Greenleaf: Season 3/ Episode 12 “Day of Reckoning” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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It is said God always has a plan. One could argue all we’ve seen, especially in terms of Basie and Rochelle, was part of the lord’s plan to correct the path of each Greenleaf family member. Blood or otherwise.


Director(s) Charles Randolph-Wright
Writer(s) Kriss Turner Towner
Air Date 11/14/2018

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Out With The Old: Tasha, Basie, Rochelle, Grace, Jacob, Coralie

To be Frank, it seems the writers of the show recognize they got all they can out of this Rochelle and Basie storyline so, oddly enough, things get handled with the quickness. Despite Basie talking about high tailing it to Mexico, never minding paying his debts, Rochelle gets distracted. How? Well, Coralie is used by Grace to slow them down and her and Jacob are able to get Tasha who is cool with talking to the FBI. Especially since Basie and Rochelle wanted to kidnap her. Thus putting that storyline to bed.


James thanking Grace for saving his behind.
James: All you’ve done for me, my precious daughter.

As said in previous recaps, they pretty much juiced all they can out of this Rochelle storyline and when it comes to Coralie, well they botched that. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate her being used as an ends to a means. It’s just, I’m truly stuck in the mindset of questioning why they wouldn’t cast a Black or Brown actress in the role. Not that there is anything wrong with who they cast but it just doesn’t give the same oomph. Also, it seems kind of weird for a show which hasn’t really had much in the way of non-Black characters throughout the entire series.

Enough Is Enough: Isiah, Zora, Kerissa, Jacob

What is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Zora? No, it isn’t disrespecting her family. It isn’t even hitting her. Also, it is not publicly embarrassing her on multiple occasions. You know what leads Zora to be done? Lack of recognition. Here she is doing a dozen jobs for Isiah, all of which his label should be providing, yet she can’t really get a thank you. Add on Isiah maybe cheating and Zora decides she is leaving.

She may not be the only one though. Kerissa thinks it might be time to go as well. Jacob clearly sees her as a placeholder, someone he is with because it is routine and comfortable than someone he is truly, and consistently, passionate about. Also, add in all his family drama and her not really having someone to turn to and it seems she is done. However, with Zora showing up just when she decides to verbalize this decision, who knows if she may just stay for the kids.


Zora returning home after leaving Isiah.

They really seem like they are trying to start fresh season 4. Then again, Queen Sugar’s season 3 finale did the same thing. It pretty much handled most of the major battles that were happening since the first season and set up arcs which could take their place. As for Greenleaf, the Rochelle thing was handled, Zora FINALLY left Isiah and, let’s be honest, Kerissa has always been the odd one out on this show. She isn’t that close with Mae, Grace, or anyone in Jacob’s family. Also, whatever life of her own she used to have, that has been cut down season to season. Similar to Kevin, she has just been hanging on but, unlike Kevin, it seems the writers still feel like she has an active purpose.

However, with Zora back, and her being a major craw in her relationship with Jacob, so comes the question if her return changes anything? Will she retract the divorce decree to give Zora stability? Maybe even, in her mind, make it so their son perhaps doesn’t turn out like Zora? It isn’t too clear what may happen with Kerissa right now but the skies the limit. The actress has shown she can hold her own so it would be a waste to bench her like Kevin.

As for Zora? Well, one can only hope she learned something from all of this. Not just the fact being a communications major might be a good look but also what she shouldn’t accept in a relationship. Though, taking note of her father’s proclivities, who is to say she wasn’t mirroring her parents? Kerissa has put up with everything from Jacob, including an affair, so maybe that is why Zora drew the line there. She did not want to end up just like her mother. At least the one thing which likely she couldn’t recognize as a showing of strength anyway.

A Day of Reckoning: Aaron, Grace, Mae, Basie, James

It’s what James has planned to be Mae’s last day and she shows out like it is the beginning of something new. A day of reckoning she calls it and it might just be that. She tried to negotiate with James, offer to be co-pastor. He promptly, and in a rude manner, shuts it down as if just the audacity to bring it up was like her cursing at him.

