'The Good Lord Bird' Episode 3 Preview: As Frederick Douglass and Brown clash, Onion sees how complex fight is
In Episode 2 of ‘The Good Lord Bird’, we saw Onion (Joshua Caleb Johnson) and Bob (Hubert Point-Du Jour) in the aftermath of John Brown’s (Ethan Hawke) departure, taking off fearing their safety without Brown’s militia around them. But on the way, they are stopped by two Redshirts (soldiers of a white supremacist paramilitary terrorist group in the South at that time). Mistaking Onion to be a young prostitute, they take them to the nearby town of Pikesville, Missouri, where they were sold to the Madame.
The episode sees Onion develop a huge crush on a mixed-race prostitute called Pie (Natasha Marc). But things take a turn for the worse when another slave called Sibonia (Crystal Lee Brown) threatens him to forge a bill of sale so that she could escape. Pie rats out Sibonia’s plan and she is caught and “tried” for execution. Onion, of course, feels guilty because he was the one who told Pie and he was also the one who never kept his word to Sibonia.
Following the “trial” and the execution of Sibonia and several other slaves, John Brown (Ethan Hawke) and his militia arrive and ambush the town. The battle ends in the death of most White people in the town (along with Pie), and Onion and Bob are once again reunited with the group, as they travel ahead in their quest to free all slaves.
So, what happens next? Episode 3 of ‘The Good Lord Bird’ is titled ‘Mister Fred’ and that can mean only one thing -- the trailer’s promise of introducing the American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman Frederick Douglass, played by the incomparable Daveed Diggs, is about to happen.
As per Showtime’s official synopsis for the episode, “Following the battle in Pikesville, John Brown, now one of the most wanted men in America, travels north with Onion to raise funds for the abolitionist cause. They take refuge at the home of the famed orator and ‘King of the [expletive]’ Frederick Douglass and his two wives. When Brown and Douglass clash over methodology, Onion discovers just how complex the fight for justice and human equality really is.”
The promo for the episode only promises a hilarious conflict between the two men with different ideas about the same problem. We see Douglass refer to Brown as a “lunatic”, which in all fairness is not quite misplaced. Brown, at least in the show, is shown as a zealot and a fanatic believing that the abolitionist way was God’s way and any other views deserved death. Douglass, in comparison, was a refined statesman and a public speaker. He spoke and wrote on behalf of a variety of reform causes, including, women's rights, temperance, peace, land reform, free public education, and the abolition of capital punishment. Naturally, the two men are not exactly similar.
We see in the promo Douglass perplexed when Onion tells him that Brown’s supposedly bloody militia had just about ten men -- “That’s not even a dozen,” he exclaims. It will be interesting to see how the two men propose their ideas to each other. And, of course, Diggs’ entry into the show is something fans have been waiting for since the first episode arrived. So, if nothing, there is just that to look forward to.
'The Good Lord Bird' airs on Sundays on Showtime, at 9 pm ET/PT.