Hour two of Reggie Rock Bythewood and Gina Prince-Bythewood’s compelling mini-series “Shots Fired” was full of broken promises and underhanded moves. “Betrayal Of Trust” opens with deceased teen Jesse Carr’s father approaching Deputy James Beck as he arrives home. Gun in hand, Carr’s anger and heartbreak is both palpable and understandable. However, when we learn that he had not been an active member in his son’s life, we realize a great deal of his regret comes from his own shortcomings. From then, the web of lies and the deceptions in episode two of “Shots Fired” continues to spin out of control.
Ashe (Sanaa Lathan) and Preston (Stephan James) are still working their own angles on the Beck/Carr case behind each other’s back. Though their work is always at the forefront, personal issues continue to distract them. Ashe is trying to prepare herself to battle the father of her child in court. Her daughter’s father wants sole custody, and from what we know about Ashe, he’s definitely got grounds to get it. Meanwhile, Preston is dealing with his own familial obligations. His father (Dennis Haysbert) is in town, and though he’s thrilled about the visit initially, his NFL star older brother, Maceo (Shamier Anderson) quickly swoops in seizing his father’s full attention. Snagging a spot at Harvard Law instead of a Major League Baseball career apparently was not the move Preston’s father wanted for his son. Despite all that’s happening in their personal lives, Ashe and Preston realize that they do in fact have a common goal. To thoroughly investigate the death of Jesse Carr, they must also investigate the death of Shameeka Campbell’s (DeWanda Wise) son, Joey. The case of the unarmed white teen and the slain Black teen are obviously related somehow; they just need to determine how they link.
Relegated to desk duty, Deputy Josh Beck has come to the realization that wearing a badge doesn’t erase the color off his skin. Ostracized by his work colleagues and his family members who think he’s a sellout, Beck might be on his very last leg. It doesn’t help that Officer Breeland, one of the supervisors on the force, is an outright racist. Beck is also shocked to learn that he has been ousted from the police union which means not only has the department turned their back on him, but he’s also now responsible for his legal fees. I’ve never heard of a police union ejecting a white officer after they’d slain an unarmed person of color; for Beck this is the ultimate wake-up call. He’s officially become a lone wolf.
Despite all of the various moving parts and pieces during this episode, the most compelling and astonishing aspects of the second installment of “Shots Fired” are what’s happening within the Black community of Gate Station, North Carolina. While investigating on his own time, Preston encounters Mr. D, an older gentleman who runs a restaurant in the community. We learn that one of the witnesses to Joey’s murder was a woman named Keeana who vanished without a trace shortly after Joey’s death. Likewise, Corey, the young man who was last seen running from the police at the end of hour one has not been seen or heard from since. All the while, Governor Eamons, a supposed liberal governor who is “for the people” is looking to build a massive private prison that will undoubtedly continue to pad those pipeline to prison statistics, while devastating the Black community.
And yet, it’s one member of the community in particular who just might have some answers; and it’s the one woman we would have never suspected. It appears that Pastor Janae James (Aisha Hinds) is not the angel of compassion that she has represented herself to be. We already knew that she was an opportunist, positioning herself at Jesse Carr’s funeral and various news conferences, as a bridge between the Black and white communities. Apparently, that was only the beginning. With an extensive following on social media and a team of men donned in red jackets to do her bidding, it looks like Pastor James has situated herself right where she wants to be.
Getting the Governor’s attention would be one thing, that’s what most leaders want. However, as Pastor James’ nemesis, the Reverend Dupont says, actually leading people is another thing entirely. It appears that Pastor James has evoked some incredibly sinister tactics when it comes to keeping the community she is supposed to be helping in check. Evidently, after discovering Joey Campbell was dealing drugs, she took it upon herself to teach him a very violent lesson.
During “Betrayal Of Trust,” Pastor James proclaims that anger is not a sin, and it’s not. However, we’re wondering who is feeling the wrath of her rage.
Pastor James is hiding something monumental and perhaps whatever her role is in all of this, whenever it may be revealed, is the biggest betrayal of them all.
Were you shocked at all about any of the revelations made on “Shots Fired” this week? Do you think that Pastor James is involved in Corey’s disappearance or Joey Campbell’s death?
“Shots Fired” airs Wednesdays at 8 PM ET on FOX.
Aramide A Tinubu has her Master’s in Film Studies from Columbia University. She wrote her thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger, and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.com or tweet her @midnightrami