows up at the hideout, trying to get Bobby’s attention. Sat back in his chair, eyes closed and lost to the world thanks to his music, Sha attempts fruitlessly to warn him of the danger by phoning him. Quickly stashing his phone away as the rest of the group arrive, he rushes out with the others and throw molotovs at the building.
As flames lick up the side of the block, Bobby scrambles to get away, breathing heavily as he bursts through the back door. While the rest of the group fret over the drugs and stash that’s been destroyed, Bobby despairs over the loss of his music and tapes. It’s an interesting juxtaposition here and does well to justify just where the hearts of the different gang members lie. As he heads back home, Bobby is forced into a tough decision, returning the drum machine to the shop in order to raise funds for Divine’s lawyer.
The episode then ends with Jah Son shot up outside a diner while Sha is given proper accommodation with his crew, rather than being left homeless outside.
Following a dramatic finale and a slow-building story, Wu-Tang: An American Saga does well to keep things exciting whilst leading up to the music taking over, which begins seeping into the main narrative of the series. Thus far the show has done well to balance these two plots, with a smattering of tightly produced hip-hop beats throughout to sweeten the deal. The animation mid-way through the episode is a lovely touch too and these pockets of flair help give the series some personality.
With the intense rivalry looking set to explode in a flurry of gunfire, blood and tears in the near future, the door is left wide open for quite where this one is likely to go next.