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Blindspotting: Ripple Effect

With only two episodes left in its season, Blindspotting decides to spend the second to last focusing on the youngest character. After being told that his father is going to be in jail for the next five years, Sean gets to have his very first visit with Miles. Which it’s goes pretty okay, until a prisoner has an outburst and all the inmates have to be removed. It’s a scary thing to witness for a six year old. And it will probably leave a lasting impression on him.

The family spends the rest of the day trying to cheer Sean up by taking him bowling. Everyone pitches in and puts on their best smiles for him, but he’s still less than enthusiastic. Even at one point asking to go home instead of finishing the game. As Sean depressingly bowls, Ashley, Rainey and Janelle bounce around ideas for how Miles and Ashley can remain close while he’s away. Leading to Rainey googling a prison program for family that offer visitation weekends instead of just an or so. It’s not much, but a weekend together every month is better than just an hour and actually would give them time to bond. It’s definitely something Ashley should think on.

Since it’s a family trip of course Trish has come along too, even Jacque is down for trying to cheer Sean up. But the two of them have other things on their minds, like starting a business that they run themselves. So it must be fate that none other than Cuddie the bank loaner shows up at the bowling alley. He’s there to practice with his team but is much more interested in Jacque. And though Trish might have lost him with her proposal he still put her on game of how to start up without him and the bank. They can do it, they just have to go about it in the right way. Starting with quitting the strip club.

With Sean’s complete disinterest in bowling the family decides to go back home. Once there they plan out a whole evening of activities to life Sean’s spirits including home baked treats, games, a dance party, karaoke and twister. But Sean remains upset through them all, until Earl begins to mess with him; poking and providing at Sean until they start to rough house and finally the little boy cracks a smile. Thus his bad mood is finally surpassed and everything starts to feel a little better. Meanwhile Trish and Jacque arrive at the strip club and quit, only for Carl to offer an investment into their business. It catches the girls by surprise but with the amount of money he’s offering they would be hard pressed to say no. So they strike a deal and Trish is lit about it, thoroughly convinced that she and Jacque can run a fetish service out of Rainey’s home. It’s either going to be brilliant or it’s going to be a disaster.

While this episode doesn’t seem as fast past as the previous one, it’s not without its moments of depth and complexity. A particular highlight of the episode is a moment between Ashley and Earl; after cheering up Sean and putting the living room back together he is wrapping up the night by literally collecting his extension cord. But Ashley wants to thank him for making Sean laugh and pulling him out of his mood, she tells Earl that he’s doing really good. Which seemed to be the general consensus. But according to Earl that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He’s been traumatized by his time in jail and that trauma isn’t going anywhere. It’s left him unsure of himself and how he’s supposed to move forward, he doesn’t even know if moving forward is possible. It’s a moment that pulls back down reality and further moves Earl out of the comedic relief zone he started in.

Another moment worth noting is that while bowling Sean momentarily imagined a prison guard bowling down inmates in the place of pins. The events of the morning have already rooted a fear inside him. It’s going to be hard for a six year old to come to terms with his father being taken away like this. A smaller detail that I find not being talked about much is the fact Rainey’s persistent memory problem. It seems as the season goes along she’s having more and more trouble remembering things. And it’s unclear if anyone close to her even notices.

The audience was also treated to a sweet and beautiful scene when Sean asks Ashley to sing him to sleep. It’s always a pleasure getting to hear Jasmine Cephas-Jones sing and here she doesn’t disappoint at all. Hopefully if renewed for a second season Blindspotting will find more reasons for her to heavenly voice to be heard. With the season finale on the way, Blindspotting has a few things to clear up and of course seeds to plant for future development. It would most certainly be a mistake for Starz not to allow the uniqueness of this show to continue to expand.

Blindspotting airs Sunday nights on Starz

-Danyi