There’s spoilers in this recap of the season one finale of Woke, “Blue Lies Matter“ so you know, you’ve been warned.
This episode’s TL;DR: “It’s about to begin.”
So, we open where we left off last time— Keef getting punched by a person in a Kubby suit. Then: The two 40 oz bottles (Nicole Byer and Eddie Griffin), Trashcan (Cedric the Entertainer), Crying Emoji (Jack McBrayer) and Paper Bag (Cree Summer) gossip about what Keef should do now. Should he learn to throw a punch? Or Drink? Or you know, go to a freaking therapist maybe? Marker (JB Smoove) busts in and Trashcan gives him the order to talk to Keef. So, like, these guys weren’t figments of Keef’s imagination?
Two months later…
Keef has drawn about his police attack for The Bay Arean, per a recommendation from his therapist. And I’m still wondering what Clovis (T. Murph) and Gunther (Blake Anderson) do for work since they’re polishing sneakers and Feng Shueing high, respectively, when Keef comes home.
Next, a knock on the door. Guess who gets served again? That’s right, it’s Keef Knight! The cop who attacked him is suing him for defamation and get this— being triggered by Keef’s comic strip.
And because Keef needs a real lawyer, he asks his ex, Trina (Alvina August), for help. So, Trina basically forgives Keef for shutting her out since she now understands what he was going through. Not 100% sure how I feel about that. But, she has good news for him. The SFPD want to shut down the lawsuit, but first they want Keef to have a beer with the offending/ed officer. Oh and the press will be there. It sucks that Keef is in a lose-lose situation.
That night, Keef has a team meeting with Ayana (Sasheer Zamata), Clovis and Gunther to decide whether he’s gonna do the get outta court beer thing. Gunther votes no, imagining a scenario that ends with a dead Keef, Ayana doesn’t like that Keef’s letting SFPD control him again and Clovis says to take the Nike approach and then get on with his life. Ayana tells him to take the meeting and hijack it as a platform to speak his mind. She’s even gonna draft up some talking points for him, so that he doesn’t end up phumphering, like always, as Clovis puts it.
Later, at 3:00 the next morning, Keef can’t sleep. He goes to his desk and starts begging an inanimate Marker for advice. Gunther hears him and asks him who he’s talking to. Since he’s gotta cover, Keef tells Gunther he’s just practicing for his meeting tomorrow. And now his decision’s been made for him.
The next day, Keef is appropriately curt at his meeting with Officer Wyatt (Link Baker) and the also white Public Affairs Guy (Peter Kelamis). He doesn’t shake anyone’s hand. He just wants to get this over with.
Meanwhile, as per usual, Clovis and Gunther are at home. Gunther is (high and) extremely worried about Keef. Clovis laughs it off, asking what’s the worst that could happen. Gunther lists off a series of highly disturbing, yet increasingly ridiculous, scenarios that end up with Keef getting shot. They’re all played out on screen in too-sharp lighting. It’s eerie, unsettling and also a little funny. I didn’t like watching it.
Back at the bar, real Keef is not dead. Instead, Wyatt is trying to make small talk about his kid’s artistic skills and how he’s no longer his son’s hero, blah blah blah blah blah. Keef tells him that he has some things to say to him and that he’s written them down. The cop literally takes the cards out of Keef’s hands, reads them out, quickly commenting on three of them. Then, he announces he’s thirsty as balls and announces it beer thirty.
Next, we interrupt Wyatt in the middle of his sixth “funny cop story.” Keef is ready to GTFO and because it seems to be the only way to end this terrible experience, he shakes the hand of the man who assaulted him. For the cameras. Wyatt apologizes in front of the press— something he did not do in private. The PR Guy and Wyatt wait for Keef to do the same and when he realizes that, he asks to speak with Wyatt alone. Even without PR Guy.
So, all Keef wants to know is if Wyatt meant anything he said. Of course not. All he wanted to do was to end his desk duty. Keef is about to peace out, but then Wyatt makes the mistake of saying the police are under siege. Oh good lord. Keef wants to know how a stapler can be mistaken for a weapon, how this day could possibly get any more stupid. But then the loser POS threatens Keef, telling him that he got off easy. Wyatt doesn’t have his gun, which emboldens Keef to speak his mind. He starts flicking beer at Wyatt, asking him if that would be considered a “perceived threat.” So, Wyatt arrests him for assaulting a police officer.
Later, Keef’s in jail and The Jolly Boys’s version of “I Fought the Law” is playing, and it works. Anyway, Keef uses his phone call to ring up Adrienne (Rose McIver) and say he’d like to give it another go.
Basically, Keef’s in jail for a grand total of an hour and a half. As he’s collecting his things to go home, he again starts talking to an inanimate Marker, thanking it for not helping him. Ayana, Clovis and Gunther are in the waiting area and they’re ready to help Keef deal with what’s to come.
…Which is… a lot of cameras. Press are asking him how it feels to be part of a new movement. AND FINALLY, Marker comes back to life, gleeful that “it’s” about to begin.
Whoo. What a ride. I’d say that on the balance, I loved more about Woke than I disliked. The acting is phenomenal and the humor is on point. AND THE WARDROBE. Like I’ve said before, I love that it takes place in San Francisco, and while Vancouver doesn’t totally pass for The City, there were enough references and Bay Areaisms that it more than made up for that.
Basically, the biggest problem the show has is when it takes place. I’m interested to see what a post-summer 2020 Woke looks like. That change in timeline would really focus the show; the humor would be more biting and the message that much more powerful. I really want to see that show. And I want to spend more time with these characters in that show. So, how would you rate this season? Are you looking forward to a potential season two?
Thanks for joining me as for the season one recaps of Woke here on Geek Girl Authority!
Season One of Woke is streaming on Hulu now.