From the beginning, I’d like to believe Greenleaf has always been about how those in the pulpit aren’t necessarily holier than thou and in the season 2 finale, with a few exceptions, everyone gets a glimpse of their own personal hell.
Charity’s Life Renewed: Kevin, Lady Mae, Jabari, Charity
Of what will likely be a long recap/ review, this will be the shortest part. If only because these stories have little to nothing to do with what goes on below. For one, Kevin returns, to be greeted by Lady Mae, and he asks about his son. Which of course is comical since he has been shacked up with Aaron seeming to get his head together. Though, perhaps one thing noteworthy about that exchange is that it shows another example of seemingly one less person being fearful of Lady Mae. For Kevin gets a bit verbally aggressive with her. Not to an Isiah point, naturally, but it seems he has lost respect for her.
I would be remiss to note however, it isn’t like Lady Mae is trying to be all that friendly. She places a whole lot of blame on Kevin in terms of his situation and also we know the woman is homophobic. Won’t come straight out with it, but it’s true. So in season 3, expect Aaron helping Kevin to get custody rights.
But, as of now, Kevin is the furthest thing from Charity’s mind. She had a good show and following that, Jabari put it down. He wiped away her body insecurities, such as her C-section scar, and probably showed her that first is the worst and second is the blessed. Can I get an Amen?!
The Cotillion: Zora, Isiah, Sophia, Jacob, Tasha, Rochelle, Bishop James, Lady Mae
To say the least, the Cotillion is where all the drama begins. First with Mae and James fighting, then Rochelle letting her intentions be known, as well as revealing to us she is Basie’s sister. Also, this whole thing is a plot to take down the Greenleafs. Making you wonder, with that first pastor, was Basie involved in that too? We know he isn’t too above gambling so who is to say he hasn’t used his sister for extortion?
Though, on the topic of Basie, considering he was the bastard child, imagine his relationship to Rochelle at the beginning stages. But, when it comes to their relationship? That is a something to get excited for season 3.
So, moving on, the main attraction at the Cotillion is Zora and Isiah. If only because Zora is forced to reveal to Isiah that Kerissa knows about the condoms. Of which leads to a fight for her not lying about it. Which leads to him smacking her and with Sophia seeing it? Oh, she moves as quickly as that big ole’ dress allows to snitch. Leading to Jacob learning what happened and decking Isiah. Laying the boy out and if it wasn’t for Darius, there might have been more than one punch involved.
But, what happens after also is of interest. The first being Kerissa noting her mother is alive, as we learn their son is alive and with her. Following that is the morning after in which we get the rare opportunity to see the vulnerable side of Kerissa. We see and hear her blame herself for what happened and has been accepted by Zora. Which, to drop another noteworthy nugget, leads to Jacob revealing Faith too had abusive relationships.
I’m telling you, though some information wasn’t major, it definitely brought about this idea everything wasn’t about where the story goes next or how to keep the ante going. However, with Jacob realizing Zora is gone and Isiah’s parents noting her is gone too, and Zora being about 17 or maybe 18, once more, we are given something to look forward to in season 3. Here is hoping there isn’t a baby paired with the assumption of wedding bells.
Heed Not Temptation: Rochelle, Mavis, Lady Mae, Bishop James
As can be seen within the OWN conversations I have with Ms. Sarah, this has been a transformative season for Mae. With her father and brother dying, it has sort of softened her. The lioness lost a few claws and it shows in how Tasha and Kevin haven’t gotten their heads ripped off. However, on a lighter side, it has also opened the doors for her and Grace to heal their relationship. Yet, one could argue it was merely out of pure desperation.
For, as noted earlier in the season, it isn’t like the affluent woman Lady Mae is, has a slew of friends we see her confide in. Like the majority of people on this show, if you aren’t their significant other, it seems them opening up to you is going to be in very limited doses. Yet, with Mavis away, until the end of the episode, Mac dead, and Mae probably running off anyone who would be friends with her, real friends and not just someone looking to network, all that remains is Grace.
Someone who she told there was something wrong in her marriage, but from what it seems the issues of the past have infected the present. For while getting old seemed like a fear, which I feel was given an exclamation point with Mae looking like a Disney villain for the Cotillion, Mavis really puts the blade to her sister’s throat. If only because, as Mae tries to reconcile with the only blood relation she hasn’t given birth to, the one who truly knows her story, he hand gets smacked away.
Then, to make matters worse, when Mae brings up James’ affair, Mavis goes for the jugular. She notes how she and James had sex multiple times and she had to kick him out because her loving was so good. Mavis notes the only reason James married Mae was because she was light skinned, pretty, and it was a good business decision. It wasn’t love, just aesthetics.
