Iman Shumpert as Sadiq noticing Shayla
"Iman Shumpert as Sadiq noticing Shayla," Under His Influence, directed by DeShon Hardy, 2023, (BET Plus)

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A summary of how “Under His Influence” (2023) ended, its major storylines, and whether a prequel or sequel is possible.

Director(s) DeShon Hardy
Screenplay By DeShon Hardy
Based On N/A
Date Released (BET Plus) February 16, 2023
Noted Cast
Diamond Sydney Mitchell
Sadiq Iman Shumpert
Casaundra Michael Michele
Lori Tumbler Lauren Buglioli
Shayla Ahmarie Holmes
Past Shayla Celina Smith

This content contains spoilers.

How Did It End?

Despite the theory presented by Casaundra originally that maybe Lori Thumbler’s husband killed her, upon learning about Lori and Sadiq’s affair, we learn it was actually Sadiq. Unlike his alibi, of showing up and no one being at the house, the truth is Lori was there. She was in the house with a young girl named Shayla, who grew up in a rough and potentially abusive home environment, but Lori talked about adopting her.

However, that plan ended when Sadiq came over and was upset Lori was cutting him off romantically and sexually, even being his tutor to help him get into college. At first, it seemed like he was going to rape her, but he ended up choking her to death, and the anonymous phone call spoken about throughout the movie was Shayla calling.

Now, as for who the White man was that threatened Sadiq while he was out dining with Diamond, we don’t learn who that is. As for the other person harassing, stalking, and trying to warn Diamond? That’s Shayla, and with Sadiq getting released, she decides to get revenge and attempt to kill Sadiq.

However, this is no easy task since Sadiq, or Iman Shumpert, is over 6’4, and Shayla hasn’t been training her whole life to take him down or kill him. However, she does knock him out, tie him up in someone’s house, and Diamond arrives just in time to save him.

At least, that is what it appeared to be for Sadiq. But, things shifted after Casaundra found out the truth and got to Diamond before she realized Sadiq was kidnapped. Thus, after a bit of a scuffle, Diamond eventually kills Sadiq and swears off being an influencer after all is said and done. However, she keeps a secret Instagram account because social media is so addicting.

Is There Sequel/ Prequel Potential?

More so, there is prequel potential than sequel potential. Understanding Sadiq’s life and how the affair with Lori started and perhaps thrived at times is worth questioning. Was she on some full-on Mary Kay Letourneau-type stuff until her husband found out what happened and threatened to turn her in? Was Sadiq maybe bragging, and that is what led to the end of things? There are just a lot of questions there, even with Shayla’s home life.

So when it comes to the meat and potatoes, it is easy to imagine getting deeper into the more emotional drama than sensationalized drama if a sequel was ever produced.

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