In the penultimate episode of the season, we’re introduced to Gloria’s mother, and witness many interactions that have to be followed up on in the finale.
|Writer(s)||Denitria Harris-Lawrence, Allison Davis|
|Introduced This Episode|
|Gloria’s Mother||Lela Rochon-Fuqua|
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While Some Escape, Others Hunker Down: Tare, Shinobi, Elijah, Ms. Hertrude, David, Willie
With seeing the ghost of Willie Derrick, Shinobi doesn’t plan to move a muscle. He has water, some food, and just stares forward, trying to figure out a way to get this child looking back at him to go away. As he does that, Tare’s family, as is David’s, are prepping to leave, but the two share a moment. One in which Tare is mourning Willie and David joins her, trying to figure out how to undo the numbness and PTSD and to just be in the moment with her. However, he isn’t capable. If not, taking note of how he needs to be strong for his mom and brother, he adds Tare to the list. So he embraces her but maybe only in his fantasy.
As for Elijah? Well, to much surprise, when the storm hits, they are hanging out with Ms. Hertrude playing cards. Pushing further there has to be more to their relationship than we know. For even if that isn’t their momma, surely they have to be some kind of family.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Who is Willie Derrick to Shinobi, or did Willie just get in Shinobi, or even his momma’s, stash?
An Uneasy Family Dinner: Angie, Raynan, Desmond, Teo
Teo decides to invite Desmond to Angie’s house to ride out the storm. Mind you, Desmond got two kids he could be watching over, but with his ex-wife handling that, he is at Angie’s. Someone who doesn’t know the latest going on with Teo, but she isn’t stupid.
Heck, in fact, she notes that she and Scott (Sky), whose real name I thought was Lamar, met while she was dealing pills. So when it comes to Teo and his drug dealing, Desmond’s part, even Raynan being up in the game, she isn’t ignorant but does wish he wasn’t part of it. Yet, let’s be real, that house is too big for someone on a nurse’s salary, even in Florida, to afford on just that. Unless her overtime is on a whole other level.
But, Angie aside, Raynan begins putting David’s plan into action by pushing Desmond. He issues multiple personal attacks, including calling him a deadbeat dad, and it leads to Desmond threatening to kill Raynan at the dinner table, in front of Angie, and even talking like he’d have sex with Angie. This, as you can imagine, doesn’t sit well with Teo, for he is very protective of his sister. Even makes it seem that she and Raynan, that’s all he has left. So Desmond’s behind is kicked out into the storm with his bags and an umbrella. With no word if he made it somewhere safe – not that we care.
However, don’t think just because Raynan got Desmond out of the house, he was safe. Teo still has questions about the money and Willie dying. Luckily, between thinking fast or David prepping him, Raynan has all the right answers. Making it so all Teo has his mind on is Desmond may be betraying him by stealing money from him.
At Least My Children Love Me & Know They Loved: Gloria’s Mother, Gloria, David, JG
While Gloria tries to stay at JG’s grandpa’s house, it seems David doesn’t like there being a party there so, to appease him, and heed not temptation, they leave for her mother’s. Someone who is a holy roller and while the term “Piece of work” fits, it isn’t strong enough.
Why? Let’s run down the list: First and foremost, she is a hypocrite. One who shames Gloria for having kids with the men she did yet also pushes the idea she should had tried to get David’s dad to marry her. Also, despite catching him in the act, she refuses to believe Gloria’s father, on multiple occasions, raped her. Instead, she blamed Gloria for tempting him and makes it damn near sound like she believes Gloria asked for it.
But it doesn’t end there. Gloria’s mom talks about how she advocated for Gloria to have an abortion and give the child to the lord, talks about how she should have aborted Gloria, and it honestly just goes on and on. To the point that, if we see this woman again, likely it will only be with her in a coffin. Especially since David overhears them fighting and for a moment thinks Gloria should have aborted him. Thus she smacks that idea, literally, out of the boy’s head and reassures him that he is loved, and she knows he loves her.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Where is Gloria’s dad now?
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- Seren is alive and well.
Can We Just Admire Black Folk In White For A Moment?
Tare and David
One of the things I would love to see for David is him learning what intimacy is when it isn’t sexual, or is gained through dependency or to survive. With his mom, Raynan, even Seren to a point, there are issues in each that make it so you recognize they are rooted in some form of desperation. However, with Tare, I see something different.
This mindset is main formed by the fact she doesn’t need David and doesn’t hound him for attention. Unlike Seren, she has others to talk to, hang with, and while poor like him, she isn’t attached at his hip, hoping he’ll spot her money to take care of her family, buy her clothes, or anything like that. Dance is her passion, her career choice, and the goal. So when it comes to David, what we see there is a friendship without a sense of need and has the foundation for love.
Now, granted, both of them are barely past 13 so it is puppy love, but everyone has to start somewhere. Plus, increasingly, the David who takes over to survive The Vil, he has been getting fed more than the boy Tare knows, or the one who goes to school at Galvin. So, in a way, Tare feels like someone who can not only be a partner, in terms of a friend, maybe someone to aspire to be like, but also a means for David to have some form of childhood. If not a safe place for his thoughts.
Which, before we move on, isn’t me saying he should dump his problems on Tare like she is Dr. Bree. However, while therapist have their place, so do friends, partners, and family. It’s just up to each person to communicate where that line is.
Desmond Slowly, But Surely, Being Taken Care Of
Even though Desmond’s character is so thin you could shoot a spitball through him, he has been developed just enough to get under your skin. So here is hoping in the finale next week, season finale to be specific, they take him out. If not run him out of the state at least.
Getting To Know Angie More
We got to see Angie for a hot minute before, and then she wasn’t seen again. Making her coming back and fleshing out who she is, how she met Sky, and that she isn’t unaware of what is going on worth scratching your chin about. Specifically, her being part of the game for with the way her house looks, unless Teo paid for some or all of that, it makes you think she is doing well. The kind of well that may not be purely from a taxable salary. So learning whether she was in the game until she needed to go legit or not will be nice to know.
Heck, I can’t be the only one who wants to see her wooed by Sky, right? We’ve seen him as a father, leader in some ways, but what about as someone’s man? Much less, the man of someone whose brother is Teo?
Gloria’s Mother & Gloria – Let The Tears Come Down
Let me say, for a character who wasn’t built up to us knowing much, and whose name I can’t recall, Rochon-Fuqua and Arenas handled that scene as if we haven’t heard that story ever before. For, let’s be real for a moment, a woman telling their mother they enabled their rapist, who happened to be their daddy, it isn’t a story we haven’t heard in media before. However, Arenas has this ability to make it so you don’t feel like it is an actress speaking dialog but someone you know, be it a neighbor, aunt, maybe your own mother, telling a story.
That is probably the reason, even if you are used to stories like this, you can’t help but cry. For even with Gloria’s mom written a bit thin, and kind of stereotypical, Rochon-Fuqua punched that it to be what Arenas needed for her performance. Then when you add McDowell stepping in? Bruh. The temptation to go to your mother and say, “Thank you for not aborting me” was strong! I didn’t do it, for we had that conversation, but it’s nice, and weird, for a show to trigger conversations like that. Unique even.