All of which, to keep face, Mae says is a lie but after her drive home, she comes to realize that maybe the truth. Leading to her kicking James out of the house and guess whose doorstep he ends up on? Not his son’s, but Rochelle. Even after he recognized the game she was playing at the cotillion and seemingly, out of respect for what was left of his marriage, politely declined Rochelle’s approach. But I guess with his marriage already strained, James decided minas well end it with a bang – of the John Witherspoon variety.
Expect The Unexpected
I don’t know how, but somehow the writers of this finale found a way to make an hour episode feel like it was two hours. All the while not making anything feel rushed or packed in like dynamite. Then, on top of that, as much as you may have felt taken back by some decisions, it wasn’t like we haven’t been building to them.
I mean, let’s break it down. Kevin finally returning? Then it seeming it was because Aaron wanted him to try to peacefully work with Charity rather than pursue legal action? I guess he may finally become more interesting than an old sponge on the sink. Then Zora running away with her abusive boyfriend? Maybe kidnapped for what we know? I mean, mad at her parents or not, I can’t imagine her leaving her phone behind. I truly figure Isiah wanted to talk outside, she got in the car, and that Negro took off. For while, yes, she did leave her room a mess, it was never implied Zora is the tidiest of girls.
Then, taking things to the next level, we have all that went down between James, Mavis, and Mae. Oh, when Mavis with her sword tongue dealt a thousand blows to Mae. After Mae sort of limping into battle all season, I think that left her on a death kneel. For arguably, she knew the truth. Colorism back in Mae’s younger days, it was probably a well-known thing and with the way Mavis talks, who knows, maybe Mae stole James or stole him back? Since the question isn’t answered of how Mavis and James began their fling? All we know is about the sex. We aren’t told about whether there was any pursuit of friendship or a relationship. Much less, if like Lionel, maybe James was, perhaps is, a dirty dog.
Which I only say for him falling for Rochelle’s trap had me doing a double take. Now, granted, there isn’t any guarantee he may physically do anything. However, all Tasha really needs is some photos of him going to Rochelle’s house and her saying something. Be it James raping her or even having consensual sex if she wants to be nice about it. Pretty much, even with her reputation of taking down preachers, for reasons I would love to know, a rape accusation is a rape accusation and if a lawsuit followed, that would be the end of the Greenleaf/ Cavalry empire. For with Jacob gone, Grace leaving the pulpit, and Charity off singing, there isn’t anyone to take care of Cavalry. Then, in terms of Mae? PSH! She may relish in watching James’ so-called gift to the world burn. Even if it represents decades of her life.
The Lack of Perfection
Though never a big topic before, I have to admit how much I love that the beauty of the actors isn’t drowned out in more makeup than required for the camera. From pimples, back acne, and other imperfections, none of that is covered up. It gives you a better sense of, despite these people having money, there remains something sort of grounded about them.
However, the real lack of perfection you have to admire is the duality of their lives. Takes Charity for example. On the stage, she is confident and joyous but look at her personal life. Her child’s father abandoned her and this new man in her life, Jabari, would only be the second man she is ever with. Yet, with the scar left by delivering her son, so comes this fear. One she hasn’t mentioned before, if not just recently, but I’m sure many women fear after having C-Sections. The sign that you aren’t some young, virginal looking body but are a woman. One who has scars, blemishes, odd birthmarks, stretch marks, and etc. So even if that was just touched on for a hot minute, I’m glad it was done.
Though the moment got drowned out, you have had to have loved Mae sitting with her granddaughters talking about how pearls are formed. Especially since we rarely see Mae interact with either of the girls. Primarily, her scenes are shared with their parents.
But I must also mention how strange, yet sweet, it was that Kerissa called Grace over Zora disappearing. If only because their relationship has been strained from the get-go and Kerissa damn near blames Grace for everything wrong in her and Jacob’s life. So for her to reach out like that, it felt like more than her spreading the news, maybe trying to get Sophia involved, but a sort of Lady Mae situation. Going to perhaps the only person she knew had some understanding, and she was trying to ease into maybe having a closer relationship with.
On The Fence
Now that the shock has worn away, in terms of Rochelle and Tasha, now I find myself side eyeing their plan. If only because, as noted, it seems almost like Basie maybe pimping out his sister as part of his revenge plot. Not to say she doesn’t want to get back at the Greenleaf family, but considering her money and affluence, I can only fathom they are getting tired of waiting so now they are doing things the dirty way. Even if it means a Pyrrhic war in which, yeah, the Greenleafs are taken down but everything the Skanks family built up to compete, well that is gone as well.