The war between Carlton and Will begins, and with Will winning people over quickly, Carlton feels threatened.
|Directed By||Carl Seaton|
|Written By||Janeika James, Jasheika James|
|Introduced This Episode|
|Coach Johnson||Sam Daly|
|Jazz||Jordan L. Jones|
No Compromise – Hillary, Viv, Ashley
While Hillary would like the brand boost Haute Cuisine could give, the problem is that they want her to whitewash herself and her recipes to be associated with their brand. For Hillary, that’s a non-starter, but for Aunt Viv? She doesn’t see the problem.
If not, better said, Aunt Viv sees the opportunity and thinks Hillary should be ready to compromise. But unlike Aunt Viv, who compromised on being an artist by being an Art Professor, Hillary isn’t really for putting down her grandmother’s recipes to appease white people. Never mind, dress down to make others comfortable. All of which Ashley hears, and it makes you wonder, could part of Ashley being “woke” as she is deal with a bubbling rebellion against her parents?
About This Kid You Let Up In My House – Phil, Viv, Will, Carlton, Vy, Tray, Geoffrey
Phil is not happy about what happened at that party. His son got his ass whooped, Connor’s mom tried to extort him, and as much as he recognizes Carlton’s role, he sees Will as the determining factor. Because of this, he is ready for one last talk so that Will can know the next screw-up means him going to Philly, boarding school, military school, anywhere that means leaving his house.
However, with Tray getting shot, that idea goes out the window. Especially since there seems to be this weird guilt when it comes to Viv, especially when talking to her older sister Vy, Will’s mom, about all this. Almost as if, when it comes to Will’s dad, they know something, they being Phil and Viv.
But while guilt gives Will some space, a reminder of how hard it is to transition from Geoffrey may have helped immensely. For when it comes to Carlton and Phil, they see family as the Banks household and Will as a guest. But through Geoffrey and Viv, there is a reminder that their family extends beyond those who grew up in that mansion, estate, whatever that gargantuan house is considered.
An Icon Living – Will, Carlton, Connor, Tyler, Lisa, Coach Johnson, Jazz, Phil
At school, things are kind of hell. Carlton uses his social equity to damn Will just as he did Lisa when she broke up with him. Because of that, Will isn’t necessarily persona non-grata, but Carlton does set up an uphill battle for him. Luckily, one thing Carlton can’t take is Will’s basketball skills – for PTSD took that.
Yet, Will recognizes if he is going to maintain becoming a D-1 athlete, he needs to get on the basketball team and impress Coach Johnson. Lucky for him, he makes an ally out of Tyler in Algebra II, who hates Connor, and through Jazz and Uncle Phil, Will gets his mojo back. Thus leading to him getting on the team, and with the wind beneath his sails, he puts Carlton on notice. Hence, Connor plants drugs on Will to nip that problem in the bud.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
[…] you start a fight, you don’t get to complain about hot it ends.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Did Phil and Viv have anything to do with why Will’s dad isn’t in his life?
- Who got Hillary into cooking? She notes she uses her grandmother’s recipes, but we haven’t seen grandma?
- How did Carlton get hooked on Xanax?
- Is Jazz still going to hit on Hillary in this show?
- Is Uncle Phil still a Republican on this show?
- How will Haute Cuisine react to getting called out on social media and Hillary telling her fans to check them?
What Could Happen Next
- Carlton overdosing, potentially by accident, on Xanax
- Will going against Carlton for class president senior year, if their beef lasts that long
- Us seeing, more and more, Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil’s relationship is fractured
Loving To Hate Carlton, Yet Recognizing His Insecurities
I love Carlton because he is the type of character who is guaranteed to get a reaction out of you. Either you’ll feel bad for him because of how easy things come for Will or hate him because he uses the power he does have to give Will the same obstacles he likely had to go through. It creates this delicious balance of wanting Will to punch his cousin up a few more times, yet recognizing that Carlton isn’t respected at home, isn’t the son his dad wanted (since he isn’t into basketball), so all he had was what he gained at school.
Yet, he is losing his ex to Will without much of a fight. Will is about to become a star athlete, which might have been how Carlton got his respect. So it’s hard to not feel for Carlton watching his cousin get in days and weeks, what he struggled to obtain for who knows how long? Never mind, while Carlton may not be the same as Will, personality, and upbringing wise, Carlton had to do everything right to be respected and welcomed, and yet Will doesn’t have to worry about stereotypes and all that? Watch that be a problem for him.
Hillary Sticking Up For Herself
Hillary sticking up for herself has a multitude of layers. The first is her privilege. Often we treat privilege as a negative thing, but Hillary reminds you that privilege isn’t a blanket issue. Privilege allows you to say no to things beneath you, which compromises who you are, and asks you to make yourself small and meek to fit into someone else’s ideal. Privilege is what most parents, I’d think, would want for their kids, after raising them for 18+ years, to be the best they can be while representing them in a positive light.
On top of that, let’s not forget what Haute Cuisine represented for Aunt Viv and why she pushed Hillary to take the interview and even negotiate a deal. For it isn’t just Hillary standing up to Haute Cuisine calling Hillary’s dishes ethnic, spicy, and asking to tone down her beauty and features to ease the insecurities of a stranger, there was also Viv co-signing some of their mess.
Now, did she back down once Ashley and Hillary made it clear she was on the wrong side? Yes. However, Hillary being able to hold firm when both a major company and her mother make it seem like she is in the wrong, doesn’t understand how things work, and that this is the path to her pedestal? That is a beautiful thing to see.
Will’s PTSD and Guilt – Alongside Him Opening Up To Jazz and Uncle Phil
Speaking of privilege, most of us don’t have the luxury of being transported out of the BS of our lives to a huge estate, but as seen with Hillary, privilege lessens your worries, it doesn’t eradicate them. Will, for example, despite being on a whole separate coast, still is haunted by being arrested, his friend getting jumped, and how his life was heading down the same path Darnell is on.
Luckily, it is 2022, and Will isn’t the type to suffer in silence. He opens up to Jazz and bonds with him man to man. Also, when Phil got that bug out of his behind, he started to become the mentor figure fans saw Uncle Phil as in the original series. And while that didn’t clear up all the PTSD and guilt Will had, it at least provided a path forward. It made the load lighter, more manageable, whatever way you wish to speak on it, and Will was able to move forward, with head held high, and even capable of speaking to his friend without breaking down into tears.
This Really Might Be The Worst Aunt Viv
So, the positive thing about this episode is the reveal that Aunt Viv is an art professor at a college. The negative is, she still hasn’t gotten her swag. Now, you could submit that, with being a struggling artist for who knows how long, Aunt Viv made the adult decision and took up a potentially tenured position for financial security. There is nothing wrong with that.
However, the whole conversation with Hillary showed me that this Aunt Viv is not going to be like the ones we got in the past and isn’t even going to try to compete. This is a new Aunt Viv who isn’t going to stand out, stand tall, and honor (the more prominent) legacy of who Aunt Viv is. I’m talking about the one who showed that white woman how to dance and snapped her finger like she was Thanos ready to wipe out half the world. I’m talking the Aunt Viv, who is an ICON.
This Aunt Viv is not trying to be that. The Aunt Viv we’re introduced to is a woman who made it out of West Philly, figured a way to secure the bag, and just wants her kids to do the same. There is nothing revolutionary or notable about this Aunt Viv, and while things could change, I feel like we may have to accept her for who she is and be reminded that everyone is going to live in Janet Hubert’s shadow and there is nothing the writers or performers can do about it.
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