In defense of Roger
Really glad I stumbled upon your podcast. New listener so apologies if I mixed up your names, if but I felt the need to defend King Bee’s E6 Deep Dive take that A. Will was wrong and B. Crawford is not a benevolent racist (let alone a racist).
That’s right! I’m on Team Judd!
It seems more apt to label Crawford more as MLK’s description of the “white moderate” rather than a “benevolent racist”. I could see how “I’m trying to fuckin’ help you people” could easily be interpreted as benevolent racism, but personally, I think that’s an unfair representation to paint Crawford with.
The pilot episode clearly reveals Crawford’s relationship with Angela as not just close but, more importantly, genuine. He was fine with a black subordinate sitting in his chair, resting her feet on his desk, and drinking out of his mug as if she owned his office. They shared joyful family dinners and Angela’s kids called him grandpa. They went on double dates. His reaction to her unlawfully kidnapping a man was mild disappointment. There’s a trust between them. I don’t believe the storytelling ever implied that Crawford harbored some ulterior views towards black people else they’d have hinted at it throughout any of those scenes.
In contrast, episode 6 was structured to follow Will’s life from his cadet origin to Crawford’s death. Will’s “I know you.” line to Judd with the “OK” dog whistle allusion seemed like a really obvious declaration that Will was letting his past calcify his views of Judd.
Here, as Judd dies and the nostalgia trip ends, there’s a detail that a lot of viewers seemed to neglect. There’s a thematic callback to the speech at Will’s cadet ceremony at the start of the trip:
“The uniform a man wears changes him. [Make sure yours changes you for the better.]”
Maybe I’m reaching but I think the writers are playfully hinting that this line is not just regarding Will’s police/hero uniforms but to Judd’s Kalvalry uniform. The parallels/juxtaposition between Will and Judd seem too obvious to me and the sequence flooded with imagery of their badges and suits.
I’d argue the point of the episode was don’t judge a man by their past or mask. Will might not be a good guy. Judd might not be a bad guy.
Looking forward to more of your deep dives! It’s so nice to hear actual conversations and opinions rather than merely recaps about episodes.
Ben from CA
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