SHOTS FIRED Review: “Before The Storm”


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The fifth installment of finally begins to put all the pieces together to form a puzzle worth watching. We learn more about Arlen he’s the man who shot and killed Joey Campbell as Joey pleaded for his mother. So incredibly sad in its own right. We finally have a face to match the crime. As the story unfolds from the Cory the witness still under federal protection thanks to Ashe and Preston’s intervention.

Arlen Cox is a very powerful man and proprietor of a for-profit prison company. His money although dirty is supposed to fund Governor Eamon’s education initiative, which we know is just a stunt to make him look like he’s giving back to the community.  His notoriety, money and wealth will obviously lead to more obstacles for Ashe and Preston as the pressure to shut down their investigation looms over their heads. If only Preston still had a relationship with the governor but alas he’s ruined that with taking matters into his own hands.

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Even with all the Arlen Cox admissions I did feel as though his reveal was everything but subtle in fact it felt more clumsy than most of the reveals in this episode. I knew it was coming so I lost the much of my excitement that would have  kept on the edge of my seat. I often wonder how it all would play out after the heavy setup episodes but the Cox and Pastor James coming to the forefront I’m even more eager to keep watching.

My favorite moments include Cox and Pastor James as they provide a breath of fresh air in their originality and complexities. Pastor James often leads with a sincerity that always keep you guessing while simultaneously foaming at the mouth for more. As the cliffhangers tend to increase so does the motives of Pastor James. I never quite know what she’s up to or how she’ll bend social media to fit her needs is worth noting. The devil is always in the details. I’m not sure what Pastor James is angling for whether it be the fame, media attention of notoriety of some sort but I’m curious to see how this all plays out. After her above-the-line  confrontation with Governor Eamons, Pastor James knows how to sway each situation to her favor.

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In “Before the Storm,” we learn that the pastor wants all records of her involvement in the education initiative destroyed once she learns of Cox’s involvement in the deal. The Governor tries to save face stating that without his money the state won’t be able to pay for Eamons’s signature legislation that address  systemic injustices. They finally come to an agreement of sorts when the idea of “another Ferguson” is mentioned. Pastor James quickly counts as she believes that another Ferguson might just be necessary for Gate Station. The sheriffs have been letting their rich friends join in on the civil rights violations. Sheriff Platt has been running a program, which Ashe compares to a trip to a wild game reserve, wherein he takes his buddies down to The Houses and lets them play high-stakes cops and robbers. Shocking?! The real-life parallel is the tragic death of Eric C. Harris, who was shot and killed in Tulsa by a volunteer deputy sheriff who claimed he pulled his gun instead of his Taser by accident.

Regrettably, Lieutenant Breeland threatens Ashe with losing her shot to be with her daughter as he arrest her on bogus charges. I was wondering when their personal lives would tie into this episode since Ashe temperament is always changing when provoked about her family. Nonetheless,  as the season nears to it’s end  it feels like a well pieced puzzle even though I’m not sure how each piece will fit I’m confident that in the end we’ll be left with a thought provoking piece of art.


Season 1, Episode 5 (S01 E05)
Shots Fired airs Day at 8PM on FOX

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