Underground 1×05 ‘Run & Gun’ recap & review

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Recap

Tom is describing the runaway slaves to a man who will post it for the recapture of them dead or alive for a large sum. Ernestine is in the room and looks shocked.

We then see August and his son Ben tracking where the slaves escaped to. He is teaching his son how to track and notices they aren’t that far behind.

Meanwhile, we see Moses needing to rest and Cato yells at him to move. Moses is angry that the plan was moved up and all because of Rosalee. Moses attacks Noah for his wife Pearly Mae being taken. They stop fighting after seeing Moses’ daughter Boo get scared. Cato tells them about the train leaving Atlanta going up north. Moses thinks he knows someone who could help them on that train.

Suzanna is in her nursery and gets a visit from her husband Tom. He tells her that the family was attacked, but Suzanna dismisses it as a Southern way of life. Tom tells her that it will look bad on his campaign. He tells her what Pearly Mae knows and wants Suzanna’s help on how to get Pearly Mae to crack. We see Pearly Mae in the field strung up alive.

The runaways are in front of a house of the traveling merchant, Jack. Zeke, Henry, Rosalee, and Boo stay behind as Noah, Cato, and Moses go inside and ask him for his help to get them on the train.  They offer to trade the old revolver Noah was carrying.

Sam is in the fields fixing the burned cotton. He sees Pearly Mae being hung up. The slaves go to drink water and one of them said they should give Pearly Mae some water, but the others said it’s because of her that life is going to be harder for them. Sam walks towards her with water, but she is dragged away by two men towards the house.

Jack tells them how to get on the train – because he steals from the train but the timing is tough – he lost his leg from it.

Boo is scared, so Zeke grabs a piece of fruit and gives it to her. She thanks him by touching his face.

August and Ben catch up to them at the Jack’s home. He prepares his gun. Ben looks uncertain about what is going on. August wants Ben to go to the front door and start shooting – causing the men to flee through the back for August to shoot them.

Pearly Mae is in one of the rooms in the house. The slave girls come in and fill the tub with water and rose petals. They aren’t allowed to talk to her. Ernestine comes in and tells her they want her cleaned up. Pearly Mae cries in the bathtub as Ernestine washes her. Ernestine tries to calm her down with memories. Pearly Mae says she believes in Moses.

Ben comes and shoots at the front, causing the guys to run out through the back where August begins to shoot. Henry, seeing Ben tries to warn the guys. Noah, Cato, and Moses try to cover, but Moses is shot in the arm. Jack begins to shoot at them and tell them that they have high prices on their head – dead or alive. So he wants to bring them in. August prepares to shoot in the house more but is stopped by other slave hunters. He is beaten by them until his son aims his gun to one of the slave hunters to let his father go. They do and head towards the house.

Noah tells Jack that it’s three against one. Jack said he already got Moses. Zeke grabs Jack through the window and beats him.

Pearly-Mae is questioning why she is being treated so well as she looks in the mirror wearing a new dress. Ernestine tells her they are probably going to feed her and treat her so well. She tells her to lie to the master.

Sam is called to Tom and sits in front of him as Tom prepares his gun. He wants Tom to tell him what he’s heard. Sam says he doesn’t know anything and that people can surprise you. Tom trusts him and tells him he’ll put him back in the shop because he’s too clever. He offers to teach Sam how to shoot. Sam is tempted to shoot Tom, but decides against it and shoots in the air.

The runaways make it to the train tracks waiting for the train. Rosalee sees the slave hunters around the tracks, so they decided to split – Cato and Zeke, Henry and Noah, and Rosalee with Moses and Boo. As Cato and Zeke are running, Cato shoots Zeke in the leg and runs away. Zeke is captured by the slave hunters but fights them. He’s badly hurt but kills all three. August and his son watch from a distance. Zeke sees them and holds the ax. August comes at him with a knife, but Zeke falls dead before he could attack him.

Pearly Mae comes to the dinner table and sees Suzanna enters, which takes Ernestine by surprise. Suzanna reveals that Tom wanted her to talk to Pearly Mae and because they are related – through their father. She tries to get in Pearly Mae’s head and tells her that they would offer her and Boo freedom in exchange for Moses and the rest of the slaves.

