Underground, Season 1 Episode 5 ‘All’s Fair’
WGN America’s network new series Underground follows a group of slaves who try to escape their horrific captivity on a Georgia plantation.
Wednesday night’s episode picked up right where we left off last week. Noah (Aldis Hodge), Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Zeke (Theodus Crane), Cado (Alano Miller), Henry (Renwick Scott), Moses (Mykelti Williamson) and his daughter Boo (Darielle Stewart) are doing their best to continue down the road to freedom. After the group discovers that there is a train headed to Atlanta, they draw up a plan to get there as quickly and safely as possible.
The tables turned last week when the last person we expected to help everyone actually set the plan in motion. Cado joined the runaways and now there is a bounty on his head as well as the other six. Master Tom (Reed Diamond) has offered a thousand dollar reward to the person who can bring the runaways back, dead or alive. With Pearly Mae (Adina Porter) being the only one captured, the plantation is on high alert.
We have seen that Ernestine (Amirah Vann) will do whatever it takes to protect her children and that includes giving Pearly Mae sound advice on how to handle the Master and not give in to his tricky ways. Pearly Mae is invited into the “big house” where she is bathed and given new clothes. Earnestine tells her “You have to be grateful, eat everything on your plate that drink, when you sip it ask what’s in it. Listen to every word he says, let him feel heard.”
Meanwhile, Zeke has always been portrayed as physically being the strongest in the group, but in this latest episode we see just how strong. After Cado betrays him and shoots him in the leg in order to slow him down, he is cornered by three slave captures. With two gun shots to the stomach and two stabbings in the back and across the chest, he stands tall and kills all three of the men. August (Christopher Meloni) watches the incident and before he can attack, Zeke falls to the ground and takes his last breathe.
August and Rosalee have an unfortunate run in, one that has Underground fans throwing their hands up in the air with anger as Rose mistakes his kindness for trust and tells August where they are headed. While they are talking Rose hears something in the bushes and before she can run away, August tells her it’s just his son; hearing this triggered something in Rose and she ran away as August drew his gun.
Back at the big house, Master Tom seems to trust Sam (Johnny Ray Gill), at least enough to hand him a rifle and trust he won’t shoot him. Once Ernestine is finished prepping Pearly Mae she sends her to dine with the Master, not long after we see she will in fact be dining with the Mistress Ms. Suzanna (Andrea Frankle). The terrified look on Ernestine’s face let us know, Pearly Mae might break and the others might be in more trouble. Ms. Suzanna preys on Pearly Mae’s weak spot, her love for her child. She offers freedom papers for both her and her child if she tells where the others are headed.
Later, Rose finally catches up to the rest of the group where she informs them that August knows about the train going to Atlanta and he’ll be waiting for them at the stop. With not enough time to be furious with Rosalee, they hatch a new plan. The group tries to catch the train undetected by scaling the roof of the building and jumping on to it. This plan fails when August spots them and only two escapes on the train, Moses and Boo.
The episode ends with Ernestine and Pearly Mae in a heated discussion about choosing to accept the freedom papers from Ms. Suzanna. Ernestine tells Pearly Mae that she understands her decision and what happened next shocked everyone. Pearly Mae falls over and we realize Ernestine poisoned her tea. To cover up the murder, Ernestine slashes Pearly Mae’s wrist and makes it look like a suicide.
Stay tuned for next week’s episode where we see just how much further everyone will go to gain their freedom and protect the one’s they love.