Good Trouble: Season 2, Episode 7 “In The Middle” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Amanda (Allison Paige) at the same bar as Marana and the Byte Club.
Amanda (Allison Paige)
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While nearly everyone is given a grand opportunity, so comes the question of what they are willing to sacrifice? Be it professional relationships or personal.


Network
FreeForm
Director(s) Jay Chandrasekhar
Writer(s) Nicole Paulhus
Air Date 7/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Amanda Allison Paige

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Recap

Does He Or Doesn’t He Alice?: Alice, Dennis, Jeff, Davia

Alice finds herself in the middle of the Dennis and Davia situation. One which is getting to Davia a bit for with her finally breaking up with Jeff, she is single. Thing is, Dennis isn’t making a move and Alice is trying to fish for information and isn’t making much progress. In fact, she is actually making Davia more nervous about the whole thing. But, with her and Alice tired of the indecision and silence, Davia sits down with Dennis and it seems she’ll get her answer.

Under Pressure: Mariana, Evan, Gael, Elijah

With the quarter coming to an end, and Mariana’s actions embarrassing the company, getting her socially conscious app out has been made imperative.  Problem is, with how long Mariana’s team was in disarray, and then all the other drama she’s been dealing with, Evan giving her 10 days is way too tight. Especially since he is asking her, nearly every other minute, about dating etiquette.

Mariana flipping out due to the pressure she is under.

Which is why when he adds wanting a chat feature, it becomes a bit much. Though Gael doesn’t help matters. While we rarely ever see him at Speckulate, he does work there and is on Mariana’s team as a graphic designer. But with Elijah encouraging him to not be on Mariana’s time, and deal with her being on a crunch, but instead taking a meeting, he chooses himself. Which may very well lead to him doing a major art installation, but at the sacrifice of his relationship to Mariana.

Who Needs A Comfort Zone?: Callie, Mariana, Davia, Teresa, Marcus, Malika, Isaac, Gael, Jamie

Callie is going through a lot, as is Malika. For Malika, she has found this ideal job but the problem is, while they support Malika’s look and what she is about, they only want that as far as making money and avoiding scandal. They don’t want her, as a brand ambassador, saying or doing anything which could alienate potential customers and effecting their bottom line. Which is a problem. One that leads her to want to not want the job, but Isaac continues to be that reality check that reminds her you have to make sacrifices. It’s the only way you can eventually secure your freedom.

As for Callie? Well, when has she not had drama? It’s just now instead of a love triangle, she has a work triangle as Teresa and Marcus are testing who is she going to be loyal to? Teresa who has been willing to mentor her from the start or Marcus who is far more ambitious? Oh, and is willing to go over Teresa’s head to do what he needs done.

But, unfortunately for Callie, things at home aren’t that better. Davia has started messing with her again, and being hella petty. Then there is Mariana who she keeps butting heads with, and upon discovering they share a chat of them all, even Alice, talking mess, it makes that idea of living with Jamie sound better and better. Granted, she isn’t ready yet, doesn’t think he is either, but why live with people who clearly don’t like or respect you? Which now includes Gael since he learns about the piece Jamie bought.

Gael discovering Jamie bought his art.

Review

Highlights

The Triangle Callie Deserves

You know what’s better than a love triangle? One which tests a person’s loyalty in the work place. This is what I’m hoping we see more of, in general. For, as seen with Gael, choosing what’s best for you short term vs. long term can be a difficult decision. Yet, it creates the kind of drama you can really get behind since it credits the characters and actors with the idea that romance isn’t the most important thing going on in their life.

Malika’s Storyline

FreeForm consistently with this series, and predecessor, acknowledges that each community has different issues it struggles with. Malika noting that because her name implies being non-white, it created an obstacle. Because her social media was liked to an advocacy group, it had the potential to put her out of the running. And having to balance loving yourself, your people, and having a whole separate life outside of work is a real issue. Especially since companies fear their bottom line being affected because you angered a customer who happens to be well connected.

So it should be interesting to see where the show takes this considering Malika has been consistently focused on.

Malika at a Black Lives Matter meeting.

Mariana & Trying To Not Become Like Amanda

It isn’t clear what happened with Amanda, but what is clear is that Evan can be demanding and there is surely more to that story than we currently know. Which I’m thankful for since Mariana’s story is constantly feeling a little stale. Maybe it is because it is so rooted in her oppression that we haven’t gotten to see her thrive? An issue that, for many, likely could be all consuming hence why that dominates her story? Never mind her feeling the need to prove herself as a woman, a Latina at that, so she knows she can’t disappoint or fail. From the start they undervalued her, she can’t prove them right now.

