Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
SilverStormm

Underground

Recommended Posts

What happened to Moses and his daughter?  They are now down to four.  I can't believe that she was stupid enough to think they would honor those papers just because she could read them. 

 

Ernestine is cold as ice.   So far I think I have counted more slaves killing each other than the white people or slave catchers. 

 

Zeke- Cato's shooting him was just like killing him

Pealie May - Ernestine finished him off 

 

Maybe I missed it, but what city are the Underground Railroad helpers in?  I know they traveled to see his brother on the plantation, but where do they live? 

 

Boo and Moses are now on the train.  Noah told Moses to jump and he would throw him Boo and then we cut back to Rosalee telling Noah that he'd done it.   They are not out of danger yet, though.

 

I was surprised when Tom Macon was describing his slaves for the slave bill he didn't mention that Moses only had one eye.  It seems to me that if you have to provide testimony in front of a magistrate for the fugitive slave law, that would be a key to proving the man you had was the one you were "entitled" to take.

Edited by hoosiermommy
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I thought she said "they dead."  I assumed that the jump and throw did not go well.   I played it back 3 times and could not figure out what happened. 

Share this post


Link to post

She said "you did it."

So much to unpack. This episode was amazing. But then they all are.

Cato: always out for self. Period. I don't like what he did to Zeke. I could MAYBE understand if he had done that to Henry because it would have made more sense for him to sacrifice someone who wasn't all that useful (in his mind). But Zeke? Ugh. He didn't deserve that. And they could have used his strength and determination on the run.

Tom: so he's Rosalee's father. His demeanor and tone when he was describing her made it obvious but the conversation between Ernestine and PM made it completely clear.

I almost LOL'd at Tom lamenting the fact that he didn't know his slaves like he thought. Rosalee went to the dance, Noah and Henry are close, and Moses preaches. Wtf?! Shocking that your property actually have lives. Despite them being listed next to your furniture and animals on official documents, these people are fully actualized human beings. (You can almost draw parallels to the black best friends trope on TV. They exist as props next to the white characters, and you just know those characters would be stunned to realize that when Keisha and Jamal leave work/the coffee house, they actually have friends, families, feelings, and goals of their own). Anyway, Tom's cluelessness was hilarious. Asshole.

Pearly Mae: I had seen speculation online that Ernestine and Susannah were sisters. Nice twist here with PM being her sister. I shed a tear for her when she was strung up and when she cried in the bathtub. She gave her life for her baby and was desperate for that sacrifice to not be in vain. Here's what was interesting to me...that desperation turned to blindness. She let it cloud her judgment. She actually believed Tom and Susannah were honest/honorable. Sure, Tom might have been a tad nicer than her own father but he's still a slave master and he still cares more about profit than anything else. I don't believe for a second that they would have honored those papers. You cannot trust people who own other people. Ernestine knows that. Even after desperately using her rape as a bargaining chip, she STILL knows that Tom can't be trusted. PM lost sight of that fact.

Ernestine and Susannah: it was kind of funny how they BOTH had Tom's number.

Susannah: I thought her scene with PM was interesting. I pretty much hate her and wish she would die but I was intrigued by her this episode. Did she know PM could read? If so, did she use those papers the way she did knowing PM would read them and think wow, they're telling the truth? Also interesting to me was how she appealed to that deep, dark pain I'm sure a LOT of enslaved women (and even some bw today) had about feeling unprotected by their fathers/spouses. "You used your body to stop them from shooting your family...and Moses let you do it." Damn. Of course the tricky and gaslighty thing happening here is that those men were not allowed to fully protect their families, lest they end up like Zeke in that box, or much, MUCH worse. So Susannah was appealing to PM about a situation in which she herself was complicit. And of course it worked. (Perhaps we can draw parallels to the modern day middle class white feminist movement...)

Ernestine: holy shit. This woman is a G. She coached PM on how to fool Tom but when that plan went awry, she came up with plan B. Why didn't rosalee inherit any of her cunning nature?

Sam: broke my heart. There it was. "People surprise you. Sometimes you surprise yourself." He thought he had it in him but he surprised even himself. He tried to give himself another chance with that gun but he only reinforced his own sad conclusion.

Also, I really want him and Ernestine to have that conversation eventually. When have we EVER delved into any of the real pain, heartbreak, betrayal, and sacrifices made within black families/between family members at that time? It's rare to see that on film but they touched on it last week. Of course he resents Ernestine. Of course he's self-loathing. I think he's one of the most tragic characters on this show right now.

