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

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

by Amari
Published: Last Updated on 0 comment
Mae during her sermon.

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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Season Reviews

Season 3
Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page

Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationStorylines & Characters
Season 4, Episode 9 “God’s Justice”Between blackmail, backstabbers, someone getting fired, another resigning, and more, like Karine said, “This sure don’t feel like church.”
Director(s) Allan Kroeker
Writer(s) Karen Corneille
Air Date 10/29/2019
  • By Any Means Necessary: James, Connie, Mae, Kerissa, Jacob, Dante
  • What’s Done Was Done: Nikki, Sophia, Zora, Charity, Judee, Phil, Dante
  • Your Momma Or Your Child: Mae, James, Phil, Charity, Grace, AJ, Sophia
Season 4, Episode 8 “Surprise!”We learn, blood or not, petty runs deep in the Greenleaf family as does Phil using vulnerable women to try to get ahead.
Director(s) Eric Dean Seaton
Writer(s) Casey Vandeventer
Air Date 10/22/2019
  • I Will Not Be Forgotten: Sophia, Dante, Nikki, Zora
  • Self-Interest: Kerissa, James, Charity, Phil, Mae, Grace, Judee
  • I Know What You’re Doing: Judee, Grace, Mae, Connie, Charity, Phil
Season 4, Episode 6 “The Stranger”Nearly everyone acts messy, stupid, or sets aside things they said in the past for some form of comfort in episode 6, “The Stranger.”
Director(s) Lisa Leone
Writer(s) Erica Michelle Butler
Air Date 10/8/2019
Introduced This Episode
Detective Ellis Paul Rolfes
  • But What About Me?: Kerissa, Fernando, Jacob
  • All You Need To Know: Charity, AJ, Detective Ellis, Mae, Grace, James
  • I Believe In You And Me: AJ, Grace, Phil, Charity, Mae, James, Jacob
Season 4, Episode 7 “Reunited”Mae may have finally found a way to earn a prominent place in the church! However, with so many fools and backstabbers around her, is it too late?
Director(s) Ayoka Chenzira
Writer(s) Craig Wright, Nick Kilgore
Air Date 10/15/2019
Introduced This Episode
Vida Andrea Laing
  • Was It For Love Or For You?: Nikki, Zora, Dante, Kerissa, Fernando, Charity, Jacob, Phil, Grace
  • The Secrets Eating At You: Vida, Mae, AJ, Sophia
  • When All Is Revealed, What Can Be Done Next?: Grace, Mae, James, Sophia
Season 4, Episode 5 “Unwanted”AJ presents himself as a possible lost cause as Kerissa shows her whole ass to Lady Mae. Also, Charity gets to know Phil and sees whether it is worth being on his side.
Director(s) Allan Kroeker
Writer(s) Jenna Wycoff, Steven Fulcher
Air Date 10/1/2019
  • There Is More To Me Than Petty Schemes: Charity, Phil
  • The Rattling Of Bones In The Closest: Grace, AJ, Aaron
  • You Shouldn’t Have Shown Your Ass: Jacob, Zora, Dante, Nikki, James, Mae, Kerissa
Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”Bob and Grace begin to clash, so he checks her. However, he ain’t the only one checking people this episode.
Director(s) Crystle Roberson
Writer(s) Craig Wright
Air Date 9/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Cal Jason Davis
Judee Valerie Jane Parker
Fernando Dave Baez
  • You Could Have Done The Right Thing: Kerissa, Fernando, Jacob, Phil, Mae
  • Assumptions Lead To Dumb Asses: AJ, Grace, Sophia, Zora, Noah, Charity, Karine
  • We’re Losing The Church: Cal, Bob, Grace, Mae, James
Season 4, Episode 3 “Visions and Dreams”Grace spends some time in Phoenix which allows Phil to make a move and Mae to learn why Calgary will never be hers. Also, Zora may have made a friend.
Director(s) Charles Randolph-Wright
Writer(s) David Ehrman, Ivy Mariel Pruss
Air Date 9/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nikki Kadianne Whyte
  • Kerissa Wants To Move Out – NOW! | James, Kerissa, Jacob
  • Grace Trying To Make Up For Lost Time & Zora Making A New Friend | AJ, Dante, Jacob, Nikki, Grace
  • Mae Learns Why She’ll Likely Never Become Head Pastor At Calgary | Misty, Grace, Mae, James, Charity, Phil
Season 4, Episode 2 “Did I Lose You?”Grace and Noah’s son is introduced, as Jacob finds himself back in Cavalry drama and trying to work with an antsy Kerissa.
Director(s) Rachel Raimist
Writer(s) Kriss Turner Towner
Air Date 9/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
AJ Delajae Jacob Gibson
Dante Shane Paul McGhie
Cameron Aaron Lamont
  • Heed Not Into Temptation | Jacob, Kerissa, Phil, Charity, Grace, James, Dante, Cameron
  • The Child I Left Behind | Noah, Grace, AJ, Sophia, Zora
  • A Steady March To Holiness Or Hell | Mae, James, Karine, Charity
Season 3/ Episode 13 “The New Life” [Season Finale]The season comes to an end by having a soft reboot. One which allows a new threat to get every Greenleaf’s undivided attention.
Director(s) Clement Virgo
Writer(s) Craig Wright
Air Date 11/21/2018
Introduced This Episode
Phil Demars Sean Blakemore
Bob Whitmore Beau Bridges
  • Out With The Old: Basie, Tasha, Rochelle, James
  • A New Adversary, And A Old One: Connie, Phil Demars, Bob Whitmore, Grace, James, Mae
  • Gather Together In My Name As We Face The Storm Together: Kerissa, Zora, Sophia, James, Mae, Grace, Lionel, Kevin, Charity, Jacob, Aaron, Kevin
Season 3/ Episode 12 “Day of Reckoning”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
  • Out With The Old: Tasha, Basie, Rochelle, Grace, Jacob, Coralie
  • Enough Is Enough: Isiah, Zora, Kerissa, Jacob
  • A Day of Reckoning: Aaron, Grace, Mae, Basie, James
Season 4, Episode 1 "Original Sin"The season has barely begun, and the Greenleaf family ends up with their own personal Judas and the first sets of battles with Bob and his ambitious house negro.
Director(s) Clement Virgo
Writer(s) Craig Wright
Air Date 9/3/2019
Introduced This Episode
Doris Diane Sellers
Perry Mark Taylor
  • Life Outside The Church: Zora, Sophia, Kerissa, Mae, James, Doris, Perry, Jacob
  • Testing The Waters: Grace, Phil, Bob, Charity, Jacob, Mae, James, Connie, Kerissa
  • From The Ashes, Many Things Can Rise: Phil, Charity, Grace, Noah, Bob

