When They See Us Recap: A Bittersweet Ending

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 31, 2019 (Last updated: February 5, 2024)
When They See Us Episode 4 Recap - Netflix Series - Part 4


When They See Us Episode 4 ends the series with a 90-minute chapter, showcasing Korey’s horrific prison experiences and a bittersweet ending.

This recap of When They See Us Episode 4 contains significant spoilers. Ava DuVernay’s Netflix Limited Series is based on the notorious events surrounding The Central Park Five in the jogger case. You can read our season 1 review of the Netflix Series by clicking these words.

When They See Us episode 4 follows Korey (Jharrel Jerome), who was noticeably missing in the last chapter. While the others spent time in Juvenile prison, Korey was sent to the notorious Rikers Island, giving me sad flashbacks to the Time: The Kalief Browder Story; another true story about the injustices of the flawed, corrupt, racial profiling justice system.

It’s a difficult viewing seeing Korey spend time at Rikers Island, and then get transferred to various correctional facilities in the hope that it would move closer to his mother. He finds himself at the receiving end multiple times and subjecting himself to solitary confinement for his protection. When They See Us episode 4 suggests Korey used his fragile mind to survive in horrific circumstances.

He spends a lot of the chapter experiencing flashbacks and hallucinations of other people in his life. He reimagines a different world frequently when in reality he is stuck in four walls. In the 1 hour and 30-minute episode, we must at least experience Korey suffer at the hands of prison, and unable to accept parole as he refused to accept the crimes he did not commit.

It was only fitting for Ava DuVernay to end the series with Korey, as he experienced a prison tour of hell, with slight breaks from a correctional officer who genuinely liked him. Episode 4 sees him grow from a scared kid to someone who understands the processes of survival in this environment.

When They See Us episode 4 made me emotional in the last 20 minutes as The Central Park Five are entirely exonerated of their crimes after a repeat offender admits to raping the jogger that night. The moment I marked, however, was when the investigators at the time were presented the evidence, and their self-righteousness and stubbornness could not allow them to admit they were wrong. Not a shred of guilt was shown, rather they stated they found the sixth rapist, despite the overwhelming evidence showing otherwise.

When They See Us episode 4 ends showing what all of The Central Park Five are doing in real life, with their real faces. The Netflix Limited series ends with a pause in thought when you realize that these men were freed, yet it was bittersweet; they will never get the time they lost back.

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