Boo is adorable. I hope we check back in with her, safe (relatively) and sound and thriving up north.

Whew, there's so much more but that's all I got for now.

Edited by ridethemaverick
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Is Susannah pregnant with quintuplets? It looked like she had an XL organ grinder attached to her belly

 

Ha! They've saddled that poor actress with the most hideous faux pregnancy belly I've ever seen.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

OMG....I was wondering how many babies Miz Susannah will be birthin'. Looks like she's 19 months pregnant. Either that or there's a big twist coming.. She's actually a conductor on the Underground Railroad and she's smuggling slaves all up in those hoop skirts.

I didn't miss the abolitionist couple one bit. They drag the story down IMO. I'd rather spend time with the Macon 6 and the people on the plantation.

When Christopher Meloni was trying to convince Rosalie he could help her if she got in his wagon, I couldn't help think that character could be Det. Stabler's nefarious great great great grandfather. Slave hunter grandpa was the predecessor to the creepy guys in white vans, coaxing kids with candy or lost puppy stories Stabler felt compelled to hunt down 150 years later while working cases for SUV!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Unpopular opinion, but Rosalee and the actress that portrays her are the weakest part of this show.  I cringe at all of her scenes and see NO chemistry with Noah. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Damn. This show is gonna cause me to need blood pressure meds.

 

RIP, Pearly Mae and Zeke. 

 

Of course Cato couldn't be trusted. I can't believe he left Zeke behind like that. But then again I can. Asshole.

 

I can see there's going to be some tension between August and his son Ben. 

 

Miss Ernestine is...something else. I get why she did what she did, but it still hurt to see her end Pearly Mae's life.

 

Slavery left our people with some horrific choices.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Unpopular opinion, but Rosalee and the actress that portrays her are the weakest part of this show.  I cringe at all of her scenes and see NO chemistry with Noah.

 

Yes, I'm not alone in my opinion! JS-B is so bad, and Aldis Hodge is the only one scorching the earth in their scenes together.

 

So pissed at Cato for what he did to Zeke, but I'm more pissed at myself that I was cheering for him last episode. I feel like it's fitting that Zeke got to go out raging.

 

I'm blanking on August's son's name (Ben?), but yay Ben. There's hope for you, and I hope the show doesn't crush the wee light of goodness in you.

 

I continue to be amused at the direction and editing of action scenes on this show. This episode they were like "Fuck it, we don't need to see Aldis throw Boo to Moses even though it's a huge moment, we'll just cut to right after and gave someone say "You did it!""

Share this post


Link to post

Cato pulled a Shane (for Walking Dead fans) on Zeke. He will be a thorn in Noah's side until one of them is dead or they split up. The look Noah gave him when he said Zeke got caught at least tells us that he doesn't believe Cato.

 

I'm not sure the son was saying that he and his father should have helped Zeke or the white man. To me, it seemed as if he was saying they should have saved the slave catcher from Zeke.

 

As far as Rosalee for trusting Det. Stabler (I don't know his name on the show), she perhaps has less reason to distrust a kindly white man than the field hands seeing that she's grown up under the slight protection of her father/owner. Still, she came that close to getting caught. Hopefully, she learned her lesson. 

 

I wonder if Rosalee knows that Tom is her father. She would have been old enough to be curious about her younger brother's father. Ernestine didn't have a husband at that point, so I wonder if she made the connection - or at least wondered who their father was. Probably some other slave told her. Y'all know how folks is.

 

I really wanted to see the resolution of the scene with Tom and Sam. Tom clearly knew that Sam was too scared to kill him. He would have never given that gun to Noah. But what purpose did the scene serve as far as Tom was concerned? Did it tell him that Sam was in on the plot but too scared to run?

 

Ernestine did what she had to do. Poor Pearly Mae. She fell for that trick. She should have been asking herself when was the last time she ever heard of Tom "I ain't never had a runaway" setting a slave free? Never? Why would he do it in this situation when SEVEN slaves have run off? And she was in on it too! There was no reward coming for her and her daughter. She wanted to believe for her child, but that was a false hope if there ever was one.

 

Wonder if Tom will be mad at his wife for leaving her unattended. Or if Susannah will figure out that it wasn't a suicide and suspect Ernestine. That lady ain't no dummy.

