Truth, of course, is always truth. But human beings aren’t perfect arbiters of it, and our perceptions are easily deceived. As the story takes a darker turn, it uncomfortably reflects the vicious public debates we seem to have every few months about viral videos these days. Until, at last, the last episode reviews events from other angles with broader context.
As the Ingrams’ lawyer digs deep into the concept of confirmation bias, she forces jurors to consider how justified their basic premises are and whether other interpretations of events might also be reasonable: “When an assumption signals the brain, it rearranges and reorganizes all facts to support the assumption.”
More than just interpretation, though, she highlights how quickly we render judgment and close ranks against those whose background, personality, or views don’t align with our own.
This engaging story about a million-dollar tempest in a teapot makes us question the difference between pursuing justice and pursuing the appearance of justice. And it illustrates how mercilessly we can destroy lives when we care more about appeasing an opinionated public than finding facts.
This isn’t to suggest that Quiz is a hectoring morality tale. With sharp, satirical performances, it entertains as much as it educates. In the end it has no easy answers about the Ingrams or whether justice prevailed in their case. But it leaves no doubt about how one piece of video that someone expands, edits, or presents from different angles—as in the case last year of the Covington Catholic students—can influence our impressions, and how careful we should be before we rush to judgment.