Your Honor (Season 2) Episode 5: Bryan Cranston, who plays a beaten-down middle-aged man, brings out a lot of the emotional levity in ‘Your Honor.’ The show’s gritty townscapes are more memorable because of the acting performances than the script.
In the previous episode, we saw Bryan’s character – Michael, being confronted with death by Jimmy Baxter. Even after inviting Michael to his birthday party and making him the center of attention, Jimmy could not fathom the fact that this ex-judge was getting closer to his children than he was.
The new episode, streaming on Showtime, shows the aftermath of this incident and how that incident impacts the lives of its characters. Be aware that there are spoilers ahead!
Your Honor (Season 2), Episode 4 Recap:
Written by Kendall Sherwood, Peter Sollett has directed ‘Part Fifteen.’ After being put at gunpoint by Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg), Michael (Bryan Cranston) is shaken to the core. He walks home on his own with a determination not to get involved with the Baxter family further. Since it also threatens his best friend, Charlie’s (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) future as a reputable mayor, Michael seems determined not to proceed with Olivia’s (Rosie Perez) life-threatening plan. Seeing Olivia care only about knowing the insides of Baxters’ lives, Michael even throws away the phone she gave him.
After Jimmy’s grand gesture at his birthday party (to invite Michael and Charlie to the center and to make Charlie Rocco’s godfather), Gina (Hope Davis) is agitated. So, she goes to the kitchen, throws all the cooking staff out, and prepares a dessert by herself. Even her hand movements clearly indicate her aggression. Once she is done making the cannolis, Jimmy, Carlo (Jimi Stanton), and her father – Carmine (Mark Mongolis), walk-in to have it.
Since Fia (Lilli Kay) is not present, Gina lashes out and throws away her portion in the dustbin. Then she confronts Jimmy for making Charlie the godfather. She is furious that he made this decision about their grandson, despite knowing Charlie is at odds with their family’s business venture. She brings up the subject again during their family lunch. While Jimmy wants to proceed with a more peaceful, diplomatic way of handling the matters, Gina’s hot-headedness is supported and encouraged by her father. Carmine mentions how the Conti family made Baxters relevant. After undermining the importance of his family, the Conti patriarch advises Jimmy to find ways to get rid of the existing mayor instead of looking for an amicable resolution.
On the other hand, Monique / Big Mo (Andrene Ward-Hammond) emotionally deals with Euegene’s return to her crib with the bag full of cash. Since he is quiet during their car ride, she keeps trying to make him talk about his stay at her sister’s place and his motive behind returning the cash.
Since Jimmy does not abide by her words and her defense approach, Gina is distraught about the future of her family. She gets emotional in front of Carmine about her son Rocco’s death and not being able to get revenge the way she wanted. She opens up about her marriage with Jimmy and shares her dissatisfaction. Carmine advises her to stay strong despite the emotional struggles that life throws at them. She, however, wishes Jimmy to be just as ruthless as Carmine to protect their family at all costs.
Meanwhile, Olivia shows up at Michael’s house and questions him about the celebration night. Since he threw away the microphone, she asks for further details about the Baxters. Michael tells a brief, to-the-point summary of the events that followed, flushing down the microphone. He also mentions being put at gunpoint by Jimmy. But Olivia cherry-picks the fact that Carmine has arrived in the town and starts ruminating about what it indicates for the Baxters’ future. That makes Michael even more against helping her in the future.
On the other hand, Charlie’s secretory – Zeke (Burl Moseley), comes up to him to show his viral photo with Jimmy. Charlie does not consider it of any relevance. But Zeke is worried about how the constituents would see that since Charlie hasn’t delivered on any of his big promises by then. Charlie makes up an excuse about the red tape. However, Zeke finds his behavior careless and wants him to passionately work for the black people who voted for him, hoping their lives to be improved.
Later, Zeke brings up a party that could be potentially interested in a proposal for the watergate land, currently planned to be used by the Baxters. Charlie mentions an initiative where this black businessman will do a cooperative partnership with the Baxters to develop that piece of land. Hence, it’s a win-win for both parties. Besides their benefit, it also helps Charlie to fulfill the promise he made to his constituents.
Michael goes up to the butcher, Otis (Adam Clark), to resign with immediate effect because of a possible threat to his life. So, Otis crosses off the two weeks’ notice Michael is supposed to give. However, since there is no available replacement for Michael for the day, he requests Michael work for at least one day.
Later, when Michael goes up to the storefront, Fia shows up expecting to have a casual, stress-free dialogue with him. Since Jimmy is jealous of him getting closer to Fia, he tells her not to stay in touch with him in the future. While she reluctantly leaves, Jimmy himself shows up in the store sometime later. However, he is there only to inform about the threat to Charlie’s life. Since he does not want violent means being used, he tells Jimmy to alert Charlie about this danger.