Season 3/ Episode 11 “The End Is Near”

The s*** officially hits the fan and it is so much it may clog up the gears and stop everything people have long been working towards.

Director(s) Rose Troche
Writer(s) David Ehrman, Casey Vandeventer
Air Date 11/7/2018

Featuring: Rochelle, James, Charity, Mae, Grace, Connie, Tasha, Basie, Jacob, Kerissa, Maxine, Lionel, and Aaron

Season 3/ Episode 10 “The Promised Land”

So many surprises jump out at us you’d think this episode of Greenleaf was a haunted house attraction.

Director(s) Allan Kroeker
Writer(s) Karen Corneille
Air Date 10/31/2018
Introduced This Episode
Michael Stephen Bishop

Featuring: Rochelle, Coralie, Grace, Isiah, Zora, Kerissa, Jacob, Tasha, Michael, Charity, Lionel, Mae, Basie, Maxine, and James

Season 3/ Episode 9 “Runaway Train”

With Greenleaf being an ensemble show, rarely does any character get an episode which hones in on just them. Making Keith David (James) taking on this one solo such a treat.

Season 3/ Episode 8 “Dea Abscondita”

Zora deciding to leave leads to all hell breaking loose but with her dramatic exit, that might be the catalyst to the healing many need.

Season 3/ Episode 7 “That Was Then”

It seems like history is repeating itself on Greenleaf for some characters as others press on forward despite many an obstacle in their way.

Season 3/ Episode 5 “Closing Doors”

Charity hits rock bottom, something huge happens with Sophia, and Tasha and Rochelle take additional steps in their plan.

Season 3/ Episode 6 “She Changes Everything”

As Sophia loses her faith, and Charity finds Iyanla Vanzant visiting her, James and Mae’s plans may have resulted in mutually assured destruction.

Season 3/ Episode 4 “The Underdog”

There are many last-ditch efforts to salvage, sometimes, selfish plans, and when they don’t come through? Well, people get nasty. 

Season 3/ Episode 3 “Chain of Command

It’s an episode of facing the inevitable on Greenleaf. Especially if your name is Mae or Charity who both get serious wake-up calls.

Season 2/ Episode 13 “Silence and Loneliness”

Guilt and insecurities are the focus of this episode. Especially as people expose their soft under belly to those who can, or have, hurt them the most.

Season 2/ Episode 14 “The Father’s Will”

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.

