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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Dear White People

Creator

Justin Simien

Character Guide

Not Created

Collected Quotes

Created

Current Status

Active

Stream or Get A Free Trial
N/A
Available on Netflix

Season Reviews

Season 2
Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 3, Episodes 4 - 10
Season 3, Episode 3 “Volume 3, Chapter 3”As Brook tries to hunt down Sam, who continues to struggle with her junior project, Lionel heads to the House of No Pi with D’Unte.
Director(s) Kimberly Peirce
Writer(s) Justin Simien
Air Date 8/2/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jerry Skyler Justin Simien
  • Is There More Than Meets The Eye?: Sam, Jerry
  • Heading Down The Rabbit Hole: Wesley, D’unte, Lionel, Sam, Narrator
  • Why Does No One Appreciate My Ambition?:Coco, Brooke, Kelsey, Sam, Lionel
Season 1/ Episode 1 “Chapter I” [Series Premiere]I feel like I should preface my review by saying that I was not blown away at all by the movie version of Dear White People. To the point that I’m quite surprised it was adapted into a series. If only because I found it to be like a watered down version of all the social justice warrior posts one could find on Tumblr or twitter. Yet, with its revival, and on Netflix of all places, there was a desire to see what they could do with the premise in an expanded form.
Season 1/ Episode 2 “Chapter II”Dear White People makes up for the lack of exploring Lionel’s sexuality in the movie version in this episode.
  • I Don’t Prescribe to Labels: Lionel [DeRon Horton], Troy [Brandon P Bell], Silvio [D.J. Blickenstaff]
  • Black Loyalty Over Everything (Lionel, Sam, Silvio)
Season 1/ Episode 3 “Chapter III”Troy takes center stage and his storyline is sans a white girl and plus Nia Long.
  • In My Father’s Shadow: Troy
Season 1/ Episode 7 “Chapter VII”Gabe gets his own episode and, like mostly every other character, it is all about his relationship with Sam.Gabe gets his own episode and, like mostly every other character, it is all about his relationship with Sam.
  • Your Lying, Cheating Heart: Sam, Gabe
Season 1/ Episode 4 “Chapter IV”Colorism is one of the main focuses of Coco’s episode and damn if the display of it may not bring you to tears.
  • Toning Down and Compensating: Coco [Antoinette Robertson], Sam
  • Being Chosen: Coco
Season 1/ Episode 5 “Chapter V”Reggie found the perfect woman for him but she belongs to someone else, a white guy, and that hurts his ego so much it clouds everything else.
  • She Went With A White Guy: Reggie [Marque Richardson], Joelle [Ashley Blaine Featherson], Sam
  • Don’t Say Nigga: Reggie
Season 1/ Episode 6 “Chapter VI”When your victimhood is politicized and popularized, what time or ability does that give you to grieve? That is the question posed as Reggie deals with the aftermath of having a gun pointed at him.
  • Public Victims: Sam, Reggie
  • The Wo(Man) Behind The Movement: Sam, Reggie
Season 1/ Episode 8 “Chapter VIII”In our 2nd Lionel episode, the focus is him truly getting to know Troy and how his journalism career is going.
  • Brooke, Gay Apps, and Comment Sections: Lionel
  • Like An Onion, They Have Layers: Lionel, Troy
Season 1/ Episode 9 “Chapter IX”Coco once more is the focus and, unlike Lionel, we get to complete her storyline of going from insecure to some form of self-actualized.
  • The New Puppet Master: Coco, Troy
  • On My Own: Coco
Season 1/ Episode 10 “Chapter X” [Season Finale]Um, I’m starting to think Netflix isn’t that good at making season finales that can actually feel like a period or exclamation mark rather than an ellipsis.
  • To End or To Be Continued: Sam, Gabe
  • Stepping Forward Out of The Shadows: Coco, Lionel, Troy
Season 2/ Episode 1 “Chapter 1” [Season Premiere]Dear White People returns and Sam is struggling to get back into her groove, until some anonymous person takes things too far.
Director(s) Justin Simien
Writer(s) Justin Simien
Air Date 5/4/2018
Actors Introduced
Jamila Elle Lorraine
  • Easy Listening: Sam
  • Water Me, Challenge Me: Joelle, Sam
  • The Return of the Ankh: Sam, Joelle
Season 2/ Episode 2 “Chapter 2”Three weeks after having a gun pointed at him, Reggie is only getting worse and it seems partying, sex, therapy, and alcohol aren’t doing a damn thing.
Director(s) Kevin Bray
Writer(s) Chuck Haywood
Air Date 5/4/2018
  • The Downward Spiral: Reggie
  • A Spy In The Ivory Tower: Dean Fairbanks, Reggie, Troy
