Underground Season 2 Episode 4 Review: Nok Aaut

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There is a poetic line that I recall reading somewhere not too long ago. 

It was an intriguing line that came to mind while I was watching Underground Season 2 Episode 4. It was something to the effect of: "Did you raise hell? Or did hell raise you?"

In an hour that saw a theme of violence, and had Underground's resident "hell-raiser," Cato, at the forefront, it is an apt quote.

Cato In Love - Underground Season 2 Episode 4

Once again, Underground provided us with more new and utterly fascinating characters. As the hour split most of its time between Cato and Elizabeth, we were introduced to Devi and Lucas.

Both of whom brought with them enticing violence.

It wasn't solely about just violence.It was about resisting it and also, coming face to face with not just the good parts of you, but the bad and ugly as well.

Cato is the most self-aware character on the show. He knows who he is, and what he's capable of, and he doesn't make apologies for it.

He is notorious for being the one character that you love to hate and hate to love. Mostly, he's the character that you'll never be able to place in a box or categorize, no matter how hard you try.

Cato Has The Upper-hand - Underground Season 2 Episode 4

Is he bad? He does bad things but he's not a truly bad person. Is he good? He does good things but he's not exactly selfless.

He's not a hero, but he's not quite a villain. He's not exactly an anti-hero either. He can sometimes be a friend. He more often than not can be a foe.

Cato can help you or hurt you. You just never know which at any given moment. The only thing we know for sure is that Cato always puts Cato first.

All of this makes him such an intriguing character. You don't always like him, and yet, you find yourself rooting for him

That's why it was exciting to see where he ended up after he fled with a chest filled with money.

Although, he made quite a whirlwind trip in what? Six to seven months, if we're being generous?

Cato: What do you see when you look at the sculpture?
Devi: Timelessness.

The most pressing question surrounding Cato was why would he still be in America when he could have fled?

It turns out he did. He bypassed Canada and headed right on over to London where he met Devi.

Did anyone else (besides myself and Noah) find it odd that he never made any sort of attempt to find his wife and child?

Instead, he had quite the love affair with Devi. Cato is such a layered character that it was absolutely delightful getting to see the softer side of him again.

We got to see an enamored Cato, which is something we only caught a glimpse of back when he and Rosalee were posing as husband and wife in Underground Season 1.

Dance With Me - Underground Season 2 Episode 4

Devi stayed true to Underground's knack for writing multi-faceted women, confinements of time and circumstance, be damned. She was bold and fiery.

She made a strong impression when she railed against Cato for behaving as if he's the only one who has experienced pain.

It was a spot-on call out. Americans have a pesky habit of being self-absorbed and operating as if we're the center of the world, all the while being unaware of the majority of what others are enduring in the world around us.

It's not one of our finer traits, but if nations are much like people, and Cato's point rings true, then everyone is inherently selfish.

Devi: Then tell me.
Cato: Why? You couldn't understand anyway.
Devi: What exactly couldn't I understand? I'm British-Indian in a time where one occupies the other. I'm looked at as different and dangerous. I've been called every slur in the book, and I've been called every slur without the word ever being said.
Cato: Devi, please--
Devi: Being treated less than is not an American invention. You and you alone, don't own the pain and humiliation of it.

She also pointed out that as a British-Indian she's no stranger to racism, and implied that Black-Americans needn't act as if they have a monopoly on oppression.

She essentially called him out on "playing the oppression Olympics" which was once again amusing in its timeliness, and accurate reflection of the inner-workings of black people, other people of color, and other victims of discrimination, period.

Americans tend to be race-oriented when speaking of discrimination, but Europe's combination of xenophobia and racism is just as problematic but different. Devi could have been just as passionate, and almost as on point with her statement, if she were Slavic.

"Almost" because her point withstanding, it would still be difficult to overlook anyone telling a man with a half mutilated face, a scarred back, and history of being in bondage that things suck for a lot of people.

There are still levels of suckage, but point taken.

I loved her ability to call Cato out, challenge him, and refocus him.

Cato's aggression and anger didn't turn her off. If anything, it turned her on. As they made their way through Paris and settled in Dublin, it was interesting watching her get him into boxing.

