Shots Fired (Recap) | Hour Five: Before the Storm (S1 E5)

by Christian Holub | via Entertainment Weekly

This episode sure lived up to its title. A couple of revelations and intense personal confrontations brought the simmering tensions in Gates Station nearly to a boil, though the ultimate reckoning has been delayed for now.

We start with Shameeka Campbell and Alicia Carr, the two grieving mothers of sons slain by the police. They are currently being put through the media ringer that seemingly every victim of national tragedy has to endure now. Flanked by Pastor Janae, Shameeka and Alicia sit for a national TV interview. Though both moms only want to talk about the sons they loved, their interviewer insists on asking about politics – namely, Pastor Janae’s work on Gov. Eamons’ school initiative and Alicia’s recent endorsement of Eamons’ opponent, Penn Moder. Afterwards, Shameeka and Alicia share a nice moment of sympathy (only they really understand what the other is going through, in some ways), but it’s overshadowed by Alicia’s growing resentment toward Janae. It seems like Alicia’s angry at Janae’s arrogance in “speaking for” her son, which Janae apologizes for. But Alicia is still trapped in the tornado of powerful emotions brought on by Jesse’s death, and she leaves angrily.

Speaking of nice moments of mutual sympathy, there’s another one early on here between Preston and Beck while on a jog in the woods. Though they stand on opposite sides of the investigation, Preston notes that they both bear the burden of being the only black man in an almost entirely white work environment, with Beck adding that both of their jobs also involve putting a lot of black men in jail (and worse). Cut off from institutional support by his office, Beck seems to be growing more dissatisfied with his own position as a cop. That’s only heightened when Preston tells him the weed found in Jesse’s car matches the strain at Joey’s crime scene.

Beck confronts Breeland about this, and it’s a good example of how high tensions are right now. Beck asks Breeland if he planted the weed in Jesse’s car, and when he doesn’t like the lieutenant’s answer, he threatens to go public about the inner workings of the sheriff’s department. Breeland wrestles Beck against a wall and reminds his deputy that he’ll need fellow cops to testify on his behalf in the DOJ investigation. Beck backs off, but as the rest of the episode shows, he isn’t the only character getting increasingly trapped between conflicting principles, loyalties, and his own self-interest.

Preston and Ashe get another lead when they receive a composite sketch based on Cory’s description of the old man who shot Joey. Boy, it sure looks a lot like Arlen Cox. Gates Station does not lack for rich old white men, though, so Preston’s first stop is with another of Eamons’ top donors, Dr. George Koppel. Preston confronts Koppel in the middle of a golf game to ask if he was near the houses when Joey was killed. Koppel furiously denies this, but afterward, he makes a concerned call to Eamons, who summons Preston to the governor’s mansion.

To read the rest of the recap, “Before the Storm,” click HERE!!!

Hour Four: Truth | Hour Six: The Fire This Time