 

Also wonder how long it'll take that cotton to grow back.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

It was interesting how they portrayed the escapee's frustration and fears about the general geography and how to get away.  I can't imagine that feeling, not having any idea of where you are, where safety is, and even the basic directions, things we take for granted now. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

As far as Rosalee for trusting Det. Stabler (I don't know his name on the show), she perhaps has less reason to distrust a kindly white man than the field hands seeing that she's grown up under the slight protection of her father/owner. Still, she came that close to getting caught. Hopefully, she learned her lesson. 

 

I wonder if Rosalee knows that Tom is her father. She would have been old enough to be curious about her younger brother's father. Ernestine didn't have a husband at that point, so I wonder if she made the connection - or at least wondered who their father was. Probably some other slave told her. Y'all know how folks is.

 

I really wanted to see the resolution of the scene with Tom and Sam. Tom clearly knew that Sam was too scared to kill him. He would have never given that gun to Noah. But what purpose did the scene serve as far as Tom was concerned? Did it tell him that Sam was in on the plot but too scared to run?

 

I'm glad you mentioned that about Rosalee, we see bad interactions between her and white people, specifically black men, but with the way she was raised, unlike the other slaves, she would be more likely to think that there are good white people who would willingly help her. Also, people who are desperate fall for things they never would were they in the position to think things through clearly, case in point, Pearly Mae.

I think Rosalee would have to know that she and her younger brother have and continue to be treated the way they are because Massa Tom is their Daddy, she sees that her older brother, who clearly has a different father is not treated anywhere near as well.

As for Tom and Sam, I wonder what role their respective connections to Ernestine impact their interactions.

I too want to know more about Ernestine's background with Tom and Susannah (hateful B, I hope she dies slowly and painfully, she is the embodiment of evil and white privilege). Like most, I speculated that Ernestine and Susannah share the same father and that's how she came to be in Tom's orbit. I wonder if Ernestine received preferable treatment over Pearly Mar because of her complexion, or is speculation that the two are in fact sisters is wrong and Ernastine is the product of her mother being raped by a different white man, aka what we almost saw happen to Rosalee.

As for the acting, Aldice Hodge is killing it, as was the actress who played Pearly Mar. Good to see he in a mother role that made me love her, as opposed to her role on True Blood. The actress playing Ernestine is excellent as well, you understand what propels her every action.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Interesting discussion about Rosalee. I think the opposite, that being in the house would make her LESS trusting of white folks than the field slaves. She has a front row seat to their treachery and cruelty. The field slaves see their overseer and occasionally Tom but Rosalee hears the conversations, sees up close Susannah's evil, hateful ass, Tom who, for all his protection, stood by and watched her get whipped horribly, the lecherous associates Tom entertains, Bill, etc.

In short, I have no idea why Rosalee is so naive. Although I remember Ernestine telling someone (Sam? Cato?) that she was soft on Rosalee. Too bad, because a Rosalee with her mother's wits would be a force to be reckoned with.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

To be fair, the first episode showed us just how convincing August can be with his "let me help you" routine.  That first female runaway fell for the whole bit, but I don't think we're supposed to see her as naïve or stupid.  Rosalee, OTOH, was initially hesitant, let her guard down enough to let some information slip, but then correctly read the situation when the son showed up and got the hell out of there. 

 

I see the character as sheltered, sure, but Ernestine didn't raise no fool!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Ernestine is...something else. I get why she did what she did, but it still hurt to see her end Pearly Mae's life.

 

 

 

She is. I understand wanting to protect her daughter. But I also think she's really cutthroat and tries to run things on the plantation. I do think that in a sense there is element of danger to her because she sees just about everything/knows about everything and tries to get involved/interfere with everything.

 

Even though she's in a really bad situation, she does try and get her way as much as she can given her situation. There are some "Ernestine's" in today's world (including some of different races and some males ones). and they can be dangerous. Because they are willing to do anything to protect their own/have things go their way. Even at the expense of hurting or doing worse to other people. Yes, she did what she did to protect Rosalee, but she also killed a little's girl's mother. 

 

Cato pulled a Shane (for Walking Dead fans) on Zeke. He will be a thorn in Noah's side until one of them is dead or they split up. The look Noah gave him when he said Zeke got caught at least tells us that he doesn't believe Cato...

 

Wonder if Tom will be mad at his wife for leaving her unattended. Or if Susannah will figure out that it wasn't a suicide and suspect Ernestine. That lady ain't no dummy.

 

 

 

I wish they wouldn't have had Cato do Zeke the way he did. He could have been a thorn without doing the senseless thing he did to Zeke. He sabotaged Zeke and really the whole team, when he shot Zeke and set him up to die. He took away a valuable person from the group. I think that his selfishness and backstabbing ways may eventually backfire on him and possibly lead to his death. 

