Billy has the bad luck to take a wrong turn in south central Los Angeles, get blocked in a dead end by a Cadillac full of toughs, and gets his cab beaten with baseball bats. He refuses to accept the cheery view of the situation as presented by the detective on his case, Alison, and all his neighbors, which is that he wasn’t physically harmed; instead, he’s focused on the part where the detective declines to give him false hope about the likelihood that the perps will be apprehended, and starts making sweeping racist statements about the neighbourhood where the incident occurred; challenged by Rhonda not to, you know, spew hate speech all over the courtyard, he refuses to back down and lies to Alison — for the second time in two episodes — to get her to lend him her car so that he and Jake can go vigilanting in hopes of bringing the cops a plate number. Since the episode is airing just a few months after the 1992 L.A. uprising, Rhonda is also moved to confront her own privilege as a black person insulated by a comfortable suburban upbringing, and decides to try to raise Billy’s consciousness as well as her own. Also: it’s Jake’s birthday! But his place of honour is quickly usurped by the arrival of his blowsy mother Stella, trying to make up for all her failings in Jake’s youth and also to crash on his couch for a while and maybe move to Los Angeles permanently. Sandy is drawn to Stella and tries to broker peace between mother and son. Speaking of parenthood: Jane’s pregnancy is far enough along for her to enroll herself and Michael in a parenting class; Michael thinks it’s bullshit and makes sure everyone knows. We discuss his boorishness — and everyone else’s — in our podcast on “Burned”!
- 📅 Published August 5, 2019
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