Hence why, with the FBI backing off, Basie comes up into his office with a gun acting as if he is the hand of God. As that happens, Grace and Aaron learn the truth of her parentage and she wrestles what to do with it. She loves James, he has been her daddy all her life and he said the kindest thing a man can say to someone he’s raised. What would it mean to snatch that from him? From herself even? Even if it means with the biological loss of a father she gains a brother?

It’s hard to say but as Basie holds that gun to James, Graces stares down Mae, and Mae seems ready to lay her burden down, it is clear something is about to pop off. Whether it’ll be the hammer of that gun or shock across Mae’s audience, only the final may tell.


Basie threatening James' life.
Basie: Get ready to die, Bishop.

Let us thank OWN for, unlike many other networks, not caring next week, in the US, Wednesday is the day before Thanksgiving. Rather than make us wait two weeks, we shall know the results of the episode this week. Will Basie kill James or will James, who was massaging his shoulder, have a heart attack first? Could that have been his “vision?” Maybe not dying by a bullet, or due to Connie replacing him, but simply the stress of all that has been happening taking him out? Allowing him to bypass all who would try to lessen him and be with the lord.

Maybe I’m trying to make the few ways that vision could have played out more poetic than it is. Either way, I don’t think we are going to see Basie after this. The man has reached a point of no return and who would forgive him? James, who has had a gun pointed at him? Never mind Basie, alongside Rochelle, already taking a shotgun sized shell to his life. I’m talking, they destroyed his marriage, or sped up it being over, caused dysfunction in the family, pushed Kerissa to want to divorce Jacob and nearly ruined the family name. All that one bullet could do is kill the body. Arguably, taking note of Connie tired of the Greenleaf family drama, he may not have sent them to jail but everyone’s faith in them is rocked.

Yet, depending on how you look at it, was it not God’s will? Stick with me here. Clearly, things have become routine in the Greenleaf household. Secrets were allowed to fester, people remained silent despite how many needed them to speak up and speak out. Be more than a megachurch but a true place of healing. In an unfortunate way, Rochelle and Basie were used to put everyone on a new path.

The divorce forces James to reconnect with God rather than simply listen to his ego – something he still struggles with but civilization wasn’t built in a day. Mae was forced to begin to step out of the shadows, do more than claim victimhood, but take control of her destiny. Same goes for the rest of the family. Tasha falling for Jacob opened his eyes to his weaknesses and Kerissa to the fact that her husband knows she is a good woman. The problem is, for some reason, he may never treat her, consistently, as enough. That is, despite giving him children and so much more.

Even Grace! Because of Rochelle, she found a way to deal with the guilt of killing Mac. She was pushed to take to the pulpit and bring about what she and Basie briefly spoke of when they met before. A church which goes beyond tolerance but love. No matter the gender or orientation.

So maybe, in the long run, Basie has acted as the hand of God. Not as a fist, or a swinging palm, but simply a push. One that would push James to stop being so damn excessive with the money the church brings in. A push for Mae and Grace to bring their voices to the forefront rather than sit at a desk or sit and watch James preach. This might have been a push for Jacob to realize that while he loves Kerissa, he isn’t in love with her and may not know how to love a woman. Especially if said woman is too strong to control and yet still coddle him. Heck, throw in Charity who needed to see, despite what is going on with her and Kevin, she isn’t alone. Her whole family is messed up. She is not an anomaly.

Leaving one last thing to be said: I don’t know how this season may end, but it certainly will be the closing of a chapter and hopefully a new beginning for all.


  1. Though there are many things, over the course of the season, you may have questioned or wonder why this or that happened, you can see the master plan. May take a little digging, perhaps some faith, but you can see everything happened for a reason. I’d even add in Sophia’s loss of faith because of her hysterectomy. Sadly, like Basie and Rochelle were used, so was she to teach. It taught James that his word isn’t as powerful as he thinks and he needs to humble himself. The situation reminded Grace of how many struggle with faith as she did, and how it hits even the deepest believers. Then, in terms of Sophia, it reminded her that faith isn’t necessarily essential to be a good person. If not, better said, you shouldn’t be in service of God because of promises you fathom. That is, protection, favor, and things like that. Your service, even if it is forgiving someone who needs it, is simply doing what God sometimes cannot. Not because they can’t but because they need people, using the free will they were given, to learn the ultimate lesson of doing good for the sake of it. Not because of what you’d earn for doing so.

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