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After three months of dating, Gently gets to meet Evan’s family and get some insight into his world. Do you think his family is as welcoming as hers?
|Directed By||Deborah Kampmeier|
|Written By||Chloé Hung|
|Introduced This Episode|
Part Of Your World (Gently): Ben, Miss Luma, Gently, Evan
Thus far, Evan has mostly been in Gently’s world. He knows Ben, meets Miss Luma, and it seems his bougie world has been foreign to Gently. Yet, in many ways, Gently might still have Evan seeing the best of her and could be hiding those who aren’t as evolved or represent the best of her hood. For example, her mother, Janice, who abandoned her, she is somewhere around town, and while Gently isn’t ashamed of her mother, it is clear she creates a vulnerable spot. One that even Ben can’t graze without possibly scaring Gently off.
Part Of Your World (Evan): Nick, Ellene, Marilyn, Johnny, Evan, Gently, Jasmine
The idea of someone as new as Gently coming to Marilyn and Johnny’s 40th wedding anniversary is perplexing to Nick. Probably because he spent 3 years on Marilyn’s bad side, after getting Evan’s sister Ellene pregnant. But, mostly, it is due to Nick, like Marilyn, having their nose up and thinking very little will come of Evan and Gently. Heck, at the party, despite Gently being there, Marilyn even tries to hook Evan up with an ex.
But, Marilyn’s drama is the headliner of the event. The opening acts are Jasmine, Ellene’s daughter, getting the same type of criticism you know Ellene was bestowed by her mother growing up. Also, there is Johnny, Marilyn’s husband, Ellene, and Evan’s dad, getting drunk and vomiting after his kids give him and his wife a toast.
Leading us to the headliner. After removing her mask for a moment by trying to push Evan off onto some girl he was with before, she removes all airs and graces and shows out. Mind you, in a semi-private location, after her husband vomited in public, which she says nothing about. Instead, her focus is all on Evan needing to grow up and marry someone who she, and her shady friends, think are worthy of him.
Now, as for what her friends said? Well, nothing outright mean, but with one noting something about a light skin woman Evan used to date, while his dark skin girlfriend is there, who they know he is dating, it makes it clear which sorority these girls are from, and it isn’t the Deltas.
Though, getting to the point, after Marilyn trash talks Gently to the point of Evan getting heated, he says she is acting like a damn fool and decides rather than passively embarrass her, as he did with a toast which contained subtle shots, he is just going to leave with Gently. Someone who hears the tail end of what is said, Evan defending her, which thankfully allows us to skip the usual, “Your momma doesn’t like me, you didn’t say anything, clearly we’re from different worlds and shouldn’t be together.”
Just The Two Of Us: Evan, Gently
Whether Evan was looking for an excuse or just found someone he is willing to disrespect his mom and upset his family for, he leaves his parents’ anniversary party with Gently and this comes as a shock. Especially to Gently since someone sticking up for her like that, outside of Ben, it seems no one else has really gone that far. And in terms of love interest, he really took the cake.
And with that, their bond grows stronger, and love grows deeper. However, whether or not someone, or something, could still pull them out from the root is still a possibility.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
“Passion excites you, it doesn’t feed you.”
Family Is Community
One of the things Ava D. advocates consistently in her productions is a sense of community. Be it community in the sense of knowing your barber, the person who makes cakes from their small business or, in Gently’s case, your father figure being someone from the neighborhood who knew your dad. In her shows, with her writers, there is a reminder that blood may create obligations amongst people, but community allows for choice, and oftentimes, if you invite people in, and are willing to serve, you can find a family wherever you go. Making you wonder, if she ever got behind a show dealing with the queer experience, especially since Ava D. likes to focus in the L.A. area, what would that look like? Especially with it, likely, starring Black queer folk.
While it is clear the socio-economic difference between Gently and Evan will rear its head, for now, we’ve skip the most obvious way of confronting it – Gently overhearing something, asking why didn’t Evan defend her, and flipping out over his mom not liking her. Now, will this get brought up later? Sure. Previews for the next episode show that, and with this show skipping months and years, it is bound to happen as she integrates into his world and he doesn’t always venture into hers.
Now, with that will likely come the true test of their relationship for while she loved him sticking up for her, so comes the question if she can stand him fighting with his family, maybe not talking to them, over her. Especially considering all she has is Ben, in terms of consistency. Mind you, we’re less than two years into the 5 years the season covers, and one year they didn’t speak. So marriage and things of that nature, considering Evan, could come up, but it’s hard to say for sure.
With it being made clear Marilyn’s friends, and her, were not Deltas, that pushes the idea they were AKAs. Which, considering their comments about Evan and the light-skinned girl he was with, in front of a dark skin girl, it pushes some old controversies about AKAs, and I’m here for the subtle dig and nod towards a part of Black culture not really touched upon in media.
We All Have Issues
It’s strange, at times, how Gently can have traveled the world yet with Evan, she looks at him as if she never left West Adams. For whether it is learning he has had issues with the cops or absorbing his family drama, the one person you’d think would be unaffected seems to have all these wheels and gears turning. Which doesn’t negate her experience, but does make you question, as she was hustling to afford living here or there, did she get to enjoy herself? Did she really get to entrench herself with locals, or did she hold them at arm’s length?
On The Fence
Nick and Ellene
Currently, Nick and Ellene feel very out of place on this show. Nick complains, is snooty, and barely contributes a thing, and as for Ellene, she is Evan’s sister. With that, you get a sense she can add a different perspective to him and can further enhance who Marilyn is as Ellene likely raises her daughter in a similar manner to how she was raised.
Yet, with that said, if they both were barely seen, this show doesn’t seem like it would be missing out on much.