Nearly everything comes to a head as Good Trouble ends its first season which thankfully will be followed up by season 2 in June.
|Introduced This Episode|
From Another’s Eyes: Viv, Davia, Malika, Dom, Sandra
Perhaps the issue Malika and Davia have had for a long time is they were blinded by their own perspective. For Davia, Viv forced her to realize the hardship others go through, beyond students, simply because of race. Not to say Viv being Asian was brought up, but with her father’s heavy accent, noting her is working multiple jobs, and how quickly their life fell apart because the mom died, it was a nod towards it. That, with being an immigrant family, documented or otherwise, they lacked certain safety nets and opportunities. Making it so they might be struggling, yet still are holding onto the dream. Maybe not the American Dream but something to see them through.
Also, what Viv and her dad pushed was Malika stepping away from the blind spot she long had. The first being not recognizing how her mother struggled with raising two kids, who were likely rambunctious, and taking note of how Malika is as an adult, imagine her as a child. So to work two jobs and have to keep a brain like hers stimulated, it’s taxing. Leading to the second thing to recognize is Sandra’s guilt about presenting the idea that strength was the only option.
Now, that is especially important since it seems catching Sandra off guard scared Malika. Maybe because it was seeing a Black woman, in real life, be so vulnerable and in need? For it is one thing to see something on TV, get representation that way, and a whole other for it to be in your real life. So with seeing Viv happy, despite what was going on with her dad, it seemed to click with her not just her mother’s struggles, but Dom just being happy she was still trying. Having a hard ass time in doing so, but trying nonetheless.
Likely leading to some guilt as her and Dom’s mom died, but at least being there for her brother.
The Truth Will Set You Free And Freedom Is A Dangerous Gift: Mariana, Angela, Josh, Evan, Callie, Sumi, Joey, Meera, Alice, Ben
Someone, it isn’t 100% clear who, sets Callie up. I wanna say Ben, since he needs a major boost, but it could have been anyone. The point is, someone sent Callie, by mail, the file of the officer who shot Jamal Thompson and, allegedly, believed killing someone like Jamal was cheaper than letting them live. A major win for the case but said information getting out would also be dangerous – especially if it was linked to Callie. So, there is the question of whether she should share it and her ultimately doing so.
However, neither Callie’s decision, nor the ones Mariana, Sumi, or Alice make were easy. Jumping to Sumi’s, she decides to call off the wedding – by text. Then, Alice follows up by rejected Sumi. But, before she and Joey can skip away in bliss, Joey rejects her since she sees Alice isn’t ready for a real, and out, relationship.
Leaving us with Mariana. With Angela giving her the male salaries, it seems, like someone giving Callie the information she needs, both are being set up. The truth is though, Angela was made to be a scapegoat rather than the force of change she wanted to be. Add in she has a kid she wants to set an example for, and that leads her to decide to hand Mariana what she needs so she can at least say, in a small way, she was part of some kind of change.
A change which leads to the Byte Club deciding to expose Speculate and threaten everyone’s job. Something Josh is PISSED about! Making it so, naturally, when people ask questions about salary parity, he points fingers at Angela, even is in the process of firing her, until many step up as the culprit for information getting out. Then they follow up that, since Josh threatens to fire them, with noting he has tried to kiss many and that’s an issue within itself.
Leading to the Evan situation. Whether we are talking about the uprising Mariana was part of or the allegations that Evan’s investment comes with strings, things are tense and uncomfortable. So much that Mariana talks about quitting but Evan reminds her that quitting means she leaves her activism app with him to either flourish without her or die. Leaving her in an odd place, especially since she was offered a team to go with him greenlighting the app.
Picking Up The Pieces: Raj, Mariana, Dom, Isaac, Malika, Callie, Jamie, Gael, Davia, Dennis, Alice, Trae, Malika, Jeff
After the whirlwind of rejection, and to perhaps prove Joey wrong, Alice decides it is time to come out to her parents. Funny thing is, they knew she was gay but was just waiting for her to say something. And for almost everyone else, things are the same way. When it comes to Malika, Dom accepts going to her graduation, and Isaac comes around to check in after her mom died. Then with Mariana, with her wanting to kiss Raj for supporting her all this time, she didn’t have to ask twice to be kissed.
Thus bringing us to Callie. Jamie and Gael both note they care for her, Jamie even almost says he loves her. But she still is torn between the two.
Giving us the perfect way to end this: Dennis. He is alive but may have checked himself into a mental hospital since he was planning on committing suicide. But, thanks to Davia’s voice in his head, paired with how he’d face his son in the next life, he decided to stay alive. Also, in light of him living, and Viv, Davia has decided to go for her masters in teaching and stay. Though Jeff noting he left his wife could complicate that.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- So, does Alice have more space since Viv and her dad seem to need an apartment? Unless The Coterie is a no kids environment.
