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2.01 – Contraband
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: March 8, 2017|
Five months after escaping north, a slave in Louisiana teaches himself to read. Rosalee helps other slaves escape, and is assisted by Harriet Tubman, who pays slave catchers to let them go. Noah is on trial for murder, but John defends him, arguing that since he is legally property, he must be extradited to Georgia. When Rosalee learns this and decides to rescue him, Tubman warns her how difficult it will be. John cryptically tells Noah Rosalee is coming. He later stops an escape attempt by Pete and Lou, two other slaves he is incarcerated with, and invites them to join his own escape. He is later shown making a ring, and claiming escape is not about where he goes anymore. Rosalee works undercover at a hospital, and steals medicine for one of the slaves, Valentine. Elizabeth joins a group of abolitionist women, led by Georgia Goodman, and learns how to use weapons. The judge decides to ignore federal law and finds Noah guilty of murder, forcing the group to rescue him, Pete and Lou at the hanging. They do, but Noah is recaptured by bounty hunters during the escape, while the other two are killed. John decides to run for a judge’s seat, but he is killed by a bounty hunter after announcing his bid. Meanwhile, Ernestine is shown to have been sold to a plantation in South Carolina, and inhales fumes to help her survive the work days, which cause hallucinations of Pearly Mae, which eventually taunt her over being abused by her lover Hicks, telling her to kill herself.
2.02 – Things Unsaid
|Directed by: Greg Yaitanes||Air Date: March 15, 2017|
The slave in Louisiana tells his wife he can read, but she cautions him against letting others know. In the aftermath of John’s murder, the Underground suffers. Rosalee leads a group of runaways to a safe house, but the owner lets her know it has been compromised by Patty Cannon’s gang. Elizabeth suffers sanity slippage, wanting revenge for John, despite Valentine and Georgia’s attempts to comfort her. On the way to another location, Noah attempts to escape from the bounty hunters, but fails. When they arrive, he captures and threatens the one he believes is the master, only to find that they were hired by Cato, now a free, wealthy man, before he is restrained. On the Rowe Plantation, Hicks tells Ernestine that another girl will need a favor, and she hallucinates her dead husband French, who later causes her to reflect on her mistakes raising her children after he died. The girl, Clara, is pregnant by Hicks, and needs a potion to abort the baby. She later changes her mind, but Hicks forces her to drink it anyway. Meanwhile, Patty Cannon is approached by a biographer wishing to record her story, and leads her gang to te safe house, expecting to catch Tubman. When they see Rosalee instead, she threatens the homeowner’s son, forcing her to reveal that Rosalee is now known as “The Black Rose”. Rosalee leads the group to a boat, but afterward, on the dock, she is shot by Cannon, falling into the river. She survives, and is revealed to be pregnant.
2.03 – Ache
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: March 22, 2017|
The slave in Louisiana tells his daughter about freedom. In the woods, Rosalee removes the bullet and struggles on despite her injury, remembering her mother. Patty Cannon’s gang pursues her, with Patty forcing the gang to do anything to bring her in. She eventually kills one of her pursuers after crossing a river. Cannon later tells her biographer that she believes Rosalee is connected to the Macon 7. Rosalee hides until the gang gets past her, but is bitten by a snake after revealing herself. The next morning, Cannon’s biographer finds her and gives her water before returning to the gang. Later, Cannon tells him she has black members of her gang, and plans to recruit August Pullman to catch Rosalee. On the Rowe Plantation, Clara is shamed for having been pregnant out of wedlock, but does not reveal who the father is. Ernestine is set up to enter the master’s house. She has a talk with the slaves’ preacher, revealed to be Clara’s father, about what to believe, and later hallucinates her husband’s death, and Sam, who blames her for his own death. She later has a breakdown while entertaining the family. It is also revealed that she prevented herself from having more children after James was born. She eventually attempts suicide, but is saved by the other slaves.
