Carlton (Olly Sholotan) crying
"Carlton (Olly Sholotan) crying," Bel-Air, "Don’t Look Back," directed by Dale Stern, 2023, (Peacock)

“Bel-Air” ends on a high note as Will and Carlton’s junior year ends on a bang, and we’re promised one hellacious summer.

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“Bel-Air” ends on a high note as Will and Carlton’s junior year ends on a bang, and we’re promised one hellacious summer.

Aired (Peacock) April 27, 2023
Director(s) Dale Stern
Writer(s) Carla Banks Waddles, Daniela Gaj
Previously Noted Characters
Drew Nicholas Duvernay
Lisa Simone Joy Jones
Carlton Olly Sholotan
Phil Adrian Holmes
Will Jabari Banks
Doc Brooklyn McLinn
Lorenzo Keith Arthur Bolden
Vivian Cassandra Freeman
Janice Daphne Reid
Geoffrey Jimmy Akingbola
Ashley Akira Akbar
Erika Diandra Lyle
Jazz Jordan L. Jones
Hillary Coco Jones
LaMarcus Justin Cornwell
Jackie Jazlyn Martin
Olivia Reagan Marum


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

Sometimes You Do What You Have To Do – Drew, Lisa, Carlton, Phil, Will, Doc, Lorenzo, Vivian, Janice, Geoffrey

In an effort to wrap up storylines that could have dragged on, Will advocates for Phil to help Doc for the sake of the other players, and in the process, we learn how Doc reinvests. All that money he gets from Uncle Phil and will get from getting future revenue of his players, that so those who don’t have an Uncle Phil can eat, have gas money, have the rent paid, and at least have enough to achieve their dreams. With that in mind, Phil goes to bat for Doc, and between offering twice what Doc originally offered for a buyout and learning Lorenzo is a snitch, Lorenzo finds himself coerced to let this beef go. Though, Geoffrey should be credited with adding his presence to the mix.

But, while a deal is made to end the beef between Lorenzo and Doc, Drew and Carlton’s beef is eternal, and one can only assume it is because of his envy. Lisa is part of it, but surely there must be more to the story, right? Why else would Drew’s hate for Carlton and Will exist? It can’t all be solely over a girl.

Speaking of beef being short-lived and resolved, it seemed Janice was ready to fight for her position at the Neeman Fellowship, but as Vivian made it clear, they clearly want her out, and it would be better if she took over than someone else, Janice relents. While she has a different approach, Vivian could continue her legacy and the work she started, and rather than drag another Black woman through the mud, Janice ultimately decides to exit gracefully.

Time Is Up – Jazz, Jackie, Will, Lisa, Hillary, LaMarcus, Doc

Keeping things going, Jazz finally comes out of hiding and decides to speak to Hillary after learning she and LaMarcus are seeing one another. He tries to woo her back but doesn’t say all she wants to hear, so while she does question if she is being superficial and maybe falling into old patterns, ultimately, she goes with LaMarcus to Paris rather than give Jazz a second chance.

Jackie (Jazlyn Martin) checking with Will if he is willing to forgive her like he has everyone else
“Jackie (Jazlyn Martin) checking with Will if he is willing to forgive her like he has everyone else,” Bel-Air, “Don’t Look Back,” directed by Dale Stern, 2023, (Peacock)

Sadly, he isn’t the only one who doesn’t get a second chance. The love triangle between Will, Jackie, and Lisa ends with Lisa and Will getting back together. So despite Doc being venerated and given grace, the same isn’t extended to Jackie. Thus ending that relationship, seemingly with no possibility of friendship in play for now.

A Fallen Star – Carlton, Will, Phil, Vivian, Ashley, Erika, Geoffrey, Drew

While there could be so much to celebrate between Vivian getting Janice to retire, Carlton winning the Founders Award, and Phil being able to finesse Erika’s firm to allow him to start his own? While being a co-counsel with James and having Erika’s firm outsource clients to him, no joy is everlasting. While Geoffrey is a partner in Phil’s new venture, with his past coming to haunt him, with a photo proving they know where he is and who his boy is, he now has that to worry about. Also, Erika makes a move on Phil, and while he sets boundaries originally, he shows they are permeable by the end of the episode.

Alongside that, Phil and Vivian have been arguing non-stop about how she should handle Janice and her future. Their kids get stray bullets due to Vivian feeling unsupported and Phil seeing her and Carlton as ungrateful. Now, as for how Carlton got involved? Well, Ashley catches him doing coke, he lies to her, tries to keep her quiet nicely, and when that doesn’t work, he gets forceful.

Carlton (Olly Sholotan) threatening Ashley
“Carlton (Olly Sholotan) threatening Ashley,” Bel-Air, “Don’t Look Back,” directed by Dale Stern, 2023, (Peacock)

Drew called him out earlier that day about knowing the real him, and with winning the award and realizing he is only continuing to put up a façade and not be his true self, Carlton, in front of everyone, decides to admit he is a drug addict. Phil doesn’t take well to this since he gave Carlton all these privileges, yet he squandered them on drugs.

Now, as for how Vivian reacted to Carlton, as well as Will? They show support, and Vivian is already looking into rehabs. As for Ashley? She gives a cool response to it all since Carlton quickly went from her hero to someone she doesn’t even know in a split moment.

