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Tom doesn't love his wife, he hasn't even been there to see the birth of his children. 

 

 

Well, to be completely fair, it wasn't common for the fathers to be in the labor room during birth until the late 1960s-early 1970s. His action of being elsewhere in the house during childbirth was probably a pretty accurate representation of what fathers did at that time. The fact that he showed zero emotion to her obvious pain shows how he really feels about her, not his absence.

 

What was the tongue-less butler doing while Ernestine was confessing to murdering Pearly Mae? I wonder if he was trying to match the color of Tom's red seal wax. He also had cut a potato but didn't do anything else with it, so I wonder if he was going to carve it into a fake seal. I don't recall the reverend discussing the need for a particular shade of red for his painting.

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What was the tongue-less butler doing while Ernestine was confessing to murdering Pearly Mae? I wonder if he was trying to match the color of Tom's red seal wax. He also had cut a potato but didn't do anything else with it, so I wonder if he was going to carve it into a fake seal. I don't recall the reverend discussing the need for a particular shade of red for his painting.

 

To be fair, red was one of the prominent colours in the reverend's painting. If the butler was doing something else, I suspect it will be revealed in future episodes.

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Well, to be completely fair, it wasn't common for the fathers to be in the labor room during birth until the late 1960s-early 1970s. His action of being elsewhere in the house during childbirth was probably a pretty accurate representation of what fathers did at that time. The fact that he showed zero emotion to her obvious pain shows how he really feels about her, not his absence.

 

What was the tongue-less butler doing while Ernestine was confessing to murdering Pearly Mae? I wonder if he was trying to match the color of Tom's red seal wax. He also had cut a potato but didn't do anything else with it, so I wonder if he was going to carve it into a fake seal. I don't recall the reverend discussing the need for a particular shade of red for his painting.

I thought he was making paint. I think the butler is the reverend's slave??

 

I read in the episode's description that Ernestine was losing her influence. Before watching the episode, I thought that meant she was losing her influence over the other slaves, and now I get that means she's losing her influence over Tom. Now that Ernestine is aware of the reverend's knowledge of her and Tom, I wonder what she will do next.

Edited by AntFTW
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August bought his 11-year-old boy a hooker. And then had her himself. Detective Stabler would not be happy about this at all.

 

I only watched the episode once; did anybody get the impression she and Ben did anything more than just talk? That look he gave August when he walked into his room the next morning after seeing her leave could have peeled paint.

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August bought his 11-year-old boy a hooker. And then had her himself. Detective Stabler would not be happy about this at all.

 

I only watched the episode once; did anybody get the impression she and Ben did anything more than just talk? That look he gave August when he walked into his room the next morning after seeing her leave could have peeled paint.

 

Hilarious!

 

I didn't get the impression that they did anything more than talk. I think he seemed to shy to do anything else. That look was just pure heart-breaking disappointment.

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I find the thoughts of the posters quite interesting.

To me, Tom is a slaveowner. No more, no less. Some people oppress and destroy with an iron fist, some people oppress and destroy with the occasional smile and a seeming touch of kindness, but in the end, the people under their control are still oppressed and destroyed.

Aldis Hodge and the actress who portrays Ernestine continue to own every scene they are in. I am hoping that when all is said and done, they will be left standing. At this point, I don't know that I can wish for more because both have been and will continue to be damaged by the truth of life under the unyielding weight that is racism in America.

CM is also doing a fantastic job. After Oz and SVU, I was concerned that I would not be able to get into his portrayal of a slavecatcher but aside from the initial recognition of the actor for his prior shows, he has become this character and that's not always easy for an actor so deeply affiliated with other roles to do. As proof of this, the moment when the character got shot filled me with joy.

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August bought his 11-year-old boy a hooker. And then had her himself. Detective Stabler would not be happy about this at all.

I only watched the episode once; did anybody get the impression she and Ben did anything more than just talk? That look he gave August when he walked into his room the next morning after seeing her leave could have peeled paint.

When she goes to August's room, she says "I talked to him like you wanted me to." That made me think he just wanted her to give him so PG company. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking because the alternative is too disgusting to think about.

