Further this week Swagger, Jace and Crystal are clean – but what now? She was rented out of guilt and pain. He wants to do something, but he will not get the answers. Meanwhile, Meg and Phil are full of family troubles. And violence seems inevitable in the game and on the streets.
Can Ike save this team and the community around it from itself? Money tends to speak louder than loyalty, but Ike plays a long game and may not pay off. The Apple TV + drama about the unadjusted team of the Baltimore Junior Basketball League has high results this week.
Swagger review: ’24 -hour person ‘
In an episode called “The 24-Hour Person,” Crystal (played by Quvenzhané Wallis) finally tells Jace (Isaiah R. Hill) about the misdeeds of coach Warrick (Al Mitchell), with a warning that Jace can’t tell anyone. Both are extremely conflicted. Crystal can barely survive the day and Jace now has to keep her secret, which makes him grumpy and discouraged.
He barely supports himself as he is. Her grades are falling, the game on the field is imperfect, and she has developed a bad relationship with her parents. There is a truly wonderful moment in the first 10 minutes of the episode in which she walks down her street, watching families and children pass by, unaware of the beauty of the neighborhood. Then Jace appears beside her in silence and walks with her to a place where I can talk. He finally really came back to her corner.
These things make up most of the episode, which is good thinking, no matter how hard it is to watch. Bloody and in practice. He blows off his first session with Nick Mendez (Jason Rivera), looking like a big loser when they have to work together. And that leads Nick to reconsider his decision to join the team.
Jace can’t tell anyone that coach Warrick abused Crystal and it tears him apart from the inside, other than making him useless on the field. Jace finds a solution, but it won’t be very productive. Understandably, he wants to do something that won’t break Kristal’s self-confidence – but he won’t do anything.
Ike Edwards (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) finally meets Alonza (Tristan Mack Wilds), a footwear director who wants to sponsor youth leagues, at a barber shop. It’s an incredibly small scene – a Greek barber choir reads to Alonzo an act of rebellion about his role in turning children into consumers. Alonzo shows his hand saying he is still sponsoring Nick’s old team. Alonzo doesn’t know that coach Bobby (Marc Blucas) messed up with Nick and his mom, which is why he joined Ike’s Swagger kids. Ikea finally wins. He will need that energy for later …
Ike also has to sell Jace and his mom, Jenna (Shinelle Azoroh), for Nick to join the team. He and his wife, Tonya (Christina Jackson), organized a dinner to provide them with a soft sale. Jace is in a contemplative mood so he agrees, but Jenna is not so sure.
At the other end of town, Phil (Solomon Irama) and Drew (James Bingham) have an overnight stay. Drew is indecently rich compared to Phil, but they are nice, despite Phil and Drew lying to his parents that Phil’s mom is in jail. Drew notices that Phil has bruises not caused by rough team play and suspects his father is beating him.
Phil doesn’t say for sure, but the moment they realized they cared about each other is astounding. This team really cares about each other, regardless of their troubles. In fact, when Jace is visibly frustrated by Crystal’s situation during training, Phil is the only person who understands what Jace is going through when he tells him he has a friend who’s hurt and can’t help it because … well, the same thing happens to him. This puts the two of them into each other’s spaces in time for Jace to tell his friends his plan of action.
Meg (Tessa Ferrer) has breakfast with her estranged father (Matt Riedy). His cancer is back and he wants to be able to say some things out loud. She is not receptive. When she was a young player, he was a coach at West Point and never called for her when he needed her. He can’t change that, but would she be interested in his books from the time he was a coach for 35 years? Everyone’s heroes disappoint left and right.
All about honesty
I really, really love it Swagger is as honest as he can be about the ups and downs of the team’s social circle. Jenna has no problem behaving in a way that makes her selfish and intriguing, as she may withdraw on the pretext of doing everything for her son. Ike knows that he can sometimes look the same, but deep down he knows that maybe no one is behaving so altruistically with any impact on the lives of these kids.
Jace’s character serves as a great case study in how to write the main word. His muttering, fiddling, daily lack of grace as a teenager is very convincing, and the writers still manage to satisfy the dramatic beats in the bow of a kid who does things that every child would in special circumstances.
Here he gets a moment of pride and a moment of futile, violent weakness as he finally gets over himself enough to become Crystal’s confidant again. But his answer to that is to endanger his own and the future of his teammates in a very serious, adult way. He crawls blindly towards maturity and still has the impulsiveness of a kid with everything to prove.
Look Swagger on Apple TV +
New episodes Swagger arrives every Friday on Apple TV +.
Look at: Apple TV +
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of a long-running series of video essays The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He wrote for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books i Nylon Magazine. He is the author Kinemaphagy: On the psychedelic classical form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.
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