SHOTS FIRED Review: “Content of Their Character”

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In the 7th installment of we finally get to what we’ve all been thinking that maybe Ashe and Preston aren’t really doing the best job in Gate Station. It’s clear that everyone in Gate Station has been super suspicious of the investigation and the attention to the Jesse Carr case. Which is really getting all of the attention because he was white and that Officer Beck is a black man.  This whole case has caused quite the controversy when it comes to the parallels of race and police officers in today’s America.

Leaving an opportunity for the team behind Shots Fired to not only tell this story with such care you would expect from the names behind this show but with such a depth that your empathy would move you. I can say this episode not only reminded me of the carelessness of our justice system but of the people that are sworn to protect us. While Preston and Ashe case is not really moving the DOJ wants to send in a new team to replace them. At this point I’ll even consider it because it’s clear a lot more could’ve been done to solve the growing tension in Gate Station.

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In an effort to show the many layers of the justice system we see a DOJ similar to the Obama Administration strongly against the pattern of abusive policing. Unfortunately, Preston and Ashe seemed to be a bit overwhelmed with their own personal lives but are still enthralled with the violence erupting in Gate Station. I think the violence was necessary to get everyone moving on the case because I was starting to feel like the powers that be weren’t doing much to get this case solved justly.

Earlier Preston received a tip that Pastor Janae encouraged someone to lie to the cops to cover up the murder of another drug dealer she wanted out of  her community which inevidently leads to her arrest. The whole episode goes back and forth with Pastor Jenae and honestly feels like a waste since the list of suspects is almost 2 pages now. The previous episodes would of had you believe it was Arlen Cox because that’s what they’ve setup.  I’m genuinely eager to see it all come to life.  As Preston and Ashe go above and beyond to get answers from Cox but complacent since he’s convinced his money and influence will do all the talking in the end. Everything Cox is or at least has shown us gives example to the themes being explored in this series. Yes, it may seem too convenient but I think making Cox the killer is necessary.

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The seventh episode of a ten-part murder mystery is clearly saving the most prolific reveals for the end only setting up the obvious as Pastor Jenae becomes the main suspect in Joseph Campbell’s murder. Janae’s motives tend to be a bit sketchy  but to take the leap from being Joey’s biggest advocate to a suspect in his murder is huge. I wasn’t quite sure if she was supposed to be a huge suspect since it fell didn’t really fit together. Why wasn’t Jenae seen as a villain earlier? It would of helped if there was a hint of her deceit instead of it just coming out nowhere.

As “Content of Their Character” continues it’s clear the problem isn’t really the pacing it’s the lack of clear direction that looms over this show like a dark cloud. As we wait to find out who killed Joey and why Officer Beck killed Jesse Carr, we learn something major.  Ashe discovers a video clip on Jesse’s phone that shows the moments immediately before he was killed. In the video Beck approaches Jesse’s car and asks him what he’s doing around the Houses, insisting he doesn’t “look right” in the neighborhood. As soon as  Jesse responds, Beck appears to snatch him out of the car, then the video cuts out, giving way to the audio of the gunshots. Even though the video doesn’t tell the whole story it does suggest it was racially motivated.

With the newest developments mirroring police officers in America, I almost feel like this show can provide hope to the millions of people impacted by the murders of people of color at the hands of police. It’s clear that was the intention but with a errors in pacing and structure I wonder how impactful Shots Fired is really going to be. I can understand the need for controversial writing to get through the facade of television but this premise  could’ve pulled from a much stronger truth had it kept to a much clearer approach to the story. A lot has been lost in trying to balance the two cases and the personal lives of everyone impacted.  

TB-TV-Grade-B

Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
Shots Fired airs Wednesday at 8PM on FOX

Read all of our reviews of Shots Fired here. 
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Still quiet here.sas

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