Season 2/ Episode 15 “Two by Two”

Faith, money, morals, and understanding. Four words which are the themes as temptation lurks about and few can say they are truly holier than thou on Greenleaf.

Season 2/ Episode 16 “The Pearl”

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.

Season 1/ Episode 1 "A Time to Heal"

Despite all the programs currently on OWN, for the most part, if it didn’t have Oprah’s name on it, if she wasn’t interviewing someone, I honestly felt it wasn’t worth watching. Yes, there are a million and one Tyler Perry shows on the network, but there is something about his brand that I just don’t feel compliments, Oprah. However, Greenleaf, as messy as it is, as religious as it is, and as much as this seems to be something Shonda Rhimes would advise the writing of, it seems to fit what you’d expect from OWN. Which may not make much sense in hindsight, but considering Oprah’s acting choices and what her brand is, it comes to make sense with time.

Season 1/ Episode 13 "What Are You Doing Here?"

“What Are You Doing Here” is not solely the episode’s title, but a phrase repeated throughout. One which will join the thought of “What are they referencing?”

Season 2/ Episode 1 “A House Divided”

Let me be straight up – Thanks to Tyler Perry, when OWN started having scripted shows without his name on it, I did not for a second think they would be good. Granted, they were under the Oprah umbrella, and she was giving us the rare opportunity to see her act, but I was skeptical. However, Greenleaf opened the doors to the type of brilliance I still, to this day, wish BET would reach for. Now, I covered the first and last episode of season one and with me buying a season pass. 

Season 2/ Episode 2 “Strange Bedfellows”

As Jacob leaves the house and transitions to becoming a member of the Triumph community, he leaves a church and home still reeling from scandal and seemingly not bouncing back anytime soon. 

Season 2/ Episode 3 “A Mother’s Love”

Poor Lady Mae. All her children, in some form or another, make it seem that she only thinks of herself. Of her reputation. But really, with one son working for the competition, a daughter who nearly brought the whole family to their knees, and the youngest’s marriage seeming suspect, can you blame her for being worried? It isn’t like what they do doesn’t reflect on her.

Season 2/ Episode 4 “Revival”

While “Revival” reminds you of the importance and beauty of the church, at the same time it makes you want to shout Mac’s line “And you call yourself a Christian!”

Season 2/ Episode 5 “Point of No Return”

Jacob and Kerissa, after spending most of the season, and Kerissa’s case the show, in the background, have the type of performances that will leave you shook and will explain why this episode is called “Point of No Return.”

Season 2/ Episode 6 “The Royal Family”

How Triumph stays afloat gets revealed, Zora returns to the show in time for Sophia’s birthday, and Kevin and Charity’s divorce starts to get ugly.

Season 2/ Episode 7 “Born to Trouble”

It has been nearly a year since Faith’s death and everyone, including Mac, is still reeling from it. But with everyone sure on the idea it was his fault and feeling powerless to do more than leaving it up to god, he remains ostracized.

Season 2/ Episode 8 “And the Sparks Fly Upward”

Let me tell you – If you thought this season was a bit too ho-hum and lacked some quality drama? Oh, this episode will compensate for all of that.

Season 2/ Episode 9 “The Bear”

Greenleaf returns and there is the question of whether Grace is going to Jail and how will everyone will handle their own personal struggles.

Season 2/ Episode 10 “Call Not Complete”

Since season 1, everyone has had some issues with Grace leaving and how that held them back. But it seems the frustration Kerissa has long been willing to share is coming out of other people’s mouths now. Leading you to wonder, as cracks in the family start to show, can they survive each other?

Season 2/ Episode 11 “Changing Seasons”

A truly shocking moment happens: Lady Mae admits she is wrong, apologizes to Grace, and all in one episode. But while there is that major shock, so builds to a few other ones. Be it Grace taking an interest in Basie Skanks or Carlton coming back to the show – which are two situations which may come into contact.

Season 2/ Episode 12 “House Rules”

Patience and trust are major themes in “House Rules” as everyone is tasked with having faith in their significant other while in a precarious situation.

Season 3/ Episode 1 “Strange Currents”

Greenleaf returns and with Mae and James’ relationship on the rocks, the foundation of the family is splintered and puts all on unsteady ground.

Director(s) Clement Virgo
Writer(s) Craig Wright
Air Date 8/28/2018

Season 3/ Episode 2 “The Space Between”

Lady Mae is put on the defensive and while she is getting hit every which way, she refuses to go down without a fight.

Director(s) Charles Randolph-Wright
Writer(s) Kriss Turner Towner
Air Date 8/29/2018
Characters Introduced
Clara Donna Biscoe

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