Family Reunion: Season 1, Episode 5 “Remember Grace Under Fire?” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Grace (Erica Ash) with Cocoa.
Grace (Erica Ash)
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Despite all the good Cocoa and Moz thought moving to Columbus would do, the kids continue to pick up bad habits. Also, Moz’s sister Grace reveals a secret.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Leonard R. Garner, Jr.
Writer(s) Chris Moore
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Grace Erica Ash

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Recap

So Many Secrets: Jade, Mazzi, Ami, Shaka

While there was an idea pushed that things would be better in Columbus, it seems old habits are still the same. Jade is sneaking out the house to hang out, Ami is playing with her mom’s clothes and doing what she pleases, Shaka’s Switch is more important to him than anything else going on, and Mazzi is pocketing money from when he runs errands. Which isn’t to imply the kids are bad, but we have yet to see a positive change just because there are supposed to be more eyes around.

This Is Me: Grace, Cocoa

Moz’s sister Grace has long been deemed as the one who’d take over the church. It was determined when she was 17 this would happen and considering Moz is 36, that means for at least a decade, or more, Jeb has been betting his daughter would succeed him. However, that is no longer the case. While Cocoa hangs out with Grace, by force, she learns Grace isn’t on that path anymore.

That isn’t to say she has abandoned her faith, found seminary too hard, or anything of that ilk. More so, her calling wasn’t towards the pulpit but anointed matchmaking, as she has branded it. Meaning, on a deeper level than an app or site, she finds people spiritually yoked – and she is quite good at it.

Grace (Erica Ash) talking about her business and its success.
Grace (Erica Ash)

Listen: Grace, Jeb, Amelia, Moz, Jade, Mazzi, Ami, Shaka

Problem is, that wasn’t the plan and, though it went unsaid, there is the need to wonder how much money was poured into Grace going to seminary? For even if her tuition and fees were covered, likely some of her needs came out of Jeb’s pocket. Hence why he and Amelia bark a bit at Grace. Now, in the long run, they chill out and realize she is an adult but, they don’t end the episode praise dancing Grace’s decision.

Though Grace isn’t the only one disturbing the peace. Shaka accidentally burns down M’dear’s kitchen. To which Moz brings the hammer since, at first, Shaka and no one else would admit to it, and with every adult talking to Grace during the fire, the kids are it. And after Moz cracks down, the kids figure out it was Shaka and are ready to snitch. However, he reminds them they all have secrets and shedding light on his means him revealing theirs.

With that, everyone shuts up. But, as Moz watches his sister struggle with revealing her truth, he questions if he is following that path of his parents. Something that is disturbing to him for while he loves his family, he doesn’t necessarily see eye to eye with them in how they rear children. So, he tries to reintroduce a sense of openness into their dynamic, and while he struggles at first, all come clean. Leading to Shaka, by Amelia, getting a butt whooping.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What happened to the whole choosing your own punishment thing?
  2. Where in the world is Daniel?

Review

Commentary

A Reminder That Family Comedies Aren’t Necessarily Easy To Binge

Similar to Alexa & Katie, it is very easy to get fatigued from Family Reunion. It does have arcs and storylines which last past an episode, but as you get accustomed to Amelia’s antics, some of the inconsistencies, and other things, it wears you down quick. Which isn’t to say this is an issue just for the family comedy genre but while other genres have shown the ability to have one sitting shows, family comedies coerce you to take a break.

Leading to the need to wonder, personally anyway, could it just be this show is more geared towards kids and tweens, more so than adults? At least in the long term? Or is it just the way this show was written was never meant to be consumed in a gluttonous fashion? That, with a Wednesday release, which isn’t common for Netflix shows, especially if it isn’t a holiday, you’re supposed to take your time so you won’t get fatigued. If not start off with this high, as we did, but then become overtly critical since any and all flaws become more and more glaring and ultimately leave you with a negative opinion.