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I'm rewatching now, and to answer the question of how Rosalee communicated with the indigenous people along the river: when they first discovered the hiding White guy on the boat, he told them he could get them to Indian territory where there was a "half Indian." I'm going to assume that it meant this man had a White father who taught him English.

Edited by Mozelle
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I'm rewatching now, and to answer the question of how Rosalee communicated with the indigenous people along the river: when they first discovered the hiding White guy on the boat, he told them he could get them to Indian territory where there was a "half Indian." I'm going to assume that it meant this man had a White father who taught him English.

 

True, but there were full-blooded Indigenous people back then who spoke English. As some of the other characters said earlier in the show, Natives were a part of the slave trade. They couldn't have been without having some knowledge of the language.

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True, but there were full-blooded Indigenous people back then who spoke English. As some of the other characters said earlier in the show, Natives were a part of the slave trade. They couldn't have been without having some knowledge of the language.

 

You know what, you are right. I had a momentary lapse. 

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A nice piece on the complexities of being an enslaved woman, interview with Amirah Vann (Ernestine): 'Underground' Explores the Complex Life of Enslaved Women

 

There are no-holds-barred scenes depicting intimate relations between her and her owner that are difficult to watch, knowing that she is enslaved and forced to engage.  The scenes are important because they explore the nuance and show the lengths to which many enslaved women went to simply survive and make provisions for their children.

 

These women have been demonized throughout history, accused of being willing participants in their own oppression, but they were survivors and condemning their decisions made in captivity is counterproductive to the overall narrative.

 

Edited by Mozelle
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Not only were the women trying to keep themselves alive, they were trying to keep their families alive, if possible.

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This episode was heartbreaking in so many ways.  The best part about it is that it was not so focused on Noah and Rosalee.  I enjoyed the other stories better. Really....did they have to kill him?  I knew it was unrealistic to think that everyone was going to make it, but they have only kept the annoying people! 

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What an episode. I thought that the child actors did a really good job tonight, especially the young actors that play Boo and James. They are cute and sweet, and I felt for them when they were going through their ordeals tonight. I really liked the scenes with Sam/James bonding as well as the scenes with Boo/Elizabeth.

 

I was glad to see Sam being protective of James and trying to help him out. I was also glad to see James use his head and find out a way to make weight with the Cotton. Bill seems to really have it in for him and it looks like he is just looking for an excuse to whip him. A couple of people on Twitter had speculated that he was going to try and buy James' freedom.

 

I also enjoyed Boo/Elizabeth bonding. I felt sorry for Elizabeth. I like James Lafferty but Kyle was slimy for the way he acted with Elizabeth.

 

Nice to see Jennifer Nettles, I thought she did a nice job in her role as Charlotte, August's wife.

 

Poor Henry and Moses. 

 

TR showed that he is probably going to end up just like his father.

Edited by Jx223
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This was an incredible episode! 

 

I thought all the actors brought it in this ep - especially the child actors. Great idea to have an episode from the childrens' point of view. And I liked that each act focused on a specific story instead of cutting back and forth between stories.

 

I'm tired of Cato and his slick mouth. 

 

I'll be so sad if Henry's dead. I really want him and Noah to be Noah and Henry Hampton.

 

Damn, Bitsy slept with Marshall Kyle to protect Boo. 

 

Sam trying to buy James' freedom (*sob*). I'm guessing Macon didn't let him because James is Macon's son.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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TR and his proto white tears. I would have laughed at him if the consequences of his tattling weren't so dire.

James, OMG. Such a talented little actor. His whole countenance changed that next day. Even his walk was different. Somehow I've always blocked out the fact that kids were out in those fields and seeing his little bloody hands and flushed cheeks just drove home how awful and inhumane American slavery was.

That preacher can die and day now.

Poor Boo, losing her father and being chased by what seemed to be monsters. I'm glad Elizabeth was truly willing to do whatever it took to keep her safe but sheriff is an asshole and he can die too.

Ugh, why Henry? And I'm not happy that we've been cheated out of a Noahlee love scene.

This episode did me in. So much brilliance and heartbreak in one sitting.

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I don't think the possibility that James is his son has anything to do with it.  I do think, however that even as a child he over reacted at James' reaction.  He is old enough to understand that James is hurting too. 

 

I know there are only 10 episodes, but things are moving way too quickly. 