Rosalee wants to tend to Moses wounds and get on that train. Moses begins to have self-doubt until Rosalee tells him to look at his daughter and he says he sees Pearly Mae. She says she’s going to get some herbs for his shoulder and he tells her to be quick because they have a train to catch.

August and Ben are walking their horses with Zeke’s body tied to the horse. Ben looks incredibly sad and whispered that his father should have helped him. August then sees Rosalee and does his trick on her – the promise to freedom. She begins to tell him her plan and realizes he tricked her. She runs away when his son yells at his father that they need to bring her alive.

She runs and gets stuck in the vine of thorns. She finally gets out and runs out. Noah and Henry are waiting near the train and see Cato. He tells them Zeke was caught. Noah looks at Cato with anger. Moses and Boo run towards them, but Rosalee never returned to them. She finally runs out towards them and tells them the slave hunter knows about the train. Noah says they will just have to find another way now.

Ernestine comes into Pearly Mae’s room and tells her not to trust Suzanna. Pearly Mae said that this offer would make their best chance of Boo’s freedom. Ernestine tells her that the papers may be fake, but Pearly Mae tells her they are real because she can read. She also knows about the reward on their heads. Ernestine tries to convince her otherwise, but she said she is going to do whatever it takes to protect her daughter. Ernestine says she does and poisons Pearly Mae and stages it as a suicide.

Ben and August are at the train station. They can’t find them until August realizes they are on coming on the train from the roof. August begins to shoot at them and Noah shoots back. Moses and Boo make it on the train, but Noah, Rosalee, Henry, and Cato didn’t but keep moving.

Review

With this just being the fifth episode, there is just so much going on for our characters who are running away and those stuck on the plantation dealing with the consequences. I’m really happy that the runaways were able to escape, especially Moses and his daughter, Boo. But, what people fail to think about are the people that are left behind and have to deal with the consequences of their action. Poor Sam, the slave who desperately wanted to get away, is now stuck with working the fields. He had the opportunity to kill his master Tom but decided against it because it would not end well for himself and the people left there. He was given his old job back as the carpenter, but you could just see the pain in his eyes for being left behind. Then there is Ernestine, the den mother of the household, who has worked tirelessly physically, emotionally, and sexually to protect her own. She now needs to rebuild her relationship with the Macons to keep her power.

Although I was a fan of Cato since he was able to run away with his fellow slaves and caused that fire distraction, he went back down to my negative graces after shooting Zeke and leaving him behind. But, I can understand why he did it. If he were to go back to the plantation, his head would be on a stick because of the cotton losses and his betrayal to Tom who just promoted him. He was a desperate man with a desperate mindset. I am incredibly heartbroken over Zeke because he was truly a force to be reckoned with. Even little Ben wanted Zeke to win after his battle with the three slave hunters. I do hope that Noah finds out about Cato’s deception and deal with it quietly.

Pearly Mae’s storyline is pretty sad. The audience found out that she was a result of a master and slave relationship, which meant she was related to Suzanna through their father. Suzanna knows better than to ‘wine and dines’ Pearly Mae, who has her mind focused on her little girl. Just give it to her straight and offer freedom for her and her little girl. Ernestine, the queen that she is, knew and had to protect her little girl. I swear, that Ernestine is seriously the master of the household behind the curtains. As sad as it is to kill Pearly Mae, Ernestine had to protect her daughter, because after seeing what happened to Bill, Ernestine knew why Rosalee ran.

Watching August as the vicious slave hunter is tough, but what’s more unsettling is watching his sweet-natured son following in his footsteps. Ben, who seems to have a lot of conflicting thoughts, feels torn between doing the right thing and following his father’s footsteps. Eventually, he’s going to have to decide as the show goes on because it’s going to get worst. August is determined to catch them and with Ben next to him.

I have to hand it to the show for creating such complex character already. It’s only the fifth episode and I feel like I know the characters pretty well and their complex stories and conflicts surrounding them. Sure, the story feels a bit like a CW drama at times, but overall, it’s trying to show further character development through these campy scenes. I did enjoy the inspirational speech Rosalee gave Moses, who was beginning to doubt himself and God. She brought back strength into him by reminding him why they are running – his daughter. Those moments are what makes me enjoy the show the most because as tough as a topic of slavery is, the characters insight gives me hope for their chance of freedom.

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