{TB Talks TV} Aquarius Review: “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”


aquarius nbcTweetable Takeaway: Shafe goes deeper undercover when he earns Guapo’s trust.  

Airtime: Saturday at 9PM on NBC 

By: , Contributor

Aquarius takes a look at journalistic ethics in It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding.) A Hispanic editor at The Times discovers there is a closet Cuban detective working at LAPD.

Emma returns to the compound with her old boyfriend, Rick.

This is a blast from the past and another layer to the Emma enigma. It’s really difficult to understand why she returns to the compound at all, much less with Rick in tow. She’s smart and probably was a plan that hasn’t revealed itself yet. She reintroduces Rick to Charlie and tells him that Rick gave her a ride and he’s a good friend. Charlie shows his usual gratitude by offering Minnie, and another girl to Rick for his pleasure.

Emma tells Charlie Rick’s father owns a famous car dealership; the man is loaded. Charlie is genuinely glad to see Emma. This is a man in touch with his emotions and sensitive to the emotions of others. All tools he uses to manipulate. Emma wants to know what Charlie knows about Ken’s secret. He doesn’t tell her, but challenges her to look deep inside for the answer. Emma thinks Ken is incapable of loving or receiving love. Charlie tells Emma that she can give and receive love and that is why she is part of Charlie’s family.

Sadie has a similar but slightly different view of family. She tells Emma she has to remove Grace, her mother, from her life in order to be free. Later, Charlie, and his group of larcenous women, break into Grace’s house and steal her jewelry.


Someone is targeting Hispanic women riding the buses home from work.

Ruben Salazar, a newspaper editor, is running a series of articles about how the lack of Hispanics in senior position at LAPD is proportional to the lack of justice in crimes against Hispanics. The latest attacks against Chicano housekeepers leads to demonstrations in front of Hodiak’s precinct. 

Hodiak barely survived the acid Charlie slipped into his margarita. A fellow detective, Joe Moran, saves him and tries to get him to safety, but Hodiak escapes. Eventually, Shafe finds him knocking on Grace’s door and watches over him while he winds down. 

Meanwhile another bus, and housekeeper, has been robbed. Moran confesses a secret to Hodiak; he’s from Cuba and Ruben Salazar knows. Moran’s wife doesn’t know, neither do his kids or anyone at LAPD. Salazar gives Moran an ultimatum; tell his LAPD bosses or Salazar runs an article about it in the paper. He wants Hodiak to convince Salazar that an article would damage his marriage, maybe more so than his .

Salazar isn’t sympathetic and tells Hodiak that he plans on running the article no matter what, though he wants Moran, Jose Moran, to inform his bosses first. Then, a maid gets shot for the $5 dollars she carries in her purse. Salazar runs the article and Moran gets kicked out of his house. Moran’s wife tells him he will never see his kids again, but Hodiak says she can’t legally do that and will most likely get over her anger sooner or later.

It isn’t soon enough for Moran. He returns to the precinct with a pistol and a bottle of whiskey just in time to catch Cutler making fun of Hispanics and mocking their accents. Hodiak tries to get to him, but Moran puts the barrel to his head, clearly suicidal. Hodiak plays the friend, they have history together and Hodiak is sympathetic. He tells Moran how his own father committed suicide and how, when things get tough, he thinks about it too. Then he convinces Moran that when he is gone, his boys will do the same; suicide will become their first way out of tough situations. He gets through to Moran and the two of them walk out together, past Salazar and the demonstrators.


Shafe’s own department doesn’t trust him, but Guapo, the drug trafficker, does.

Guapo meets with Roy and Shafe at the Manson compound, but he isn’t sure Shafe can be trusted. First, he verifies Shafe’s back-story. Shafe served in the same unit as one of Guapo’s friends while he was in Vietnam, but he’s still suspicious. Making things worse, Rick, who knows Shafe from before, walks into the compound. Shafe pulls him aside quickly and tells him to keep his mouth shut.

Shafe reports his progress to his Lieutenant. There is a lot of pressure at LAPD to make a case against Guapo. Shafe agrees even though he wants more time to deal with Rick. Hodiak suggests he make Rick a deputy. Next time Shafe is at the compound, he hands Rick a badge, makes him recite the oath, and tells him not to tell anyone he’s working for the sheriff’s department. Okay, no possible future drama there.

Guapo’s first deal with Shafe and Roy is set to go down at a warehouse in broad daylight; it “makes it easier to see the pigs.” Shafe’s tactical commander doesn’t have much faith in him, but Shafe is a professional and ready to deliver. The bust is set, the tactical team waits in hiding for Shafe’s signal, and the contact arrives. The man delivers some boxes but Shafe keeps an eye on Guapo’s primo, Juan, sent to make sure everything goes smoothly. Juan won’t take his eyes off Shafe. Shafe gives the abort signal, which pisses off the tactical commander. He thinks Shafe chickened out. Later, Shafe opens the delivery in front of Guapo. It’s nothing but a box of chess sets. Guapo was testing them all along. Now, he knows he can trust Shafe and Roy.

Hodiak arrests his father.

Hodiak’s friend shows him a surveillance photo the Feds have on peace activist Robbie Arthur. Hodiak recognizes an elderly man in the photo and asks to have him arrested. That man turns out to be Hodiak’s father. This might be a connection to his son, Walt, but we won’t know more until next week.


Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.

Twitter: @etom2012

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