Saturday, March 3, 2018

TV Show Review: Seven Seconds

Veena Sud has returned to Netflix with a great new series that brings drama and suspense without relying on a mystery. The crime at the center of this story is committed in the first scenes of the first episode. Peter Jablonski (Beau Knapp) hits a young boy while driving to visit his pregnant wife in the hospital. Jablonski had recently transferred to an elite crime unit in New York City and he calls his squadmates. The leader of the squad Mike DiAngelo (David Lyons) decides to cover it up when he notices that the kid is riding a bike connected to known gang members. Mike instructs his team to dispose of the evidence giving Manny Wilcox (Patrick Murney) the fender. Felix Osorio (Raúl Castillo) has his doubts but goes along with his squad as Mike tells Peter to drive away to his wife's side at the hospital. Brenton Butler would have lived if the cops had sought emergency surfaces but they leave the boy to die in the cold.

Brenton's parents Latrice (Regina King) and Isaiah (Russell Hornsby) go about their day attending church choir practice as they prepare for the arrival of Isaiah's brother Seth (Zackary Momoh) who is returning from military service. They receive the awful news and are forced to wait not knowing if Brenton will survive. Latrice runs into Peter who sneaks into Brenton's hospital room as he is overcome with guilt. An alcoholic prosecutor KJ Harper (Clare-Hope Ashitey) is given this case which seems like a slam dunk when DiAngelo gives the detective Joe 'Fish' Rinaldi (Michael Mosley) a tip that leads to a drunk. KJ puts up with Fish's smooth talking and constant advice but she has suspicions about the accused drunkard and confirms them refusing to bring forward charges much to DiAngelo's and Jablonski's dismay.

The show mostly follows the investigation of KJ and Fish but also deals with Jablonski's increasing guilt and unhinged behavior. Latrice also takes it upon herself to investigate her son's murder while her husband struggles to maintain their lives. Seth also wants to help the family out but he does so by finding employment as a drug dealer. Fish tracks down a witness Nadine (Nadia Alexander) a high school girl from a wealthy family but also a heroin addict. He tries to keep her off drugs long enough to testify while also keeping her hidden from the cops who want to kill her. KJ struggles to inform the Butlers about their son's investigation as she tries to figure who it was that Latrice saw. Seth contemplates taking action into his own hands and killing Peter Jablonski as long as he has permission from a gang leader. 

Fish and KJ narrow in on the police just as a media report is released sending Jersey city into an uproar as protests break out. The police are arrested but their defense attorney (Gretchen Mol) comes up with a way to get them off and plead Jablonski's charges down from a hate crime. The squad turn on each other and the missing fender pops up. KJ does her best to keep her composure in court as an embarrassing video of her drunkenly insulting a police officer and the whole force surfaces. Nadine goes missing having been killed by the police but they still manage to present a convincing case with heartbreaking turns on the stand from Latrice and Isaiah and a revelation from Brenton's past. There is not a happy ending but it certainly leaves an opening for more seasons.

Seven Seconds is a thrilling and engaging crime drama that introduces some interesting characters that could easily carry several more season of this streaming show. The duo of Clare-Hope Ashitey and Michael Mosley could continue to solve cases and pursue DiAngelo who totally got off and Jablonski who only got a year. Regina King and Russell Hornsby could continue to deal with their grief and their reluctant roles as leaders in a protest. The show strikes on modern themes of authority and race that are currently roiling our country and only seem to be growing worse. I hope that Netflix continues to allow Veena Sud to make great television.

No comments:

Post a Comment