Law and Order were created to safeguard humanity. But like all man-made creations, it ain’t perfect either. Not every action of a person can be scaled with just two words, “guilty or not guilty.” There is always more to the story than a jury can perceive. Your Honor unfolds with an accident where it is hard to perceive who is guilty. What proceeds further is a set of immoral actions to bury the mistake, but in the end, the poetic justice of nature prevails.
Based on the Israeli TV series Kvodo, Your Honor is developed by Peter Moffat for Showtime and stars the famous Breaking Bad actor, Bryan Cranston.
‘Your Honor’ Summary
Bryan Cranston plays a helpless father, Michael Desiato who is a judge in New Orleans. He tries with all his might to save his teenage son, Adam Desiato (Hunter Doohan) who accidentally kills another teenager in a hit-and-run.
Initially, Michael urges his son to turn himself into the police but as soon as he learns that the deceased teenager was the youngest son of Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg), Michael takes Adam away from the police station. Jimmy Baxter is the crime lord of the organized crime family of New Orleans who will do anything to kill the person who took away his son. Michael smelled danger and he jumped on plan B, which was to hide all the evidence that leads the police or the mob boss to Adam. He even plots the theft of Adam’s car, associated with the accident. However, a wrong move after another leads to a web of crimes that even Michael fails to erase. The punk, Kofi Jones who stole the car is pulled off by the police and then later on by Jimmy Baxter. In prison, Jimmy’s eldest son, Carlo Baxter mercilessly kills Kofi Jones contributing more complexity to the web of crimes.
In the end, the narrative finds itself squeezed from all sides with little or no way out. The only guiding light out of this dark tunnel was to follow the unlawful path. Michael does everything in his power as a judge to safeguard his son. He even explains his illicit actions by saying, “Do you think either of those takes precedence over the life of your own child.”
Michael wasn’t afraid of the legal charges Adam would have to face, but what Jimmy is going to do with his son. Adam didn’t kill Jimmy’s son out of his own negligence but he got an asthma attack while driving, which led to the accident, ramming his car to a speeding bike which Jimmy’s son was riding. Adam’s only fault was that he got anxious and ran away leaving the dying teenager on the road.
The first few episodes keep the drama intact and hold your attention, especially the first episode. But the Series loses its grip as it moves further and further. The writers fail to maintain the thrill after the third episode and on the 10th episode, you are just boringly waiting for the conclusion, rather than expecting and speculating what will happen next. There is a difference. It is often said that conflict creates drama and the choices of a character in those conflicts reveal his nature. Your Honor puts forward lots of intriguing conflict on the way of Michael, be it moral or ethical but the choices of the character aren’t unique enough or in a simple way, they are merely convenient. In Breaking Bad, the conflict and character choices relationship was the same but Walter white made hell-lot-of outstanding choices and that is why we remember it. Just a basic Robert De Niro quote, “talent is always in the choices.”
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Your Honor’ Ending Explained
The last and final episode of Your Honor was directed by Bryan Cranston himself. But, if you were expecting any brilliance then the expectations will be ruined, thoroughly. Episode 10 seemed like a mismatch or just a rush to the conclusion. Even some shots and actions are kinda half-cooked.
In the last scene, Kofi Jones’ brother comes to Jimmy Baxter’s party to take his revenge on Carlo Baxter (who killed Kofi Jones). Jimmy’s daughter has invited Adam too and Michael runs to the premise, thinking Jimmy called Adam to kill him.
However, when Michael arrives at the party, he isn’t allowed inside the hotel premises. Finding the right moment, Kofi Jones’ brother pulls out his gun and aims at Carlo but he misses the shot and the bullet pierces Adam’s throat. This particular shot was very vaguely designed and it looked incredibly out of rhythm. No visual-shot established how the bullet fired on Carlo could get Adam. Yet, that is what happens and it might be a symbolic poetic justice. Jimmy’s youngest son was killed by Adam and Adam was killed by Kofi Jones’ brother, the punk who sacrificed himself to save Adam. Thus, a son for a son, and in this stream, the world lost three sons and many other lives. Whose fault was it? Well, harder to put a judgment there. Some things are beyond guilty or not guilty.
Your Honor is a mediocre drama. It could be binged if you wish to watch a complex narrative. It sure tricks your mind and you are not able to jump on a conclusion till the end, that is, whose side you should take. Bryan Cranston’s performance is marvelous as always and he sure knows how to catch hold of your sensibilities. He is the kind of actor that requires a much meatier role with excellent character choices. He holds the talent to pull off the complexities of human skin.
Told in 10 episodes of approx. 50 minute each, Your Honor is streaming on Voot.
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