Ashley Thomas as Byron
"Ashley Thomas as Byron," Black Cake | Season 1/ Episode 5 "Mother" | Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr | 2023 | Hulu

We’re introduced to Eleanor’s secret child in this episode and get to see more of Byron’s relationship with Lynette.


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We’re introduced to Eleanor’s secret child in this episode and get to see more of Byron’s relationship with Lynette.

Read our Editorial Guidelines regarding how posts are written and rated and our use of affiliate links.

General Information

Network

Hulu

Release Date

November 15, 2023

Director(s)

Tara Nicole Weyr

Writer(s)

Hayley Tyler

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Mabel

Sonita Henry

Wanda

Diana Kent

Gio

Aaron Garland

Previously Noted Characters and Cast

Mr. Mitch

Glynn Turman

Eleanor

Chipo Chung

Byron

Ashley Thomas

Benny

Adrienne Warren

Lynette

Rebecca Naomi Jones

Steve

Elliot Cowan

Plot Recap

Mabel Mathilda Martin – Mabel, Wanda, Gio, Mr. Mitch, Eleanor

So, who is Eleanor’s eldest child? Mabel Mathilda Martin. It isn’t clear if Mabel’s adopted mom, Wanda, named her or if Eleanor left her mother’s name on Mabel to identify her when she was older, but that is Mabel’s name, and as an adult, she is an ethno-food guru with a hit book in the UK.

Sonita Henry as Mabel
“Sonita Henry as Mabel,” Black Cake | Season 1/ Episode 5 “Mother” | Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr | 2023 | Hulu

However, while a success in her career, due to her not knowing she is half-Black via her Caribbean roots and living her life assuming she is a White woman, she faces a lot of criticism, as to be expected in modern times. Naturally, this frustrates Mabel, as she is well educated and generally means well, but being called out on television has left her cancelled and licking her wounds.

To make matters worse, her son, with a man named Paolo, who is noted to be dead, but it may be more complicated than that, is not interested in going to university or finishing his A-levels. Gio, her son, just wants to travel, and with Mabel sacrificing so much as a single parent, this is out of the question.

But, with Mr. Mitch calling her and sending an e-mail about Eleanor with all the evidence Eleanor collected before she died, Mabel finds herself thinking less of Gio and more so wanting to confront Wanda and her husband. They lied to her for her entire life, and now, she has to reconcile this new information and the existence of siblings across an ocean and a land mass.

Too Many Secrets For Anyone To Handle – Mr. Mitch, Byron, Benny, Lynette

The reveal of an older sibling isn’t easy on Benny or Byron either, but to make matters worse, there is one final tape and Mr. Mitch can’t play it until Mabel decides whether she’ll show up. Byron, who is over all the secrets, would rather force Mabel’s hand to make a decision than wait, but Mr. Mitch isn’t planning to help with that.

As for Benny? All she can think about is how she wasn’t just compared to Byron growing up but likely who Mabel could have been, and this leads her to spiral a little bit. This makes it clear to Byron that, as usual, Benny isn’t going to be of any help.

Though, for Byron, it seems support is hard to find all around. He’s called by his job to do some diversity panel and Lynette? While she apologizes for snapping at him and bringing up his parents in an argument, she ultimately realizes that while she may love Byron, she doesn’t respect him due to his lack of will to fight for his career. Thus making it seem, while the two may have dated for nearly a decade, they aren’t married, living together, and seemingly aren’t too serious.

What Did You Expect? – Steve, Benny, Byron

Steve has been hounding Benny to sell a statue that is based on her body from the neck to her hips, and she has been against it. Yes, she could make quite a bit of money, but she doesn’t even like that Steve has it, never mind the idea of selling it to someone else.

So, she decides to feign being cool with Steve enough to go to his place and break the statue, not thinking he’d return before she could escape. She calls Byron, and while Benny is able to tell off Steve without incident, he starts using the abusive tactic of threatening to harm himself, so she finds herself stuck with him.

Ashley Thomas as Byron
“Ashley Thomas as Byron,” Black Cake | Season 1/ Episode 5 “Mother” | Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr | 2023 | Hulu

Cue Byron, knowing that Steve is abusive and figuring his sister is in danger, having a back and forth with Steve while still agitated by Lynette walking out on him due to saying she loves him but can’t respect him. He punches Steve once, then again, and next thing you know, Steve is bleeding, camera phones are out, and the cops have guns drawn on Byron.

