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but you could


For about 3 minutes into Tuko Macho Episode 3, we don’t know what’s happening or why it’s important. Detective Salat (Ibrahim Muchemi) is sitted on his couch watching the news. He’s watching something about police officers extorting money from the public, but he looks on with a slight lack of interest. We know he is bored because he reaches for his phone and sends a text. The reply comes in after a few minutes and we see Salat brim with joy. Later we learn he was texting a prostitute. When she arrives, the pleasantries between them are familiar and we quickly learn that he has a slight affection toward this woman.

But while Salat is busy engaging in all play and no work, the Tuko Macho crew is burning the midnight oil. They’ve released a video showing the public how Pastor Kangai (Alice Kithinji) ran over a pedestrian and asked the public to vote. Time is ticking for the pastor.

Salat’s team is running on the same clock. They need to locate the Tuko Macho site host and find Pastor Kangai before it’s too late. Salat and his partner question Pastor Kangai’s driver who reveals to them nothing but the obvious; he was attacked on his way to Pastor Kangai’s church. It’s clearly a dead end and you can see the frustration on Salat’s face.

It is this same wave of disappointment that drives Salat into a silent soliloquy on the way back to the station with his partner. He’s thinking about his chosen career path, he imagined he’d be Heimdall, watching over Asgard- his little Nairobi. He watches the city folk go about their business, oblivious to this detective’s bad day. This scene shows us a more human aspect of the law. Salat presents a moral side of the law- one that fights desperately to show that there’s still a just system people can trust. He hates how people look down on police officers yet the minute we mess up, they’re the ones we plead with to right our wrongs. Not every potato in the sack is rotten, but would you still trust yourself to eat a potato among a pile of rotten ones?

Pastor Kangai is killed by the Tuko macho crew after she is voted guilty. Tuko Macho dump her body outside a police station. Their MO is basically a middle finger to the authorities. Tuko Macho wants to taunt the police by showing them how easy it is for them to come knocking on the law’s playground and then disappear Kaisersoze style.

This is the first episode where flashbacks are introduced. We see a group of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers receiving instructions about delivering election material. In one truck, Biko (Tim King’oo) is seen accompanying the package with his friend Stevo (Paul Ogolla). You’ve seen Paul Ogolla in Nairobi Half Life and Sense 8.  Stevo and Biko are both tired and decide to take turns guarding the materials. Stevo lies down on the cargo and ends up tearing the package revealing its contents.

Stevo shows Biko what they are transporting- marked ballot papers. The elections haven’t happened yet so the two soldiers have clearly stumbled into an election conspiracy. The scene ends with the truck arriving at its destination and Biko pocketing the ballot paper that Stevo gave him. And things just turned a little bit Homeland…

(Featured Photo c/o of