One which, let’s face it, the show can’t afford. For while Netflix does keep taking chances on family comedies, even ones with Black casts, there aren’t many, and they aren’t necessarily marketing them to become hits. In general, Netflix doesn’t do much beyond social media marketing for anything unless it has become a cultural phenomenon like Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, or Thirteen Reasons Why. Perhaps explaining why this is noted as part 1, instead of season 1. For there likely could be more episodes but Netflix, before sending the cash or releasing them, wants to see if this show has legs or not. So that, if the first part does fail, they can release the second, as a last chance, and then cancel with the press statement being “We tried.”

Leading to, and I know we’re so far off-topic right now, a similar campaign to One Day At A Time in which people who either used other people’s accounts, pirated or didn’t watch, are up in arms. Perhaps giving the show more attention than when it premiered and the months which followed.

Which is all to say, here is hoping Family Reunion doesn’t become another example of what could have been, or “Why was it canceled?”

On The Fence

What Was Sold In The Beginning Isn’t Really Around Anymore

Grace (Erica Ash) telling Jade she won't snitch on her.
Grace (Erica Ash)

Don’t get me wrong, I laugh and chuckle at this show, and I appreciate how it talks about Black southern culture, especially with Christian seasoning. However, it did seem at one time to be bigger than that with noting Jade’s Blackness and things of that nature. And while I know I shouldn’t compare the dramas of Netflix to a family comedy, I must admit I enjoyed when the show got real for a beat and wasn’t just about everyone being extra. Especially Amelia, Moz, and Jade.

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Family Reunion - Episode List