 

Also, even though I find Susannah vile, I wonder if at least a tiny part of her might feel something when she learns of Pearly May's death. When Zeke's wife killed their baby she remarked about she didn't want a child killer on the plantation. I wonder if she won't at least be disturbed by Pearly Mae's death on some level. I also think she is a smart woman and I wonder if she will believe that Pearly Mae's death was a suicide.

 

I also wonder if the Tom will believe that. Tom didn't want Ernestine anywhere near Pearly Mae when she was in the plantation house (according to another house slave), because he knew that Ernestine would try and interfere. Ernestine tries to run a lot of things on that plantation and Tom didn't want her involved with his interactions with Pearly Mae.

 

In next week's preview we see him telling Ernestine that he runs the household and not her. I think he's getting tired of her trying to control and interfere with things. I am definitely interesting in seeing what exactly leads him to say that to her and how she responds to that.

Edited by Jx223

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think Ernestine and Susannah are related. Could be, but I kind of feel like that fact would have been brought out in the discussion Ernestine and Pearly Mae had about Susannah's/Pearly Mae's father. Why would he have sent Pearly Mae to the fields as a young child, but left Ernestine in the house. It belies the entire point of that conversation where Pearly Mae was saying Tom is not like her father.

 

Anyway, however Tom and Ernestine met, I wonder how in the world their relationship got to the point where she's slapping him around when they hook up in the wine cellar?? 

Edited by Soup333

Share this post


Link to post

Moses and Boo made it onto the train. I wonder do they have their papers.

 

Ernestine's a beast. If she had the will to run, I think she would make it.

 

Can someone enlighten me on how Rosalee's brother got left behind? Did he decide not to run at the last minute?

Share this post


Link to post

Moses and Boo made it onto the train. I wonder do they have their papers.

 

Ernestine's a beast. If she had the will to run, I think she would make it.

 

Can someone enlighten me on how Rosalee's brother got left behind? Did he decide not to run at the last minute?

 

The rationale behind his decision hasn't been revealed yet. 

Share this post


Link to post

As an answer to my own question, I'm pleased to have discovered that TPTB have begun to post more often on YouTube. Here's the preview for this week's episode:

 

Edited by C76
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I wonder if they will find out that Pearly Mae was killed rather than committed suicide. I don't think Ernestine took the tray of poisoned tea with her when she left. That makes me wonder will someone figure out that it was poisoned or will they leave the scene at Pearly Mae's death as a suicide.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I wonder if they will find out that Pearly Mae was killed rather than committed suicide. I don't think Ernestine took the tray of poisoned tea with her when she left. That makes me wonder will someone figure out that it was poisoned or will they leave the scene at Pearly Mae's death as a suicide.

I think there could end up being some doubt in either Susannah and/or Tom's mind about Pearly Mae's death. I think if they really thought about it, they would realize it wouldn't make much sense for her to kill herself. She was presented with the option for her and her daughter to be free. Regardless of whether Tom would have made good on that promise it doesn't really make sense that she would kill herself. They could realize there is a chance that she might have believed them (and she actually did) and they would wonder why she would end her life after being given that option.

 

A possible suicide could make more sense to them if they had told her, tell us where the runaways are or else we'll kill you/make your life even more miserable than it already is. Or if they told her they would sell her to someone else if she didn't tell them where the runaways went. Or if she came to the conclusion that she would never see her family again and was broken hearted over that. And if she was never presented with the option to go free with Boo. 

 

But they did give her that option and I wonder if they will think it's suspicious that she "killed herself" after that. I could see Tom thinking that something odd is going on and may wonder if Ernestine interfered in some way, especially considering he didn't want Ernestine near Pearly Mae when he planned to meet with her. 

Edited by Jx223

Share this post


Link to post

Deadline has an interview with the creators.

 

Historical drama series Underground premiered to a ratings record for WGN last month, and for creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, it feels amazing. “People were afraid of the idea of coming back to slavery week after week,” explains Green, and the resulting numbers can only be viewed as a vindication. “From the beginning, we said it was a thriller,” she added. “It could be exciting, it could be deep, and that’s the TV that I love.”