2.04 – Nok Aaut
|Directed by: Salli Richardson||Air Date: March 29, 2017|
Flashbacks reveal Cato became wealthy, free and adopted the last name Powell, as well as traveled to London and met Devi, who accepted him despite his past, but later abandoned her before returning to America, unable to move on. In the present, the slave who can read, Daniel, tells another slave about John Brown. Rosalee returns to Georgia’s house, injured, as Elizabeth shows further signs of sanity slippage, and later joins another abolitionist in destroying voting booths, and speaks out against slavery in Georgia’s place. Noah and Cato, at a restaurant, insult each other over the past and present. When Noah says he would do everything again if he could, Cato offers to buy the freedom of several slaves if Noah goes back into slavery. Noah is unable to go through with it, and later fights Cato over forcing him to choose. Eventually he threatens Cato, telling him that by acting like a white man, he has joined them in abusing slaves, before being taken away. Noah is taken to William Still, who reveals he knows his story, though Noah claims he is a fraud. Still, however, tells him he gave the others a choice to fight for freedom. It is revealed that Cato put the other slaves on a boat to Canada with freedom papers, and that he intends to go against American law.
2.05 – Whiteface
|Directed by: Kate Woods||Air Date: April 5, 2017|
Elizabeth writes to Still, admitting to being inspired by John Brown’s way of revolution. When Georgia is arrested, she discovers Georgia is merely passing as a free black. When they decide to move the other runaways, Noah arrives and reunites with Rosalee. She informs him she plans to return to Macon to rescue Ernestine and James, and asks him to go with her. Elizabeth, knowing of Rosalee’s pregnancy, urges Noah not to go with her. Noah later agrees to go with her, and proposes to her using the ring he made, which she accepts. Elizabeth is later assaulted by anti-abolitionists, who scar her back. In Philadelphia, Cato hosts a party for abolitionists, including Still, where he claims money is the way to fight slavery. He meets Frederick Douglas, as well as Cannon and August, who recognize him and later capture him and Devi after forcing him to tell them how to catch Rosalee. Cannon sends Smoke and August to retrieve Ernestine. On the Rowe Plantation, Clara asks Ernestine to help her become the owner’s mistress. Ernestine obliges and begins teaching her how to win the master’s affections. Hicks attempts to reconcile with her, but she rejects him. When Clara succeeds, Ernestine asks her to get the master to help her escape.
2.06 – Minty
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: April 12, 2017|
Harriet Tubman, in front of Philadelphia abolitionists, reflects on a life lived with conviction, compassion, and courage.
2.07 – 28
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: April 19, 2017|
Daniel is caught teaching another slave to read. Cannon tortures Cato, and threatens Devi to force him to help her and a few corrupt magistrates abduct and sell free blacks into slavery. After Devi finds out he captured a free man, she becomes disgusted by him and seems done with him for good. He sends her into slavery. Rosalee and Noah arrive on the Macon plantation and force Frog Jack to help them rescue James and Ernestine. When Rosalee discovers her mother is no longer the head house slave, she starts to act recklessly. Noah brings Corra, now a field slave, to help, who tells them Ernestine was sold and James is now in the house again. They decide on a plan to inform James and find out where Ernestine is. When Corra does not return to them in time, they go ahead with the plan. Noah retrieves a book containing information on sold slaves from overseer Bill, but Rosalee is captured when James turns her in, not wanting to go with her. When Bill attempts to punish Rosalee, Noah tries to shoot him. Rosalee notices, and stops him by revealing her pregnancy. On the Rowe Plantation, Clara manipulates Matthew into declaring the fumes contraband and punishing anyone caught with them, including Hicks. She later asks Ernestine to make a poison to kill Hicks for forcing her to abort her baby, and threatens to have Matthew keep her off the mainland if she refuses. When Clara’s father tries to reprimand her for her relationship with Matthew, Ernestine tells him Clara has suffered. Clara confronts Ernestine, admitting she still despises her for making the potion that killed her baby. Ernestine, in turn, admits she knew the poison was for her, not Hicks, and gave her a fake one. Clara manipulates Matthew into punishing Ernestine, but she is one step ahead, bribing a boat captain with expensive whiskey to take her off the island. However, once on the mainland, she is captured by August.