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I don't think the possibility that James is his son has anything to do with it.  I do think, however that even as a child he over reacted at James' reaction.  He is old enough to understand that James is hurting too. 

 

I know there are only 10 episodes, but things are moving way too quickly. 

 

I wonder after this 10 episode arc is over if this show will come back? I wonder if this show will get another season or if it is just more like a 10 episode miniseries. They are killing off people so fast ( almost all of the good ones). I have to wonder where they may go with this show if they keep killing off members of the Macon 7 and their family members.

 

I could see a scenario where Rosalee and Noah reunite with Boo and raise her together as a family. 

Edited by Jx223
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I don't know what Season 2 would be about unless they are recaptured.  Pretty boring to keep seeing them run away again and again.  The only thing I could see is them going back to get other people from the plantation, but how long could that last? 

 

Rosalee continues to be the weakest link...good lord even the child actors were stronger.

 

Why did Henry have to die?  At this point I am not invested in any character except James and maybe Sam. 

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I don't know what Season 2 would be about unless they are recaptured.  Pretty boring to keep seeing them run away again and again.  The only thing I could see is them going back to get other people from the plantation, but how long could that last? 

 

Rosalee continues to be the weakest link...good lord even the child actors were stronger.

 

Why did Henry have to die?  At this point I am not invested in any character except James and maybe Sam. 

 

Maybe they will go to another plantation and tell the stories of another group of runaway slaves? I don't know. The way they are pacing this story so far, it kind of feels like everything could be wrapped up in one season. But it also seems like this show is popular/critically acclaimed, so maybe they will bring it back next season in some form.

 

I wish they would stop killing off a lot of the good slave characters. If they want to keep trimming the cast, get rid of some characters on the other side like Susannah. Even though I like Chris Meloni, I would also be okay with them getting rid of August. 

Edited by Jx223
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My heart hurt after this episode. Boo, James, even TR broke my heart they did so good.

And Sam wanting to buy James' freedom and taking his lashes makes Sam a great man better than many we've seen so far.

Poor Elizabeth that woman is willing to literally do anything to protect these people.

I hope Henry doesn't die.

I was so happy that TR even in his childhood innocence saw how evil and inhumane slavery was and was fist pumping when he said he would change how it was done but than he got butt hurt and turned into a mini Tom Macon.

The Pastor and Marshall can burn in hell any day now.

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The Civil War is only 4 years away.  I don't know how old TR is but Ben would be almost old enough to join up with the Confederate Army, Tom will join, the marshall will join.  TR may have to stay and be the man of the house while Tom is away; then Suzanna can poison him against black people some more.

 

For Season 2 I can see Noah going back to get more  OR Noah, Rosalee & Boo trying to get to Canada, not just the North, because the Fugitive Slave Act meant EVERY WHITE PERSON whether they were in a Free State or a Slave State, New Hampshire or North Carolina, was compelled to turn in slaves.

 

Noah, Cato, Henry & Rosalee didn't seem too concerned about the fate of Boo & Moses.

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This is one of those episodes that you have to watch twice.

 

So it is implied that Elizabeth slept with the marshall to save Boo?

 

This episode tugged my heart strings. James' care-free days are over; this is the day he realizes he is slave. I would imagine that this would take a toll on anybody mentally. Ernestine's children are out working the fields. The interaction between TR and James was intense. This is how a young man who sees how inhumane this is turn into a slaveowner. James has a few tricks up his sleeve so he's not as hopeless as Sam and Ernestine thought he may have been; he put sand in his back to make it heavier.

 

I am obsessed with Elizabeth's and Boo's scenes. Elizabeth's face when she realizes Boo comes from her brother-in-law's plantation (small world) is priceless. It looks like Moses was killed by Natives as it looks like there were arrows in this back. However, I'm not sure. By the way, where does Elizabeth and John live?

 

One thing I thought about while watching James' scenes is that at least he wouldn't live his entire life as a slave because the Civil War is right around the corner. This could be season 2 if they want to skip a few years.

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The Civil War is only 4 years away.  I don't know how old TR is but Ben would be almost old enough to join up with the Confederate Army, Tom will join, the marshall will join.  TR may have to stay and be the man of the house while Tom is away; then Suzanna can poison him against black people some more.