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think Tom and Susannah would ever spend that much time thinking about Pearly Mae. Remember the reaction to Seraphina killing her baby was one of mild annoyance. These are people who, at worst, think that black people aren't really human, and at best, they think blacks are all people with the minds of idiot children. They think Pearly Mae is weak and dumb, and they will think she killed herself because she couldn't handle the punishment and humiliation (in their eyes) of being a runaway whose "buck" abandoned her. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, I did not expect Ernestine to kill Pearly Mae. Obviously, Pearly Mae didn't either. Zeke went out like a complete badass, though I feel robbed that he didn't get to make it farther than that. I agree that Rosalie's just kind of there so far, but the characters that surround her are great.

Share this post


Link to post

Hot damn! Go Rosalee! She is turning out to be quite resourceful.

 

Cato continues to be a loose cannon. He was probably right not to trust that one stowaway. He and Noah are always going to be at odds, it seems.

 

Feel so bad for Ernestine. That reverend is just...ugh.

 

Next week looks good.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Well I take back what I said about Rosalee. She's a smart girl. Not as cunning as her mother but just as resourceful.

That sounded like a painful childbirth. Thank God for epidurals.

That preacher is about to shake some shit up. Interesting, and spot on, that thinks Ernestine is a Jezebel who's corrupting Tom.

Cato is a shady asshole but he probably saved their lives when he threw the guu overboard.

How many lives does August have? Geez.

I can already tell next week is going to break my heart.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Um, can somebody explain to my why the Indians were helping Rosalee? How did she know how to communicate with them? Perhaps I'm missing a thing or three.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Love this show.

I felt so bad for Ernestine. I like that she has guilt over killing Pearly Mae too many times we see characters on TV killing people and we don't see guilt. Yes she did it for her child and she would do it all over again but she still took someone's life I like that it's eating her up.

I still don't get her and the Plantation owner's relationship it's weird but she's definitely scared of him I thought they might kinda go the cliche route and have her have feelings for him but it seems like she only does it to protect her kids. I too think I would prefer to be out in the field instead of in that big house.

I think something clicked when Rosalee was telling the story about how Tom was teaching her to swim and when Zeke asked her was she scared she said no that Tom wasn't going to let go of her. In that moment I think she figured out that Tom was her father.

The priest is a very scary man and I fear for Ernestine. Tom would definitely turn on her.

Edited by Jazzy24
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

so many questions/comments about this episode.

 

im glad they are making it harder on august, he's probably never had to work so hard to catch a slave let alone a group of them. im still interested in his son and his sons thoughts on slave catching. he seems to not be as into it as august would like.

 

the reverend seems to be very evil and menacing. that look he gave james and tom jr when they were running around in the yard says it all. also I wasn't able to hear what he whispered to Ernestine before he baptized her but her reaction says it could not have been anything good.

 

cato is a snake...we all know this BUT at the same time he is needed and slightly beneficial to the group. I was happy when he kicked the last "redneck" off the boat because its no telling what would have happened had the man got free from the  rope

 

im still lost as to how rosalee managed to get in good with the Indians. maybe ernestine taught her some things about them when she was younger and she retained the knowledge?? anywho I definitely want more info about that scene. and I wonder if the Indians will make recurring appearances?  hopefully they can help out whats left of the macon 7.

 

ready for next week lol

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

 

Um, can somebody explain to my why the Indians were helping Rosalee? How did she know how to communicate with them? Perhaps I'm missing a thing or three.

 

When Rosalee found the white man hiding on the boat, he was bargaining with them, saying that he could lead them to some Indians down by some place, that helped "their kind" out.  Obviously she jumped overboard and got with the Indians; how she was able to communicate with them, I don't know.

 

 

the reverend seems to be very evil and menacing. that look he gave james and tom jr when they were running around in the yard says it all. also I wasn't able to hear what he whispered to Ernestine before he baptized her but her reaction says it could not have been anything good.

 

He said "I see you, Jezebel" or something to that affect.  He observed how Ernestine was too "familiar" with Tom when she told him it was too cold for the baby to have a baptism; that's a no-no. Also, the Rev observed her coming out of Tom's office after the door was shut and noticed James (who is not dark skinned) & TR playing.  Rev knows what's up and if he saw Rosalee he'd know for sure.

 

Funny how Rev believes its that dirty black whore that's leading the pure white man astray instead of a man abusing & taking liberties with his slave.

 

I also think he was holding Ernestine under that water a little too long to threaten her.  It won't be long before Rev suggests to Tom and/or Suzanna that Ernestine and/or James be sent to the fields or sold.  Why Suzanna hasn't tried to sell off Ernestine is a mystery to me, unless Suzanna is tired of having sex with Tom and would rather him release his energies someplace else.