Creator

Meg DeLoatch

Character Guide

Created

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Season Reviews

Season 1

Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 9 “Remember Black Elvis?”With the kids learning their family history, thanks to Jade being shamed about knowing hers, so comes Cocoa and Moz wanting to do something which is a family tradition.
Director(s) Eric Dean Seaton
Writer(s) Howard Jordan, Jr.
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Paul Regi Davis
Debra Sue Perri Camper
Francine Rachel Ferrera
Solomon Demetrius Hodges
Young Maybelle Jordy Lucas
Young Amelia Tyra Gabrielle Morrison
Tommy Andreas Orrego
Young Jebediah Noah Taliferro Spaulding
Fannie Joe Ebboney Wilson
  • 1852: Solomon, Fannie Joe, Amelia, Jade, Mikayla
  • 1928: Francine, Tommy
  • 1966 Onward: Amelia, Maybelle, Daniel, Debra Sue, Moz, Cocoa, Paul, Jeb
Season 1, Episode 8 “Remember Macho Mazzi?”It’s a 2 for 1 special as Mazzi’s attitude brings up toxic masculinity and Jade entering a beauty pageant leads to a conversation on Black beauty.
Director(s) Kelly Park
Writer(s) Henry “Hank” Jones
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Haven Sheeks Amanda Detmer
  • Blood Pressure Blues: Amelia, Maybelle
  • Boys Will Be… Held Accountable: Daniel, Moz, Mazzi, Cocoa
  • SHE’S YOUR QUEEEEEEENNNNN: Jade, Haven, Cocoa
Season 1, Episode 10 "Remember When Our Boys Became Men?" [Season Finale]Part 1 of Family Reunion comes to an end with everything that made Columbus seem like a good place to live being undone.
Director(s) Robbie Countryman
Writer(s) Lia Prewitt-Martin
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Eric Jaleel White
Katrina Tempsett Bledsoe
Kurt Camaron Engels
Renee Journey Carter
Officer Whitman John Brotherton
  • (No Longer) In Sync: Eric, Katrina, Kurt, Jade, Drew, Moz, Cocoa, Renee, Ava
  • The Talk No One Wants To Have: Elvis, Mazzi, Shaka, Moz, Cocoa, Officer Whitman
  • We Can’t Live Here: Moz, Cocoa, Officer Whitman
Season 1, Episode 7 “Remember The First Day of School”The kids finally head to school, and most of them are quite happy, except Jade who hates the conservative dress code.
Director(s) Eric Dean Seaton
Writer(s) Taylor Vaughn Lasley
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Principal Glass Mark Curry
Brooke Akira Jolie Akbar
Missy Delon Shaw
  • It’s A Wonderful Life: Brooke, Mazzi, Shaka, Moz
  • This Is The South: Missy, Mikayla, Jade, Principal Glass
  • How The South Was Won: Missy, Makayla, Jade, Principal Glass, Amelia, Cocoa
Season 1, Episode 6 “Remember That Crazy Road Trip?”Remember the road trip from Seattle spoken of earlier in the season? This episode reveals what happened.
Director(s) Eric Dean Seaton
Writer(s) Anthony C. Hill
Air Date 7/10/2019
  • The Ride From H-E Double Hockey Sticks: Amelia, Jade, Moz, Cocoa, Ami, Mazzi, Shaka
Season 1, Episode 5 “Remember Grace Under Fire?”Despite all the good Cocoa and Moz thought moving to Columbus would do, the kids continue to pick up bad habits. Also, Moz’s sister Grace reveals a secret.
Director(s) Leonard R. Garner, Jr.
Writer(s) Chris Moore
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Grace Erica Ash
  • So Many Secrets: Jade, Mazzi, Ami, Shaka
  • This Is Me: Grace, Cocoa
  • Listen: Grace, Jeb, Amelia, Moz, Jade, Mazzi, Ami, Shaka
Season 1, Episode 4 "Remember When I Lost My Sister"As Cocoa has trouble fitting in, Shaka is forced to realize how much he stands out in Columbus, Georgia.
Director(s) Leonard R. Garner, Jr.
Writer(s) Ralph Greene
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Grayson Jalyn Emil Hall
Sister Patty Roxanne Reese
Lily Jaidyn Triplett
  • The First (Un)Official Date: Ami, Lily, Drew, Jade
  • Open(ing) Minds: Cocoa, Amelia, Sister Patty, Maybelle
  • Why Stunt When You Can Be Humble?: Grayson, Shaka, Sister Patty, Elvis
Season 1, Episode 3 "Remember Vacation Bible School"With Jade and Shaka forced to go to Amelia’s bible school, they attempt to embarrass her. As this happens, Cocoa and Moz clash on parenting.
Director(s) Jody Margolin Hahn
Writer(s) Adrienne Carter
Air Date 7/10/2019
  • Moz’s Go Kart Racing: Cocoa, Moz, Ami, Mazzi
  • Bible Study Duel: Amelia, Jade, Shaka, Elvis
Season 1, Episode 2 “Remember Charlie Wilson”Amelia’s past is discovered by her grandkids, and let’s just say Amelia “Trimming the mustache” of someone gets Jeb fired up.
Director(s) Eric Dean Seaton
Writer(s) Beverly DeLoatch, Charity L. Miller
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Himself Charlie Wilson
  • Spoiled Kid(s): Jade
  • The Legend of Charlie Wilson: Mazzi, Shaka, Charlie Wilson, Jade, Amelia, Jeb
Season 1, Episode 1 “Remember How This All Started?” [Series Premiere]Family Reunion is reminiscent of old school sitcoms in all the best ways.
Network
Netflix
Creator(s) Meg DeLoatch
Director(s) Eric Dean Seaton
Writer(s) Meg DeLoatch
Air Date 7/10/2019
Genre(s) Family, Comedy
Good If You Like
  • Or Rather Miss Black Sitcoms About Family
  • Jokes Around Black Southern Culture
  • Light Commentary About Black Culture
Isn’t For You If You
  • Don’t Like Family-Oriented Comedy
Introduced This Episode
Cocoa Tia Mowry-Hardrict
Ami Jordyn Raya James
Maybelle Telma Hopkins
Jeb Richard Roundtree
Jade Talia Jackson
Shaka Isaiah Russell-Bailey
Mazzi Cameron J. Wright
Ava Lexi Underwood
McKayla Lindsey Da Sylveira
Elvis Lance Alexander
Drew Noah Alexander Gerry
Amelia Loretta Devine
Moz Anthony Alabi
Daniel Warren Burke

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