Devi's passionate speech to get his head in the ring was a highlight that rivaled something you'd here in a Rocky film.

Get over here! The violence, stop swallowing it. It's a part of you. It's in there [points to chest]. Put it in here [points to fists]. Let yourself be angry. You deserve to be. Take it out on them and enjoy it. Fight for the loss you suffered. For revenge. For those who scarred you and took your family. For every slight, big or small, you suffered for daring to exist in their world. Let them know you do not forget.

Devi

The look in Cato's eyes, however, after his last fight with Devi by his side confused me.

I couldn't place what it was that clicked in him.

Did he feel like he corrupted Devi after a while? Did he feel like Devi exploited his inner monster and had him fighting, almost as if it were another form of bondage? Did he feel like she owned him?

Was it one of those things where he didn't want a good thing or was it more that he felt like he deserves or was meant for something else? Was it just that he felt a calling to do more?

His final exchange with Devi was a great scene, however, there were so many ways to take it. What do you think?

Devi: So this is all I get? The deed to your flat? You asked me to marry you and now you treat me like a whore. Why? Is that where I failed? You need someone to hurt you. To remind you that you're nothing. That you're just worthless property. I thought you wanted better.
Cato: I do.

Cato's relationship with Noah was still at its best, and by best I mean at its most complicated.

The two of them know how to get under each others' skin. No one gets to them like they get to each other.There is something almost sibling like with their antagonistic exchanges.

Noah (like the rest of us) wanted to know what Cato brought him there for. In the end, I think Cato recognizes that he and Noah are foils to each other. For better or for worse, they balance each other out and it's necessary. They need each other.

Cato was right in that money can buy things, but Noah knows that even money won't take Cato far. It's their reality.

Cleaned Up - Underground Season 2 Episode 4

Cato made interesting points, too. Particularly, when he pointed out that Noah is always the man with a plan, but he doesn't actually know what comes after freedom. He doesn't think too far ahead beyond his main goal, whereas Cato is like a chess master always thinking of his next move.

Cato sending Noah on an emotional spiral over everyone he lost while running, was needlessly cruel. It did remind me that we haven't actually witnessed Noah processing everything that happened and everyone he lost.

Noah is so pure and good, and Cato left him feeling guilty, but also guilty about not feeling as guilty as he should because he's grateful he made it. At least that's what it sounded like while he was speaking with William Still.

You gave those men and women something they never had. When you asked them to run with you, you gave them a choice.

William Still

The fact that Noah feels guilty at all speaks to how good of a person he is. Meanwhile, Cato actually killed or left for dead some of their friends, and he doesn't feel guilty at all.

Cato parading slaves in front of Noah and forcing him to choose between them and himself, only to free them later on, unbeknownst to Noah, was so quintessentially Cato.

Cato knows who he is and he knows what he wants. Apparently, he's come back to actually make a change and feels like Noah is someone he could use on his team to do it.

Cato's departing words with his Gaelic friend were among my favorite. He has embraced his capabilities and a new mission. Is it wrong that I found his comparing himself to a natural disaster alluring?

I chose to come back, 'cause now I see what this country needs. It needs to be torn down to nothing. It needs a forest fire, a biblical flood, an earthquake that rips it in half. It needs me.

Cato

I found Lucas alluring as well.

Daniel's cameos at the beginning of every installment have been delightful but slow moving because we're eagerly anticipating his bigger role.

We're getting closer, though. He read the letter about plantation owners on edge and moving around their slaves because John Brown was coming.

Sure enough, it tied into the Sewing Circle meeting with the John Brown's men.

They are all abolitionists but have different methods. Georgia and her gang are the peaceful protestors who try to use reason, morality, and the law if they can.

Lucas and his crew used violence and force. Action, as he'd call it. They are the radicals.

No matter the time period, or the issue, the factions never change, do they? It seems like we have protests and rallies every other week these days. It was hard not to draw parallels to any number of issues.

Rally Cry - Underground Season 2 Episode 4

The methods may conflict and opinions can be polarizing, but in some twisted way, one can't exist without the other and the combination of both have led to results.