Edited by drivethroo
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

I think Tom is weak (i.e. his allowing Rosalee to be whipped), easily persuaded & somewhat blinded by ambition & the desire to feel powerful & important, so I could see the Reverend's potential to be quite destructive to Ernestine & James in particular. I'm glad that the Ernestine & Tom relationship is not romanticized -- Ernestine's fear is palpable & her fierce love & protection of her children outright stated -- & yet not so easy to quantify either.

There cannot be consent & love where ownership & fear live. Regardless, I see feeling on both sides of the Ernestine & Tom relationship. I especially saw it in Ernestine's "No" & Tom's acceptance of it & the way they, Rosalee's parents, held each other after. Tom wants Rosalee back, Ernestine wants Rosalee free. They are both fearful for Rosalee & both missing her in the way no other people can.

Susannah is a beast, where Ernestine is wracked with guilt over Pearly Mae & is driven by will to survive, to live as best she can in her circumstances & most of all, love for her children. I can somewhat see Tom, first arrived & contending with his shrew wife & despicable father-in-law, looking for comfort & to feel powerful all at once in the arms of someone with no choice but to provide it to him. Susannah's Southern belle mask would have dropped fast & Earl would have taken no steps to hide his true self.

Go Rosalee! The Ernestine in her came out big time there. Not sure if Rosalee ever allowed herself to really ponder who Tom was to her before, but that was a great moment on the boat & well-played by the actress. Rosalee must be worried for Sam, her mother & James. Perhaps there is some relief for her in that knowledge. That her family would be somewhat protected in her absence. AH is a stronger actor -- at least at this point -- & I don't see as much chemistry with Noah & Rosalee as I'm supposed to (probably as somewhat of a result of it), but I'm going along with it.

 

I confess to wishing Susannah would die in childbirth. I would also like the butler -- Ernestine should not have confessed to him in my opinion -- to put something in the Reverend's paint to take care of him.   

Edited by ComeWhatMay
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I think Tom is weak (i.e. his allowing Rosalee to be whipped), easily persuaded & somewhat blinded by ambition & the desire to feel powerful & important, 

 

I confess to wishing Susannah would die in childbirth. I would also like the butler -- Ernestine should not have confessed to him in my opinion -- to put something in the Reverend's paint to take care of him.   

 

1. From the minute Tom opened his mouth in this episode, I thought,"Man, is this guy insecure!" He was the definition of what today's young people call "thirsty".

 

2. I was concerned at first about Ernestine's confession. But I was just on another board where people said that he doesn't have a tongue. I'll watch again to see how that was revealed, but I felt relieved. So long as he can't write, her secret's safe. 

 

Um, can somebody explain to my why the Indians were helping Rosalee? How did she know how to communicate with them? Perhaps I'm missing a thing or three.

 

 

 

Maybe they spoke or understood English. Also, when the man Cato threw overboard was first found, he pleaded with them, saying he knew some Natives nearby who helped their "kind"--aka "runaways".

Edited by C76

Share this post


Link to post

 

2. I was concerned at first about Ernestine's confession. But I was just on another board where people said that he doesn't have a tongue. I'll watch again to see how that was revealed, but I felt relieved. So long as he can't write, her secret's safe. 

 

That makes sense! When the boys were teasing him and he opened his mouth and yelled at them, I thought it looked different inside his mouth but could not pinpoint what it was.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm curious about Tom's backstory, mostly for the way he treats his slaves.

 

Him and John are brothers (with different surnames). If he did change his name I would like to know why. I feel like his name is supposed to have some sort of connection to Macon, Georgia. Tom and John are originally northerners. Tom moved down south for whatever reason.

 

Tom seems to have some compassion toward the slaves. He treats them differently as opposed to Bill (who treated them like they were lesser; like he paid his hard cotton-earned money for them). Tom doesn't talk down to them; he speaks to them as his equal. I believe he actually loves Ernestine rather than just viewing her as his sex slave. He made Cato his overseer. He let Sam hold a gun.

 

He's running for office (I forgot which), and therefore he needs to preserve that perception that he's the ideal Christian Southern man that holds these mid-1800s Southern values and he's none of these things.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

ANTftw, didn't Tom take his father in law's surname? That's what I thought we learned in the episode where he was giving some men a tour of his plantation.

Share this post


Link to post

ANTftw, didn't Tom take his father in law's surname? That's what I thought we learned in the episode where he was giving some men a tour of his plantation.

I must've missed that. I'll re-watch.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm curious about Tom's backstory, mostly for the way he treats his slaves.

