“The Chi” continues its trajectory of life in its 3rd season with a continuing sense of identity and reflection. Episode 3 “Buss Down” reflects in story-lines of perception and perspective. The core of the story still focuses on a missing girl in the neighborhood. Even that revolves in perception because of what the mother thinks her teenage daughter is capable of. Several scenes including a support group are diametric but also telling because of how people in similar situations react to their causes and how they are perceived. This is true of a former gangster who is trying to be more a family man. And yet his truth is bathed in masks even though he is trying to be more forthright. That story-line specifically is an bubbling powder keg waiting to happen but exceptionally plotted since it encourages discussion. Even the more baseline elements including a young chef trying to run a business but not understanding how expectation speaks to bigger ideas of ambition and hard work versus result. The cool thing about “The Chi” as it heads further into its season is how it parallels the experiences in certain ways of different generations showing the difference of course but also the subtle similarities that sometimes get glossed over. The older man who was responsible for a death last season is one of the most diametric of the bunch in the notion if his past and what the future is takes on a mirror universe quality to his trajectory. And yet compassion, kindness and the greater good still revolve in his world as themes just simmering below the surface.
By Tim Wassberg