Good Trouble: Season 1/ Episode 2 “The Coterie” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Callie trying to work.
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We got a conversation on bi-sexuality, the backstory of multiple characters and work drama – aka what will probably be the usual from Good Trouble.


Network
FreeForm
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 1/15/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jude Hayden Byerly
Bryan Michael Galante
Dom (Malika’s Brother) J. Mallory McCree
Sumi Kara Wang
Alex Dustin Ingram

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Let’s Talk About Sex(uality): Jude, Callie, Gael, Bryan, Sumi, Alice

While we have seen Callie be an advocate multiple times throughout The Fosters, and not just online but putting her feet to the pavement, it doesn’t mean she is perfect. Case in point: She isn’t comfortable with Gael being Bi. Why? Well, partly because Jude, who appears this episode, sleeps with some guys who claim to be straight and thus Callie is now worried maybe Gael is closeted. However, Jude does his best to set her straight by reminding her she is overthinking sexuality and sometimes people just like people. We’re the ones who come up with labels and expectations.

Speaking of expectations, we get to meet Alice’s best friend (in her head) and ex Sumi. Someone who isn’t aware she is using Alice, but that’s because Alice is a pushover. Also, she is a glutton for punishment for when Sumi went on a date with her now fiancée, guess who decided to go? All because she wants to pretend she is so mature and can hang out with her ex as friends. Leading to her even being willing to be Sumi’s maid of honor.

Commentary

Jude (Hayden Byerly) talking to Callie about bi-sexuality.
Jude (Hayden Byerly)

I’m starting to question why I stopped watching The Fosters, around the time Brandon was dating that single mom. What was wrong with me? Did the show just have a bad time slot? Because, one thing you have to love about the people behind this show is as much as it is clear they are pushing an agenda, it’s not by visibility and shaming bigotry and leaving it at that. As seen with the conversation between Callie and Jude, followed up by Callie and Gael, there are levels to unlearning and addressing problematic thoughts.

Of which, for many, because of the bubble they’re in, and because of the way the internet has changed communication, you can’t get the conversations Callie has. The kind that makes it clear that while she isn’t bi-phobic, it is one thing for people to live their lives as they choose and a whole other to be part of her life, especially romantically, bringing that in. So here is hoping talking with Jude and Gael this one time doesn’t end the conversation. Especially since it is clear Bryan is not trying to give up whatever Gael is putting down without a fight!

Switching to Alice… let’s pray for this girl. With her mom not knowing she is queer, Sumi probably being her first and last girlfriend, you can tell she is stuck on stupid; if not just a coward to be honest. But, let’s be real, her thing is she doesn’t want to let go of her first love and she pines for her since she isn’t the type to put herself out there. So who would she date next? You saw that party right? Everyone brought friends, but there wasn’t anyone trying to chat up Alice, hook up with her, or just hang.

So as much as there is this desire to say she needs to get over Sumi, the question is how and with who?

The Outsider: Mariana, Alex, Davia

You know with Davia being body positive it is only natural for her to have haters. However, she reveals to us one of her biggest is her momma. Since she was a child, if something happened, she would question Davia’s involvement, and while strangers coming at her she can handle, her mom doing so hurts.

Hence why, when Mariana is having trouble getting into her job’s boy’s club, she happily tries to help by luring Alex and the boys to the Coterie. However, as Mariana gets frustrated, she takes on her frustration, combines it with her own over being trolled, and calls Alex some vulgar terms. Thus leading to Mariana blowing up that man’s phone all night.

Commentary

Davia revealing her biggest troll is her mother.
Davia: That’s my mother.

So mommy issues is an ongoing theme here, isn’t it? Davia got issues with her mom, Alice with her’s, and Malika’s we’ll talk about in a minute. But, goodness, can you imagine your mom not only insulting you in person, maybe on your private line but on social media as well? What kind of hatred do you need to bring yourself to do this? Yet, there must be some desire to reconcile since Davia hasn’t used the block feature. I don’t understand why she hasn’t used it, but maybe there is more to their relationship than we know.

As for this Mariana thing? Well, considering the next episode preview shows her at work, spilling coffee on the CEO, clearly, she didn’t lose her job. But considering how they’ve iced her out, I’m sure even if they tried to fire her she could socially destroy that company. Hell, just noting Alex’s comment on not including her because she is “abrasive” could be all she needs. Though, taking note how often she called, and that abrasive comment, when she is just direct, I bet you his punk ass won’t do anything.

I’m Trying Here: Malika, Dom, Callie, Rebecca, Mariana, Ben

We learn Malika called CPS (Child Protective Services) herself. The reason? Well, her and her older brother Dom, they were at the point of digging in seat cushions to find money for food. Mind you, they were ten, likely no daddy around, and no other outside help. In calling CPS, Dom and she were separated, and it seems that also put a number on their mom too. Yet, Malika did what she had to do. Yeah, foster care wasn’t a good time, but it might have been more stable than her momma at least.

Leading to Callie. The more Callie tries to do her job, the more difficult it gets because there are way too many people in her ear. You got Mariana who wants her to let loose and have fun, get laid. Alongside that, there is Malika who wants her to be the people’s insider, influence Judge Wilson, and be their advocate. Then there is the Ben and Rebecca issue in which Ben, somehow, some way, keeps figuring out a way to pit Rebecca and Callie against one another. Something Callie doesn’t get even after he screwed her over before.

But, who really ended up screwing her over is Mariana who decided to hide Callie’s phone. Making it so Ben could manipulate Rebecca into writing a paper which may deal with the police shooting case. Something which she may, or may not, depending on how much you trust Rebecca, have done in Callie’s name – either as a friend or foe.

Commentary

I fully expect Callie to have a mental breakdown. There just seems to be too much pressure and while partying helps Mariana relax, it seems not to be much more than a distraction for Callie. One she can’t even fully enjoy for her current case has Malika, and now her friends, on dat ass. Then when you add Ben pitting her against Rebecca, and it clearly working, she is bound to either flip out, burn out, or break down. Maybe all at once or in sequential order.

Dom (J. Mallory McCree) talking to Malika about their mother.
Dom (J. Mallory McCree)

Speaking of Malika, I was about to get in my feelings when she was talking to Dom, and we learned she called CPS. For I really want you to think about it, how many shows or movies featured the child calling CPS to save themselves? Most of the time that child just suffers with their parents, grows up too quickly and ends up begging or stealing, but not getting to that point of saying enough is enough. Particularly because, even as kids, we know the foster system is one to fear. Your parents don’t even need to threaten you, no matter who you are, you know of one messed up case of kids not being fed, abused, or killed because of a foster family. Heck, even on The Fosters, we got some horrible stories.

But what adds another interesting layer is Dom who didn’t support her doing that and wanted to take the hard route we often see. Heck, even now he is still close to their mom who, arguably, may not have become a better person in 10 some odd years. So alongside us getting to see Alice’s mom face her daughter, and Davia’s, let’s add in Malika too because apparently daddy ain’t the main one who ain’t s*** no more.

Highlights

  1. Us getting a consumable amount of character development for Davia, Alice, and Malika.
  2. Mariana’s issues at work representing the smalls things women deal with in environments in which they are the minority and not just focusing on the big stuff that leads to hashtags.
  3. Taking note of Callie’s struggle with being involved with politics; especially since she is more an insider now than an outside protestor.
  4. While I hate Ben, you have to give him props for being an excellent villainous character whose only motivation is he got a student loan to pay off.
  5. Callie confronting her feelings on being with someone bi-sexual and the conversations which came from that.


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