David Makes Man: Season 2/ Episode 7 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

To build a man up, you have to break them down, and it seems the man David and even JG thought they had to be, are being deconstructed as it doesn’t serve anyone’s needs.


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David and Seren facing off

To build a man up, you have to break them down, and it seems the man David and even JG thought they had to be, are being deconstructed as it doesn’t serve anyone’s needs.


Episode Title No Atheist In Rabbit Holes
Aired 8/3/2021
Network OWN
Directed By Kiel Adrian Scott
Written By Allison Davis

Recap

When Your Role Model Struggled, What Becomes Of You? – JG, Shella, Tren, Trish, David, Gloria, Robin

With giving the money away to the kid who shot him, JG felt he did the right thing. However, the repercussions for giving that money away include Trish being on one since their family has bills, Tren has college for a few years, and no one understood JG’s logic but JG. At least, that is how JG feels as he goes to Shella about his problems, seemingly hoping for a co-sign.

However, Shella keeps it real with JG. She wants to support him but, at the same time, helps him realize that him giving away that money, and even visiting the kid, was more for JG than the kid. Which, he either has to own up to or say f*** it! To which JG’s response is that he wants to be the good guy, and perhaps like his brother, needs to be needed. Otherwise, what is his purpose? And amongst all this vulnerability, JG and Shella kiss.

Shella and JG before they kissed

Thus making JG damn near coming to blows with David, never mind David choking the hell out of someone who hurt one of Robin and Gloria’s kid’s feelings? That might be something for the backburner. Though with how much people talk about doing favors this episode, David may need JG to do him one since David’s anger led to charges being pressed.

What Friends Are For – Marissa, Seren, David, Joe, Corey, Nicole

David comes to realize he doesn’t have friends. Yes, he spent the night with Seren, even thought they might have been intimate beyond words, but upon learning from Marissa that Seren rushed lab results that got Joe’s project shut down? David is pissed! But first, he focuses on Marissa and questioning why she can do this to him, to which her reply is that they aren’t friends. At least, not in her head since David only calls when he wants something. He doesn’t check on her or anything like that.

But, perhaps the silver lining of this all is when Commissioner Corey Roberts makes it official that Joe’s project is shutting down, he clears a pathway for The Ville to be demolished since it is considered a potentially toxic waste site. Thus giving members of The Ville 30 days to vacate and perhaps giving David some means to turn this around, despite losing control.

Nicole seeing David walk up on her

Speaking of control, once again, David tries to exert whatever remaining influence he has on Nicole to sway her into a relationship. The problem is, Nicole wants something more. She is cool with him coming in, them having sex, and that being it. However, if David wants what he verbally says he wants, his actions need to match. He can’t go from wanting to look in her eyes when having sex then barely being able to do so when she asks how his brother is doing. She doesn’t want vulnerability strictly from being comfortable enough to be naked around one another.

What Is My Place If I’m Not Needed? – David, Seren, Elijah

After Marissa’s comments, David is at a bit of a loss. So with realizing he doesn’t have friends and still failing to secure a relationship with Nicole, rather than explore himself, who he is, and fully be accountable, it seems a trip to Seren to question why he stabbed him in the back is due. Which, by the way, isn’t appreciated since David shows up uninvited and unannounced. But in David’s mind, he did try to contact Seren.

So, what happens between the two? Well, David tries to guilt-trip Seren over what happened 15 years ago and tries to regress them both to their childhood forms. However, Seren snaps him out of that and forces David to see them as they are. They are two grown-ass men, and the act of helping Marissa wasn’t a personal attack on David. It simply was done because an active friend asked for help.

Now, this, of course, doesn’t help David’s abandonment issues regarding Seren being in Marissa’s life and not his, but at this point, Seren wants to move forward rather than explain the past. Which just ends up frustrating David to the point where he feels at an impasse and needs to be around someone who still needs him and wants him.

