It’s Gently and Evan’s wedding day, and as with every big step they made in their relationship, the possibility of Gently calling it quits is there.
|Directed By||Blitz Bazawule|
|Written By||Sylvia L. Jones|
Just Keep It Real: Evan, Marilyn, Gently, Ben, Johnny
The whole episode boils down to Gently trying to push Evan to be honest and real with her. For with Ben and Evan’s father Johnny getting along, talking about the 80s and things of that nature, those two are cool. Then when it comes to Marilyn, she too gets along with Ben, almost to the point you could imagine her having an affair, but then a lot of eyebrow-raising things happen.
Mostly, Marilyn pushes Gently to do things her way in terms of the dress, the venue, the cake, and so much more, and while Gently thinks Marilyn is being Marilyn, she comes to realize Evan is letting his mom be this way. That, because Evan wants Gently to be happy, yet is torn between two worlds, he is letting his mom play the bad guy. A thought which is by no means a lie since, alongside Gently calling out Evan, Marilyn does as well.
However, as before, Evan sides with Gently, and this leads to them foregoing the wedding and compromises all together. They decide it would just be better to elope and, to much surprise, all those present are okay with that decision.
- Is it just me, or was Marilyn liking Ben’s vibe in such a way that Johnny should be worried?
- Are we ever going to hear about Gently progressing in life, or is the main point that she is happy where she is, and one of the other ways she is Evan’s opposite is that, while he is ambitious in terms of money, she is in terms of experience?
Johnny Not Forgetting Where He Came From
While Marilyn has been set up as this debutante that married this up and coming track star, Johnny hasn’t been shown to be more than a lovable drunk. So with him and Johnny reminiscing about the old days, Johnny’s glory days, you get a sense of not just who Johnny was, but also that he didn’t forget where he came from. Yet, with Evan relating to what Johnny and Ben talk about through movies, it also pushes the idea that, while Johnny may look at his past fondly, he hasn’t talked about it much with his 30 something-year-old son.
Which, ultimately, pushes you to wonder how much do Johnny and Evan talk? For with him acting like he never heard his dad talk about his past, so begins the need to question what their relationship is? Was Evan a momma’s boy and between Marilyn and her sorority, that is who he spent his formative years with? All the while, Johnny was working or focused on his sister? What gives?
Gently Calling Evan Out
As Ben pushed, which planted a seed that surely complicated things, Gently and Evan are from different places, ways of life, and acceptance of what is okay. Gently is cool with a house cake and kente cloth at her wedding. Where Evan comes from, they have tiered cakes and are next level. And I think, despite how much time has passed, there still is this vibe that Evan comes into Gently’s world as a guest, and Gently avoids Evan’s world.
To me, that is the crux of their relationship, and what doesn’t help is that Evan may have a lot of mouth in his professional life, but in his personal life, he can be a bit of a pushover. Which works for Gently, in some ways, since she has control issue, but as time goes on, even if she isn’t traditional in the sense of wanting to be a housewife, she would like Evan to be more in control, speak up, and not be so submissive. If not, better said, passive-aggressive.
For, in the long run, I think she appreciates him wanting to make her happy, but she doesn’t want him to be avoiding disagreements and addressing them in the process.
Gently and Marilyn Having A Moment
As Marilyn stated, what she saw for Evan was someone like her. Not in some weird incestual way, but considering how much she and Johnny did to give their kids a better life, you can understand why she wanted Evan to marry well and create generational wealth. Plus, as Evan’s sister has made clear, she and Marilyn have a sordid history. So, in a way, I think Marilyn wanted to start over with whoever Evan got with so she could have that ideal mother/daughter relationship.
And I think with learning Gently’s mother wasn’t going to come to the wedding, and they were estranged, Marilyn realized that relationship she wanted, she could still have it with Gently. For who knows how long, since the time jump isn’t necessarily clear this time around, she didn’t speak and awkwardly accepted what has become inevitable? All the while, Gently, who has more paternal figures than anything else, could have used another maternal figure in her life. Beyond Miss Luma.
Ben and Gently Letting The Other Know They Changed Their Life Forever
It can never, NEVER, be understated that the most functional and loving relationship on this whole show is Ben and Gently’s, featuring her uncles. Evan and Gently damn near have a break-up moment each episode, but that BS doesn’t exist when it comes to Ben and Gently. There we see a true acceptance, it is through their relationship we’re reminded of a love between a Black man and a Black woman, which is platonic, yet still loving, that is supportive, challenging, and comfortable.
And with them acknowledging how both would have been worst off if they didn’t have each other, it was a humble moment. Ben didn’t act like he was doing it for her dad, it was nothing, any of that. He straight up says Gently being in his life is the reason he has a life. That utter lack of ego is something we don’t get to see from men like Ben too often. Especially towards a woman who isn’t their romantic partner.
On The Fence
The Time Jumps
The sole issue we may always have with this show is that time jumps leave such gaps in development and lead you to question what happened in the days, weeks, months, maybe even years since we last saw everyone. It shows in Marilyn and Johnny’s relationship with their kids, and Gently. It makes Evan’s niece apparently growing up, I think with a different name, jarring. Nevermind us not getting to see her mother and her reconcile. And overall, while people may remain consistent, their relationships don’t feel that way, and it makes those which are rocky or weakly established stuck in such a state. Almost to the point of making me wish they’d cover what happened in a quick montage just so it doesn’t feel like most episodes are the pilot rather than a continuation.
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