 

For Season 2 I can see Noah going back to get more  OR Noah, Rosalee & Boo trying to get to Canada, not just the North, because the Fugitive Slave Act meant EVERY WHITE PERSON whether they were in a Free State or a Slave State, New Hampshire or North Carolina, was compelled to turn in slaves.

 

Noah, Cato, Henry & Rosalee didn't seem too concerned about the fate of Boo & Moses.

 

Tom will join up and take one of his slaves with him, which will allow for an attempt to rewrite history as "See, Black people fought for the Confederacy!" *eye roll*

 

I will say that the first five minutes I watched had me already in my feels. Seeing baby James out in the field, hearing Ernestine talk with him, it just did me in. Innocence lost. And poor Boo doesn't even know about her momma back at the plantation. 

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Baby James should get an Emmy for that.  His acting was so good, and for a kid his age.  Wow  The other child actors were amazing also.

 

I figure if they do another season it will be a different group escaping. Perhaps with someone playing the Harriet Tubman role.

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Noah, Cato, Henry & Rosalee didn't seem too concerned about the fate of Boo & Moses.

 

Perhaps they don't know, or their reaction to Boo and Moses will be shown later. 

 

I can't believe this season's almost over. 

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This episode was phenomenal. I just have no words. I echo the sentiments that whoever wrote this episode deserves an Emmy because it was just an outstanding hour of television. 

 

Three minutes into it, I was already on the verge of tears while I watched Ernestine and Sam get little James ready for the beginning of his brutal life out in the fields. Every time Bill, who I sincerely gets finished off by the end of the season, set his eyes on him my heart clenched. To see that precious child be treated in such a way just hit me so hard. The horrors of American Slavery are vast and endless and still have such temporal reach as we constantly see the echoes of it today in our society. 

 

I'll return with more thoughts but right now I'm still trying to absorb what I just witnessed. 

Edited by stormborn
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I keep telling myself there's going to be a second season and that's the only reason why my TV boyfriend still has that atrocious beard.

Edited by goldil
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"See, Black people fought for the Confederacy!" *eye roll*

 

One of my favorite vignettes of Ken Burns' Civil War series was the recounting of a former slave, now serving with the Union Army, marching past the plantation where he was sequestered.  At one point the unit passes by the plantation owner, and the former slave looks right at him and says "Bottom rail on top now, massa."

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I don't know what Season 2 would be about unless they are recaptured.  Pretty boring to keep seeing them run away again and again.  The only thing I could see is them going back to get other people from the plantation, but how long could that last?

 

 

They haven't made it to the free states yet.  Only Boo has reached Ohio.  Judging from the previews of next week, they're probably in Kentucky, which is just south of the Ohio River.  Anyway, none of them will be safe, even if they reach Ohio or any of the other free states, thanks to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act.  They have to continue on to Canada.

Edited by saoirse
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The Reverend is probably having a few lustful thoughts of his own. Far better to blame the woman than blame himself.

 

Suzannah is used to men sleeping with slaves - her father did it, after all. It's part of her life. Ernestine is a perfect housekeeper who cooks well, runs the house, and takes care of her (Suzannah's) children. She knows her "place" - she doesn't flaunt the affair, and apparently is the one who does more work to keep it discreet. It would stupid of Suzannah to get rid of her and start breaking in a new housekeeper - or worse, have to do Ernestine's work herself. And it's far better for her husband to sleep with a slave, than tohave an affair with a white woman that he can actually flaunt in public and humiliate her with, if not outright divorce her for.

Besides, if Tom's affair with a slave woman produces offspring, it increases their wealth.

Besides the obvious issue of consent when you are owned, he really is like Midas, creating gold with just a touch. There can be no love in that kind of relationship.

 

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So, can someone please help me....

When they were weighing the bags of cotton, James had 315. There is no way, absolutely none, that that child was hauling 315 pounds in that sack. And the volume wis all wrong (cotton isn't that dense it would weigh that much in the bag.

So, were they saying 3 15s? As in 3 15 pound weights (45 pounds)? I am trying to remember what the other weights were to see if it makes sense. I think the first weigh in was 3 25 (75) when his bag was switched and Sam's number after switching his bag was 2 25 (50). I don't know, it is just really confusing.

