Did Aaron Wallace make a difference?
He didn't know by the end of For Life Season 2 Episode 10, but most of us are confident in saying that he has, and it was a pleasure to witness it in action.
The sophomore finale of For Life wrapped things up with the Andy Josiah trial and conclusion.
In reality, the hundreds of cases that share similarities to that of Andy rarely have a satisfying conclusion or anything that resembles justice. Aaron knew he was fighting an uphill battle as the special prosecutor on this case, and it almost crashed and burned a few times throughout the trial.
Various factors had the potential to tank the case, including Aaron and his team. Aaron was too invested in this case, and it often clouded his judgment or prevented him from making the best decisions for the sake of the case.
Henry's occasional unscrupulous, back alley suggestions and underhanded tactics were questionable and a slippery slope in morality. Masry cared too much and allowed emotions to affect some of her decisions.
It was the latter with Masry that nearly cost them the case. Veronica got her hands on Sherwin's text messages and figured out that Masry sent him to Iran to avoid the video authentication.
It didn't look good, and it was even worse that Masry never shared what she did with Henry or Aaron, but in her defense, she wanted them to have plausible deniability.
A terrible, horrible mistake was made by both men, but a mistake is not a crime.Veronica
But both sides took some blows, and Masry was able to find a loophole to use that same footage at the convenience store to prove that Diaz took the footage and covered things up.
But one of the biggest turning points of the case was something that happened outside of it. Because of the nature of the case, Aaron faced a lot of threats and attacks.
People graffitied his house and threatened him and his family. He required cops stationed outside of his home.
But no one was there to stop the Blue Lives Matter protestor from attempting to shoot and kill Aaron. The only obstacle standing between Aaron and that bullet was Henry.
So if a Black woman does anything outside of your rule book she's a race traitor?Veronica
Good heavens! That was rough. Regardless of the two men bickering with one another, they're like family and love each other. Henry is such a pivotal part of the series and Aaron's life, and the thought of losing him is unimaginable.
It's not surprising that Henry would willfully take a bullet for Aaron. A highlight of the season is the closeness between Aaron and Henry and Aaron and Safiya.
The hour glossed through much of the trial quickly, but they got captured the most intense moments and cut to the heart of it. Veronica was a worthy adversary for Aaron, and it was refreshing that the show never demonized her for her role in this case.
It's an easy cop-out, pardon the pun, to make her a bad guy, but they tried to add more layers to this. She caught hell for taking on this case as a Black woman. However, she raised some great points to Aaron about the discrepancy between the public's response to Black men versus Black women.
Andy would've given his son that Talk sooner or later, but Marcel doesn't need to hear it now, does he? This all needs to change right now, today.Aaron
According to her, during the same week of Andy's shooting, there were a few similar cases with women, but Aaron probably didn't even hear about them.
Veronica is an excellent lawyer, and she defended the hell out of Linsley. She did so while facing harassment of her own, too. But there reached a point where Linsley should've made a deal.
After the shooting, Jamal, always the protective brother, reached out to his Armenian friends on the outside and had them rough up Diaz for Aaron. Diaz barely made it to the court, and he was visibly a mess the entire time.
However, they worked magic with his testimony, especially after they showed the surveillance. By pleading the fifth, he revealed a lot about that day.
Isabelle: Mr. Wallace, do you think we made a difference?
Aaron: I don't know. What do you think?
Isabelle: I guess we'll see.
Another significant move was putting Marcel on the stand. It was always going to come down to putting a seven-year-old on the stand. Marcel was the only one who could testify about the exchange between Linsley and Andy and corroborate Matranga's story.
It was a tough scene, and it got more intense as time went on. Aaron's closing statement was strong, but when given the option between criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter, the jury chose the lesser charge.
Linsley's behavior in the courtroom was abhorrent. He didn't believe that he had an issue with judging Black people harsher and using excessive force.
Linsley spoke to how difficult it has been recently because of all the protests and increased hostility toward cops. He felt they were all hypervigilant and on high-alert, and that as a result, he feared for his life.
But how does one argue that to justify why they stuck a gun in the face of a child? His frustration that all of this could cost him his pension came across insensitive and callous, and he was pissed that he was found guilty of even one of the charges. But no one saw the judge's sentence coming.
I'd like to think that the letter Andy's wife read -- the words he wrote down the day his son was born, moved everyone in the courtroom, including the judge.
And it speaks volumes that his wife knew they wouldn't charge him and already had a statement prepared. Her words were powerful, particularly the part about fearful cops ill-equipped to deal with POC finding another job.
To protect and serve, that's what you were supposed to do.Mrs. Josiah
The judge couldn't in good faith allow Linsley to walk free, and she gave him a maximum of four years in prison. It was some form of justice, and it's progress.
Aaron's moment with Isabelle at the end of the hour was a sweet one. They did make a difference; even if it's a small one, it's a start.
Some things were still left in the air a bit or never went anywhere.
We expected Scotty to be a larger issue than he was since his superiors wanted him to give Aaron a hard time. Scotty ended up being an asset for Aaron when they showed him, and Aaron's involvement in the case moved him and prompted him to request Aaron's removal from probation.
Aaron got distracted from Jamal's case, so he ended the hour chastising Jamal for his move with Diaz, telling him how worried he is about the path he's taking and having a break-up of sorts.
As painful as it is, they need to part ways and only stick to professional, up-and-up communication. Aaron swears he'll do whatever he can to get Jamal out, and that's his number one priority now.
But between Jamal getting deeper into the Top Dog lifestyle and his call with Dawkins, it's concerning.
Over to you, For Life Fanatics. Did the case's outcome surprise you? Are you worried about Jamal? What are your thoughts on the season?
You can watch For Life online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.