Blindspotting season 1, episode 2 recap – “Smashley Rose”

June 21, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Smashley Rose” turns Ashley’s world upside down as everyone has to grapple with Miles’ extended absence.

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3.5

Summary

“Smashley Rose” turns Ashley’s world upside down as everyone has to grapple with Miles’ extended absence.

This recap of Blindspotting season 1, episode 2, “Smashley Rose”, contains spoilers.


Five years is a long time by any standard, but when you don’t know where you’re going to live, how you’re going to provide, or what you’re going to tell your young son about where his daddy is, five years probably feels like a lifetime. This is the predicament that Ashley finds herself in here in Blindspotting episode 2. Miles has been unceremoniously sentenced to five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute, and whether he serves all five years or not, he’s going to be gone for the foreseeable future.

For Ashley, though, he isn’t entirely gone. Several times throughout “Smashley Rose” – you’ll see why it’s called that soon – he appears to her as a kind of ghost, or perhaps more accurately a figment of her own consciousness, coaching her through how to deal with things in his absence. (His advice is very on-brand; perhaps “What would Miles do?” isn’t the best approach for Ashley in this situation, but here we are.) And Ashley has plenty of things to deal with.

For one thing, Rainey, who takes the news of Miles’ sentencing so hard that she immediately heads to the library to find a book about how to coach a young Black child through their white father going to prison (she’s specific about the racial details, and ends up overcompensating by purchasing balloons in the shape of Africa, somewhat hilariously). Not only does Ashley need to be there for her, but she needs to provide for Sean by going to work at the Alcatraz Hotel, where she feigns a posh British accent for the moneyed upper-crust customers, leaving Sean in the care of Janelle and an electronically-tagged Earl, who wants the young lad to fetch him burritos.

One couple, in particular, make Ashley’s shift at the Alcatraz a bit of a nightmare in Blindspotting episode 2. The husband, a lawyer, immediately propositions Ashley, and later the wife asks her if she knows where to get drugs, assuming she must since she’s Black. She doesn’t say that outright, but it’s pretty obvious, and her subsequent rant makes her unpleasantness unarguable. In response, Ashley heads up the couples’ presidential suite and smashes it to pieces with a tennis racquet while reciting spoken word poetry straight to the camera (looks like we’ll be doing that in every episode.) It’s a powerful sequence and Jasmine Cephas Jones really sells it. And it turns out her boss at the hotel is pretty cool.

This outburst might help in the short term – and it certainly crystallizes Ashley’s frustrations with the rich getting away with the same things that her fiancé is currently serving time for – but it does little to help her long-term predicament. The most understated scene of Blindspotting season 1, episode 2, though, is when Ashley sits with Rainey, looking at the Africa balloons, and gently holds her hand. Even a little progress is better than none at all.

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