Previously on Shots Fired, “Hour Five: Before the Storm”
My Soul Is Dark
All the demons are coming to a head and there’s nowhere to hide. Ashe is, to put it colloquially, shook after her encounter with Officer Vampire Bill. She’s stressed and worried about her custody case, but she and Preston are now even more determined to end these “tours” and expose Joey’s killer.
Before that can happen, Ashe goes to see her daughter, Kai, and attends the custody hearing with her ex, Javier. Sanaa Lathan’s acting is beautifully showcased here. Ashe is a character who is tightly wound and (understandably) stressed, so Lathan walks a fine line with her. Ashe is always ready to snap, but pulls back to keep her anger from showing to the judge. Unfortunately, she can’t fully hide her volatile nature, so she’s forced to play dirty by seducing her ex and threatening to expose his infidelity unless he drops the case. This could either go really wrong or really right. Never make a threat unless you’re willing to follow it through. And if Javier exposes the blackmail to the judge, she might never see Kai again.
A Riot is the Language of the Unheard
Since the auxiliary deputy program was started by Governor Eamons, Ashe and Preston confront her, but they quickly realize she’s clueless about her biggest donor, Cox, being involved in Joey’s murder. To throw off Ashe and Preston’s investigation, Sheriff Platt puts Beck on administrative leave and he and Officer Vampire Bill find a patsy to say that he sold drugs from Joey (to make him an unsympathetic victim) and that he also sold those same drugs to Jesse (to make the planted drugs seem inconsequential). It would be a smart play, if they had concocted this story earlier but now it’s out of hand.
The streets are on fire. Despite Pastor Janae trying to walk a fine line between validating the anger of the community and channeling it into action, once a match is lit, it’s hard to put out. Gov. Eamons wants to appeal to the masses, but she’s swayed by Cox who wants to continue to push his pro-police agenda and get some militarized equipment out in the field to “quell” the rioters. Of course, this only exacerbates the situation and unfortunately, Shawn, Joey’s little brother is caught up in the march and arrested. Preston and Ashe are now in an untenable situation. A big reason they were both assigned to this case was that they were supposed to show the public that this investigation was being handled impartially, but their blackness isn’t a shield to hide the department’s corruption and their investigation is being sabotaged.
Any reservations that I may have had about the show introducing too many through lines have disappeared. This week, Shots Fired went full Ferguson and it was glorious. Showing how the government and the powers that be help to escalate the situation by their initial inaction, and later calling in the national guard and police, was a great illustration of how these marches become riots. People who feel unheard have a right to address their grievances, and when the government responds with militarized force, things can only escalate. What is getting lost in all of this is Officer Beck. While the rest of the police force is covering their ass, he is truly wrestling with taking Jesse’s life. Although we still don’t know why he shot Jesse, we do know that he wasn’t some rich, deputized sightseer with a gun like Cox. And he seems to be the only one suffering under the weight of his actions.
Shots Fired S1E6
"Hour Six: The Fire This Time"
Shots Fired – S1E6 – “Hour Six: The Fire This Time” | Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Stephen Moyer, Tristan Mack Wilds, Jill Hennessey, Helen Hunt, Aisha Hinds