Black Earth Rising - Episode 6 Recap
In Episode 6 we learn more about Kate’s guardian angel and also see her preparing for a visit to Rwanda for the first time since being whisked away from the country. She is still uncertain about who to trust as she finds that the older players withhold a lot of truths from her and as such she only seems to get part of the story rather than the whole truth. It’s no wonder that her automatic response to it all is to go on defence mode and refuse to be dictated by others on where to go or what to do.
In the wake of her somewhat intense meeting with Ganimana in the previous episode (which you can read more about here), Kate finds out from Drewe who drops her off that her phone is bugged. She receives a message from Alice to meet her at the Eddingham restaurant and goes to meet her even though it is quite late. The restaurant is empty and there are no other patrons but Alice. Kate sits and asks her why she is still in the country, prodding Alice to admit that it is all part of a manoeuvre to oust her stepsister President Mundazi. She knows that Alice wants Ganimana’s extradition to fail because this will make Mundazi look weak. Alice tries to defend herself but looks uncomfortable and detached. She is overcome by violent nausea and warns Kate not to touch the nuts as it has been poisoned, at the same time she sends the table crashing and rushes for the toilets, vomiting up blood. We see the next shot cut to Ganimana who is hooked up to a drip but in good spirits chuckling to himself and overheard to be saying, “C’est magnifique.”
Kate meets with Michael over coffee who admits that he and Alice were once lovers but Kate produces an image of a more recent kiss and yells at Michael to never lie to her again. IT seems any chance of their ever getting romantic is now non-existent.
Kate arranges to meet with Viner, who she had been on her way to see before Drewe intervened last week asking her to go see Ganimana. He gets her a file from a lock-up that he has on his grounds, it seems to only contain the headlines of the case, the rest of the files are in Tanzania he tells Kate. He tries to warn Kate and tells her not to be too strong like her mother, he leaves her with an ominous message – storms come, reeds bend, oaks fall as if to say, not everyone is as invincible as they think.
Kate’s guardian angel has followed her to Viner’s house, Kate spots him and has Viner stall him at the front door, even to the extent of pulling a gun on him. A chase follows between Kate and her guardian angel ending in a row with a passing cyclist as a reluctant witness to it all.
Kate is back with Michael where she learns that her guardian angel is actually employed by Eunice Clayton, the Assistant Secretary at the US Bureau of African Affairs. Michael also tells Kate that it was Eunice who had taken the photo that Alice had given Kate that had her late father Ed in it, Eunice had worked with Ed at the same NGO. Kate is slowly piecing things together in how he is merely a pawn in some sort of high-powered conspiracy. Michael finally relents and agrees that Kate should go to Rwanda and find out what sort of justice system they have in place however her guardian angel would be going with her.
Kate is in Kigali with her guardian angel, she learns his name is Florence, a name that seems to amuse Kate. She sees a roadside incident that unsettles that causes her to jump out of the car and is violently ill. Florence and Kate go to meet David Runihara at the presidential residence. Kate suspects that David and Florence actually know each other well but David seems intent on making it out to seem that this is their first encounter. Their next meeting is with an adviser on international crime, Dirk Schreiber who in his failed attempt to lighten the mood actually creates an awkward working environment. However Schreiber proves his use by guiding Kate around and showing her the ropes so that Kate is able to report back to Michael that Rwanda’s judicial system is actually in robust health; they are able to offer witness protection; the abolition of the death penalty and so forth. She tells Michael that Ganimana could expect a fair trial if his extradition proves successful.
Kate is having dinner with Florence and in the conversation that ensues, Kate tells him that she feels like just one Tutsi among millions in Rwanda, there’s so many traumas and she goes on to refer to the hotel bellboy with the huge scar on his head. But Florence reveals he is not on of the survivors that he is in actual fact a Hutu. His family had escaped to Zaire when the Tutsi army had invaded in 1994. His family and as an orphaned child, Florence was shipped to the US on a programme where he went to school and eventually joined the military. Kate came to learn also that Eunice had been his sponsor. Later, Kate and Florence visit the church that was the scene of the massacre the French priest had failed to prevent. In the compound stood the headless statue of Christ now a monument.
Back in London Alice who is recovering from food poisoning is visited by her husband Frank who tries unsuccessfully to cheer her up with a hand puppet. Alice hands Frank a dictaphone for safekeeping and tells him, “it contains something people do not want to hear.”
In Rwanda, Kate and Florence learn about a case which involved a lying witness and contrary to her original glowing assessment of the Rwandan judiciary, it was not actually to be as she had been led to believe. She finds that defence counsels have to work for a fixed fee and continuously find themselves stretched to their limits and unable to uncover such abuses to the judicial system as a result. Michael suggests a scheme that will allow for financial assistance. He goes to meet a representative of the UK foreign office who seems reluctant to cooperate with Michael’s suggestions. However, the foreign secretary seems to have taken a keen interest in Rwanda and hints that the UK would like to see a strong leader in Rwanda especially after the lessons of Libya so as to prevent the return to “tribal insanity”. He lets on that he seems to know about Michael and Alice’s connections and compares Michael to David Rizzio who was the personal secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots. David Rizzio was murdered by the Protestant lords, details he goes on to share with Michael as if to offer an indirect warning. The foreign secretary then suggests, “Perhaps people like that never quite understand the true nature of the game,” as Michael leaves. Michael seems a little less confident and all-knowing all of sudden and there is a vulnerability about him as this episode ends.
It was interesting how the story went from Rwanda and back to London and to see how the language used and the political undertones in it all is somewhat realistic to what actually happens in real life when there are power players at stake. I’m not going to lie, I will miss this show when it ends and I’m not looking forward to waiting a whole year for the next season!