‘Underground’ Season Finale Recap: Either You’re A Citizen Or A “Soldier”

All roads have been leading to the events that occur in the second season finale of Underground.

As “Soldier” opens, one of John Brown’s men approaches Harriet Tubman’s hidden cabin. He speaks briefly with Harriet about plans for the attack on Harper’s Ferry which includes arming slaves on surrounding plantations. Though Harriet agrees with the risky but bold endeavor, she is shocked by Brown’s invitation to participate.

In Ohio, Daniel sits with Elizabeth, Noah, Georgia and Rosalee asking for aid in rescuing his family in Kentucky. Once they realize that Daniel was blinded with lye as punishment for teaching his fellow enslaved people how to read, everyone is on board with the escape plan. Elizabeth and Noah, in particular, are looking for a fight, while Rosalee and Georgia reluctantly agree.

Getting together a group of abolitionists and some of John Brown’s men, Elizabeth and Noah come up with a plan to attack the plantations surrounding Daniel’s as a distraction in order to covertly steal away his family and friends. It’s going to be a tough rescue because of Daniel’s infant child. The team decides in order for the plan to work; they have to be back across the river in five hours tops.

Meanwhile, Cato seems to have slithered away from Patty Cannon and her gang for a moment. We find him in a room with some random redheaded white woman; it’s clear Cato has been plotting and planning. As he helps the woman get dressed, he coaches her into calling herself, Patty Cannon. What are you up to Cato?

Down South, August and Ernestine have made it back to Georgia. August arrives at his home, and we learn that both his wife and Jay, his trusted slave have died. We can only assume that his son is somewhere still hospitalized. Seeing his despair, Ernestine offers him some of her devil’s potion. He indulges, and after he passes out, Ernestine escapes through the vast cotton fields toward the Macon Plantation. When August finally catches up to her standing in front of the big house, the two look on stunned. There is nothing there, only bits of burnt wood where the commanding structure once stood. Later, Ernestine awakens to see August holding a gun to his head. She tells him it’s time that he forgives himself for the horrible things he’s done.

Up in Ohio, Rosalee finds James playing solitaire in the front of Georgia’s safe house. He and his big sister have a heart to heart. While James is a realist and doesn’t expect to see his mama again, Rosalee tries to tell him otherwise. They have a quiet moment of comfort while James lays his head on Rosalee’s swollen belly, feeling the kicks of her unborn child.

Later in their bedroom, Rosalee and Noah still aren’t talking. Dressed in her nightgown, the heavily pregnant Rosalee helps Noah pack for his mission to get Daniel’s kin. She asks him to please return safely. She tries to explain to him that everything she did once finding out she was pregnant was done out of fear. Noah seems to understand this, but he’s still pissed. He tells Rosalee that he wants to forgive her; he just doesn’t know if he can.

Over the river in Kentucky, Noah, Elizabeth, and the crew are moving quickly between the three plantations. Though Noah gets Daniel’s sleeping baby out, one of the plantation masters unties himself and holds a house girl hostage. While the men deliberate about what to do, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands and blows the master’s head off. Elizabeth is tired y’all, and she’s done playing. Though the group eventually reaches Daniel and his family, they must arm themselves and fight their way back across the river. Many including Noah and Elizabeth do make it back to Ohio, but their victory is not without major bloodshed.

In the midst of all of this, there is trouble at Georgia’s. Patty Cannon has come to collect her Black Rose, and she’s started shooting up the place to work her way in. Though Georgia and the fellas hold her off for some time, she eventually gets in the house. While all of this is occurring, Rosalee who is now in labor grabs James and begins running through the house’s hidden tunnels. However, Cato has mastered the tunnels and finds her. Thinking quickly after seeing Cato, Rosalee and James barricade themselves into the kitchen, and an awestruck James looks on as his sister gives birth.

While Rosalee is laboring, Cato approaches Patty Cannon with evidence of Harriet’s hideout. Leaving her men behind, Patty, Cato and the biographer Mr. Donahue set out to capture Harriet. It’s then that Cato’s plot is revealed. After blowing Patty’s brains out (good riddance), Cato explains to a bewildered Donahue that Patty’s mistake was that she believed in her own legend. He also tells him that he will be leading Patty’s gang from now on. (If you recall, he already has a new Patty.) Cato explains to Donahue that he needs to deliver Black Rose to the men in order to gain their respect. He thinks that most men are just looking for a master anyway.

Noah and Elizabeth return to Georgia’s safe house to find it ransacked and in shambles. It’s eerily quiet, and they both search the home feverishly until they hear a faint cry. Rushing into a room, they discover a frightened James hidden in a storage bin clutching Rosalee’s new baby. James explains to them that they took everybody, including Rose and Georgia. Both devastated and overcome with joy, Noah stares in awe of his free newborn child. He has a new mission now.

Ten months later, we are in a log cabin in Virginia where a sleeping Elizabeth awakes. She turns to greet a man dressing by the bed. They speak briefly before he heads to his job at the federal armory. Elizabeth kisses him goodbye, but the smile slips from her face as he heads out the door. Later she approaches a dock to hang a lighted lamp. Everything becomes clear then, Elizabeth has infiltrated Harper’s Ferry. The John Brown raid which began on October 18, 1859, is about to get in formation.

The armed raid which was incited by the revolutionary abolitionist was meant to initiate an armed slave revolt. Unfortunately, after three days Brown and his twenty-two men were defeated by the United States Marines led by Robert E. Lee. Though Frederick Douglass was asked to join the raid, he declined believing the plan would fail. Harriet Tubman was meant to be there, but she had fallen ill shortly before the attack. Brown was captured after the raid, and for his crimes, he was tried, convicted and executed by hanging on December 2, 1859.

What did you think of this season of Underground?

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