What Basie Skanks started, bringing up homosexuals during that church meeting, comes to a head as Lionel and Aaron come to Cavalry and dig up old and new skeletons.
The Complications of Love: Grace, Darius, Zora, Isaiah, Sophia
What are Darius and Grace long term? She doesn’t necessarily asks this directly but does check to see where he sees himself in 5 years. Of which he mentions owning more land and professional pursuits, but nothing personal. No mention of marriage, kids, and this is something which puzzles Grace. Not that she is rushing to be pregnant but she finds it odd Darius isn’t even thinking about it. But, then again, all he wants is Grace.
And just wanting his woman is the sole thing Darius and Isaiah share. Especially as Isaiah shows his insecurities, and that he may have a habit. If not on a chemical substance than he is probably getting high off of his own ego. Something shown to us as he comes to Zora’s rehearsals for cotillion standing out and showing off. Naturally leading to Sophia saying something because she doesn’t like him (to the point that if I could include the clap emojis, I would have for emphasis).
Which causes a problem for when Sophia embarrassed Isaiah, and Zora said nothing to Sophia, Isaiah had a tantrum. One in which, once more, he does something which physically hurts Zora. Yet, with him getting all vulnerable, seemingly he wins her back. At least for now since the boring boy she played out, it seems he is becoming a decent option now.
The Two First Ladies: Jacob, Britney (Dreah Marie), Kerissa, Tasha
With Jacob taking over Triumph, of course, leads to some growing pains and issues. There are two major ones though. The first being his battles with Britney, the treasurer, over him trying to expand homeless outreach. Something she thinks should wait a year or so because, ahem, money is a major issue. However, that fight doesn’t compare to the one Kerissa is prepping.
You see, Kerissa seemingly has long dreamed of being the first lady and now that she has the position, it makes Tasha getting the perks annoying. She is the one people are coming to, trying to support, and when Jacob shows her some form of empathy too? Oh, that’s it. It isn’t made clear if she is wary because he cheated before or because she is envious of the attention, but she wants some changes. The first being that Tasha moves into Jacob’s old office and Kerissa move into the office right next to his. Tasha can keep her job as head of music, but she can’t be next to Jacob while Kerissa is down the hall.
What’s Kept In The Dark: Aaron, Lionel, Lady Mae, Charity, James
Lionel comes to James asking him to mediate for Lionel has learned Aaron is gay and seemingly has something going with Kevin, who has been staying with Aaron. This reveal causes a huge amount of problems. For one, it shows how homophobic Lionel and Lady Mae are, as well as how on the fence Bishop Greenleaf is. To the point, Lionel and Aaron end on an impasse.
However, there is also the need to bring up Charity’s part in this. She just got offered a gig to sing backup for Tamela Mann (of “Take Me To The King” and Madea fame) and has to scramble for a babysitter. Though what hurts her the most is the fact she got abandoned for the man who handled her divorce and seemed to be, if not her friend, at least someone she could trust.
But trust isn’t something you can easily find at Cavalry. Take Mae for example. Upon hearing Lionel had messed with other women, a reveal of Aaron’s during James’ attempt at having father and son reconcile, she is taken back. I mean, she ups her drinking to the point she arguably gets drunk at the dinner table. To say the least, Lady Mae was definitely acting out of character and showing her tail feathers. Be it telling Charity to put no man before her, and other snide comments, alongside yelling how Lionel is just a space a person should be. How he basically laid low and spread it wide[note]That line from Braxton Family Values will stay with me until my dying days[/note]. So now, she doesn’t want to see him, hear from him, NOTHING!
Making it so when Lionel leaves the next day, only James sees him off. Though with no follow up on what Mae alluded to. He just reminds Lionel that he is getting old and all he has is Aaron. So he may want to take that into consideration.
Other Noteworthy Moments
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Will we ever hear a sermon from this show again?
Mae and Grace Still Close
Though a minor topic, I must say that I love how supportive of each other Mae and Grace have gotten. Grace doesn’t feel the need to hide anything about Darius, Mae can say something nice about that situation, and maybe might welcome the man into her house one day. Well, that might be pushing it but it could perhaps happen.
Homophobia Rearing Its Ugly Head
Homophobia isn’t a new topic in media. However, unlike most networks, and shows, when OWN brings up a subject, they don’t just make it something focused on for an episode then drop it. They, as Jill Scott would say about herself, are like a wood burning stove vs. a microwave. You got to give them time to cook up something, add spices and what have you.
