Here’s A Quick Recap of BET’s Rebel, What You Need To Know So Far
BET’s newest drama, Rebel, is sure to spark discussion. The series invites the viewers into an uncomfortable reality, faced by many African-Americans. Directed by John Singleton, (Boyz In The Hood, Poetic Justice, The Fate Of The Furious), Rebel boasts an ensemble cast, spearheaded by Danielle Moné Truitt as the lead, Oakland cop Rebecca “Rebel” Knight.
Set in Oakland, California, Rebel tells the story of an officer who is forced to revisit her values, once her unarmed brother is killed by police. Although Rebel is a fictional drama, the topic of the “Blue Lives Matter” vs “The Black Lives Matter” debate is sure to be sensitive point for viewers.
It is Rebel’s fearless venturing into hostile territory that makes this show compelling. The commitment to justice by any means necessary makes this must-watch television.
The BET series tells the complicated, conflicted, and often problematic relationship that officers of color have with their jobs. Knight has learned to carefully navigate the world of lawmakers, especially as a double minority.
Gritty and realistic perfectly describes the first episode of Rebel. When we first meet Rebel, she is staring down a room full of chauvinists, looking for answers.
She eventually confronts and apprehends a man, accused of sexual crimes against another woman. She uses some `unconventional` tactics to show the man, and the bar full of patrons, that she means absolute business.
The premiere episode was spectacular in displaying the emotional range of Rebel. We watch her as she goes through a roller coaster of emotions throughout the episode. Her softer side is shown briefly with her family interactions. She is dealing with a talented, yet troublesome brother, Malik (Mikelen Walker), as well as a loving, but alcoholic father Rene, (Mykelti Williamson). The family interaction at dinner is filled with inappropriate discussions-yet-comedic relief. However, the tone of the show takes a hard left turn quickly after.
Rebel is no stranger to problems throughout the episode, as she struggles with encouraging Malik to stay in school, to juggling her once platonic relationship with her partner, Mack (Brandon Quinn), who decides that he wants to keep their brief sexual relationship a `thing`. Rebel`s problems only intensify as the episode progresses. Rebel’s already complicated life becomes increasingly problematic when her brother is gunned down due to a case of mistaken identity.
The scene of Malik`s death is chilling, and dark. It is eerie, and reminiscent of real life events that have opened our eyes to the world of police brutality. This scene is an uncomfortable art-imitating-life reality that the Black community knows all too well. Names like Alton Sterling, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin come to mind as we are forced to relive a senseless crime.
This, along with an uncomfortable meeting with her ex, Terrance ‘TJ’ Jenkins (Cliff “Method Man” Smith), and his girlfriend are a recipe for disaster for Rebel. She begins to show signs of PTSD, as she shuts down on everyone around her. She is tormented with dreams of her deceased mother, and frightening replays of Malik’s death.
Rebel decides to leave the force, and become a private investigator, so that she can seek truth on her own terms. During this transition she decides to bring justice to an otherwise dark and tragic situation. Can she set aside her loyalty to the police force, and become a beacon of hope for those in her community? Or will grief cast a blinding shadow over what’s important?
Rebel fights for her sanity and freedom throughout the episode. Once a respected, yet volatile member of the police force, she is now bullied and ostracized by those who don’t understand her plight. Rebel now finds herself at odds with everything that was once familiar. As racial tensions ignite, and sides are chosen, she must choose to stand for what she believes in, or be forever silenced.
Episodes 2 & 3 continue to show Rebel’s journey for justice.
Rebel finds herself facing smear tactics by her once trusted police force as they try to bury the brutality behind her brother Malik’s murder. Rebel must fight against the exposure of Malik’s criminal history, as she realizes that the police force will do anything to cover up the extent of their involvement. Rebel also struggles to receive the body and dash camera videos from the police force. She uses unique tactics (laxative gumbo, anyone?), to retrieve ballistics information from the night of the fatal attack. Tensions ignite as a #JusticeForMalik rally turns into a near riot. Her father manages to deescalate the tensions and convinces the rioters to go home. Meanwhile, Rebel pries open old wounds, by paying her estranged husband T.J a visit. Things get messy when T.j’s girlfriend confronts Rebel, leading to another near-altercation.
Things often take a turn for the worst in Rebel’s universe. She struggles to crack the case on her brother’s birthday, and instead, she ends up tangled in a Ponzi- scheme situation caused by old battle buddy Kim (Lauren London). It is up to Rebel to crack the case without exposing Kim’s involvement, due to an unrelenting loyalty between the two. Rebel enlists the help of an unlikely ally, husband T.J, and the two make quite the powerful team. Together they are able to not only track down and solve the Veteran’s Ponzi scheme, but they are also able to gain insight on Malik’s murder. Passion ignites between the two as T.J, who refuses to deny his feelings any longer, ends the relationship with his girlfriend, to go back to his wife. There seems to be some type of bright light entering Rebel’s dark days. Each episode Rebel comes closer and closer to unlocking the truth behind Malik’s murder. Will she every get justice? Will she connect all the dots in time? Once she gets justice, will she be satisfied?
Rebel is as heart wrenching as it is intense. This season has been increasingly entertaining, and can only improve with each passing episode. It is fast paced and relatable, drawing on real life events for inspiration. The show is sure to spark dialogue!
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