Throughout "Underground's" freshman season, the driving factor continually moving the story forward was the urgent quest for freedom. Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Noah (Aldis Hodge), Cato (Alano Miller) and the rest of the Macon 7 stopped at nothing to remove themselves -- mind, body and soul -- from their life of bondage on Tom Macon's (Reed Diamond) plantation.
As the season came to a close, we saw Rosalee reach the proverbial promised land -- and Jurnee Smollett-Bell put it best, telling Screener, "I made it to freedom. And freedom ain't free."
The cost of this highly-coveted goal came at a huge price -- resulting in her brother's death, as she disconnected herself further from Ernestine (Amirah Vann). "This burden I bear, of having my own freedom and everyone I love still being in bondage, is too much to bear," Smollett-Bell continues. "And so I'm desperately trying to put my family back together."
For Noah -- who sacrificed himself to save Rosalee -- the idea of freedom has changed. As he simply states in the Season 2 trailer: "It ain't about a place no more."
To help us understand that simple statement, Aldis Hodge was happy to elaborate:
"For him, the idea of freedom has changed. Now, freedom is love. Freedom is Rosalee. The idea of love is bigger than freedom. It's a choice for him. So mentally, he chooses to be free, regardless of his physical surroundings. And then also, when it comes to Rosalee. She is his purpose now."
The goal of truly being free, without "worry for loving the way they want to love" is what firmly fuels Noah in the new episodes. Equality -- emotional and physical -- is a concept that still resonates today. And along with the "citizen or soldier" theme, this renewed quest should drive the story into exciting, engaging territory in Season 2.
"Underground" Season 2 premieres Wednesday, March 8, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on WGN America.