In the station, Det. Nancy Costello (Amy Landecker) stumbles upon a criminal who confesses something of interest. Later, she invites Olivia and shows her the file related to it, which she considers a piece of substantial evidence against Michael.
Meanwhile, Fia gets a visit from Carlo in her hotel room. They talk about killing their parents as if it’s an agreeable topic for casual conversation. They connect with each other through their shared disinterest in how their parents lead their lives. Carlo hopes that Fia’s son, Rocco ends up more like her than like them since she is stronger to stand up for herself against the family.
Monique has not gotten over the fact that Lil Mo decided to go against her word and took Eugene to her sister. So, she keeps him locked up in her crib and then goes up to Roderick (Mike Seal) to speak about the money that was part of their deal. While she wants it returned, he isn’t someone who would let go that easily. So, she proposes an arrangement that can benefit both in terms of their cash flow and offloading the drugs. Even though he isn’t entirely pleased about it, he accepts it after some discussion.
Monique’s partner, Janelle (Ciara Renée), is thrilled to see the club she purchased. But when she sees Monique handling her business, she gets upset. Monique emphasizes the clear set of boundaries they had agreed upon in their relationship, and the couple makes peace with it. While that happens in her personal life, she is conflicted about what she should do with Eugene and Lil Mo now that they are both with her. She understands how comfortable Eugene was with her sister and that he would not have returned if not for the cash. So, she decides to let him return to Houston, to her sister’s place the next day, and never look back.
However, Lil Mo is not fortunate to receive such kindness from her. She is clearly more hurt by his dishonesty and decides to set the matter to rest. She goes up to him with a knife. And while he assumes that he is going to get slashed to death, she cuts his wristband and then leaves her other pawns to take care of him. They all thrash him to show their loyalty to Monique and then throw him out of her crib and out of her life for good.
Meanwhile, Michael goes up and meets Charlie at his office. After a moment of hesitation, he advises Charlie to make a deal with the Baxters due to a possible danger to his life. Charlie finds it absurd that Michael is acting like Jimmy’s lobbyist. To clear the air, Michael finally mentions being involved in a federal investigation into the Baxter organization, which is why he was let out of prison. Besides, he also shares a detail that he had kept secret all this time. On the night of Adam’s death, he was so overcome with grief that he confessed to Nancy about Charles’ involvement in getting rid of the car (evidence for Jimmy’s son – Rocco’s death).
During a Baxter family dinner, Carmine notes the dysfunctional nature of their family. Being tired of his condescending tone, Jimmy mentions how it is none of his concern how he deals with his family. That makes Gina furious, and she conveys her anger on him for choosing Chalie as Rocco’s godfather without her consent. Jimmy sees it as a way to bring the mayor into their family and make their business establishment run smoothly. But Gina is not one to listen.
She then takes out her anger on Fia for her decision not to baptize her son. While Gina wants Rocco to lead a life of faith, Fia’s atheism makes her disagree with Gina’s school of thought. To end their argument, Jimmy decides to calm her down by enforcing religion on Fia under the name of familial duty. Fia sees it as an opportunity to keep Charlie safe and agrees to do it only if Carlo becomes the godfather. Her plan works out since they all see it as a win for themselves.
Your Honor (Season 2), Episode 5 Ending, Explained:
Why does Jimmy go to meet Charlie? What does he want to accomplish by this meeting?
After seeing the anger toward Charlie in his family, Jimmy goes to his office to discuss the deal privately. Jimmy mentions that instead of him, Carlo will now be Rocco’s godfather. Since it isn’t a matter of concern for Charlie, he does not find any issue with it. Then, Charlie speaks about Jimmy’s proposal for his new establishment, where he must have union workers, and disadvantaged, underprivileged businessmen, to occupy 35% and get liveable wages. He wants a flourishing community to be built for his constituents, which would improve their lives as he had promised them. While Jimmy gets overwhelmed by his increasing number of demands, he sees no other option but to accept it since he wants the matter to progress amicably.
After shaking hands with Jimmy, Charlie calls Olivia to tell her their proposal has been accepted. While Zeke finds her intentions dubious, Charlie sees the situation as a win-win for him since she will act in a way that, anyhow, is favorable to his image.
The next day, Olivia shows up at Jimmy’s house to discuss their plan. Since the city leased waterfront land to Charlie, Michael believes that his job is done. By that time, he is done with being Olivia’s puppet and does not wish to continue being used by her. Hearing that, Olivia walks out of his house and brings Nancy in. While he is surprised to find her there (or to see her working with Olivia), she locks him in handcuffs and takes him away to the police station.
In the interrogation room, she takes off his handcuffs and then speaks about new evidence she found that proves that he lied to the police in his statement. While we assume it might be another detail related to hiding Adam’s hit-and-run case, Nancy asks Michael where he was at the time of his wife’s death. Perhaps, Michael isn’t as innocent as we initially assumed him to be. Only the next episode can tell what is in the evidence related to his wife’s death.