‘The Chi’ is riveting in ‘Quaking Grass’

on Jan29

30 January 2018 | 12:17 am

Via fashionista.com

Spoiler Alert: this article contains a thorough recap of “The Chi’s” fourth episode, “Quaking Grass”

“Quaking Grass” is a suspenseful episode that sadly strips both Kevin and Jake (Chicagoan Michael Epps) of their boyish innocence. Because of Kevin’s betrayal, Brandon is forced to confront Ronnie for killing his younger brother, Coogie. The huskier Brandon manhandles Ronnie and leaves him badly pummeled on the ground. Through a series of flashbacks, it is ultimately revealed that a frightened Kevin gut-shot Ronnie after the beaten man regained his footing. On the brink of death, a severely wounded Ronnie manages to stumble back to his grandmother’s home. This was a tense scene that perfectly depicted Ronnie’s will to survive and the horror that Kevin felt for presumably slaying a man. The lone critique here is that Brandon almost immediately forgave Kevin for his treachery and embraced the sobbing preadolescent.

Ronnie’s foul-mouthed grandmother, Ethel, awakens to find him clinging to life in a pool of blood. Ethel contacts Jada and begs her caretaker to treat Ronnie. “Our boys are all we’ve got,” Ethel pleads. Jada reluctantly decides to help and she steals medical supplies from her workplace to mend Ronnie. Although still in dire condition, Jada clearly saved Ronnie’s life. Despite Ethel’s guilt trip and menacing demeanor, it’s difficult to imagine that an upstanding woman like Jada would jeopardize her career to aid a miscreant like Ronnie.

Meanwhile, Jerrika inspects Brandon’s bag and is horrified to discover that a firearm and blood-soaked shirt are concealed in it. Jerrika slaps Brandon and ousts him from their place. The following morning during brunch, Jerrika inexplicably tells her girlfriends exactly what she found in Brandon’s possession. Jerrika, an affluent woman who works at her parents’ real estate agency in Hyde Park, is completely oblivious to Brandon’s plight. Is there any logical reason that Jerrika would casually blurt out that her lover may be a murderer?

Brandon chooses to take refuge at his mother’s house. However, Brandon’s housing choice backfires when his mother’s boyfriend tosses the gun that Kevin used to shoot Ronnie. Jake, who swiped the revolver from his unhinged brother, Reg (Barton Fitzpatrick), gave Kevin the piece. Reg threatens Jake and demands the weapon’s return. While smoking a blunt in a hot tub filled with scantily clad women, Reg heartlessly tells Jake that he’s now one of his gang’s shooters. Rather than accepting Brandon’s money for the missing weapon, for reasons unknown, Reg wants to take advantage of the grieving cook’s solid credit rating. Reg is a South Side gangster and his lack of empathy seems chillingly authentic. Still, Lena Waithe could have created a more complex and multidimensional character. Although Reg may be the epitome of an evildoer, would he really endanger his kid brother’s welfare with such disregard? Reg could be cast as a brutal hoodlum and still periodically show Jake love.

Lastly, as noted in a previous article, Quentin owns every part that he appears in. It’s a shame that such a dynamic personality is so badly underutilized. Waithe may be slowly establishing Quentin’s ferocity and efficiency as a semi-retired drug lord. Nevertheless, Quentin needs more screen time and Trice had better identify Jason’s assassin.

THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS AND PREDICTIONS

  • The show’s dullest character, Emmett, was pleasantly absent from this week’s episode.
  • Detective Cruz can no longer be portrayed as an honorable law enforcement officer.
  • Both Trice and Ronnie are criminal informants?!?! Please, elaborate on their backstories!
  • Jason Mitchell, who plays Brandon, is a sensational actor.
  • Papa (Shamon Brown Jr.) is utterly hilarious!
  • Waithe brilliantly shows how violence can become an unending cycle that overtakes a neighborhood.

 

‘The Chi’ is riveting in ‘Quaking Grass’



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