Greenleaf: Season 3/ Episode 3 “Chain of Command” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Lady Mae in a bar.
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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.


Network
OWN
Director(s) Janice Cooke
Writer(s) David Ehrman
Air Date 9/5/2018

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You Don’t Have To Be Corrupt To Be Evil: Darius, Grace, Rochelle, Tasha

There is just something about Rochelle that isn’t right but Grace doesn’t know what it is. With one of Rochelle’s clients dropping $50,000, and making her seem legit, she turns to Darius to help. Yet, his contact says there are no red flags about Rochelle. All there seems to be is a pit of revenge which is insatiable. Hence why the IRS is looking into James, because she got the case reopened.

But, as Rochelle makes it clear she is willing and able to wipe out the whole family, from James to Sophia, Tasha feels a little uncomfortable. With Jacob treating her fairly well, it makes coming at him so hard not sit well with her spirit. Yet, being that Rochelle, and whatever Jacob may give for a salary, is all she is living off of, she doesn’t have much of a choice but stick to the plan.

Commentary

Rochelle side eyeing Tasha since her resolve is weakening.

While I understand the need for revenge, especially when you can afford to do so – cleanly, Rochelle seems like an odd one to pursue it. It isn’t like what we are used to in the form of the person having nothing. I mean, yeah, she is missing a parent, seemingly doesn’t have a man or friends really, but it isn’t pushed to be something that is James’ fault.

Making me wonder, in the big picture, was going after James an idea of Basie or Rochelle’s? Heck, where is Basie right now? For, from what it seems, if he isn’t careful, he may lose Tasha to the Greenleaf family. Not by an affair but it seems Tasha is starting to get woo’d a bit by Jacob and his ability to have faith in her.

That is, let her do some first lady duties and beyond – to a point? Like, when it comes to handling or counting the money, has Mae ever gotten to do something like that? Go beyond playing hostess? Now, granted, being first lady was a dream of Tasha’s so things are different, but I think Jacob keeping her on, and it not seeming to be over lust or anything like that, that also speaks greatly of him. To the point, as Tasha takes into consideration what Rochelle is doing and what Basie has done, it pushes her to see, at the very least Jacob, in a different light. Making it where, while she may let James go down, she may try to protect Jacob.

And I’m Telling You…: Charity, Kevin, Aaron, Jabari

Mae and Charity are two sides of the same coin this episode. Both have relied on a man to give their life purpose but Mae, be it age or the shock of what James did – she woke up. Charity, on the other hand, she’s still reeling. For if it isn’t Aaron and Kevin moving on, forming a relationship and Charity having nothing to claim but a baby, it is Jabari moving on too. Add in James says she can’t preach and treat it as a plan B and it leaves Charity a mess.

Commentary

Jabari dismissing Charity from his life.
Charity: They don’t want me at home.
Jabari: Well, I don’t want you here.

One thing before we talk about Charity, is Jabari an industry ho? I just wanted to put that out there because the way he was looking at the woman who replaced Charity, it makes you wonder if he is a ho or someone just out of the legal boundaries of a #MeToo or #TimesUp callout. I feel like it has to be one of the two.

Switching to Charity… I feel for her, I really do. For taking into consideration Kevin was her first, and he left her for a man, which she is still taking hard, then she found validation in Jabari who could just break up with her like they had nothing? It forced you to remember all that Jabari was to Charity. Through him, she saw the next stage of her career and life. Him disregarding her scars from childbirth and making her feel sexy again, it put a pep into her step. So for him to not ease his way out of her life but shut out and shut down? Much less with a woman who is skinnier, lighter skinned, and things of that nature? That is a serious blow to the ego.

Add in that Charity doesn’t have much besides her son, who is a prop in her fight with Kevin, and you can see a nervous breakdown on the horizon. Especially when she finds out James served Mae with divorce papers. But, knowing Charity, to deal with her issues, she may place all the blame on Kevin and Grace to deal with all this. Until she realizes she has to take on some accountability herself. Particularly her telling Kevin she was on tour, with their son, and has to deal with the fact she snatched up that kid at a time she probably knew Kevin wouldn’t be home to stop her.

