David Makes Man: Season 1, Episode 3 “MJB” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

As David sits down with a counselor, and reveals his story to Seren over a sleepover, he unfurls like a flower in the spring.

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Seren staring towards the ceiling.

As David sits down with a counselor, and reveals his story to Seren over a sleepover, he unfurls like a flower in the spring.

Director(s) Kiel Adrian Scott
Writer(s) Tarell Alvin McCraney, Lucien Christian Adderley, Richard “Byrd” Wilson
Air Date 8/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
Ray Kelly Jimel Atkins
Young Gloria Lauryn Dennis
Sharon Carrie Elizabeth Brown
Darius Timothy Richardson
Jessica Kelly Gillian Williams
Dr. Bree Ruben Santiago-Hudson

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We Was Wild Wasn’t We?: Miss Elijah, Gloria

You may have wondered how and where Ms. Elijah and Gloria met? Well, apparently it was at a ball. It isn’t clear if this was before or after Dave and JG was born, but it’s made clear Gloria used to try so hard to get up in a Haus and even had a thing for a bi boy. One Ms. Elijah believes was using her for a cover, but she got a hickey, so she thinks he was bi for real.

The jury is still out on that, however.

Talking To Dr. Bree: Dr. Bree, David

David has what could be described as an Inside/Out moment during a session with Dr. Bree, a counselor. He, and two personas are trying their best to navigate the conversation which trips up on a sleepover David and Seren had, as well as subtly mentioning Sky. But, while his inner thoughts go off, Dave holds back on saying anything which could be damaging or cause need for concern.

Dr. Bree (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) while talking to David.
Dr. Bree (Ruben Santiago-Hudson)

Seeing How The Other Side Lives & What They Go Through: Marissa, Darius, Sharon, Young Gloria, Jessica, Ray, Seren, David, Dr. Woods-Trap

With Dave disrespecting Marissa during her project, nearly falling asleep, and being as rude as he was after Seren’s, Dr. Woods-Trap puts him on notice. At least, she tries to redirect David’s behavior by pushing him to have Seren help him with his project. Which, at first, is difficult for David. Not because of what happened before but because it would require David to go to Seren’s house and the Ray situation has him a bit freaked out. But, we learn Jessica, Seren’s mom, might be worse.

How? Well, she’s around more, and while Ray does sexually assault Seren, his mom physically assaults him and can be considered emotionally abusive as well. However, she tones it down since David sleeps over. Thus allowing Seren to have a more peaceful evening and morning than he is used to. One which has him and David talk about his project, even call up Marissa, whose mother seems to like Seren, and bring her into the planning briefly.

Though, for the most part, they just rekindle their friendship and rebuild that intimacy which was temporarily lost. Leading to them doing quite well, with Marissa’s help, on David’s project and Dr. Woods-Trap giving David a short, but sweet, bit of praise.

Oh, as for what his project was about? How his mom marched up to his dad’s, Darius’, house, met Darius’ wife Sharon, and the row they had over Gloria wanting David to know his father. A situation that didn’t go well what so ever and thus David don’t know a thing about his father besides the incident.

Noteworthy Information

  1. Seren’s dad lives in Tampa currently, but is from Overtown
  2. Raynan got arrested
  3. Gloria got pregnant while attending community college
  4. JG’s dad died when he was 2 by gun shot
  5. Gloria was into ball culture and that might be how she met Elijah

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

“He wasn’t where I was from. He was worried where I was going.” — David


The Intimacy Between Seren & Dave

While “intimacy” is generally used with sexual connotations, it can also be used to talk about closeness. In my mind, Seren and Dave’s relationship is complicated by both of their inabilities to be close enough with someone and be comfortable. For Seren, being an only child in an abusive household, it makes David often a gift, but sometimes a curse. After all, I doubt David’s first time trying to cut at Seren wasn’t after that presentation. Yet, with Seren being well-versed at abusive relationships, and David maybe being the least adverse, he takes it. Especially since, unlike Jessica and Ray, there isn’t a power dynamic there which makes it so Seren has to fear Dave physically – even if Dave thinks he could take Seren.

As for the flip side? With Seren, David can just be a kid. He doesn’t have to worry about keeping JG out of trouble or taking care of him while his mom is working. Also, he gets to experience the bubble Seren lives in, be inspired and understand what Sky ultimately wanted for him. Never mind that Seren might be the only person he can release some steam around, show his dark side with, without fear of derailing his life or maybe getting himself seriously hurt or killed.

So while the relationship, admittedly, is a bit unhealthy, compares to both of the boys’ options, it is the best they can get.

Dr. W-T

Despite playing a small role on the show, you cannot underplay her role in David’s life. She is an elder, the Saul of David’s life which gives him access and someone who may not coddle him, but who he relied on for love and approval. Not to say Gloria doesn’t, but Gloria and David don’t have a traditional mother/ son relationship. Be it because of her age when having him or because of how she relies on him. Maybe even due to him knowing parts of her story which may keep him in the mindset of respecting her, but not exalting her like he does Dr. W-T?

Either way, Dr. W-T definitely is the type who triggers memories of those handful of teachers, or one, who went beyond their job description.


Like Dr. W-T, we don’t get a whole lot of Marissa. Yet, we deserve more. Like Starry, who briefly appears, there is something about Marissa which feels unseen in a show like this. A smart girl, with a smart mouth, who knows her history, both what could be considered the “Urban” side and more respectable, and is normal. At least, if not normal, let’s say well-adjusted. If not someone whose upbringing, unlike David and Seren, isn’t wrought with tragedy or abuse as we often see Black girls go through in dramatic media.

Getting A Piece Of Gloria’s Story

There is always this fear when it comes to Black women in a story focused on a Black male that they will be strictly pillars to raise up his story. However, David Makes Man is increasingly pushing the idea that this will not be the case. How? Well, the show went beyond Gloria’s backstory of being a single mother, who was messing around with a married man. Through Ms. Elijah, it was noted she used to be into the balls, houses, had experiences with bisexual men and presented a whole other side to her.

Something I’m heralding because, based off how Gloria has been presented thus far, you could think she is a reformed hood rat who messed around with thugs, had a drinking problem, but then got her life right. However, this episode shows that Gloria isn’t a stereotype. There is much more to her story, and it is far more complex than what many, including myself, are used to seeing.

The Intimacy Between Seren & Dave - 90%
Dr. W-T - 84%
Marissa - 85%
Getting A Piece Of Gloria’s Story - 89%


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