The episode tonight began with the death of Chris, a prominent basketball player, after kneeling during the National Anthem. Based on the reactions and some of the anti-protest movements around, the easy assumption to make here was that he was killed by white nationalists at the scene. Yet, it turns out that what actually transpired here was that some of the players were involved within a gambling ring. If there is one unforgivable sin in the sporting world, this was it.
Where things got personal within this case tonight was with Denny Woods’ daughter Brianna. She was dating another member of the basketball team, and she was far too mixed up into what was going on for Denny’s liking. He tried to warn her about getting too wrapped up in this but she didn’t listen. We get it — she wanted to fight for some of her convictions, but she her desire to help her boyfriend ended up almost getting her killed.
This episode culminated in one of the most testy confrontations that we’ve had a chance to see so far, as Brianna found herself held hostage alongside her boyfriend, Antonio, and many others inside a restaurant. Her arrival disrupted a plan Voight had constructed, but due to some tough decisions by Voight and Woods on the outside, they gave her a fighting chance to survive. Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case. She died when she arrived back at the hospital, and Denny was forced to say goodbye to his daughter.
Where this puts Hank and Woods now is in a really tough place. They’ve been fighting each other all season, and after an episode like this you of course have to wonder if Denny is going to blame Voight for not having a better plan. He may be so wrapped up in emotion as a result of this that he ends up targeting Voight even more than he was previously. That’s a sad thing to think about, but it’s also very well possible.
It’s just as executive producer Rick Eid told us when we interviewed him earlier this week — while this episode wasn’t directly related to the case against Voight, Brianna’s death certainly will play a role in Denny’s resolve moving forward.
“Anthem” was emotional, gut-wrenching, and a reminder that every character in this world is multifaceted. Maybe Denny is in some ways a villain; yet, this was a reminder this heard bleeds just like anyone else’s.
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