Cato (Alano Miller) finally returned to the world of “Underground” in Wednesday’s (March 29) episode. As he faced Noah (Aldis Hodge) for the first time since the Season 1 finale, demons from the past bubble back up to the surface — pushing the series towards its inevitable uprising.
Since his separation from the Macon 7 — and subsequent near-death experience — Cato turned his life around: Using the money he came into in those finale Season 1 moments, it seems Cato’s finally put his slave past behind him. This is where new girlfriend Devi (Rana Roy) comes into play: While we don’t believe Cato ever gained closure over his missing wife and child, his travels through Europe found him accompanied by a new love — and it seemed this was much more than a simple fling.
Their blossoming romance hit a roadblock once Devi coerced Cato to participate in a Dublin fight ring. Cato’s deep-down rage was sparked in these fights — their relationship straying from romance to an odd manager/fighter dynamic. It took getting knocked on his face to realize, no matter the money or the status, he’ll always be a slave until he puts the demons from his past to bed.
“Nok Aaut” reunited Noah and Cato for the first time since the explosive Season 1 finale — the bad blood between them has gotten worse. Remember, Noah left Cato for dead as he led Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Moses (Mykelti Williamson) and Henry (Renwick D. Scott) to freedom. Needless to say, this Macon 7 reunion didn’t go swimmingly.
As Noah and Cato worked (and failed) at putting their pasts behind them, Elizabeth (Jessica De Gouw) and Georgia (Jasika Nicole) attended an abolitionist rally to spread their anti-slavery message. Elizabeth may have found herself in a position her late husband John (Marc Blucas) had been in countless times before her: Speaking passionately in front of a large group of people. But, her message of peace ended up incited violence instead. It seems the only way they can achieve progress is to fight — and it’s a realization Elizabeth has begrudgingly come to.
In the end, Cato and Noah didn’t really work anything out — aside from reaffirming their roles in this world. Cato’s inhumane offer to Noah proved they’re two sides of the same moral coin: All Noah had to do was return himself to a life of bondage and Cato would let seven slaves go free.
A test of character? Sure. But this power play ended with the two rivals going in another direction entirely: “They’re already killing enough of us and I ain’t about to help them,” Noah says. “That’s where we’re different.”
We’re unsure if Noah and Cato can ever really work together: Noah will always be driven to help people while Cato’s rage continues to feel his ego. At the end of the day, Cato is only looking out for Cato: “I chose to come back because now I see what this country needs: It needs to be torn down to nothing. It needs a forest fire, a biblical flood, a earthquake that rips it in half… It needs me.”
It’s in those final words that “Underground” has set the stage for the coming battle. We’re unsure what moves Noah, Cato, Elizabeth and Georgia will make moving forward, but it’s safe to say this powder keg is primed and ready to blow.
“Underground” Season 2 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on WGN America.