Debbie, Layne’s mom, comes to town, and as that happens, there is a shift in almost everyone’s romantic relationships.

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Debbie, Layne’s mom, comes to town, and as that happens, there is a shift in almost everyone’s romantic relationships.

Episode Name A Different Man
Directed By Nefertite Nguvu
Written By Jen Golum
Aired (BET+) 4/22/2021

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text may contain affiliate links, which, if a purchase is made, we’ll earn money or products from the company.


Hello Ms. Debbie! – Liberty, Layne, Deon, Debbie

The arrival of Debbie is naturally frazzling to Layne, and with Deon there when she arrives? Oh, she is a bit of a mess. However, bad turns worse with Liberty spilling all her business paired with Debbie asking about Greg while at dinner with Layne and Deon. That, combined with Layne finally talking about why she doesn’t share her thoughts and dreams with her mother, leads to an old chapter ending in their relationship.

Signs Things Aren’t So Perfect – Veronica, Ken, Tracey, Aaron

While Veronica likes the idea of having a partner, in practice? It is a bit much. He chooses her dress, makes a scene at her place of employment, speaks for her at an event to celebrate her? It’s all a bit much.

Tracey pitching a show about her and Aaron happily in love
Tracey pitching a show about her and Aaron happily in love

As for Tracey? Being that she is someone who wants to be someone’s everything in a way, with Aaron not necessarily desiring to be in the drama, she ignores he also hates the cameras. Thus, she sells a spin-off that is supposed to focus on just them and sees them sharing her food empire together.

Aw, Here It Goes – Layne, Deon, Debbie, Veronica, Ken, Tracey, Aaron, Vince, Shoshana

Things with Ken and Aaron seem to reach their end during the awards ceremony honoring Veronica’s decade of work. For Ken, it ends as Veronica realizes how much of her power and autonomy was given to appease and make Ken happy. As for Aaron? A random person making it appear Aaron is cheating is all Tracey needed to see to end things with him.

This brings us to Vince and Layne. With Vince, he wants to get into producing, not just being a DJ, and Shoshana is willing to finance this. However, with this being his dream, her building him an entire studio makes him uncomfortable. This may come as a surprise since she is using her salary as a dentist to pay his rent and setting him up with gigs, but I guess this is when she has gone too far.

Which brings us to Layne. With reconciling with Debbie seems to come a renewed ability to forgive Deon. Thus leading to the two having sex, but with their beliefs in how their friends reacting being different, a new problem arises.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

How is that what’s best for me if you’re the one deciding?
— Layne

Layne asking if Deon is being nice or he is implying something?
Layne asking if Deon is being nice or he is implying something?

Commentary/ Review


Veronica’s Speech

One of the things we’re often told is required for relationships is learning to give up a level of your independence. You are no longer an I, but we, as noted in a previous episode. However, as Veronica shows, I’d say Tracey too, what a woman loses in independence is different from what a man loses and whether it feels like a loss depends on the woman.

In the case of Veronica, while Ken may see himself as being supportive, it appears Veronica feels that this is controlling. He picked her dress, spoke for her on the red carpet, and while that is seen as supportive and a benefit to others, it isn’t what Veronica needs. That is as opposed to Tracey, who clearly wants Aaron part of her thing and deeply invested.

Yet, as the point of Veronica’s speech pushes, the definition of a strong woman, a notable woman, has to be self-defined, or else others will do the job for you.

On The Fence

The End of Veronica and Tracey’s Relationships

While Veronica’s relationship is more in limbo than over, Tracey’s has blown up due to a few pictures that didn’t even show Renee and Aaron together. And considering how the producers were reacting to her wanting to be free of the drama, shouldn’t she consider them part of this? It isn’t like they haven’t royally messed with her a multitude of times before.

Switching to Veronica, I wonder why she just can’t have a conversation with Ken. Does she think he can’t handle it? Does she want to be the person who leaves him so that she can’t say she was dumped twice? Power dynamics is something Veronica constantly struggles with, so should we write this off as showing, despite the potential of her growing as a person, maybe she has taken baby steps rather than leaps?

Vince’s Situation

After a whole episode of them together, while you can understand the friendship between Shoshana and Vince, the romantic part remains unclear. We know Vince’s friends think it is a Black thing and her wanting to be a sugar momma, but what is it for Shoshana?

Note, her ex was also Black, with a similar look to Vince, so there could be a fetish like her friend. However, the way they interact with one another, you don’t get that vibe. Heck, even when compared to the other couples, you don’t get a sense Shoshana enjoys how her finances create a power dynamic in her favor. Also, considering she brought Vince and past guys she dated around her family, and not to piss them off, it pokes holes in it being a fetish or means to upset anyone.

So could it just be something that is far purer than given credit for, yet still a bit overwhelming for Vince? Even if he was, at one time, fine with her paying for everything?

Layne and Deon Back Together

Debbie trying to explain to Layne that she had good intentions
Debbie trying to explain to Layne that she had good intentions

Are Deon and Layne cute together? Yes. However, I’d be lying to you if I feel like they haven’t learned much from their last time together. With Layne, while she is more open to difficult conversations, she just got to the point of being able to do that with Deon, never mind her mother. So considering she is just starting to gain the ability to be firm in how she feels and all else she has going on, is a man really something she needs? Especially if their relationship follows the pattern of everyone else?

Then with Deon, I must admit I wish he dated someone else, like “Layne-Lite” vs. getting stuck on Layne. Now, don’t get us wrong, Layne is a beautiful and awesome girl. However, with them pushed to be an end-game couple, neither seeing other people, getting through their issues, thoroughly, makes it feel like we’re going to end up in a loop of makeup to break up.

[ninja_tables id=”55869″]


Veronica's Speech - 85%
The End of Veronica and Tracey's Relationships - 74%
Vince's Situation - 75%
Layne and Deon Back Together - 73%


With everyone's relationship in an uneasy place, it makes you wonder, when it comes to the finale, who will seek conversation and healing, and who will just set fire to everything they built over the season?

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