Alongside getting Lin’s background, we learn what happened to the original Eleanor.
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This section Includes information about the Director, Writer, and Cast.
November 1, 2023
Heather Jeng Bladt
Newly Noted Characters and Cast
To Be Determined
Previously Noted Characters and Cast
Lin’s Origin Story – Lin, Mathilda
As established, Lin was an immigrant. It is confirmed he is officially Chinese, and what got him into gambling was one day, as a child, running an errand, he came across roosters fighting and people making money. Lin, starting out, had luck, and his luck had good timing since the family needed the money because racism made it difficult for them to sell goods.
Fast forward many years later, Lin is still gambling, and thanks to his luck, he is able to woo Mathilda. Albeit against his mother’s wishes, but considering how much Lin lived his life on a risk vs. reward system, this seemed like a good bet.
However, as shown, eventually, his luck ran out, and before he knew it, he lost his wife and his daughter and eventually was kicked out of his family store by the Henry brothers.
Meanwhile, In The Present Day – Mr. Mitch, Benny, Byron
Being that Eleanor had strict rules regarding how she wanted things done, and with Mr. Mitch being a friend of Benny and Byron’s father, he honors her wishes beyond what his job calls for. This bugs both Benny and Byron a bit, since they still have issues between them and for Byron, he has other things to focus on.
Like what? Well, Byron is up for a promotion he ultimately doesn’t get. As for Benny? While she doesn’t seem to have anything notable going forward, she is willing to open up to Mr. Mitch about the pass.
She talks about wanting to open a café in the pass, she talks about making music, and Mr. Mitch notes Eleanor got him to subscribe to her YouTube page. Benny also brings up making Black Cake, which was a tradition for her and her mom until Thanksgiving, 8 years ago, when Benny decided to isolate herself from the rest of her family.
The Death of Elly and Birth of Eleanor – Edwina, Eleanor, Covey, Pearl, Bunny, Lin
Times in London were hard for Covey. Some things, like going from her father’s last name, Lyncook, to mother’s last name, Brown, were easy. However, adjusting to the rain and the cold, being a nanny, and the other ladies? Not so much.
Edwina, for example, is sort of the head of the girls, and while by no means a mean girl, she has the desire to push Covey to be more social. The problem is, being social means having to keep up with and reinforce her lie. And with new people coming off the boat from various islands weekly? Covey needs to lay low.
Hence, as she grows closer to Eleanor and both open up about their truths, she pushes them to leave. After all, Eleanor is an orphan, due to her parents dying young, and she prefers geology over nursing – especially since all she is allowed to do is clean rather than take care of patients. So, with there being a program in Edinburg College in Scotland, Covey advocates for them to go.
Unfortunately, the train ride there is when Eleanor dies, and Covey, when rescued, takes over her life. Also, for Bunny and Pearl, it is when they are led to believe Covey is officially dead, as does Lin.
Other Noteworthy Information
- It’s pushed that Gibbs is the person who likely killed Clarence
New Character Description(s)
Mr. Mitch is a friend of the family, via Benny and Byron’s father, who is handling executing Eleanor’s last wishes – specifically having her children listen to her life story.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Rustin (2023).”
Edwina is one of the girls in London who pushes Covey to be more social and date and also starts to unravel her made-up backstory.
Notable Performances or Moments
What remains a consistent selling point is Covey’s journey. As of the end of this episode, she has just made her way up north and has taken over Eleanor’s life, and everyone thinks she is dead. Building up to that, we see her navigate London, pseudo-progressive White folk, and try to balance holding her secret with maintaining her culture.
Truly, this show is all about Mia Isaac, and while it may feature some, like Adrienne Warren, with bigger profiles and names, she stole the show, and even though you can see they want to spread the spotlight around, it belongs to Isaac.
On The Fence
Benny Opening Up
One of the things we struggle with, regarding Benny, is that her whole character is built around something happening eight years ago. Yes, she is noted to be a single and can bake, but unlike Byron, it seems she has nothing notable going on so everything potentially interesting about her is that event which led to her separation.
This makes her feel like many characters, noted below, who feel pushed to the forefront far more than they should be since they don’t have the same hook as Covey’s story. They are just stealing time from what keeps you coming back.
Remaining Invested In What’s Going On In Portland Parish
While we do appreciate getting Lin’s background, I must say, from the mystery of who killed Clarence, to what is going on in Bunny or Pearl’s life, there isn’t much about Covey’s home that seems to hold much value. Plus, considering how Covey left that all behind, where is this information coming from?
I get this is a book adaptation, so likely the author clued us in, but where and when would Covey know about her father being kicked out of his shop? Pearl bonding with Bunny over also being left behind? Never mind learning about Bunny being pushed to date a man named Jimmy Paterson, who could also coach her?
Don’t get me wrong, I recognize their value, but Covey’s story is way too strong to pretend “Black Cake” can operate as an ensemble show.
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Black Cake: Season 1/ Episode 2 “Coventina” – Episode Review
I find myself repeatedly trying to figure out if this is a multi-season show or mini-series, for I don’t know whether to savor what I get or be joyous for there is much more to come.
Covey’s Journey - 86%
Benny Opening Up - 73%
Remaining Invested In What’s Going On In Portland Parish - 74%
- Covey’s Journey
- Remaining Invested In What’s Going On In Portland Parish
- Benny Opening Up