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
The validation of Troy was a goal and once she had him, in some kind of way, she basically took the place of his father. For even if she didn’t pick out his shirt and tie, she was planning how his future would be so it would perfectly align with her vision. Yet, during a major donor event that he invites her to attend with him, it becomes slowly clear Coco isn’t the one for him. His dad likes her and she likes the idea of him. Hence why she has their whole life planned out without asking him for input.
But, Troy is at a point in his life where he is cutting the strings so, as much as Coco may see herself as helpful, even with trying to talk Sam out of the town hall protest, he can’t have their thing anymore. It is just not conducive to his growth.
You know, I’m starting to get why Neika might have been liked by Troy. I don’t think in their, what I guess could be called a relationship, she was trying to influence or control him. He wasn’t, once again, the submissive one who someone was trying to exert their influence over. He, with her, could just be. Heck, that maybe why Troy enjoys being friends with Lionel. Once again, he isn’t dealing with someone trying to control him or put him on some pedestal. He is just a guy around Lionel. Albeit a guy Lionel has a crush on, but Troy seems to be oblivious most of the time so he probably doesn’t even know.
Though I should note, after Lionel’s article, Troy isn’t mad. He definitely wants and needs to talk to Lionel, but he isn’t about to knock him out or make a scene. Coco was on his behalf but Troy shut that down.
On My Own: Coco
As established in Coco’s past episode, Troy seemed like the ideal. He was well-bred, woke enough to not be problematic but not militant. She thought of them as the perfect match and, because of that, she took a slight pause on her life plan to achieve getting him and then moving on. However, after Coco tries to advocate too much on Troy’s behalf, be the great women behind the great man to the point she isn’t just standing there but covering his back and pushing him forward, he calls it quits.
Something Coco is glad about. For it becomes clear she doesn’t like Troy the person and it is mostly because he lacks ambition. He has all this privilege, so much in the way of opportunity, but he doesn’t capture it. Hell, he can’t even recognize a problem staring him in the face. There is talk about integrating what has been the Black and perhaps minority dorm for generations, yet he doesn’t understand WASP and can figure out what is going on.
So, Coco walks out, is ready to move on, and be it on her own or with a man, she isn’t going to pause her life anymore, change her hair, or dumb herself down just to have someone. She has plans to be the 2nd Black female president, a lawyer, a lobbyist, and she needs someone with just as much initiative to reach their goals. Though, based on her history, there seems to be a hope that it won’t have to be a white man.
At this point, I’m following Robertson and awaiting her next career moves. To me, that is how good she is playing Coco. Even to the point where, like Browning, it is like she snatched the role from who played the character in the movie and now she is the one to be compared to. For it isn’t just how the series has allowed for the role to be expanded, but she took full advantage of it and made it where she can’t be forgotten or part of the background. She, arguably, is one of the strongest actors and characters of the series.
Gushing aside, I was in my feelings seeing Coco realize she doesn’t need Troy’s BS and his basic self. The man seems to, so badly, to want to take control of his life but hasn’t the will to do so. Much less, he doesn’t seem to, at all, desire to gain the ability. Something she saw. Something she perhaps always knew but thought, “it wouldn’t be so bad to plan out a life with him.” Which she did. However, in the long run, it became quite clear he wasn’t worthy of fitting into her plans and if I was the type to yell “YAASSSSSS” and all that, boy would I have done so.
Since really, while it sadly usually comes toward the end of a show or movie, can you ever get enough of watching a woman realize she is in no way compromising but just giving in? Then, after said realization, moving on from the unhealthy relationship? Especially with her head held high and her realizing her path to glory is straight ahead? Though don’t get me wrong, I would love for Coco to be able to check off that box of her finding “The One” before this is all over.
But before we end this episode’s review, can I just say how important the image above was? Here she is, wig accidently snatched off, and vulnerable. Yet, despite now not adhering to some sort of eurocentric standard, the man she is sleeping with validates her beauty. He validates she is more than her hair and he digs that person. Now, granted, who knows if that was only said because he wanted to keep her coming [note]no pun intended[/note], but in the moment it did seem genuine.
Don’t deny the world the truth about yourself just because it’s good.
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