Elijah & Isaac – How They Revealed Their True Colors

Men on this show don’t really get much credit since they don’t do much of note. Yes Dennis has slowly peeled back his layers, but the rest have just been exes or current boyfriends. Elijah and Isaac aren’t that much different but I will admit seeing them transition from either this lovable guy, or ass, to the complete opposite has been intriguing. I wouldn’t call either of the shifts subtle but considering neither get a whole lot of screen time, the fact you can notice and get a little shocked from the changes is something. Here is hoping it continues in a positive direction.

On The Fence

The Will They Or Won’t They Of Davia & Dennis

I’m back and forth when it comes to this Dennis and Davia thing. Often because I feel the show uses Dennis to humanize Davia. To trigger her insecurities and make up for how much of an ass she often is. Yet, isn’t that one of the best parts about Davia? That she isn’t that bubbly fat girl but can be an ass at times?

Davia who is about to reveal something to Dennis.

They Could Beef Up These BLM Characters & Malika’s Friends

This is just a reminder that we’ve learned more about characters who are no longer on the show than Malika’s friends and that pattern shouldn’t remain. Malika as an individual is treated as one of the most invested characters so let’s give her associates the same time and energy.

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Title Card for Freeform's Good Trouble.

Meet The Characters


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters
Season 2, Episode 8 “Disruptions” [Summer Finale]In an emotional, or dramatic, finale, if not both, Callie has had enough, Mariana makes things worse at work, and our favorite queer relationships might be in trouble.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 8/6/2019
Introduced This Episode
Kendra Azita Ghanizada
Sariya Presilah Nunez
  • Things Have Just Become Too Complicated:Lindsay, Alice, Joey, Elijah, Gael
  • You Said Too Much While Saying Very Little:Amanda, Evan, Mariana, Kendra, Davia, Dennis, Jennifer, Jeff, Sariya, Teresa, Marcus, Callie
  • Needing A Change: Malika, Issac, Judge Wilson, Callie, Mariana, Gael, Jamie
Season 2, Episode 6 “Twenty-Fine”It’s Malika’s birthday and tensions between people who live at The Coterie and their partners nearly throw off the vibe she was aiming for.
Director(s) Chandra Wilson
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Ashly Perez
Air Date 7/23/2019
  • Love Is In The Air: Malika, Isaac, Davia, Dennis
  • I Just Want You More Confident: Joey, Alice, Raj, Mariana, Gael, Elijah
  • Sisters Fight Sometimes: Mariana, Raj, Jamie, Callie
Season 2, Episode 7 “In The Middle”While nearly everyone is given a grand opportunity, so comes the question of what they are willing to sacrifice? Be it professional relationships or personal.
Director(s) Jay Chandrasekhar
Writer(s) Nicole Paulhus
Air Date 7/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Amanda Allison Paige
  • Does He Or Doesn’t He Alice?: Alice, Dennis, Jeff, Davia
  • Under Pressure: Mariana, Evan, Gael, Elijah
  • Who Needs A Comfort Zone?: Callie, Mariana, Davia, Teresa, Marcus, Malika, Isaac, Gael, Jamie
Season 2, Episode 5 “Happy Heckling”As Evan reveals his intentions, things blow up at Speckulate. Also, Callie is once again struggling with her dating and life choices.
Director(s) Erica Dunton
Writer(s) Adam Starks
Air Date 7/16/2019
Introduced This Episode
Lindsay Rhea Butcher
  • An Up And Coming Talent: Alice, Joey, Lindsay
  • I’m Not Who You Think I Am: Elijah, Gael, Callie, Marcus, Jamie, Alice
  • Something Beyond Co-Workers: Mariana, Alex, Raj, Evan, Josh
Season 2, Episode 4 "Unfiltered"Despite Callie starting a new job, old habits die hard. Also, Davia’s mom, Bonnie, comes to town and reminds us of another reason Davia doesn’t want to go home.
Director(s) Laura Nisbet Peters
Writer(s) Resheida Brady
Air Date 7/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
Bonnie Reagan Pasternak
Gina Rachel Rosenbloom
Marcus Juan Antonio
Teresa Lisandra Tena
  • Pay The Cost To Be A Boss: Gina, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Pulling A Callie: Callie, Joseph, Isaac, Malika, Marcus, Teresa
  • Mommie Dearest: Davia, Dennis, Bonnie
Season 2, Episode 3 “Doble Quince”Jazmin decides to have a Doble Quince, and despite it being her party, nearly everyone else’s minds are on other things.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Ashly Perez
Air Date 7/2/2019
  • A Lady Is Allowed Her Secrets: Malika, Dom, Isaac, Joseph
  • You Can’t Have A Relationship Without Honest Conversations: Joey, Alice, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Sometimes Progress Doesn’t Come Soon Enough: Gael, Elijah, Jazmin, Jamie, Callie
Season 2, Episode 1 “Percussions” [Season Premiere]The verdict of the Jamal Thompson case is delivered, Mariana deals with how her personal and professional life has changed, and Alice prepares her next chapter.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 6/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jacob Carter Rush Adkins
  • The Struggle To Move Forward: Dennis, Jacob, Davia, Jeff
  • A Change Gon’ Come: Alice, Joey, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Was This The Battle Or Was It The War?:Sandra, Judge Wilson, Malika, Callie, Jamie, Gael
Season 2, Episode 2 "Torn"Drastic moves are made in order to go from surviving to being happy, thriving even, but they naturally come at a cost.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 6/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
Naomi Denise Dowse
Elijah Denim Richards
Joseph Richard Brooks
  • Case Of The Ex: Davia, Jeff, Elijah, Gael, Callie
  • Moving Past The Pain: Joseph, Dom, Malika, Dennis, Davia
  • A Complicated Future: Callie, Mariana, Evan, Raj, Jamie, Judge Wilson, Naomi, Malika
Season 1, Episode 13 “Vitamin C”Callie facing the camera, after being unable to choose between Gael and Jamie.
