For Life left things on an uneventful note for its winter finale.
Most of the drama the promos teased about For Life Season 2 Episode 5 fizzled out with its resolution.
And the hour ended with Aaron joining Marie and Jazz at the Wallace home, decorating the Christmas tree. It's a pleasant enough end to hold us over until after the winter break, albeit dull.
The one thing that had us on pins and needles was the thought of Scotty hauling Aaron away in handcuffs inside of the courthouse, as they led us to believe Aaron violated probation or was a victim of shadiness again.
But once we got to see how that scene came about, truthfully, Aaron had it coming.
Aaron's loyalty to Jamal and devotion to him and his family is admirable, and it's one of the best things about the season so far. The brotherhood between Aaron and Jamal is captivating.
Aaron is doing everything he can -- amid juggling other cases and dealing with personal issues -- to get Jamal out of prison. Unfortunately, neither Jamal nor his sister, Georgia, are making it easy on him.
Georgia is a bit of a disaster, and she continues to show that time and again.
She's amenable to Aaron and his plans despite her reservations at times because of his dedication to Jamal.
Either your boss is having a seizure or really has something he wants to say.Judge
She can tell that Aaron is genuinely trying to help her brother, and it spoke volumes to her that Aaron was aware of Jamal's sexuality. It's not something he shares with many people.
It sounds as though she's the only one who knew about that part of him, but their father had his suspicions.
Aaron is on the right track with how he wants to argue Jamal's case. Given the nature of Jamal's charge, it makes sense to build a case around Jamal and Georgia's history of abuse and childhood trauma.
Their father beat them both, and at some point, Jamal started taking the physical abuse on behalf of his sister. Their father also had his suspicions about Jamal's sexuality, so he would go at him even harder in an effort to "toughen" him up and "make him a man."
You don't have to ask me for anything Jamal because that's what brothers do for each other.Aaron
Toxic masculinity is the root of so much evil and pain. It screws people up, and it's an endless cycle that carries from generation to generation with negative effects on all genders.
Aaron wanted to get Georgia on the stand to attest to these things, but by doing so, it would've left the door open for an examination of her current relationship.
And Georgia was still dating another abusive man. If we're frustrated that Jamal caught a case and a long-sentence for his sister for naught (since she threw herself into the same toxicity), then what would that look like to a court?
Ideally, Aaron could get Jamal on the stand to talk about his childhood, but it also would include discussing his sexuality in a public forum that goes on record, and he's not down for that either.
It's easy to understand Aaron's aggravation and his assertion that Jamal isn't trying hard enough to get out, but there's a lot Aaron isn't taking into consideration.
Nevertheless, before we could be happy that Georgia removed herself from her abusive boyfriend, she dragged Aaron into some nonsense in a plot that, honest to goodness, didn't make a lick of sense.
Georgia didn't have ANYONE else to call after she ran away from Derek? She knew Aaron was on probation, for crying out loud. She was aware he had a curfew.
Aaron: You didn't have to put cuffs on me; you jeopardized my client's case.
Scotty: I gave you a wake-up call.
If Georgia was going to end up at the office anyway, then why couldn't she call an Uber, a Lyft, a cab, catch the bus, phone a damn friend. Why couldn't Aaron contact Henry, or the overzealous Charlotte, or put his pride aside to call Marie for help?
Why did he need to get Georgia and then bring her back to the office, thus missing his curfew and violating his probation? It was so stupid!
But, this is Aaron, who feels as if he has to do everything on his own without help, so here we are.
As annoying as Scotty can be, he wasn't wrong for hauling Aaron into the probation office. Yeah, it was shitty to do it in the courthouse in front of everyone like that, but even then, knowing what we do about Aaron, would it have been as effective if he showed him more grace?
Aaron got a warning and a reality check, but he did need it.
And Scotty wasn't the only one giving him chin-checks. Jamal did as well. Jamal didn't tell a single lie when he called Aaron out for riding his case when he didn't get his house in order.
All Aaron talked about when he was inside was how much he couldn't wait to be with Marie and Jazz again, and the second things got hard, or it became too much, he bailed.
The show is trying too hard not to hold Marie accountable for her actions in all of this. Everyone insisted on putting everything off on Aaron as if he wasn't entitled to his feelings.
Get your own house in order instead of telling me what's up with mine.Jamal
That said, he left and didn't say anything to Jazz about it either. She's torn between her parents and not wanting to be bothered with either of them.
He's not communicating well at all, and neither he nor Marie are handling things well. They need more time to work things out, but Aaron's bailing was impulsive and a mess.
Others were right to call him out on pushing the two people he loves most away. We'll chalk it up to his difficult adjustment period and a manifestation of his PTSD.
Marie got to talk things over with Jazz, and Aaron showed up and had a pleasant exchange with Marie and went inside to spend the holiday with his family. It's a better note.
In the meantime, he's going to need them now that he's taken on this case with Paola. For this installment, they focused on "collars for dollars" and how police abuse their power and authority.
The case felt haphazard and like an afterthought, though. More than anything, it gave Henry an individual arc where he got to overcome his insecurities and fears about practicing after his fall from grace.
It's also a case that puts targets on the backs of Aaron and the others. If they intend to sue one police department, then it'll be perceived as an attack on all of them.
Their case got the police union's attention, and the head of that wasted no time threatening Dez. Aaron and his firm are in a direct line of fire now, and they'll be public enemy number one for their gumption.
Aaron doesn't know how to play small. It's a risky case for so many reasons for both Aaron and his client.
Paola, a DACA recipient, risks deportation because of all of this. If she loses, then she's out of the country. But it's such a frivolous charge.
I'm only here for Aaron Wallace.Client
A simple misunderstanding with her card not registering at the turnstile led to charges of theft and assault of an officer. She was part of a larger issue with mostly disenfranchised groups who can't fight back getting trumped-up charges so cops can get overtime.
Henry proved to be an asset in this case. He did most of the groundwork for it, even though Paola didn't have much faith in his abilities. We haven't spent much time with Henry's insecurities about his fall from grace.
He ruined his career with his alcoholism, and it was a long journey to get where he is now. He got his license reinstated, and this shows that Henry has a lot at stake here too.
He's getting a second chance of his own. It was awful to see Henry's anxiety rear its ugly head while he was questioning a witness in court. It's hard to get back out there, and his confidence was nonexistent.
I was part of the problem. Now, I'm trying to be part of the solution.Henry
Then, he almost screwed up by approaching the former cop at AA for help. But it did lead to a nice exchange between the two later. Henry admitted that he used to be part of the problem, and it was such an important scene -- maybe one of the most important ones of the hour.
He wants to be on the right side of things, and he's learned. If Henry figured things out, then there's hope, yes?
The testimony his cop friend gave was the break in the case they needed, and Charlotte coming in with other officers wiling to testify got them the police records subpoena.
Your honor, everyone sitting here knows that collars for dollars exist. I know it, she knows, and you know it.Aaron
I do wonder what this means for Des now. How will this affect Aaron going forward? The case isn't over.
- Praise the heavens, Aaron FINALLY got a new suit, and everyone couldn't help mentioning it.
- Was the lady at the clothing shop flirting with Aaron? She totally was, yes?
- When will we learn more about Charlotte? So far, she's good for some lines and coming in at the opportune times, but she needs more development.
- Jazz makes valid points and her feelings are understandable, but that smart mouth, though.
Over to you, For Life Fanatics. What are your thoughts on this one? What do you hope to see when the show returns? Hit the comments below!
You can watch For Life online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.