Dear White People: Season 3, Episode 1 “Volume 3: Chapter I” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Title card - Dear White People S3E1
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In a hyper-aware premiere, Dear White People implies there are going to be notable changes in season 3. For it doesn’t want to end up like other Netflix shows.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Justin Simien
Writer(s) Jack Moore
Air Date 8/3/2019
Introduced This Episode
D’unte Griffin Matthews

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Recap

Take It Down Several Notches: Al, Coco, Troy, Abigail, Kurt, Sam, Reggie, Joelle

It’s junior year, and while activism and shaking things up was fun freshman year, and challenging sophomore year, the former major players have decided to cool is junior year. Sam has handed over Dear White People to Joelle, and Reggie in a way, with little to no qualms. Troy no longer wishes to shake things up, which makes it so Abigail doesn’t have any sort of ally at Kurt’s paper. Also, Al has risen in the ranks at the BSU since Coco is focused on her next move, Sam has dropped out of even participating in that, and with Joelle doing Sam’s former show, and Reggie up under her, Al is alone. Well, not alone, but now the most radical.

Finding Your People: Al, Silvio

Which pushes Al, especially with Silvio being his drug supplier, him the campus dealer, to face the fact Al is actually Latinx. Something that isn’t a dividing issue for Al, originally, since Latinx, or rather Brown, and Black where he comes from aren’t that different. Well, unless they have a MAGA viewpoint like Silvio. But, Silvio aside, it isn’t lost on Al that his petition to make Winchester a sanctuary school isn’t getting the same passion that the Black issues of past school years got. So maybe that divide might become more of a thing than it ever was before.

Your Test Results Are In: D’unte, Lionel

While Lionel hasn’t had a full-blown ho phase, he is now sexually active, with men, and feels that, after bareback sex with someone, he should get tested. Thus leading him to D’unte’s health station truck and Lionel getting to play a game of twenty questions. Of which, because it is Lionel, things are awkward as hell. But, in the long run, Lionel learns that outside of him, D’unte, and a few other gay Black men he knows, there are quite a few more. To which D’unte invites Lionel to get to know.

Oh, and Lionel gets tested and is clean

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Gabe’s parents have seeming hit a rough financial patch

Review

Highlights

Acknowledging Third Seasons Can Often Be Trash

I’m not going to pretend a show knowing it’s on the season most Netflix shows get cancelled, and go downhill, is necessarily a good thing. Which you have to appreciate the recognition, that doesn’t mean it is going to step up. But this is Dear White People we’re talking about. While it may not have a bombastic season premiere, with characters seemingly not on the same path as they were in season 1, and even the show recognizing people grow and change, there is promise.

Lionel, for example, is going to head deeper into the community, hopefully with a stronger focus on the Black queer community, than the nonsense he dealt with last year, and as for the others? Well, I won’t pretend I’m excited for anything hinted at, but the possibilities are endless.

D’Unte

I don’t know if this dude will be Lionel’s love interest or guide, but I hope he is a consistent presence throughout the season since he is the funniest person we’ve seen or heard on this show for a while.

On The Fence

Order of the X

The way the whole Order of the X thing is continued makes it seem whoever wrote that in is gone and no one left seems all that invested in it. Which isn’t to say the plot may not go anywhere, but it does seem they wanted you to lose interest quickly so they can move on.

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