  • When In Doubt – Activism: Gabe, Reggie
Season 2/ Episode 3 “Chapter 3”Lionel comes into focus as does his life after exposing the Hancocks. But, what really matters is a potential love interest you could get behind.
Director(s) Charlie McDowell
Writer(s) Justin Simien
Air Date 5/4/2018
Actors Introduced
Wesley Rudy Martinez
Leo Kid Fury
? Todrick Hall
  • Finding Your Community: Silvio, Lionel, Troy, Sam
  • Dating As A Gay Man: Silvio, Lionel
Season 2/ Episode 4 “Chapter 4”Coco makes a new friend and puts tests that friendship with quite the task.
Director(s) Kimberly Peirce
Writer(s) Njeri Brown
Air Date 5/4/2018
Actors Introduced
Penelope Diamond White
Carson Rhodes Tyler James Williams
  • The Cultural Translator: Coco, Troy
  • The Rise of Coco: Coco, Sam
  • Penelope: Coco, Kelsey
Season 2/ Episode 5 “Chapter 5”FINALLY Joelle gets her time in the sun and while they lay it on thick what she goes through, as a dark-skinned Black woman, it’s to compensate for the topic being generally avoided.
Director(s) Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Writer(s) Leann Bowen
Air Date 5/4/2018
Actors Introduced
Trevor Shamier Anderson
Rikki Tessa Thompson
  • Stepping Out of The Shadow: Sam, Joelle, Gabe
  • I Believe In You & Me: Joelle
  • The Line Between Woke & Hotep: Joelle, Sam, Reggie
Season 2/ Episode 6 “Chapter 6”The person behind AltIvyW is revealed, and Brooke gets added to the list of people who need their own episode.
Director(s) Justin Simien
Writer(s) Jack Moore, Chuck Hayward
Air Date 5/4/2018
  • The New Independent: Silvio, Brooke, Lionel
  • I Was Getting Some, Getting Some… Teeth!: Wesley, Lionel
  • The Man Behind AltIvyW: Silvio, Lionel, Reggie
Season 2/ Episode 7 “Chapter VII”Stripped of the qualities he took upon for status, Troy is left trying to find who he is in spite, and because, of his community and upbringing.
Director(s) Steven Tsuchida
Writer(s) Yvette Lee Bowser, Nastaran Dibai
Air Date 5/4/2018
  • Bottoming Out: Kurt, Troy, Dean Fairbanks
  • Stripping Down Bare: Troy, Sam, Coco, Reggie
  • Finding My Voice & Community: Lionel, Troy
Season 2/ Episode 8 “Chapter VIII”Gabe and Sam have a real conversation. One that fully addresses Sam, narcissism and all, as well as Gabe and how white allies, or those who attempt to be, will forever be dealing with the learning process.
Director(s) Justin Simien
Writer(s) Jack Moore
Air Date 5/4/2018
  • The Read of Samantha White: Sam, Gabe
  • The Dismantling of Gabe: Sam, Gabe
  • The Possibility of Reconciliation: Sam, Gabe, Joelle
Season 2/ Episode 9 “Chapter 9”Sam heads to her dad’s funeral, with Joelle and surprisingly Coco, and comes to terms with, not just her guilt, but also a renewed love for her father.
irector(s) Janicza Bravo
Writer(s) Nastaran Dibai, Yvette Lee Bowser
Air Date 5/4/2018
Actors Introduced
Tina Wendy Raquel Robinson
William Robert Curtis Brown
  • Guess Who Is Coming To The Funeral: Sam, Coco, Joelle
  • He Never Wanted You To See Him At His Worse: Sam
  • Back To Life, Back To Reality: Sam, Lionel, Coco, Troy
Season 2/ Episode 10 “Episode X” [Season Finale]We’re left on a cliffhanger, but do learn who burned down Davis house and get a major development in the secret societies plot.
Director(s) Justin Simien
Writer(s) Njeri Brown, Justin Simien
Air Date 5/4/2018
Actors Introduced
Officer Ames Scott Michael Morgan
  • Prepping For The Next Move: Dean Fairbanks, Troy, Kurt, Coco
  • Taking Down Rikki: Sam, Coco, Kurt, Silvio
  • We Needed A Win: Lionel, Sam, Wesley
Season 3, Episode 2 “Volume 3: Chapter 2”As Joelle continues to figure out how she’ll be as host of Dear White People, Rashid struggles with his role within the Black American community.
Director(s) Marta Cunningham
Writer(s) Leann Bowen
Air Date 8/2/2019
Introduced This Episode
Moses Brown Blair Underwood
  • The Atlantic Disconnect: Rashid
  • It’s Hard To Be A Power Couple When Things Are One-Sided: Joelle, Reggie, Rashid, Sam
  • Moses & The Promised Land: Moses, Joelle, Reggie, Muffy
Season 3, Episode 1 “Volume 3: Chapter I”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.
Director(s) Justin Simien
Writer(s) Jack Moore
Air Date 8/3/2019
Introduced This Episode
D’unte Griffin Matthews
  • Take It Down Several Notches: Al, Coco, Troy, Abigail, Kurt, Sam, Reggie, Joelle
  • Finding Your People: Al, Silvio
  • Your Test Results Are In: D’unte, Lionel

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