All Rise season 2, episode 2 recap – “Keep Ya Head Up”

November 28, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

“Keep Ya Head Up” brings Lola’s credibility into question as she’s forced to grapple with a difficult on-going case, while Emily’s love life gets a little more complicated.

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3.5

Summary

“Keep Ya Head Up” brings Lola’s credibility into question as she’s forced to grapple with a difficult on-going case, while Emily’s love life gets a little more complicated.

This recap of All Rise season 2, episode 2, “Keep Ya Head Up”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words


Right out of the gate, the second season of All Rise seems a bit more serialized than the first, with the protest forming something of a framing device and the case from the premiere continuing directly on in this second episode, “Keep Ya Head Up”. You’ll recall that we ended with the surfacing of a video of Lola chanting to defund the police, which raises an important question of bias, especially given that the case she’s currently presiding over has a clear hate-crime element.

There’s also something of a continuation in Emily’s subplot since the sad death of her client Carrie Banks due to Covid-19 has left her trying to arrange an expensive burial. Emily’s experiences at the protest also keep being returned to, especially since here they introduce a new love interest for her in the form of Joaquin, a protestor she helped out after he got Mace in his eyes. The fact that nobody knew Emily has been trending as #lawyerbae ever since the protest is a bit far-fetched for me, but we can let it slide.

Perhaps as a response to the questions being raised about her impartiality, Lola denies the People’s motion to add a hate crime amendment in Jesse’s trial, despite the rather clear racial evidence, leading Mark and Luke to change tack a little in order to undermine his character, which includes putting one of his ex-girlfriends on the stand. This infuriates his family, and they aren’t too keen on Amy’s suggestions for his defense, either, which is essentially to play up the idea of CTE because of numerous concussions suffered during his football career.

The problem with CTE is that it can’t be properly diagnosed while the potential sufferer is still living, so with all the complications, a plea deal seems the best option. Mark’s judgment, though, is impaired thanks to his falling out with Lola, and he’s failing to see the big picture as regards the actual likelihood of Jesse’s CTE. Just because he’s obviously racist doesn’t mean he isn’t also suffering from the condition. This is the dilemma that Lola herself also has to grapple with. She’s smart in bringing the press into the courtroom so that she can explain, in no uncertain terms, that whether or not Jesse’s thoughts on race can be proved, the impact of his actions is obvious and will be lasting. The victims matter. She eventually accepts the plea deal, but also insists it includes a thorough evaluation, paying restitutions to the victims, and no football.

“Keep Ya Head Up” thankfully resolved the issues between Lola and Mark, too. I love the relationship between these two and the show works so much better when they’re on the same page. The scene they shared on the rooftop was touching in its authenticity, and the obvious love Mark has for Lola and her unborn child really comes through. It’s a great, refreshingly platonic dynamic, and it was nice to see Lola’s husband be the one to fight Mark’s corner, even after he made an obvious blunder.

People are annoyed with All Rise being, they think, liberal propaganda, but I don’t see how anyone can draw that conclusion from what’s presented. These are complex, challenging subjects, and they have no easy answers, nor does the show pretend they do. In fact, most of its characters scarcely know what’s best a lot of the time. I wouldn’t say it’s trying to propagandize, but to draw attention to and have a conversation about real-life issues that are afflicting America and indeed the world right now – and thus far it’s doing an okay job of it.


Thanks for reading our recap of All Rise season 2, episode 2, “Keep Ya Head Up”. For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?

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