New Character Description(s)

Mabel

Mabel is a famous cookbook author in the UK whose celebrity is starting to become more prominent. Though with a recent controversy in which she was called out for questioning whether a cuisine can belong to a culture if the ingredients are made elsewhere, whether her rise will stall is up for question.

But, beyond that, she is a mother of one, the daughter of two White English people, or at least so she thought because she didn’t know she was adopted and that Eleanor is her biological mother.

Wanda

Diana Kent as Wanda
“Diana Kent as Wanda,” Black Cake | Season 1/ Episode 5 “Mother” | Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr | 2023 | Hulu

Wanda is Mabel’s adoptive mom who, with her husband, struggled to have kids, and once they adopted Mabel, they asked everyone to be discreet about her true origins so they could experience parenthood on their terms.

Gio

Aaron Harland as Gio
“Aaron Harland as Gio,” Black Cake | Season 1/ Episode 5 “Mother” | Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr | 2023 | Hulu

Gio is Mabel’s son with an Italian man who isn’t an academic like her and would rather travel than continue going to school.

Review

Highlights

While No One Can Replace Young Covey, Mabel Did Present Intrigue

I think Mabel is interesting because she is part of a gap in the Covey storyline. Covey was assaulted without a condom, and the next thing we know, she is with Gilbert, happy, pregnant in America, and living the good life, minus all the secrets she holds. With Mabel’s introduction, it feels like we’re filling in the pieces of what happened during that massive time jump.

For example, Eleanor was apparently in a home for unwed mothers to be? We didn’t see that at all in a previous episode, and then when you add in Mabel not knowing she is adopted? That’s next-level drama for Wanda just completely denied Mabel’s Blackness and took advantage of her passing.

Which with Mabel always having a taste for food from outside the UK, taking note of her lips, bone structure, and more, it is going to be interesting to watch her reconcile who she is with who she could have been, especially with Byron and Benny as the only sources to knowing her truth, beyond the tapes Eleanor left behind.

On The Fence

Byron and Benny Drama

I need Benny’s childhood. Adult Benny just gives me nothing but a whiny child who utterly lacks accountability. Add in never seeing one moment where she was ever truly pushed to be less than, it makes me need to know if she operates on revising history or if her truth is accurate. So I can only hope a child actor could do for the character what the writing and performance of adult Benny currently can’t.

As for Byron? I think the trouble with him, and perhaps Benny as well, is that going from Covey’s story of having to escape her home country, hide out in London, try to pretend to be her dead friend in Scotland, and all that she has done, and then get Byron who is having relationship issues? It feels like a downgrade.

How is this supposed to match up and keep that energy? What about Byron being a qualified token is supposed to keep this show going? Never mind Benny, who is asinine in ways that it is hard to see her getting me upset as a job well done and not a showing that this program may have peaked early on.

Slight Confusion About The Timeline

As noted in the last episode, we go through a lot of time jumps from Covey and Gilbert reuniting to the trigger that led Benny to abandon her family and not go to her dad’s funeral. Does a part of me appreciate the show having to dial things back, especially since it means a potential Mia Isaac return? Yes. However, assuming we didn’t see Covey pregnant with anyone but Byron, this throws me off a bit.

It’s like when they cut an important part of a book and create a replacement that doesn’t make sense, like in “The Hate U Give” movie. It just makes you wish they stuck with what worked rather than experimented.

Discussion Items

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1. Covey noted in a previous episode that Gilbert likely has secrets of his own. You think we may ever find out what those secrets may be? Assuming they even exist.

Episode Directory

Previous Episode: Season 1/ Episode 4 (Series Page | Character Guide)


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Black Cake: Season 1/ Episode 5 "Mother" – Episode Review

Summary

As we learn about another kid Covey had, she compensates for the established kids who give very little to the show now that we don’t have Mia Isaac around.

Overall
76%
76%
  • While No One Can Replace Young Covey, Mabel Did Present Intrigue - 82%
    82%
  • Byron and Benny Drama - 72%
    72%
  • Slight Confusion About The Timeline - 73%
    73%

Highlight(s)

  • While No One Can Replace Young Covey, Mabel Did Present Intrigue

Disputable

  • Slight Confusion About The Timeline
  • Byron and Benny Drama

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