The Jamal Thompson Case
One of the things Good Trouble has felt like at times is a Trojan Horse. Yet, in many ways, while The Fosters was about the family, it also touched upon, sometimes delved into, a myriad of topics. However, the Thompson case, seeing how both sides portrayed him, and that graphic picture of him dead, was a lot. The kind of depiction you wouldn’t expect from a show which isn’t a comedy but isn’t the kind of drama you’d expect to hit you hard with such a topic either.
Standing Up For Angela/ Casey’s Position In The Exposure Thing
Here is the thing many don’t get when it comes to changing the status quo – it’s terrifying. Whether it is the women calling out Josh, the goals of Byte Club, or changing a toxic culture, that takes gumption. It takes being willing to lose your job. And while, yeah, you can sue and do all that, it takes months, if not years, to possibly get money from your suit. Something that, if you are a single mom like Angela, or know you’ll have to start from the beginning like Casey, isn’t something you are hyped to do. It costs a lot to be in the right.
Hence why those like Mariana step up for while they may have something to lose, they are at a point in their life where they finally can do something and are willing to take up that fight. Hence why politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are so vocal and adamant since they haven’t gotten to that point in life where there is too much on them to stick their neck out. Heck, in many shifts in culture, people like Mariana and AOC, the youth, are what make up the numbers and leaders. Not just because they may have the time or safety net, but they haven’t become part of the problem yet and are trying to fight becoming it.
While it isn’t clear if Viv may return in season 2, featuring a homeless child, a student, possibly a DREAMer is of interest. Granted, who knows with everyone else’s story how she could fit in, but with Jeff may be on his way out, this could give Davia the perfect follow up storyline. That and getting closer to Dennis.
Callie Having No One But Herself
Though Callie has a rather huge family, with siblings who are like friends, and even two love interest, there is something oddly satisfying in her making tough decisions on her own. Not just because it reminds you that, despite said family, at her core, there is still a bit of a loner there, but it also reminds you that what drives Callie is her sense of self. So talking it out with someone would likely only make the decision harder and because she is so invested, talking it out could lead her to inaction. Making her literally talking to herself not only interesting in terms of the editing trick but also an acknowledgment that as much as Callie has been a bit all over the place, her core character is still intact.
Alice’s Parents Accepting Her, But She Not Accepting Herself
There are levels to being part of the LGBT community beyond your parents accepting you. We see that in shows like Pose. But what Alice goes through, while likely seen on shows like The L Word, don’t necessarily penetrate any and all queer conversations in media. The topic specifically being gender norms and presentation within LGBT relationships. Much less, dealing with your own performance in the dichotomy of presenting as femme or masculine.
Which, if I understood Joey right, was Alice’s issue. Be it a preference for femme women, or maybe a form of hatred for herself for not being femme, Alice has issues. Heck, the way Joey puts it, she may have issues since she isn’t passing as the straight woman she pretended to be. Leading you to wonder, with her parents saying they knew and accept her, will that cause her to move on or maybe dig deeper into her issues?
Dennis Is Alive, And Davia Didn’t Kiss Him!
With so much going on, the last thing we needed was a character committing suicide. On top of that, we also didn’t need yet another two characters hooking up just because the other is their gender preference and they looked out for another. So Dennis checking himself into a hospital and crying on Davia’s shoulder, and it not going further, was a blessing. For if there is one thing I hope we see more of on teen and YA shows it its friendships between men and women, straight and queer folk, that don’t end up with one longing for the other or making a move. It happens, but it doesn’t need to happen each and every time.
Malika and Dom Perhaps Reconciling
What connected Dom and Malika is also what drove them apart: Their mom. So with her dead, it is going to make the reconciliation interesting. Malika has guilt for not believing their mom was truly sick and Dom probably will be dealing with aiding in what made her situation worse. Never mind pushing Malika away and forcing her to be on her own through life, despite being her big brother and having just as much, if not more, of a responsibility for her as much as their mom. Especially if you want to play him being the main male figure in her life.
On The Fence
Should We Care About the Jamie, Callie, and Gael Love Triangle?
I will admit, the dance performances were a beautiful way to show how torn Callie was to her various loyalties. However, I really find the whole love triangle thing dull as hell. Not just on this show, but in general. Which isn’t to say I won’t tip my hat to the show for giving Gael and Jamie both a lot of value as partners. Yet, considering how much we see Mariana do as a single woman, it makes seeing Callie juggle Gael and Jamie seem like such a waste of her precious time. No matter how cute the moments she has with both men.
The Raj & Evan Issue
I’m so uncomfortable with the possibility of a Raj and Mariana relationship. Mostly since he made an awkward move on her and him being supportive seems low-key underhanded. But, at the same time, with you so rarely seeing someone south Asian treated as a real person, a desirable person, at least in shows featuring people the age of the cast, him being with Mariana seems important.
Though, there is also Evan. With him, the issue is the power dynamics. He is the CEO and threatens to take Mariana’s app from her. Yet, at the same time, him approaching her with his social awkwardness, which I still cautiously think is due to a form of autism, makes you want to root for him.
Leaving you to wish Mariana and Callie, as nice, smart, and attractive as they are, would both remain single.