2.08 – Auld Acquaintance
|Directed by: Christopher Meloni||Air Date: April 26, 2017|
Daniel is shown to have been blinded following his captors realizing he could read. James is shown to enjoy his life as a Macon, as he is treated like the favorite child, despite Rosalee’s suffering. After Corra tells him James betrayed them, Noah creates a plan to hold Suzanna hostage to rescue Rosalee and James, but realizes they will need help. They decide to recruit a slave who will be allowed into the Macon house for dinner that Christmas night. Noah later intimidates James into helping by telling him what family is. When he returns to the house, James protects Rosalee, telling her Noah is coming, but refuses to join her, calling the Macons his family. Noah kills overseer Bill, and after deciding not to use anyone else, enters the house and kidnaps Suzanna, Rosalee and James. When T.R. tries to interfere, Noah shoots, him, and he accidentally shoots his mother. They escape after Rosalee blows up the house, ensuring there will be nothing to go back to. Ernestine, August and Smoke are forced to abandon their boat and continue by land, and she attempts escape. Ernestine and August later bond over their shared guilt as parents. That night, Ernestine tries to escape, and August kills Smoke when they try to recapture her, later bringing her south. Elizabeth and Georgia try to raise money for the cause, but their efforts meet little success, though Harriet encourages Elizabeth. They later rob a pro-slavery church to gain funds. This leads to Elizabeth blackmailing an old friend to support the cause. Cato tells Patty Cannon the song the Macon 7 followed to help her discern the path runaways follow. Later, still working for Cannon, he arrives at Georgia’s boarding house through the tunnel.
2.09 – Citizen
|Directed by: Lawrence Trilling||Air Date: May 3, 2017|
Cato, who is gathering intel for Patty, has a brief encounter with Harriet, who the first to mistrust his real motives. He also discovers Rosalee is returning soon. After being pressured by Cannon, he cuts his wrists to garner more sympathy, and capitalizes on Elizabeth’s grief. He later sees Elizabeth leave at night, and follows her, finding a burning barn with a dead man inside. He returns to Cannon’s gang, and tells them they have two days, referring to the time Rosalee will return. Elizabeth becomes more unhinged when someone who assaulted her shows up on Georgia’s doorstep. Georgia warns her not to do anything, but after her conversation with Cato, she retaliates, burning the man’s property. When his son goes in to save his father, Elizabeth tries to save him. they are both saved by Georgia, but after Elizabeth expresses no remorse over what she has done, Georgia kicks her out. Tubman tells Georgia she does not trust Cato, and travels south to Philadelphia to tell her story. She later gets to another safe house, and meets Noah. Noah, Rosalee, James and Corra arrive at a safe house, but they are found, and Corra is shot in the back and taken away. The others journey to Ohio, with Noah and Rosalee telling James what freedom will be like. They meet Harriet in Virginia, who tells Noah he must find the belief he has lost. Later Noah blames Rosalee for putting their child in danger, comparing her to her father. Daniel tries to find ways to keep his family together, and eventually decides to seek John Brown in Ripley, Ohio. He makes it to Ripley, and gets to a cobbler shop, where a sympathetic cobbler directs him to Georgia’s boarding house.
2.10 – Soldier
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: May 10, 2017|
Harriet receives a message from John Brown to join his raid on Harper’s Ferry. Daniel asks the group for help liberating his wife and children, which they agree to. Rosalee admits Noah was right about her, while Noah reveals he has regained his resolve, though he doesn’t know if he can forgive her. Several abolitionists, including Noah and Elizabeth, attack three plantations at once to free Daniel’s family and other slaves. They succeed, though Elizabeth kills one of the masters when he tries to retaliate. When the abolitionists regroup, Noah leads them and the liberated slaves in fighting their oppressors. While they are out, Patty Cannon and her gang arrive at the boarding house demanding Rosalee. After the gang compromises the tunnel and captures Georgia and the others, Rosalee and James take refuge in a room of the boarding house, caught by Cato, who denies where she goes into labor and has her baby. Cato, who has already been making plans with a woman claiming to be Patty Cannon, forges a note written by Harriet Tubman and leads Cannon to a remote location, with only Cannon’s biographer as witness, he shoots her and reveals his intention to become the new ringleader of Cannon’s gang, replacing her with the other woman. He then returns and gets Rosalee to reveal herself by threatening to kill Georgia. She does so, but hides James and her baby, who are found by Noah and Elizabeth when they return. Ernestine and August arrive at his home to find it empty, his wife and slave dead. Ernestine gives him drugs to cope with the pain, only to take advantage of his inebriated state to escape. He pursues her back to the Macon plantation, only for them to find it burned to the ground. She later talks him out of killing himself. Ten months later, the Civil War has begun.