Mx. Elijah and David talking at night

Hence him going to see Mx. Elijah, who perhaps is one of the few people that are always glad to see David, trusts him and allows him to maintain this savior complex he has. Though, as only members of The Ville can, Mx. Elijah especially, they inform David that he doesn’t need to be that in a gentle manner. In fact, Mx. Elijah extends the grace David probably needs far more than the validation he wants. This ultimately reminds you, in the absence of a father and sometimes a mother, Mx. Elijah was all that and more.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How is JG’s father’s side doing?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

You know why most people drown? It’s because to the person standing on the shore, it looks like they’re having fun.
— Shella

Promises get broken. Toys and mirrors and clocks get broken. Bread get broken. Not people. People get hurt. And then they get healed.
— Mx Elijah

Review


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Highlights

What It Takes To Be A Man

As David noted to Seren, he was grown, or rather grew up, at 15. Because of this, David has only known the struggle of trying to survive. And now, somewhere in his late 20s or early 30s, David’s safe space is in the struggle and, as Dr. Woods-Trap noted, in lashing out rather than truly communicating for de-escalation isn’t on the table. I’d even say, because of how David defines his manhood, it’s rarely an option in any position he feels he has power.

Hence why he’d rather make his mom feel small, bring up her addiction, than talk about what’s wrong. Hence why David would rather choke a man than console the child who was hurt. When it comes to Sky’s role in David’s life, we may not have seen Sky be toxic, but David has definitely taken on the form of toxic masculinity and seems to struggle with letting it go.

This appears to be to the detriment of JG, who, with building his perception of manhood from David, has fallen into the same lifestyle of thinking struggling, if not noble, is to be expected. Especially if, in your mind, it is for others. Because, how else can you explain the lives the two brothers have? David can only look Nicole in the eye when having sex, but ask him about his life, he can’t look you in the eye.

Then, with JG, damn near everyone knows him and Trish aren’t going to work it out. If anything, they have the type of relationship where they only stop arguing because their voices got hoarse or they ran out of ammo. But as soon as they get a chance to reload, they’re back at it, and it seems JG is tired of that. He can’t grow with Trish as a person, as a parent, and certainly not as a partner. What she wants out of him is stability, and with that being the bare minimum, it isn’t enough. Add in she is damn near opposed to what JG’s mother has dedicated her life to and the people her daughter adores? What happy family can be produced between Trish, Tren, and JG?

David thinking to himself at night

And overall, I think when we look at this season, you are forced to realize that the title of the show applies more than ever now. David Makes Man surely has to become David forming what kind of man he is and will be based on his own needs, his own perceptions, and expectations. For, thus far, the series has used the title in reverse, with Sky making David, Raynan making David, and David’s trauma making the man he is.

However, with it increasingly being clear the man David has become, as well as JG, not being the savior they dreamed of as a kid, it might be time to deconstruct what it means to be a man and have the brothers remake the men they are.

A Reminder That You Can’t Call In Favors When You Didn’t Put In The Time

David operates in transactional relationships, with it seeming he gets the most out of the deal. With Marissa, he gets a heads up, and at best, she gets some quality D. When it comes to Nicole, there is quality sex, and David gets to masquerade as a grown man despite him still being that 15-year-old child. Hence the type of relationship they have. But, as Marissa pointed out, you can’t just seek people out when you need something. You got to check-in, remind them someone is thinking of them without wanting something from them.

Heck, even in terms of David romanticizing the lives he has had with Seren and Marissa, while negating who they are in the present, it just reminds you of his arrested development. He doesn’t seem to understand he isn’t a child anymore and isn’t held to child standards. As an adult, he is expected to open up, create real bonds, and also stop showing up at people’s doorsteps just because they have a life outside of his universe. Especially if he wants to live in some kind of world where people are willing to go to bat for him, beyond clients like Joe, who stand to greatly benefit from it.

On The Fence

Wishing We Got Trish’s Side To Things

At this point, Trish is so demonized that it is becoming hard to give her grace and see her as flawed. She is homo-averse, often brings out the worst in JG, and it doesn’t appear she has much of a relationship with Tren. Yet, to see someone like that on a show like David Makes Man, it presses you to want to know her story. What’s her trauma, what decisions led to her becoming this way? But as shown by the direction of season 2, David Makes Man is less about the cast as an ensemble and more about David and his effect on people’s lives and moods. If not, how other people’s decisions affect him. So with Trish barely part of David’s universe, it seems she may remain a mystery to us.

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David and Seren facing off
David Makes Man: Season 2/ Episode 7 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Trajectory: Plateau
Despite David's journey to satisfy Joe's needs, and perhaps reach a new level of success in his career, doesn't do much for the show, there is no denying as it explore how childhood trauma shows itself in David and JG, that the heart of the first season is still there.
Highlights
A Reminder That You Can't Call In Favors When You Didn't Put In The Time
What It Takes To Be A Man
Disputable
Wishing We Got Trish's Side To Things

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