Things To Note

What Could Happen Next

Will (Jabari Banks) asking what summers are like in Bel-Air
“Will (Jabari Banks) asking what summers are like in Bel-Air,” Bel-Air, “Don’t Look Back,” directed by Dale Stern, 2023, (Peacock)
  1. With how the episode ended, season 3 will likely focus on the summer rather than jump straight into senior year.
  2. Jazz moves on and brings his new shorty around when hanging with Will, leading to looks of what could have been between him and Hillary.
  3. Phil having an affair which rocks the family.
  4. More details about Geoffrey leaving the UK and eventually meeting up with Phil
  5. Even though Zenith could do wonders for him, Will likely rejoining the Bel-Air basketball team.
  6. Carlton going to rehab, likely outpatient, and making friends, maybe with that girl Conor’s mom is worried about


Notable Performances or Moments

1st Generation Out Of Poverty Experience

When it comes to the rich kids, whether it is Carlton or those with access to wealth like Will, their struggles and guilt are often discounted because they have something someone else does not. Because Will now lives with Uncle Phil, has a fancy car and all that, it has thrown off his ability to feel in control.

When he didn’t have anything, some form of autonomy came with that, since it meant he had to hustle to get what he wanted, and people respected that hustle. Now, he comes off like an intruder. Like a rich kid going after a college scholarship, even though his parents can pay out of pocket.

But with Carlton, it is worse. He was born into wealth, and like many who didn’t have much growing up, they are quick to give their kids anything and everything they didn’t have, but with expectations. With the leg up they give their kids, they think they should be the smartest, mentally and emotionally intelligent, and should have nothing to complain about, but that isn’t the case. Akin to kids of first-generation immigrants, because your parents know nothing and spoil you, you find yourself carrying the burden of their dreams on your back.

Their desire to build generational wealth leaves you without much room to fail or even explore who you are. They think about the sacrifices they made and the example they set by pouring into you, even when you were drowning. And damn if you flail and don’t appreciate what they did. That is taken as an insult. You wasted their time, money, and energy and made it seem their life and all it offers cannot fulfill this dream they had.

That awakening is scary, and rather than face those demons, they’ll be quick to call you ungrateful, or anyone really, who doesn’t live up to the picturesque dream they had, which refuses to come into fruition.

Passing The Torch

Janice (Daphne Reid) and Vivian (Cassandra Freeman)
“Janice (Daphne Reid) and Vivian (Cassandra Freeman),” Bel-Air, “Don’t Look Back,” directed by Dale Stern, 2023, (Peacock)

While Janet Hubert will always be our Aunt Viv, the last one and the only one I can imagine coming on this show, passing the torch, even if as a different character, is symbolic. Especially the wording they have the new Aunt Viv use regarding continuing a legacy and cherishing it. Yes, this could have been said in an interview, but there is something about it not being done that way, with cheesy bowing and things of that nature, that makes the moment more impactful.


Ashley’s Broken Heart

Ashley is due for a teenage rebellion, and Carlton acting like he did and revealing he is an addict, it could be what turns sweet, innocent Ashley into someone who begins to seek a life outside her household. For example, Olivia seems to be queer, so she may explore life outside the Bel-Air manor and school with her. Maybe even have the kind of cultural exchange that was expected for Jackie and Will?

The Doc Situation Ended Quickly

Between revealing Doc is truly the complicated figure he seemed to be and pairing that with a quick end to the Lorenzo drama, this felt like a mercy killing. One that is appreciated since, even with Will and Doc making up, there is a need to question what path forward is there? Yes, we’d love to see Will and Jackie as friends, but Will struggles with friendship, and honestly, he is such a hot head, and Jackie has so much going on behind the scenes, I’d hate to see him flip out on her like he did Jazz or play with her feelings like he has Lisa.

On The Fence

The Jazz Fake Out

Jazz (Jordan L. Jones)
“Jazz (Jordan L. Jones),” Bel-Air, “Don’t Look Back,” directed by Dale Stern, 2023, (Peacock)

That was disrespectful. They teased a reunion only to have Hillary go off with LaMarcus to Paris and Jazz get a box. I get they could be an end-game couple, but she couldn’t have just shut things down after his little speech? I know finales need those impactful moments but damn.

Another Round With Lisa

Don’t get us wrong, we adore Lisa. The problem is, she is in a loop that doesn’t serve her much. But, at the same time, she is given so little to do when single, that if she has to be in a relationship, I’d rather it be with Will than Drew.

Geoffrey’s Past Coming To Haunt Him

One of the things I’m worried about with Geoffrey is how good of a character he is, or is not when he is given an extended focus. Usually, Geoffrey is a man of few words, an enforcer, that type of character. He often plays a supporting role. That isn’t possible if they really dive into who he was and the journey to him becoming the Geoffrey we know. I’m interested in learning this, but the build-up to making Geoffrey the lead of his own story, potentially without Banks’ family involvement? I don’t think that has been handled well thus far.

[ninja_tables id=”63933″]

Carlton (Olly Sholotan) crying
Bel-Air: Season 2/ Episode 10 “Don’t Look Back” [Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Season 2 of “Bel-Air” ends on a high note for its longer core stories but still shows room for improvement for the characters who struggled the entire season to move beyond the source material for this show.
The Doc Situation Ended Quickly
Ashley’s Broken Heart
Passing The Torch
1st Generation Out Of Poverty Experience
The Jazz Fake Out
Another Round With Lisa
Geoffrey’s Past Coming To Haunt Him

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