In the final installment of SHOTS FIRED, we see Preston and Ashe fighting the powers that be trying to battle racial policing. “Last Dance” is a wonderful ending to a series with a premise that lacked easy answers. For me, this was a good thing because it’s often in the hard answers that we find the truth we’ve been seeking in a show like this. For the most part we get the vengeance we seek when those that did harm in this show are rightfully punished and the outstanding questions are answered, including the shocking murder of Lieutenant Breeland. If you’re like me you were shipping Preston and Ashe in the finale we get a hand full of lovely moments.
The majority of the episode is dedicated to the grand jury process, which falls a bit short despite the basic understandings of the situation and that Preston and Ashe work for the Department of Justice. Time has arrived for the DOJ to bring a grand jury to decide on potential indictments for Joshua Beck and Arlen Cox in the respective deaths of Jesse Carr and Joey Campbell. Preston puts himself to good use questioning witnesses while Ashe keeps going in circles trying to find a means to an end.
This episode artfully combines the eyewitness testimony and evidence for both shootings objectively giving insight into the whole point of the entire series; perspectives of justice. In the case of Jesse Carr, is seems to be close to what was captured in the cell phone video Jesse started recording when Officer Beck pulled him over. Beck interrogates Jesse about what he’s doing around The Houses, and when Jesse responds with youthful sarcasm, Beck loses his cool and yanks Jesse out of the car. He starts shooting and Jesse is dead and we get to see what happens when a cop has to make a split-decision that can make either of them the victims.
It’s clear Beck chose to keep himself safe as the case unfolds it’s even clearer that he felt he really had no choice and it’s circumstantial. Either way you slice it Beck was wrong to snatch Jesse out of the car, but what happened really did look like an accident. With so many versions to the story and the recent admission to Beck’s case it could go either way. It’s revealed that he was only joking when he said the sheriff’s badge he just earned will give him the authority to shoot white people. He actually has good intentions but his rookie mistakes are starting to catch up with him. In short, he shows that he feared for his life so like most cops it seems to be working in his favor. We know this isn’t like most situations in fact since race seemed to be in reverse to what we’ve seen on our television screens. I wasn’t really sure what his outlook would be since one of the biggest themes of this show is race. The jury votes to indict Beck, and we see the aftermath of him being pulled away from his family.
In the Jesse Carr case the grand jury declines to indict Arlen Cox, who admitted to killing Joey Campbell due to negligence. Even with these newly founded endings to the trials we still need to know who killed Breeland. The officer closest to the scene ended up being the killer, Sheriff Platt. The show surely brought home the changing landscape for “bad guys” and how justice is subjective to each race. Even though the ending was bittersweet it was an honest approach to a hard subject that needs to be discussed.
What did you think of the finale? Are you shocked Beck was indicted?
Season 1, Episode 10 (S01E10)
Shots Fired airs Wednesday at 8PM on FOX
Jerrica Long | Contributor