I Can See Clearly Know The Shadow Is Gone: Mae, James, Sophia, Grace, Jacob

Setting up the arrival of Maxine Patterson, to be played by Patti LaBelle, Mae is sent through the ringer. To start off, she gets served with divorce papers at breakfast. Following that, she decides to drink her whole day away with Brandy Alexanders and talk to strangers. Go in about how she was going to go to Howard University’s school of divinity with her best friend – hear her call and show herself worthy of it. However, James stepped up and love made a fool of her for decades.

But that’s over now. It seems she is ready to move on but James isn’t. In fact, as he waits for Mae like a boy waiting for the ass whooping his momma promised him, he does damage control. He tries to spin things with Grace, Jacob, and tries to make it seem he was just trying to push Mae to understand his position. Maybe set her right.

However, all it does is give her a wake-up call and probably make everyone feel worse for Mae. For it is like her lawyer says, once that divorce goes through, the party is over. Something Tasha is a clear example of.

Commentary

Mae trying to reassure Sophia that she is okay and she can pass that along.
Mae: I just needed a little me time.

I’m really trying to understand how the bold move of serving your wife divorce papers was supposed to make things better? Mae is a proud woman who is also sensitive as hell. Did he not think this could backfire in a HUGE way? Much less, him deciding to do damage control before expecting Mae to flip out on him shows he knew he was in the wrong. Why else would he make such a b**** move? But, then again, who outside Charity is on his side? Jacob was ready to let Rochelle burn his behind over how he got treated when he had his own affair. Then with Grace, as much as she loves her father, most of her effort has been in healing things with Mae. So I could fully see her taking her mother’s side and trying to console her, and try to get back to that place when Mac died and they actually seemed close.

Leading to the Maxine Peterson thing, setting aside the excitement of seeing Patti LaBelle not guest star but be part of a full arc, it means we will get to know Mae by the path not taken. How life could have been if she didn’t let James woo her into staying and basically being the cause of quite a bit of misery in her life. That is, on top of seeing what is really a rare thing on OWN shows – adults having friends.

Oh, and one more thing, can we give high praise to this show for showing Mae throwback them drinks, sulk and vent, and do as Queen Sugar in terms of showing the full weight of living a long life and dealing with drastic change? Though both changes ultimately leading to fulfilling a dream.

Miscellaneous Commentary

Way Down We Go – Zora, Jacob

Mae drinking and having a good old time.
Mae: I don’t know who gives a damn about any of that.

What can be done about Zora? Between running away with some boy to stealing from her daddy’s church, lying about it, and not really being all that apologetic when caught, what can be done here? Jacob probably has 0 trust in the girl and while Kerissa wants to help smooth things over, there is the need to question how much, “But she is a child” can be used to excuse her actions? For outside of Jacob finding Zora’s old drugs, there isn’t much left for her to do to disappoint him any further.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Tasha supporting Jacob's decision in handling the thief.
Tasha: Now you’re preachin’

When you’re as poor as we were, even dreaming’s a luxury.
— James

Highlights

  1. Lynn Whitfield, while a bit typecast, showing how, even if stuck in one character archetype, there is so much to explore that even, maybe 20 or more years playing a similar role, she finds new depth.
  2. Darius and Grace still together and working through their differences. Coming off cute, but having a real deal, we aren’t in high school, kind of relationship
  3. Tasha starting to get cold feet about the Skanks family revenge.

Low Points

  1. Is this show ever going to do anything with Sophia?
  2. Will this show ever make Zora more than another weight on Jacob’s cross?

On The Fence

  1. Recognizing James’ divorce papers helped push Mae’s storyline forward, but his reasoning for doing so being stupid as hell.

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Greenleaf Show Directory

Creator

Craig Wright

Character Guide

Not Created

Collected Quotes

Not Created

Current Status

Active

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Season Reviews

Season 3
Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page

Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationStorylines & Characters
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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