Fred Norris/FOX
Christian Holub
April 12, 2017 AT 09:00 PM EDT

Shots Fired

type
TV Show
genre
Drama, Crime
run date
03/22/17
performer
Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Mack Wilds, Stephen Moyer, Helen Hunt
broadcaster
Fox

We gave it an A-

We pick up right where we left off last week, with Ashe discovering Cory hiding out in his dad’s apartment. She calls Preston and gets him to come over so he can hear Cory’s story of Joey’s death. According to Cory, he was riding his bike home late at night when he saw a police sedan chasing down Joey. He watched the car corner him, then two cops emerge to throw him to the ground. The whole time, Joey was screaming for his mom, slowly progressing from anger to desperation. Cory says he saw an old man at the scene shoot Joey after he refused to let the cops handcuff him.

This horrible revelation switches up the dynamic between Preston and Ashe. Where Preston is usually urging caution to Ashe’s passionate pursuit of justice, this time he’s the one incensed, and she’s telling him to take things slow. Her warnings fall on deaf ears, and Preston calls their Department of Justice superior to tell him what they’ve found. Unfortunately, their boss being an old white guy and all, he doesn’t think an African-American high school dropout’s claim will stand up against the word of the cops in a city with such high racial tensions already. He agrees to keep the case on his radar, which is not nearly as much as they wanted from him.

The Beck family gets a scare that night when one of the boys hears something moving outside. When Joshua Beck goes out to investigate, he finds the words “Killer Cop” spray painted on their house in bright red. The next day, Sheriff Platt promises to station a squad car outside the house since “we take care of our own,” but it rings false to Beck. He’s stuck on desk duty, the union dropped him, and if he had caught this vandal in the act and shot them, what would have happened? Would the department have stood up for him the way they presumably would have one of the white deputies? Platt doesn’t seem to have an answer.

After chewing out Preston at breakfast, Ashe goes to investigate Jesse Carr’s weed connection. In a pretty hilarious moment, she catches the frat’s dealer in a college library. He tells her that Jesse wasn’t a fan of weed, as far as he knew, and he makes it his business to know these things. He also brushed off Ashe’s idea that they would’ve used a dealer out by the houses when he was right here, but then he lets her take a sample of his weed.

Still fuming over Cory’s revelation, Preston demands recent arrest records from Platt, to be delivered in the hour. When Platt says, “You need to learn how to talk to people,” Preston thinks he’s telling him to know his place. In a great defiant moment, he tells Platt, “You may not respect citizens of this community, but you will respect me.” He’s using his federal authority to stick up for himself in a way that other Gates Station residents can’t.

Platt’s response is to take Preston on a ride-along. He pulls over a van full of white guys, bearing a Confederate flag bumper sticker. After getting them out of the car with their hands behind their heads, Platt tells Preston to pat them down. The situation is resolved without incident, but the tension is palpable. Platt tells Preston that same tension is what his deputies feel when they’re patrolling the houses. Things get testy after Preston responds that maybe there wouldn’t be tension if Platt’s deputies didn’t kill innocent people, and Platt (not the first person in the episode) tells Preston to be careful making statements he doesn’t have convincing evidence for. However this growing tension between DOJ investigators and the Gates Station cops is resolved, it definitely won’t be pretty.

On Pastor Janae’s advice, Gov. Eamons has decided to do something about the inequality of education for black and white residents of their state. Since the best school near the houses is getting shuttered, she’s offering to bus residents to a good school farther away… in a mostly-white neighborhood. White parents are outraged about this, but thankfully Eamons sticks by her proposal — even after most people in attendance demand that she send her daughter to a school by the houses to prove how “open-minded” she is. As it turns out later, her daughter agrees with this and challenges her mom to live her values. We’ll see where that goes.

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