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• CREATED BY FIJIAN IN THE UK •

  • Isabella Naiduki

Black Earth Rising - Episode 4 Recap


Episode 3 (which you can read about here) sort of left those of us following the series wondering where it would go next after it wrapped up the mystery of the murdered French priest. However, Episode 4 opens up on a new front. Patrice Ganimana has been arrested and accused of helping to organise the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and we also have an appearance form the series creative genius Hugo Blick who plays the lawyer Blake Gaines, a man with a passion for legalistic amorality and defending the indefensible. As for our Michael, ravaged by cancer and even by romantic propositions, he also finds himself beset from all sides by his conscience and his nemesis Gaines. He seemed overwhelmed by it all coming at him at once.

In the wake of a triumphant speech in which she celebrates exposing her fabricated prosecution as her way of breaking the yoke of the west, Alice gives Kate another gift. The gift turns out to be a torn piece of fabric she was wearing when was found by Ed at the orphanage. The symbolism goes without saying as Alice tells her it is a part of her past and it belongs to her. Kate wonders why Alice is always giving her gifts, is it a lead up to an eventual unfolding of what her past really is about?

The real game begins when Ganimana is arrested at a London hospital where he is being treated for cancer of the brain. He flew in under a false name but for some unknown reason uses his real name at the hospital admissions. In Rwanda a western journalist calls David Runihara to celebrate Ganimana’s arrest however the phone call quickly takes a turn when the journalist mentions that Alice might return to Rwanda a national hero and possibly be seen as a threat to the present president’s power.

Michael has a theory that Ganimana’s choice of refuge in London could be down to Britain’s impending departure from the EU, he implies that Brexit might boost his chances of extradition. Michael thinks they might finally have him cornered. Blake Gaines, however, who has a touch of Minder’s Inspector Chisolm gone rogue about him, appears pretty nerveless when he confronts the Crown Prosecution Services officer as she presents an arrest warrant to Ganimana at the hospital. It begs the question of, does he know something?

Michael and Alice are seen talking yet again over Hana’s bed, Alice tells Michael that she is going to wait out the outcome for the Ganimana case before returning to Rwanda as she wants to be sure she is backing the right outcome as her gaining the people’s trust rides on it all. As the conversation continues, Michael finds himself inviting Alice to his place and she makes an off-colour joke about bodily fluids, a moment passes but they soon step back and it ends.

At Westminster magistrates court, Michael meets Gaines, in a testy yet strangely lawyerly exchange. They compare each other to the chess players Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. Gaines callously advises Michael to drop the case as he knows it will fail. Michael understands why in a frantic call to the Hague. They are dropping the case – all 12 witnesses against Ganimana have pulled out, presumably intimidated into doing so. And witness protection isn’t one of The Hague’s strong points.

Kate is alone at her place and takes the gift that Alice has given her out to lay on the counter. It appears to ooze blood and Kate is besides herself. Michael drops by as they try to open Eve’s suitcase but are unsuccessful. They enjoy a late-night meal of cornflakes and red wine and out of nowhere Kate propositions Michael. He is stunned and taken aback and reminds her that wasn’t she supposed to be his replacement daughter?

In the meantime,e Rwanda demands for Ganimana’s extradition to its own domestic courts given the failure to prosecute by the Hague. This should be seen as good news however in the phone conversation between Michael and Eunice in America, we find out that this would not help Alice’s chances of becoming the next president of Rwanda. Due to this ulterior motive, Michael reluctantly refuses to help David. Kate is appalled when she finds out how Michael is refusing to help Rwnada’s government get Ganimana extradited, she takes it as revenge for her making a pass at him. She meets with David herself and they discuss the missing file and how perhaps it might have information about Ganimana in it.

Finally, Kate and Gaines meet, two opposing creatures. Gaines seems to enjoy playing the chess game with his opponents. He compares himself to Spassky and Kate says she likes to think of herself as Bobby Fischer, her reasoning being as she points to her head, “because up here I’m completely fucked but the danger for you is I don’t give a shit.” Always one to have the last word, she leaves Gaines with, “tell your client he will never be free!”

I'm really beginning to enjoy the plot twists in this series, Hugo Blick as always does a brilliant job with it.

Bella x

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