The odds are stacked against Jimmy in another enthralling episode. Impressive filmmaking, with some exceptional acting and a beautifully haunting score.
This recap of the Apple TV+ series Black Bird season 1, episode 2, “We Are Coming, Father Abraham,” contains spoilers.
Read the season 1 review of Black Bird.
In episode two, “We Are Coming, Father Abraham”, the narrative splits into two distinct storylines, focusing on Jimmy’s prison life, where he is training for his transfer, and the interrogation of Larry on the outside, as the police try to gain that elusive confession. There are obvious parallels between these two plots and by the end of the chapter they both synch up in a satisfactory fashion. This is, after all, a meticulously planned out series that makes for a fascinating watch.
Black Bird season 1, episode 2 recap
The first subplot centers on Jimmy, our likeable drug dealer, who has found himself conned into serving ten years in prison. His only salvation comes in the form of a one-time-only deal that would see him out straightaway, no questions asked. Jimmy literally has a get out of jail free card in his back pocket, but is hesitant to use it. He does however finally accept the deal, yet Lauren informs him that they have other candidates in the pipeline. In the second instalment he follows the interview process and starts to train for his future role as Larry’s confidant. Jimmy must befriend a murderer and elicit a confession from the psychopath.
Lauren plays mind games with Jimmy, trying to get him to see things from Larry’s point of view. They discuss what Jimmy loves and hates about women, attempting to find some common ground between the two criminals. Lauren then pushes Jimmy into a more personal conversation, talking about his awful upbringing, again trying to find links between the two inmates, whilst addressing Larry’s warped worldview at the same time.
The writers do a stellar job of upping the ante with Jimmy’s storyline, giving him another reason to accept the deal. His father is seriously ill, having suffered from a stroke, which has left him weak and forgetful. Jimmy is warned that if he doesn’t get out soon he may never see his dad again. The stakes are building and Jimmy has no other options.
Meanwhile, Brian’s aggressive approach to the interrogation has upset Larry, who asks to go home. Brian plans one final assault and brings in the FBI to help land this serial killer. Larry’s confession is a slow burner, but one that feels authentic in its delivery. Larry hints early on that he’s ready to disclose some incriminating information, starting by saying that he would fail a polygraph test and that he isn’t sleeping well. He has nightmares, he’s depressed and lonely. This all effortlessly leads to the discussion of women and then Larry is shown the photograph of Jessica Roach. He talks about burying bodies and folding up the victim’s clothes. The police are perilously close to an unabashed confession.
Larry signs the confession paperwork, although after speaking with a lawyer, he claims it to be forced and fake. He barks that they twisted his words and coerced the simpleton into these lies. In court the lawyers plead a similar case, leaving Lauren and the gang not very long to prove his guilt before Larry is inevitably released. Another time pressure for Lauren and Jimmy, further fuelling the tensions.
Jimmy continues to train for his transfer, learning that he must become a brother to Larry, always looking out for the killer and passing no judgment. Having aced the tests, Jimmy successfully passes the audition and makes the daunting trip to his new home, a maximum security prison for the criminally insane. He’ll be entering as an arms dealer in civilian clothing. Jimmy is cautioned not to add any more time to his sentence, avoiding maiming others or been caught in any criminal acts. Again, the writers keep piling on the pressure, with this additional dilemma, how will he survive if he cannot defend himself? It’s an enticing concept.
The episode ends with the two inmates only mere cells apart. It is unclearly whether Larry did the crimes or not and Jimmy’s chances of success seem minimal, but this opening two-parter does an excellent job of setting the scene and mounting that suspense.
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