CSI:Cyber is usually stupid in a pleasant way, but last night’s episode took a sharp turn out of comforting dumbness and into racist propaganda diarrhea island.
“Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes” is a “ripped from the headlines” police brutality-themed episode, name-checking Mike Brown and Freddie Gray and climaxing in a protest about violence against an unarmed black man. Guess who the victim in the episode is.
Did you guess?
The victim is white law enforcement!!!
The episode starts with DB and Avery meditating and talking about all-natural sedative teas (the whitest activities two people can do apart from crocheting quilts of Martin Short’s greatest sketch comedy moments while listening to a podcast about Jewel’s debut book of poetry, A Night Without Armor). Their reverie is soon shaken, by racial unrest via the internet.
“Social media is out of control,” Raven runs in to tell Avery and DB about a viral video. “It’s trending on Twitter, has over a million comments on Facebook, four million hits on YouTube. The kicker is, it’s only been active 12 hours.”
The highly clickable video is police body camera footage that appears to show an unarmed black man being shot. Twitter is PO’ed about injustice. For some reason this is the rubric the CSI Cybercrime Division uses to decide when to get involved, and our gang concludes that the video got out because the police department was hacked.
“Whoever hacked that footage turned the city into a racial time bomb,” Avery harrumphs. Sure, the police who killed an unarmed black man and then tried to cover it up were, uh, not the ones who turned the city into a racial time bomb.
Everyone gets to work to try and help the police department accused of brutality. (I hope Patricia Arquette is getting a new agent.)
The one black guy in the squad, Nelson, is the only person visibly angry about the death of an unarmed man, while everyone else looks for criminals who hacked the police department. Nelson also gets angry when he reads a bunch of racist internal emails sent within the police department. Guess who learns an important lesson about the tough realities of race relations in this episode?
Did you guess?
Oh, and it turns out the white police officer wearing the body cam did NOT shoot the black man, so the protestors don’t even know what they’re protesting. The viral footage is faked by a super-genius white guy with a personal vendetta against the officer and a desire to test sociological hypotheses about riots by provoking racial tension.
It’s like the writers couldn’t decide which dumbass motive to assign to make sure that institutionalized racism did not factor into the plotline, and doubled down.
In the episode’s climax, Nelson starts beating up angry black people once he realizes that, sometimes, police gotta wail on unruly protesters. He gives Mundo a conciliatory smile to show he is no longer ticked off that Mundo beat down an unarmed black guy earlier in the episode. (I hope Shad Moss is getting a new agent.)
The supposedly shot black man is still alive and totally un-brutalized, but he is a homeless street bum with crazy hair. He tries to stop the protests against police brutality at the end of the episode. “STOP!” he yells to the crowd incorrectly calling for justice about his faked death.
In this episode of television, the Black Lives Matter movement serves as a pawn for two white brothers in a spat. The lone black guy on the squad learns he needs to chill out on judging how his white coworkers use force against unarmed black people. The premise for anger towards the cops and protests is a ruse with no value. This episode ends on a sorrowful note about how hard it is to control protests over police brutality—not the brutality itself, certainly not that. The brutality is presented as a literal FAKE THING MADE UP BY A CRAZY LIBERAL ARTS PROFESSOR TO HURT THE POLICE.
This is an episode that laments the anger of protesters and shows police brutality as a lie designed to rile black people up.
Please, someone pitch Becker 2: Back to Beckin’ to CBS and save Ted Danson.