'Next' Episode 4: After BLM, Fox's techno-thriller treads carefully on all racist and neo-Nazism matters
'I’m not sure what CM doesn’t understand about what Gina expressed as it related to racism, but talks have to start somewhere right? Gina said byyyye We can talk another day,' a user wrote
Spoilers for 'Next' Season 1 Episode 4 'File#4'
Fox's techno-thriller 'Next' might be a show about artificial intelligence conquering the world but in telling that story, the show also discusses more important, timely issues of race, racism, White nationalism and neo-Nazism. Through its characters C.M. (Michael Mosley) and Gina (Eve Harlow), the show initiates a conversation around the sensitive subject but it also does so with caution. Following the Black Lives Matter movement, Fox is treading carefully around the issue.
In Episode 4, AI Iliza (Olenka Wos Kimball) finds a new target in C.M., a convicted former hacker and White nationalist. C.M leaked information about a White nationalist protest that was to go violent, and when the authorities intersected, three people ended up dying including a pregnant woman. This information is leaked by Iliza to the media, which leads to complete chaos outside the FBI building as white nationalist protestor get together to avenge their cause, and essentially kill C.M. So much so that the mob "Looks like the MAGA Cult" (as a fan pointed out).
But is C.M. a changed man? While we don't think it is possible for his ideals to take a complete 360 turn, C.M., to a certain extent, does regret his past and his actions. It is evident when he phones his ex-wife and pleads to talk to his son, who he has been away from for a long time. He has also tried to amend his past by trying to giving it back to society and working in the FBI. And so, when his colleague Gina repeatedly calls him a neo-Nazi and a racist, he has a little rebuttal to offer her. In this episode, they do have a brief but ineffective chat about the situation. Both parties are holding their feelings back therefore leading to minimal development in their rapport. Gina is irked and leaves the room, but fans think that she should have stayed on and continued the chat.
"Gina, we need you to stay in the room next time. Those talks take patience #YouCanDoIt #NEXTonFOX," a fan tweeted. "I’m not sure what CM doesn’t understand about what Gina expressed as it related to racism, but talks have to start somewhere right? Gina said byyyye We can talk another day #NEXTonFOX," another user added.
I’m not sure what CM doesn’t understand about what Gina expressed as it related to racism, but talks have to start somewhere right? Gina said byyyye :wave::skin-tone-5: We can talk another day :joy_cat: #NEXTonFOX— CHICAontheGO (@CHICAontheGO) November 18, 2020
As Fox is careful with its portrayal of race, the fan also points out how C.M., unfortunately, finds himself in limbo. "This show also addresses our interaction with criminals. When they pay for their crime are they ever truly forgiven? #NEXTonFOX #America", another user commented.
C.M. is clearly resentful of his past and is trying to make a difference, but he is already confined to his previous identity as a neo-Nazi.
Going forward, considering C.M. is still alive, perhaps their conversation will continue.
'Next' airs on Tuesdays at 9 pm ET/PT.