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Underground: Season Two

Score: 89%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home
                  Entertainment

Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 470 Mins.
Genre: Drama/Historical/TV Series
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French

Features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • WGN Preview

While Underground: Season Two did not pack quite the punch that the inaugural season did, it is still quite compelling. After the Macon 7's daring escape from the plantation and the events that occurred afterwards, it seems everyone has gone in different directions. Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell, True Blood) finds herself working directly with famed runaway slave and underground railroad icon Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds, Under the Dome), helping others do what she did. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, John Hawkes (Marc Blucas, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is still fighting in the courts to extradite Noah (Aldis Hodge, Leverage) back to Georgia as the property of his late brother's widow, in the hopes of rescuing him from his prison transport, while his wife Elizabeth (Jessica de Gouw, Arrow) has joined a women's sewing circle headed by Georgia (Jasika Nicole), a lovely light-skinned black widow passing herself off as white. They do far more than sew here, though, as Georgia quickly teaches Elizabeth how to handle a gun. The group includes both black and white women and they are quite vocal about abolition, and Georgia runs a boarding house which serves as one of Harriet Tubman's stations for runaway slaves.

Rosalee's mother, Ernestine (Amirah Vann), was spitefully sold off to a rice plantation in South Carolina by her cruel mistress and half-sister, Suzannah, and she gets through her days and nights by sniffing a liquid opiate that her abusive boyfriend peddles among the slaves. Life has not been kind to 'Stine as of late, but she befriends Clara (DeWanda Wise), the daughter of the African slave minister, after she is complicit in the girl's miscarriage and feels guilty. Stine has designs on using the girl to bewitch the master's son, then engineering her own way off the island, but Clara has other ideas, enjoying the power she feels as the lady of the manor. Although Stine does make it off the island, things don't go as planned, as she finds herself a pawn in a much bigger plan by famed slave catcher Patty Cannon (Sadie Stratton) to use her daughter to get to Harriet Tubman.

Cato's (Alano Miller, Jane the Virgin) fate has turned since he was left for dead by the other members of the Macon 7. He's been to London and back, and has had a taste of the good life, but it's not enough. He returns to America as a benefactor of the arts, grandly introducing himself onto the social scene of Philadelphia, complete with a white-face minstrel, which, as you'd imagine, isn't well-received by the white populace. After a run-in with Patty Cannon's gang, which now includes August Pullman (Christopher Meloni, True Blood), Cato's luck runs out and he must, once again, scrap and throw others to the wolves in order to survive.

Another new character introduced this season, Daniel (Bokeem Woodbine, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Southland), is a stone mason slave who has taught himself how to read. His story is separate from the rest of the intertwined characters, until violent abolitionist John Brown and his followers start to frighten slave owners, who start selling their slaves off and/or moving them to the Deep South to keep Brown's followers from freeing them. It is among this chaos that Daniel's storyline converges with that of the others, as he tries desperately to protect his family from being ripped apart and turns to Tubman as a result.

When Rosalee makes a bold plan to rescue her mother and little brother James (Maceo Smedley) from Macon Plantation, completely unaware that Stine was sold off not long after her escape, she makes some horrifying discoveries and things do not go as planned - do they ever? - and the ramifications of these events will leave the inhabitants of the boarding house forever changed and once again searching for missing loved ones as the nation teeters on the brink of Civil War.

Underground: Season Two brings an intense viewing experience with completely compelling characters, as it sheds light on the horrors of slavery and the dangers faced by runaway slaves. Executive Producer John Legend makes an appearance as Frederick Douglass and Chris Chalk (Gotham) returns as William Still, both free black men and avid proponents of abolition. Some new faces arrive on the scene this season and we see the shocking loss of some familiar ones, as well, but as we've learned, Underground pulls no punches in who gets killed off and how.

Special features are slim and include select deleted scenes and a gag reel, plus a WGN promo for the show. They are worth watching, but aren't necessary viewing.

Who's to say where next season will take the characters we've come to love (well, mostly... and then there's Cato). Underground: Season Two ends on both a happy note and a horrible cliffhanger and it will be interesting to see where things go from here, especially considering the imminent raid on the Harper's Ferry armory by John Brown and company. The final scene is set some 10 months ahead and definitely alludes to exciting things to come. We'll just have to wait a year to see.



-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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