Nearly everything comes to a head as Good Trouble ends its first season which thankfully will be followed up by season 2 in June.
Director(s) Joanna Johnson
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 4/2/2019
Introduced This Episode
Viv Riley Go
  • From Another’s Eyes: Viv, Davia, Malika, Dom, Sandra
  • The Truth Will Set You Free And Freedom Is A Dangerous Gift: Mariana, Angela, Josh, Evan, Callie, Sumi, Joey, Meera, Alice, Ben
  • Picking Up The Pieces: Raj, Mariana, Dom, Isaac, Malika, Callie, Jamie, Gael, Davia, Dennis, Alice, Trae, Malika, Jeff
Season 1, Episode 12 “Broken Arted”You may think the title of this episode, “Broken Arted” is about romance but what’ll break your heart is the loss of something, rather someone beyond love.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
Air Date 3/26/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nathan Brandon Barash
  • True Intentions: Raj, Evan, Angela, Mariana, Josh, Malika, Casey
  • A Complicated Relationship: Gael, Bryan, Callie, Jamie, Jasmin, Sumi, Alice, Meera, Joey
  • Goodbye Big Brother?: Mariana, Dennis, Davia, Jeff, Nathan, Jenn
Season 1, Episode 11 “Less Than”Good Trouble dives into varying topics dealing with race from pay gaps, representation, privilege, and also how to be an ally this episode.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Kimberly Ndombe
Air Date 3/19/2019
  • She’s Still In Love: Alice, Sumi, Meera, Joey
  • In The Minority: Malika, Isaac, Sandra, Mariana, Casey, Evan, Davia, Josh, Angela
  • The Work Drama Continues: Kate, Judge Wilson, Callie, Jamie, Tate
Season 1, Episode 10 “Re-Birthday”What begins as a fun night out, with 0 focus on work, leads to a lot of people addressing current relationships, boundaries, and self-respect.
Director(s) Aprill Winney
Writer(s) Claudia Forestieri, Dan Richter
Air Date 3/12/2019
Introduced This Episode
Brandon David Lambert
  • Communication Issues: Isaac, Malika, Brandon, Dennis, Jamie, Callie, Gael, Bryan
  • Boundary Issues: Sumi, Mariana, Raj, Alice
  • It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To: Davia, Dennis, Jeff
Season 1, Episode 9 “Willful Blindness”On top of meeting Malika and Alice’s illustrious mothers, and Rebecca’s, someone says goodbye to Good Trouble.
Director(s) Kelli Williams
Writer(s) Lauren Moon
Air Date 3/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Moe (Malika’s Mom) Karole Foreman
Diane TBD
Trea Lee Chen
Kate Dianne Doan
  • Life In The Closet: Trea, Alice, Joey, Sumi, Meera
  • Identity Issues: Callie, Bryan, Gael, Mariana, Rebecca, Diane, Judge Wilson, Kate
  • A New Kind Of Family: Moe, Dom, Malika, Mariana, Sandra
Season 1, Episode 8 “Byte Club”Rebecca’s past is revealed as she flirts with a future that includes Jesus and Mariana’s Byte Club begins and finds a vital ally of the male staff.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Nicole Paulhus
Air Date 2/26/2019
Introduced This Episode
Tate Zachary Gordon
Angela Heather Mazur
Josh Charlie Bodin
Jesus Noah Centineo
  • When or Where Did I Go Wrong?: Callie, Judge Wilson, Tate
  • Always Be Ready: Dennis, Jesus, Rebecca
  • No Woman Left Behind: Mariana, Casey, Callie, Raj, Rebecca, Angela, Josh, Alex, Ben
Season 1, Episode 7 "Swipe Right"“Swipe Right” is purely about establishing the beginning, possible end, of nearly every characters current or future relationship.
Director(s) Troian Bellisario
Writer(s) Ally Musika
Air Date 2/19/2019
Introduced This Episode
Paul Joe Burke
Isaac Sarunas J. Jackson
Joey Daisy Eagan
Eli Steven Krueger
Lara Alisa Allapach
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Paul, Isaac, Joey, Eli, Lara, Mariana, Malika, Davia, Alice, Sumi
  • I Can’t Give All, So I Have To Give Nothing: Callie, Gael
Season 1, Episode 6 "Imposter"While the truth helps Callie flourish, Mariana is getting sick and tired of being sick and tired. Also, Jazmin returns and clues us into how difficult her life is.
Director(s) Geoff Haley
Writer(s) Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
Air Date 2/12/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jennifer Annie Little
  • The Truth Will Set You Free: Judge Wilson, Jamie, Callie, Dennis, Davia, Ben, Jennifer
  • What It’s Like To Be Me: Jazmin, Gael, Callie, Jamie
  • Fight Club: Alex, Raj, Mariana, Casey, Evan
Season 1, Episode 5 "Parental Guidance Suggested"Stef and Lena come to The Coterie and reveal what is going on in their lives, and shine a light on Dennis.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 2/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Dennis Josh Pence
Stef Teri Polo
Lena Sherri Saum
  • Moms Are Coming!: Callie, Gael, Mariana, Malika, Bryan, Davia, Stef, Lena
  • Introducing Dennis: Stef, Dennis
  • The Truth Sets You Free/ Someone Who Understands: Lena, Malika, Callie, Mariana, Gael, Bryan, Ben, Davia
Season 1, Episode 4 “Playing The Game”Mariana and Alice are given the opportunity to stand up for themselves, as Davia and Callie are tasked with a needed shift in an important relationship.
Director(s)Michael Medico
Writer(s)Cristian Martinez
Air Date1/29/2019
Introduced This Episode
LibbyJessica Tuck
JeffChris Sheffield
  • The Boy Back Home: Davia, Jeff, Mariana
  • You Got To Stand Up For Yourself: Mariana, Raj, Casey, Alice, Malika, Sumi, Alex
  • We All Have Our Secrets: Libby, Judge Wilson, Rebecca, Ben, Callie, Malika
Season 1, Episode 3 “Allies”Both Mariana and Callie continue to struggle with office politics as Malika’s activism puts her at odds with her family.
Director(s)Laura Nisbet Peters
Writer(s)Kris Q. Rehl
Air Date1/22/2019
Introduced This Episode
JamieBeau Mirchoff
SandraNicki Micheaux
EvanT.J. Linnard
RajDhruv Uday Singh
SamMax Cutler
JazminHailie Sahar
  • You Make Time For The Things, And People, You Think Are Important: Malika, Sandra, Dom
  • Slowing Down The Train Won’t Mean It Won’t Get To Its Destination: Mariana, Alex, Raj, Sam, Evan, Casey
  • Step Your Game Up: Jamie, Callie, Rebecca, Ben, Judge Wilson, Gael, Bryan, Davia