Which can be seen with how they have been handling homophobia, among other things, in the B side of this season. It was presented, really with Kevin back in season 1 and kept contained to primarily his storyline. However, it has grown consistently since then, with the last time it being major was when Carlton was employed at Cavalry, and it’s now a major focus. One in which a lot of people, be it Kerissa and Lady Mae, to Lionel, expose themselves as homophobic people – due to the bible.
And while it may seem this Aaron confirmation, more so than reveal, maybe the peak of this storyline, we haven’t seen anything yet. There is still Kevin’s eventual return, Charity talking about Carlton filling in for her while she tours, Grace picking up the baton for the movement, as well as Bishop James may be speaking on the topic.
For with the way Lionel was acting, I think that disturbed Bishop James a bit. It seems to be really hitting home what kids, and maybe adults as well, in his church, and surely others might be going through. So, who knows, maybe like the first season, we may actually hear some sermons out of Greenleaf.
Lionel’s Indiscretions & Lady Mae’s Reaction
You have to love how this show explores the hypocrisy of its characters – especially in terms of them being religious and moral leaders who are very flawed. But the focus here is Lionel and also Lady Mae. Lionel in the form of having multiple affairs and then Lady Mae thinking she was the only one. Being propped up on this idea that she was special and reveling in it. At least in terms of thinking she had the opportunity to leave and still would have had some semblance to the life she has.
But what tickled me was the fact she had the audacity to get mad when she learned she was just another woman. Much less, show out too? Almost to the point, you have to wonder between Mac, the Kevin situation, and this, if she may pick up a drinking habit. For while she maybe opening up to Grace a little bit, and occasionally talks about all these people she knows and how they tell her everything, like Aaron’s mom, who does she talk to? As in, who does she share her secrets with besides James every now and again?
To me, that is going to be part of her undoing. Not in terms of her marriage failing, though James seemingly may suspect something, but more so this perfect first lady image unraveling. Which, again, is sort of a slow burner. One you can say started in the first season when there were tax issues and then it was progressed by Grace’s crusade against Mac and how that affected the church.
Making it so, as we have seen, now with Mac gone and the all-consuming personality of Basie Skanks, those slow burning storylines are at a boil and soon will be served.
The Healthy & Rocky Relationships
Another thing I love about how the season is progressing, is we are getting a good mix of healthy and rocky, if not bad, relationships. On one hand, we have Sophia and Roberto, a very cute, and seldom seen couple. Alongside them, we still have James and Lady Mae whose relationship may be veering a bit, but hasn’t gone off the main road. But then there are Kerissa and Jacob, as well as Darius and Grace.
In those relationships, things aren’t perfect, but it is because the relationships are still dealing with building, or rebuilding, trust. When it comes to Grace and Darius, the problem seemed to be neither being sure what the other one was looking for – long term. A problem sort of solved this episode. For Kerissa and Jacob, the issue comes from Jacob not meeting Kerissa’s expectations as a husband. Be it being loyal to Kerissa, back in season 1, or being a good partner when it comes to paying the bills.
However, things get murky when you take Jacob’s point of view. You can’t deny he is the one to blame for most of his relationships issues. But, I do think part of the reasons his relationship is still rocky is because Kerissa wants that Cavalry lifestyle. She wants to be the first lady like she sees Lady Mae or even Tasha. Why exactly? I don’t know. Maybe like Kevin, she grew up in a lower tax bracket. But I do think her need for status will be part of what causes future issues in her relationship with Jacob. Especially since, in my mind, her need of status is why she is still with a man who cheated on her for a lengthy amount of time. Much less, why she doesn’t bring it up and is very calculated about the things she does which may tick Jacob off.
On The Fence
Being that Tasha’s role on this show has been smaller than Sophia and Zora’s, I’m kind of curious what she’ll be doing without Basie around. In my mind, she’ll be part of keeping his legacy on the show alive, but what about beyond that? Will she be the one who helps Kerissa get a storyline outside of being Jacob’s wife? Their dynamics in the first half of the season was quite interesting and with Kerissa already presenting reasons those two may tussle, I’m looking forward to that. Especially since Tasha showed Lady Mae that while she may not have the affluence of others, she isn’t one to underestimate.
Zora and Isaiah
If this relationship was stronger, I would have put it with the rest mentioned in “The Healthy & Rocky Relationships.” However, being that Zora still has this vibe she is underdeveloped and Isaiah isn’t much more than her abusive boyfriend, it is hard to really get into their relationship. After all, outside of their relationship continuing to show how different Zora is from Sophia, despite her two parent home and being raised in a church, what else is she here for?