‘Deputy’ 1×05: “Black and White”

I think that the sign of good television is when you feel an emotional connection to the characters. When you develop a connection to them, when you start to feel for them, that is when you know that you will watch the show religiously.

No matter what.

Whereas I have enjoyed Deputy, I have never felt a connection to the characters. Until now.

Now, let me explain why. In the first four episodes of Deputy, where it has lacked is in not giving us the opportunity to get to know the characters on a personal level. Sure, we know Bill is married and Cade has foster kids and Joseph’s Dad passed away in the line of duty.

But what we haven’t gotten to know is these people. We’ve only known the circumstance of the position that they are in. And for the first time, Deputy allows us to the see the side that isn’t the job, but the human.

Episode 5 has definitely been the best episode of the season, but also one that was enraging, frustrating, and should make all of us stop to take a look at the way people are treated.

Joseph is playing a game of basketball with his friend when the police appear. They ask for his friend and he takes off running, with Joseph screaming at him to stop. Joseph tries to tell the police officer that he is a Deputy, but the police officer is not listening and tells Joseph to get on the ground.

When out of uniform, all people see is the color of his skin, and when he’s in it, nobody sees the color of his skin. They see the uniform. But they are not seeing the person. And all too often, that is the norm and it is not acceptable.

Culture has made distrust of the police the norm for African-Americans, and when we watch this episode we see why a person of color would be apprehensive and fearful when the authorities are present.

I can’t even imagine how difficult it is for a person of color on the job, but this episode delivered a strong performance from Shane Paul McGhie as Joseph, who was absolutely moving from the beginning to the end.

Joseph has been through a lot in life, and he is a strong man who, over and over again, puts others before him. His short time on the job has been one thing after another, but he continuously thinks about others. But make no mistake, the job doesn’t change Joseph and who he is.

This badge means I protect you, you, and you. If you think that makes me any less of a black man, then you’re the one who’s confused.

-Joseph

Being in law enforcement is not an easy thing and Joseph – he is seeing that. But he will always remind his community that he’s still him and he knows that people trusting in him is important. But what I do think is that in this episode, Joseph found who he is and the kind of law enforcement official that he wants to be.

Joseph puts what happened to him aside, because what he is concerned about is his friend, who has been arrested for a murder that he didn’t commit. The LAPD says that it’s pretty much an open and shut case, but Joseph isn’t having it. He believes his friend and goes to the mat for him.

He asks Bill for help.

Now, Bill helping Joseph can be perceived in the wrong way – as nepotism. Bill wants to know who the cop was that disrespected Joseph, but Joseph doesn’t want that to be what he solves. He wants what is solved to be the false murder charge that is pinned on his friend.

Bill knows that Joseph wouldn’t ask him for something if it wasn’t important, so he does just that. He goes to the LAPD offices and talks to the detective in charge. The proof that Joseph’s friend committed the murder – well, that shit isn’t as cut and dry and the LAPD is saying.

The thing that I love about Bill is that he doesn’t give up on people and he goes by his gut. Things aren’t always cut and dry and he knows that. He knows when you are bullshitting and he knows when you’re telling the truth.

Bill doesn’t take the LAPD at their word and does more investigating. He does some digging and Detective Johnson – well nothing feels right about him. He’s been using his badge to manipulate and send innocent people to jail, for his own purposes.

When Joseph’s friend is bailed out, Detective Johnson has ordered his murder to tie up loose ends. But Joseph is there to save his friend and saves him before he is murdered. The man who was trying to kill him is brought in and he implicates Detective Johnson as his boss.

Here’s the thing I love about Bill and why I call him Walker, Texas Ranger LA – he has a way of serving up justice that reminds you of who you are fucking with and that he is not the one. His speeches are sometimes long and drawn out, but at the end you know you’ll be screaming at the TV and telling people not to be dumb enough to fuck with Bill.

Jerry Is Still Suffering From Small Penis Syndrome

We all know that Jerry has problems with Bill. He doesn’t like the fact that Bill is Sheriff, that Bill was the source of a lot of his headaches when he was a Deputy, and that Bill has no time for policy.

Jerry is a politician – he’s non interested in what is right or wrong – he’ interested in what makes them money.

What I am disappointed in it that Charlie is talking to Jerry. I had hopes for Charlie, but this episode made me not trust her. Granted, I know she is going through some shit, but it doesn’t make it okay to turn on the people around you.

I legitimately hate Jerry, but he’s decided to run for Sheriff and that will make for drama.

Other Thoughts

  • Bill’s wife is just like him – standing up for what is right. She is selfless and I see now why they are so good together. The way that they fit makes sense – more and more. When she wants to give up her job rather than cut other peoples – I saw the same strength that I see in Bill. But when Bill reminds her that the hospital wouldn’t be better off without her – my heart breaks and I am thankful that she is reminded of how good of a person she is and the differences that she makes.
  • Cade and his wife – I want them to have a family. I want them to be happy. These two and the way they love each other, the love that they want to give to others – these two are something special. Cade and his wife will be great parents to Roberto and Camilla but he has to get past the fact that he thinks that he wouldn’t be the best Dad. Cause he would. He loves unconditionally. But we need more of Cade and Teresa’s story. I hope we get them.
  • We got a small glimpse into Brianna’s life and to be honest, I want to know more. She is a complex character. She is a character that I think her backstory will be interesting and I hope we get more of it.

Deputy has such potential. It’s gotten so much better with each episode, but I am not sure that this has come in time for a renewal. I hope that each episode continues to get better and that we get a renewal.

I believe that this show hasn’t found it’s stride yet, but it could – with time.

Deputy airs Thursdays on Fox.

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