Jan 24, 2023 - Things to Do

"BMF" Season 2: Devil's Night remembered as Lamar seeks revenge

Steve Harris (Detective Von Bryant) and Myles Truitt (B-Mickie)

Steve Harris (Detective Von Bryant) and Myles Truitt (B-Mickie). Photo courtesy of Starz

The third episode of "BMF" Season 2 finished with an exciting cliff-hanger as Lamar, awake from a coma, returns on Devil's Night to seek revenge on Meech.

Catch up quick (Spoiler alert!): B-Mickie flips on Meech and sets up a meeting with Detective Bryant, who accuses Meech of "destroying his community," through his high-earning drug business.

  • Meech is confronted with the destructive consequences of his work — in one scene, he walks away from a woman experiencing addiction withdrawal as she offers herself for drugs after he asks her whether the frail child standing behind her has eaten lately.
  • The episode ends as Terry rushes Meech to the hospital after he's shot by Lamar.

The intrigue: Terry and Meech's family are anxious about the days leading up to Devil's Night — a week of chaos before Halloween. In 1984, more than 800 fires were set in Detroit over a three-day period.

  • "We have to deal with this problem and it's got to be tackled by the whole community," Mayor Coleman A. Young says in a montage clip shown at the start of the episode.

Flashback: "Back in the '70s, Devil's Night was the one night where pranks were sort of tolerated — or at least you just knew they were going to happen," David Rudolph, a public relations professional and lifelong Detroiter, tells Axios. "You could hear people running through the alleys, just tipping garbage cans over."

  • Rudolph remembers being tee-peed around the time of Halloween one year. "It was annoying to my parents but that's all it was. It wasn't defaming cars or burning houses."
  • But by the '80s, Devil's Night became something more sinister. Absentee landlords sitting on decaying property began burning down homes. "It became the night for insurance jobs," Rudolph says.

And then there were arsonists, "who were sick and wrong for setting fires under that guise knowing Detroit fire and police were stretched thin that night," he says.

  • National media used the chaos to further a negative depiction of Detroit, Markisha Taylor, played by La La Anthony, says during the show.
  • "People are acting like we're burning our own city up. It's people in the suburbs with property they have to destroy. Media's not going to tell you that, which is crazy," she tells Terry as their affair intensifies.

What happened: Rudolph remembers being among the thousands of volunteers leading up to Devil's Night in 1995 after Mayor Dennis Archer asked residents to wear orange ribbons for what's now known as Angels' Night, an anti-arson campaign and effort to patrol neighborhoods.

  • "Angels' Night was about activating the citizens knowing police and fire couldn't be everywhere, it was really an army of people out saying, 'No, you're not going to do this to our communities,'" Rudolph says.

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