As is the idea that James could get away with putting a bag of dirt in his bag to minke it weigh more. They empty the cotton into the baskets. Then they hand back the empty bag. Are we supposed to believe that after the first time when Bill turns the bag inside out in disbelief that the second time he is is bewildered he hands back a bag that still has significant weight to it when it is supposed to be empty?

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Dramatic license.  It's not the first I have encountered on this show.

 

 

I'm tired of Cato and his slick mouth.

 

 

 

I hate to say this, but Cato had a point.  The only reason Henry approached him was because Noah's attention was directed to Rosalee at the time.  He was jealous and tried to use Cato as a familial "rebound".

Edited by CTrent29

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As is the idea that James could get away with putting a bag of dirt in his bag to minke it weigh more. They empty the cotton into the baskets. Then they hand back the empty bag. Are we supposed to believe that after the first time when Bill turns the bag inside out in disbelief that the second time he is is bewildered he hands back a bag that still has significant weight to it when it is supposed to be empty?

 

I thought he only weighed the bag. The first time, he was so pissed off with the weight that he emptied the bag into the basket to make sure there wasn't anything extra mixed in with the cotton, like rocks or whatever, but I'm pretty sure the second day he just weighed the bag, told him his new number was 315, and then emptied the cotton into the basket and handed the empty bag back. I could absolutely be wrong though.

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Yes, they did only weight the bag.  But he dumped out the cotton and handed back what was supposed to be an empty bag.  I do not believe that Bill, who was suspicious from the prior day, and surprised by the output, wouldn't notice that the empty bag he was handing back still weighed 5 pouds or 10.

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http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/25/underground-season-2-renewed-wgn-america
 

Posted April 25 2016 — 2:00 PM EDT

 

Freshman drama Underground is getting a second season, WGN America announced Monday.

 

The Underground Railroad-inspired series, executive-produced by John Legend, follows a group of African-Americans as they make their daring escape from slavery, and the various people that either help or hinder them along the way. Underground  stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aldis Hodge as two runaway slaves leading the journey to freedom, Jessica de Gouw and Marc Blucas as white abolitionists attempting to help runaway slaves in secret, and Christopher Meloni as a morally conflicted bounty hunter.

Edited by saoirse
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Sam ~sobbing~ He's really free now. 

My heart hurts so much so very much. I'm so angry that I have to come back later to reply about the rest of the episode. 

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smh poor sam.  I don't understand his thought process as far what made him decide to NOT run with the group but to try to run by himself? he basically caused his own fate.

I was kind of distracted while watching this episode so i will need to rewatch it again before giving a full comment

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I hope this episode puts the final nail in the "Macon loves Ernestine" coffin.

I hope Ernestine is somehow able to get justice once she gets out of the box.

I wonder if Jeremiah was lying to August about the contents of the letter? 

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9 hours ago, aarondk88 said:

smh poor sam.  I don't understand his thought process as far what made him decide to NOT run with the group but to try to run by himself? he basically caused his own fate.

I was kind of distracted while watching this episode so i will need to rewatch it again before giving a full comment

I think it's a combo of things. He must have believed Tom when he said he could eventually buy his freedom. Plus, he said himself that he surprised himself that night. He intended to run but didn't have it in him. Seeing for himself that Tom just completely ain't shit and had no intention of keeping his word was probably the thing that pushes him over the edge. I disagree that he caused his own fate. I would say that was Tom's doing, with a little nudge from the preacher.

Thank you, show. As brutal as it was to see, I appreciate that they made it very clear that the benevolent slaveowner trope is not going down on UG. Tom doesn't love Ernestine or his children with her. He loves power, profit, and his own whiteness. That's it. 

Watching Ernestine try to make the best out of a situation where her son was about to be fucking maimed just reminded me of how strong my foremothers were forced to be. My God. Can you imagine?

At least Sam is free now.

I hate everybody today.

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I think Sam was left behind by the group.  I think he fully intended to run with the group.

And it was a good decision to leave him behind because Sam was not about that running life.  He likely would've cause a bunch of misteps and they'd all be caught & killed at this point.

August must not be able to read.

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