Previously on Hap and Leonard, “Pie a la Mojo”
A few days had passed since Reverend Fitzgerald and TJ were revealed to be the serial killers that terrorized LaBorde County for over a decade. Life certainly won’t be the same for the entire community knowing their spiritual leader was responsible for the deaths of their sons. Not even Meemaw could overcome the heartache and shame over her grandsons’ actions and passed in Leonard’s arms last week. It’s a difficult thing for everyone to process but at least Collins and Pine were able to give every lost boy’s mother closure, or so they believed.
Before the duo realized their work wasn’t done, their burgeoning relationships with Florida and Ivan are concluded with mixed results. Thanks to Raoul, Ivan was reunited with his father and the pair appeared contrite and willing to mend their strained dynamic. This development left Pine the odd man out as he was just getting used to having his nappy-headed fool of a “nephew” around the house. Short of Irma P. Hall’s moving performance in the last episode, all the small moments Michael Kenneth Williams shared with Olaniyan Thurmon this season culminated in a supremely emotional scene as Leonard finally showed a hint of empathy and concern for the young man. Finally, Pine has an inkling on how his Uncle Chester likely felt when he walked in his house so many years ago. Leonard’s gruff persona certainly won’t change anytime soon, if ever. However his time with Ivan engaged a new side of him that he mistook as a weakness, but proved to give him a deeper resolve.
Sadly the same couldn’t be said for Hap. There was little vivacity in Collins’ story line in season two save for Florida, and unlike Trudy who exploited Hap’s good nature for an ill-schemed heist (of sorts), Grange constantly fought her instincts to fall for this roguish hero whose life is mired in tragedy. Surprisingly it wasn’t Hap’s penchant for unruliness and being a magnet for trouble that but his ethnicity. Sometimes it’s moments like Florida’s admission of always picturing herself with a Black man than reminds viewers when and where Hap and Leonard take place. Although 1989 may not seem like it was long ago for most of us, it was a whole other era in the South. Florida’s preference doesn’t need any explanation however she delved further for Hap’s benefit as to why it wouldn’t work and it’s exactly as we’d expect: racism, pure and simple.
If we’re still having issues with interracial relationships across America in 2017, imagine what it was like in East Texas in the late 80s. Not only would Florida’s career and standing in LaBorde be in jeopardy, the harassment and death threats won’t be far behind. It’s a somber reasoning yet wholly understandable. Besides, the two of them would eventually get underneath each other’s skin. At least in the time they spend together, both of them were able to realize that love wasn’t an unattainable pleasure as they initially believed.
Ironically, the one person who found love in the most unlikely of relationships was the irascible Sheriff Valentine (Brian Dennehy). Like usual, Hap and Leonard caught the same brainwave, convinced that B.B. was murdered by another person who staged his death to resemble the Old Hope killings. The sad twist was he may have witnessed Fitzgerald and TJ carry out their morbid ritual but died before he could tell anyone.
It didn’t take long for the duo to connect the dots once they learned their usual waitress Miss Miriam (Deja Dee) was B.B.’s mother. Once Hap brought up B.B.’s possible association with Valentine, the sudden change in Miriam’s attitude was all the confirmed needed that Old Man Otis was in fact B.B.’s father. Oh sure, it took our guys a few more scenes to discover the truth but we were perplexed all the same. Yet the tryst entirely made sense given the explanation Florida gave Hap earlier. Folks continued to live according to the old, bad ways yet Miriam and Valentine found a light amid the darkness, only for it to be snuffed out by the Sheriff oaf of a firstborn, Beau (John McConnell). There were actually maybe two extremely brief moments when Beau was a sympathetic character and both occurred during the sequence when Hap was half tempted to end his life in the woods. It was a sad display of a pitiful man who could never live up to his father’s standards nor admit to his own shortcomings. Instead Beau let his frustrations out on those he sentenced as County Judge, a position he never should have held yet his daddy’s pride assured the younger Otis served a purpose.
Once Valentine, Hap and Leonard simultaneously deduced that Beau was the culprit in a highly palpable scene, Judge Otis met his unceremonious demise at the bottom of an empty pool. The only thing lacking during this climax was the symbolism of Beau falling into the shallow end to match the depth of his soul. That aside, the confrontation ended in a display of fireworks, a mildly sardonic celebration that began soon after the show’s greatest source of irritation was made silent.
Hap and Leonard’s second season ended on a bittersweet note that wrapped up the lead narrative in a gratifying manner, despite the heavy shroud of death looming over LaBorde. As Valentine said at the memorial, they had faced pure evil for so long goodness may feel entirely out of reach. It was a difficult, costly journey but now LaBorde – and Collins and Pine – finally has a chance to heal and start anew. That is if the Klan don’t kick up any dirt in the near future…
Hap and Leonard
"No Mo' Mojo"
Hap and Leonard – S2E6 – No Mo’ Mojo | James Purefoy, Michael Kenneth Williams, Tiffany Mack, Cranston Johnson, Brian Dennehy, Irma P. Hall | Writer: Nick Damici and Jim Mickle | Director: Tim Southam