 

Him and John are brothers (with different surnames). If he did change his name I would like to know why. I feel like his name is supposed to have some sort of connection to Macon, Georgia. Tom and John are originally northerners. Tom moved down south for whatever reason.

 

Tom seems to have some compassion toward the slaves. He treats them differently as opposed to Bill (who treated them like they were lesser; like he paid his hard cotton-earned money for them). Tom doesn't talk down to them; he speaks to them as his equal. I believe he actually loves Ernestine rather than just viewing her as his sex slave. He made Cato his overseer. He let Sam hold a gun.

 

He's running for office (I forgot which), and therefore he needs to preserve that perception that he's the ideal Christian Southern man that holds these mid-1800s Southern values and he's none of these things.

 

I don't think Tom has any real compassion towards his slaves. He stood by and did nothing while his daughter was brutally whipped, he only stopped Bill when Ernestine silently beseeched him and up until that moment he acted like there was nothing going on. He didn't seem upset or suspicious about the situation that went down with Bill and Rosalee in that cabin which would've been made clear to him by the aftermath; he was more upset about the runaway slaves. His runaway property. 

 

His relationship with Ernestine can't be real love based upon the fact that he owns her. He might love the comfort she gives and is forced to give him. He might love the power he holds over her knowing that no matter what she can't say no to him, not really. Suzannah could deny him if she so pleases but Ernestine cannot. Ernestine does not, as a black enslaved woman, have ownership over her own body. 

 

Even though the show has framed their sexual interaction as such where Ernestine seems to have control, she really doesn't. Tom seems to get off on being told what to do and she has used that to her advantage but if he decides that that doesn't do it for him anymore she loses one of the few cards she has left to play against him. She is only allowed to behave within the parameters of which he allows her to. Ernestine has learned how to stroke and bolster his ego and a pathetic, weak and insecure narcissist like Tom feeds off that. And because of that, I believe he is somewhat gentle in his interactions with her cause she provides that for him.

 

But Ernestine does what she does for her children's survival. Amirah has done such a stellar job of displaying the underlying sense of fear on Ernestine's face when Tom sets his attentions on her. She is his to use when he sees fit and so I honestly think Tom sees her as a sex slave because that's a role she has to play when he wants her to. 

 

I think his interactions with Sam have been interesting in the sense that out of all the slaves he does seem to have a genuine rapport with Sam but once again, he owns Sam and just because he's nice to Sam doesn't mean he wouldn't hesitate to torture Sam in the same way he did Pearly Mae if Sam disobeyed him. 

 

Him letting Sam hold a gun was simply an example of just how certain he was of his ownership not only over Sam's person but also his mind. Because as the master he commands respect and loyalty and Sam would be labelled in his mind as "one of the good ones" because he didn't run and has always been very obedient. And the "oh you're one of the good ones" mindset wrt to how some white people view black people and poc mindset still exists to today. What we're seeing displayed on Underground is the genesis of that mentality. 

 

With regards to him offering Cato the job of overseer, that happened so frequently during that time; black enslaved people becoming the slave drivers to their own people, I didn't see it as anything other as a manipulation technique on Tom's side to strengthen Cato's loyalty to him. Yet again another "you're one of the good ones" type dynamic going on there. A means to divide and conquer.

 

Its all very calculated on Tom's part. I think the show has deliberately made it so that his approach may seem gentler in comparison to what we're told about Old Man Macon but his tyranny is no less insidious, maybe even more so because you can tell that he fancies himself a good man, which is the worst type of villain imo. The kind who doesn't believe that he is. 

 

And he very much holds 1800 Southern beliefs because he is a plantation owner and cotton is his trade by that virtue alone he fits the criteria. He sees his slaves as his property. Nothing more. 

Edited by stormborn
  • Like 21

Share this post


Link to post

stormborn, your entire post was absolute perfection.

What year is this set in?

It's set in 1851 or 1853, somewhere there about.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Its all very calculated on Tom's part. I think the show has deliberately made it so that his approach may seem gentler in comparison to what we're told about Old Man Macon but his tyranny is no less insidious, maybe even more so because you can tell that he fancies himself a good man, which is the worst type of villain imo. The kind who doesn't believe that he is. 

 

Your entire post is perfect, but that paragraph I quoted illustrates what I like about this show and Tom--even though I despise him. The characters have to fit certain parameters given the series' content. But no one fits the archetype of what I've seen before surrounding depictions of slaves, masters, etc. 

 

 

stormborn, your entire post was absolute perfection.

It's set in 1851 or 1853, somewhere there about.

 

1857.