The talk of the botched election was so obviously touching on the 2016 election. Then there was Lucas' rant while destroying the polling place...he spoke on the ire of the small town and how when it came down to it their anger would come out through hatred when they voted.

He pointed out how they'd vote for some rich planter, who has nothing in common with them, nor truly grasps their needs, or have their best interest at heart.

Lucas: Today we'e going to exercise our right. This town we're in is destitute and desperate. Tomorrow, the people are going to vote overwhelmingly to put another rich planter in that seat, and he isn't going to do anything for them. The people in this town who are angry and going to express themselves, are going to vote with their hate, and I'm going to do something to counter that, because you what the alternative is?
Elizabeth: Doing nothing.
Lucas: And that's not the captain's way.

Didn't need a diagram to figure that one out. It does make one wonder why the small, underclass faction is so drawn to being represented by someone who doesn't represent them at all?

Lucas is wild and extreme. His methods are not ideal, but they are understandable.

He's an interesting character. A likable one, too. I was riveted when he told that tale of the slave and his son.

But I was positively delighted when it turned out he was lying about it to make a point to Elizabeth. Why do we expect people to have a personal, deep reason for doing what is right?

Shouldn't the fact that slavery is wrong be enough? 

As a white man, he was expected to have some reason to give a damn about other people because slavery didn't affect him, so he had no vested reason to be so passionate about abolishing it

Why do you assume that I need some deep, personal reason to fight this war? Slavery is wrong. I know that. You know that. Your late husband knew it. He was shot in cold-blood because of it. Now ain't that enough reason to take up arms to end it?

Lucas

I loved their scene. It subtly called out complacency. The people who support terrible things aren't nearly as scary as the people who can stand by and watch and do nothing.

Complacency and inaction are most dangerous.

Elizabeth has been teetering on the edge when if comes to her approach to the cause. Violence has appealed to her more than once, especially since John's death.

Lucas appealed to her. They had a unique chemistry that had me feeling both entertained and sad because I don't want to see anything that hints at romance with Elizabeth and anyone, so soon after John's death.

While Mourning We Wear Black - Underground Season 2 Episode 2

John's death was already a catalyst, but Rosalee crawling back through the tunnels beaten and battered was enough to stoke Elizabeth's fury.

Rosalee is the only family she has left. Rosalee's baby is a small piece of her husband, if anything happens to either of them, at this point Elizabeth might lose it.

Gentle Georgia is trying to keep Elizabeth grounded. I love that about Georgia..she's so soft, sweet, and good. She's solid in her conviction and it's impressive.

I wonder how long can she keep Elizabeth from slipping into the dark side?

Elizabeth's speech started off well and then things escalated quickly. She was the voice of a person fed up and outraged with the lack of action.

Every day it's becoming clear that there is no such thing as a middle-ground. Inaction is nothing but a slow death...poison, running through us, building up. Every citizen must make a choice. Are you for the cause, or are you against us? Slavery is violence, full-stop, and those who hold fast oppression are refusing peace and testing the limits of the peaceful. Those who make peace impossible, make violence inevitable.

Elizabeth

She is tired of being polite and sitting idly by while awful things are happening. It was a rally and she was delivering a rallying cry.

It was the perfect example of how quickly and how easily a peaceful protest can become a riot.

Frustration over not being heard and insensitivity were enough to drive even someone as sweet as Elizabeth to consider violence. Then when it's all said and done, people wonder how violence seeps in and the true message is lost. 

There are lines being drawn and things are getting heated. A war is brewing. The Civil War is within reach and these are the moments leading up to it.

You can sense the unrest and unease. It's palpable. Everyone is choosing their sides and their methods. Citizen or soldier. Peace or violence.

What are your thoughts on Knock out, well "Nok Aaut?" Do you think we'll see more of Devi? Did you love catching up with Cato? Let us know in the comments.

You can watch Underground online here via TV Fanatic.

Nok Aaut Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Underground Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Cato: What do you see when you look at the sculpture?
Devi: Timelessness.

It ain't about the risk. Reading is a curse. All the words...they give words to all the feelings nobody told me about--not even my dad-- and I'm crushing under the weight of the knowledge. It opens up the world to you, and shows you how small the one they got us chained to is.

Daniel