While it reeked of "white savior", I really liked Officer Bradford stepping up there at the end. I think it was the look on his face when he saw Jackson in heated conversation with Sergeant Grey through the office windows. You got the impression that he was going in there to pull Jackson out and keep the thin blue line, but when he blurted--almost in spite of himself--that he supported whatever Jackson was saying it came as a surprise. To apparently everybody, including Bradford, but he pulled himself up and got behind the position. I was a little shocked that Grey was all in favor of continuing the status quo, until I think he started listening to himself and realized that as he was looking at retirement, nothing has changed in all those years and he was part of the problem. The weariness in his voice when his wife asked him what had come up and he said something like "you know" and the weary understanding in her eyes kind of killed me.
I don't think the whole BLM and racist policing issue(s) can be resolved in a TV show, but I appreciate that they're trying to show a way. It might get hokey (see: white savior) and cliche, but they're trying. That's more than a lot of shows would do. Racism is a bit of a third rail on the small screen.
The fact that Nolan's mom is a narcissistic whackaloon is hilarious. Nathan Fillion does weary exasperation really well, and this gives him an opportunity to exercise that. I love how he's very aware of who she is and what her motivations are and anticipates her next moves. I also thought it was terrific that Nyla kind of changed his perspective by showing him another view of how him mom came to be the manipulative narcissist that she is now, because being a single mom was difficult back in the day, and she had to fight--including lying and cheating--for everything she got.
The theme of the episode seemed to be "strong mothers" what with getting whacked in the face with it at every turn. From the woman in labor getting dissed by the establishment, to Nyla stepping up for her and for Nolan's mom, to the black kid's mom and grandma passionately defending the kid in the face of drawn guns, to the whole legend of La Fiera herself, to Lopez bonding (sort of) with La Fiera.... I think this will be an interesting storyline going forward. The gift at the end was both a gift and a threat, there were interesting layers there, and I think Lopez clearly recognized that. I want to see where this goes.
I really appreciate that the bizarre scuba-clad shooter at the range wasn't just a comedic throwaway, but integral to the whole story. That was a complete shock to me when he opened fire on Nolan. I like that this show can surprise me, and it did several times in this episode. I also like that the show is much more of an ensemble and not so concentrated on all Nolan, all the time. I like him--and I like Nathan Fillion--but I really like all the characters and how they all interact with each other.