Edited by C76
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I love this. There are so many thought rushing through my head and I just don't know where to start.

I don't think Tom has any real compassion towards his slaves. He stood by and did nothing while his daughter was brutally whipped, he only stopped Bill when Ernestine silently beseeched him and up until that moment he acted like there was nothing going on. He didn't seem upset or suspicious about the situation that went down with Bill and Rosalee in that cabin which would've been made clear to him by the aftermath; he was more upset about the runaway slaves. His runaway property. 

 

I think his attitude and actions here indicate that he does indeed has some feelings toward Ernestine. He could have let it continue until Bill's arms were tired. I think he has to act that way to keep the image that he's built for himself; he has to make an example of some slaves, regardless of who they are and their relation to him, if any; he had to adopt a southern accent (which went away when he was talking to John alone); he took his father-in-law's surname (a name which I assume carries a lot of weight); he has to appeal to other southerners and most importantly his fellow slave owners. He can't have runaways when he's trying to appease these wealthy Southerners who appear to have complete control over their slaves. Although, I'm sure Tom prefers not to have runaways at all, this is especially not the time.

 

 

His relationship with Ernestine can't be real love based upon the fact that he owns her. He might love the comfort she gives and is forced to give him. He might love the power he holds over her knowing that no matter what she can't say no to him, not really. Suzannah could deny him if she so pleases but Ernestine cannot. Ernestine does not, as a black enslaved woman, have ownership over her own body.

 

I don't completely agree with this. I think the lines are blurred when it comes to Tom and Ernestine. Just because he owns her doesn't mean he can't love her. As a comparison, I love my dog yet, I still believe I own her (may be an apples and oranges comparison). The relationship between Tom and Ernestine isn't completely one-sided. There is something in it for Ernestine as well. There is some part of Ernestine that is willing to engage in this relationship. She can't really say no to him but I think there is some part of her that doesn't want to say no. She wants to use him to have a more comfortable life to the field slaves, and for her children as well.

 

They in a patriarchal society. Tom could assert his authority over Suzanna. Even though he doesn't own her, he could take complete advantage of her. The only difference is that she could leave. I think she would endure some mistreatment she would have if that means she gets to continue her privileged lifestyle because I believe Tom inherited all of the assets. However, Suzanna knows her place in that society and she chooses to play it well. She knows how to navigate through it so that she's comfortable. Also, I believe their marriage is nothing more than a transaction to Tom.

 

On another note, I think Suzanna knows to some extent of Tom and Ernestine's affair.

 

 

And he very much holds 1800 Southern beliefs because he is a plantation owner and cotton is his trade by that virtue alone he fits the criteria. He sees his slaves as his property. Nothing more.

 

This goes back to what I mentioned before about Tom having to fit the mold of the typical Southern planter. Tom mentioned in the first episode that he was approached by Democrats to "speak the language of the North." Tom is a charmer, and I would even venture to say a confidence man (but not in a criminal sense). Every since he's been in the South he's been working to gain someone's trust, such as "Old Man Macon", and the other wealthy planters. Doing all of this has gotten him 1,600 acres of land (which was the ultimate form of wealth and status at that time), money, status and a chance at being a Senator. In the North, I think he wasn't anybody of importance or status. I think he's a Northerner playing dress-up until he achieves his end goal.

Share this post


Link to post

Ernestine being compared to a dog:  Lord have mercy.

A slave being compared to a dog. The perception is not completely different, especially in the 1850s.

 

...and I'm not really comparing Ernestine to a dog. I'm comparing the slave/slave owner relationship to a pet/pet owner relationship.

Edited by AntFTW

Share this post


Link to post

Tom loves Ernestine and Suzanna knows. That's why she's particularly cruel towards her and her children. Tom doesn't love his wife, he hasn't even been there to see the birth of his children. I also think the price to capture Rose alive is because that's his daughter. Even in explaining the slaves for the "Wanted" poster, when he gets to her name he slows down and has this almost worried tone in his voice. Tom is in a situation where he wants what he can't have the way he wants to have it. Ernestine is more than just a slave to him.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I can't with yall trying to make this some kind of Antebellum love story. Tom is a rapist. Ernestine is his victim. She just happens to have a master who likes being dominated. But as we saw, the moment he decides he's over that particular game, he will be just as aggressive and dominant as any other rapist.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

I think Tom loves Ernestine to some extent. However, his selfishness prevents him from setting her free; his desires outweigh his love for her. He wants her around. If that means she has to be a slave to keep her around and available to him, so be it.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×