In the opening sequence of “Ache,” we see Daniel once again. He is still reading and learning. This time, he reads Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I A Woman?” to his teenage daughter by candlelight while the young girl looks on enthralled. In probably the strongest opening of Underground since the series premiere, Daniel reassures his child that she is not just strong in her body; but her mind is also incredible. I nearly shed a tear.
In South Carolina, Ms. Ernestine is spiraling. Standing in the middle of the ocean, she sniffs the drug off of her handkerchief and speaks to the ghost of her dead son Sam. (Can we take a moment to praise the presence of Sam’s lush beard? Why didn’t he have it during season one?) Ghost Sam asks his mama, “I thought you said, Massa Tom was the last one?” Clearly, Ernestine is feeling guilty about her role in killing Clara’s baby. AS SHE SHOULD. However, instead of despairing in the ocean, she needs to be plotting against Hicks because that man is clearly the devil.
Apparently, Ernestine had no business being in the ocean at all. As she arrives back to the rice fields, the overseer runs up to her, demanding to know where she’s been. She looks right through him, not caring to answer. For her insolence, he slaps her down to the ground. Hicks comes to her defense at the last moment. After helping her up, he tries to pick up where the overseer leaves off. However, Ernestine is not here for his overbearing hyper-masculinity. Hicks stupidly thinks she’s mad at him about Clara, but that’s the least of Ernestine’s troubles.
Up North, Patty Cannon is still searching for Rosalee. She knows that Black Rose was injured from her bullet and has lost a lot of blood. As her men search, Cannon’s aggravating biographer Mr. Donahue assures the slave catchers that Negro women have a supernatural ability to bear pain. Seriously, the things racist white people come up with to justify their demonic ways never fails to shock me. In the midst of this, we watch a pregnant Rosalee, stumble through the forest losing more and more blood while clutching her swollen belly.
Finally stopping for a rest though still bleeding heavily, Rosalee gags herself and digs the bullet from out of her shoulder. After packing the wound, Rosalee burns it closed. The sheer amount of will and determination that Rosalee has had to muster up already this season is unimaginable. Delirious with pain, Rosalee recalls a young version of herself with Miss Ernestine grasping a small moment of joy. That memory is what pushes her forward.
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