Season 1/ Episode 1 “DTLA”

Good Trouble is charged with messages of equality mixed in with the relationship (platonic and otherwise) drama fans of its predecessor are used to.

Creator Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredweg, Peter Paige
Director(s) Jon M. Chu
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredweg, Peter Paige
Air Date 1/1/2019
Genre(s) Drama, Young Adult
Good If You Like Progressive TV Programming

Racial & Cultural Diversity

Your Usual 20 Something Drama with Random Sex Partners, Job Anxiety, and Unnecessarily Complicated Relationships

Isn’t For You If You Don’t Like Your TV Programs Being Political
Introduced This Episode
Mariana Cierra Ramirez
Callie Maia Mitchell
Judge Wilson Roger Bart
Casey Chloé Wepper
Rebecca Molly McCook
Ben Ken Kirby
Alice Sherry Cola
Malika Zuri Adele
Gael Tommy Martinez
Davia Emma Hunton

Season 1, Episode 2 “The Coterie”

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.

Director(s)Peter Paige
Writer(s)Joanna Johnson
Air Date1/15/2019
Introduced This Episode
JudeHayden Byerly
BryanMichael Galante
Dom (Malika’s Brother)J. Mallory McCree
SumiKara Wang
AlexDustin Ingram
  • Let’s Talk About Sex(uality): Jude, Callie, Gael, Bryan, Sumi, Alice
  • The Outsider: Mariana, Alex, Davia
  • I’m Trying Here: Malika, Dom, Callie, Rebecca, Mariana, Ben

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