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The chasm grows wide for the characters of 'The Divide'

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “I’m for Justice” | Aired Aug 6, 2014

“Please let me go.”

Those were the final words written by Jenny in a letter to Adam and his family before she attempted to take her own life by downing a bottle of pills. Jenny (thankfully) survives, but will she be able to shake off the heavy burden of knowing that a man she sent to death row was just executed for a crime he didn’t commit, while another—her sister’s lover–wasted away in prison for 11 years?

Rosa, meanwhile, meets up with Loretta Strauss (Jane Spidell), Bankowski’s girlfriend, at the local flea market. Rosa doesn’t get much from Loretta other than her plans to, à la Bankowski’s mother, leave the city before running off. Rosa tries to catch up, but is stopped by two strange men who clearly aren’t there to give her a good deal on a new handbag.

At Maxine’s, Kucik asks her if it’s OK to take his court-approved three hours for personal time. Soon after, Maxine gets a surprise call from Rosa’s father, Victor, who opens up to her and tells her that he regrets keeping her away from visitation.

Meanwhile, Adam and Bobby get down and dirty with their independent investigation of the Butler murder. They come to the conclusion that since nothing went missing, it’s hard to believe that the crime was meant to be a robbery. Whatever the intent was, it went awry when the perpetrator (or perpetrators) ended up killing the Butlers. What followed was a cover-up—one led by Raymond. The question is, who hired him to do the deed?

Billie and Trey stay behind at the hospital in case Jenny wakes up, while a noticeably shaken Rosa, who contacted Danny immediately after the flea market incident, sits in a police room sifting through mugshots. Danny comes in and checks on her, getting an invite to Rosa’s grandmother’s birthday in the interim. Later, when Rosa goes to get a drink of water, she learns to her horror that the two men who accosted her are, in fact, retired police officers. The way Marin Ireland plays this scene is brilliant.

Kucik’s free time is spent paying a visit to none other than Eric Zale (Billy Magnussen) at his work site. In what is the first of several curve balls thrown our way in this episode, the two seem to be chums, embracing each other as if all is well. Zale divulges that he has quit drinking and is a happily married man with two kids. Kucik, in turn, inquires about a job. I’m guessing ulterior motives are at play here …

3694516722001-210x140Danny pays a visit to an author who had covered Victor’s case and wrote a book about it. In what proves to be a scene filled with nice nuggets of detail, we learn that Rosa’s mother, Claire Danner, came from old money—the Danners were “the Kennedy’s of Philadelphia,” we are told. She only got in a relationship with Victor, on the cusp of being a hockey star, to spite her family. When Victor’s aspirations crashed and burned, Claire ran back home before dropping Rosa off to a boarding school. Victor is painted as being a drunk with a short fuse, with our author being convinced without a doubt that he was guilty of murdering Claire’s ex-fiancé.

Back with the Pages: Jenny wakes up and apologizes to Billie (from a personal standpoint, this scene had the most emotional resonance—with superb acting by Britne Oldford and Nia Long). Trey, feeling guilty that he wasn’t able to help Jenny, pays a visit to Isaiah, who proceeds to give his grandson a pep talk about the ugliness of the real world—and how Adam might be denying aspects of his roots.

If all this is setup, the second half of the episode grandly pays it off. Eric—whom we learn that is still drinking and is in fact separated from his wife—is visited by his father, Stanley Zale, the mystery man Isaiah met with in last week’s episode. The senior Zale assures his son that “this is all going to go away.”

As Rosa and Danny attend her grandmother’s birthday party, Rosa makes it clear that the reason for her being there is more than just to pay her respects. In fact, Rosa fully expects to get a nice check made out to the Innocence Initiative from her grandmother (played by the great Jane Alexander—last seen on NBC’s The Blacklist) to help fund Kucik’s case. It seems that Rosa downright resents her rich relatives. Downstairs at the party, guess who turns out to be one of the guests? None other than Stanley Zale.

Bobby, having trailed Rodney to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, pretends to be a member—and ends up giving public testimony. In a bravura moment highlighted by Reg E. Cathey’s flawless delivery, Bobby proceeds to take on the persona of Raymond, seated in front of him, and tells the group the good doctor’s tale. It’s a great scene punctuated with a nice, humorous finish. In fact, this episode in general is punctuated with a nice amount of humor—the reaction of seeing Rosa in a dress was one of my favorite gags.

The final moments of the episode are filled with strong moments of emotion: Rosa and Maxine pay a visit to Victor, who blows up in a fit of rage when he learns that Rosa met with his ex-wife’s relatives, while Jenny commits herself to an institution. At a spoken-word performance, Adam and Billie watch in horror as Trey goes on a full-on verbal assault that represents Isaiah’s cynical worldview. Medicating herself with alcohol, Rosa gets a call from Danny, only to cut him short. She then proceeds to call Kucik, but fakes having dialed the wrong number before sliding against the wall, awash in tears.

“I’m for Truth” has the unfortunate distinction of following last week’s episode, which turned out to be the best episode of the series yet. Written by Richard LaGravenese (from a story by LaGravenese and Marcus Dalzine) and directed by Sarah Pia Anderson, this episode turns out to be the series’ most expository—we get a lot of background here, of Victor’s case and Rosa’s family in particular. But this is how you do it, folks. Thanks to sharp writing and excellent acting, “I’m for Truth” turns out to be another great one.

One of the interesting things about this episode is how it highlights two of the more minor characters of The Divide: Danny and Trey. Admittedly, Danny’s subplot involving his quest to help Rosa free her father from death row is perhaps the weakest aspect of the show. The last two episodes had one scene apiece featuring Danny, so I was a bit concerned as to what was going on here. Happily, this episode remedied the issue. I found myself fully engaged with the backstory involving Victor’s crime, and was especially surprised to learn about Rosa’s family lineage.

Another big surprise is placing Trey in the middle between his father and grandfather, two men with opposite ideologies. It’s no accident that the episode begins with a quote from Malcolm X—and you can even look at Adam and Isaiah as surrogates for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, respectively. Which side is Trey going to fall into?

But perhaps the episode’s biggest success is in the way we are finally seeing the divisions between our characters: between Rosa and Victor, Trey and Adam, Adam and Isaiah. The true nature of the show is finally coming into play, and it’s quite a wonderful thing.

The Divide airs Wednesdays at 9/8C on WE tv.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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