Greenleaf: Season 4, Episode 1 “Original Sin” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

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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.


Network
OWN
Director(s) Clement Virgo
Writer(s) Craig Wright
Air Date 9/3/2019
Introduced This Episode
Doris Diane Sellers
Perry Mark Taylor

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Life Outside The Church: Zora, Sophia, Kerissa, Mae, James, Doris, Perry, Jacob

While many are wheeling, dealing, trying to carve a place for themselves in HNH’s cavalry, that isn’t everything for everyone. Jacob is working on mentoring an up and coming sports star, with the boy’s mother, Doris, advocating for him, and the coach being cool with it if Jacob can obtain an associated pastor position at a church.

But, this may end up a double-edged sword. Why? Well, Zora already has a crush, and you know that girl isn’t against making her feelings known. Damn what happened with Isaiah, maybe less than a month ago. She is ready, willing, and she convinces Mae to give her the cottage outside the big house. A place she won’t even have to share with Sophia since apparently she is going away for college.

Though, let’s be real, Mae didn’t give that cottage up out of the goodness of her heart. For one, with Sophia’s meltdown, she knows she isn’t going to take over the church. Losing the ability to have kids hit far too hard. So now, if the dynasty is to continue, it has to be Zora. Someone who doesn’t feel like she has received the call, but Mae is willing to dial up the phone if she has to.

Another thing which may have also led to Mae being so kind is that she put James on notice that he is courting again. An idea which he doesn’t take as insulting but a challenge. Meaning those two about to have all kinds of fun.

Testing The Waters: Grace, Phil, Bob, Charity, Jacob, Mae, James, Connie, Kerissa

The whole takeover is still fresh and new, and that comes with everyone trying to figure each other out. Some in subtle ways, like how Phil maneuvers. Others in private, like Bob telling Grace to keep her sermon short, and making it clear to Phil, when in conversation with Phil, he hunts for vulnerable mega-churches. Yet, then there are those who are direct, demanding, and maybe a bit shady – sometimes in public.

Take Connie and Mae. Their battle, which features Bob, is done in public and while they maintain a sense of decorum, if words were knives, there would be blood all over the floor. However, the one who cuts at the flesh the most is, well a tie between Kerissa and Charity. Kerissa, as always, puts on Grace every issue in her life. She probably blames her anytime she got to pluck a hair out of her chin. As for Charity? Well, you know the victim mentality. She is under the idea no one supports her, cares for her, fights for her, and Grace especially.

For example, Charity, despite lack of experience or a degree, wants to be an associated pastor, as does Jacob. When Jacob gets the opportunity, and she doesn’t, she flips out. I’m talking to the point when Kerissa isn’t on her side, bashing Grace, those two seem like they were about to fight. Making it appear, while she isn’t drinking, Charity is in desperate need of a vice or outlet.

From The Ashes, Many Things Can Rise: Phil, Charity, Grace, Noah, Bob

Noah is back, or at least calling, because someone in prison, a son we’re told, that is his and Grace’s, is calling. Meaning Sophie might be gone, but her brother will be walking in as she is walking out. Great.

But, perhaps the bigger issue is Phil. From the way it appears, his dynamic with Bob is nowhere near equals, or Phil being genuinely respected. Phil just is in the right place at the right time, or maybe is one of the good ones? Who knows? Bob isn’t necessarily easy to pin down just yet.

Charity calling Phil and saying she is ready to be his Judas.

However, what is clear is Phil wants to be the pastor of Calgary and not a second to Grace, or maybe even have Grace involved. So, when Charity approaches him, since she is trying to build up power that isn’t associated with her family name, he sees this as an opportunity. She is disgruntled, hateful of Grace, but ambitious. Hence why Phil pushes Charity to become his personal Judas. Someone tasked to spy on her own family with a promise of a reward within a year. A proposal she accepts.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Satan can take a gift that God has given you and use it to hold you in bondage.
— Charity

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Is Sophia just going to be reoccurring, or is she being written off?

Highlights

Mae

Plain and simple, Lynn Whitfield is the driving force of this show, and anyone who shares a scene with her immensely benefits from the time. Be it her flirtatious scene when Mae makes it clear James will have to work to be in her bed, or Mae going toe to toe with Connie. While most characters have their drama be the driving force behind why you should be invested, it is Mae’s personality and not only what she does, but how she responds.

Also, she is the most well-rounded characters and shows the various sides to her all in one episode. Heck, even when we are seeing her maternal side with Zora and Grace, there are shades to it. In both cases, it is clear Mae is using either her daughter or granddaughter to further her goals. Yet, with Grace, this is done almost like an old school Disney stepmother who is calculated and wants things settled before she goes for the kill. Not to say she doesn’t love Grace but the kiss on Grace’s cheek felt more like a warning than a showing of affection.

Then, when it comes to Zora, what she essentially is doing is putting that girl on a long leash. A short one proved to be too bothersome, and Zora nipped at her one too many times and ran. So with a long leash, time spent, and mentorship, so comes the vibe that while she may lost her star in Sophia, she can craft a backup.

Low Point

Noah Is Back

Noah talking to Grace over the phone.

Shows getting this far along has its benefits and liabilities. The benefits are they can bring back someone like Noah, after he has been gone for more than a season, and it’ll present both a sense of familiarity and something fresh. However, the liability of being around too long is bringing back certain characters makes it seem like they are digging deep and perhaps running out of ideas to move things forward. So they have to look back and seek out what hasn’t been fleshed out or tapped out to fill in screen time.

Kerissa’s Story Needs To Be Told

Which is upsetting for me since Kerissa remains a person who we barely know. 4 seasons in and we haven’t met her family, really gotten to know who she is beyond Jacob’s sharp-tongued wife, and it is getting ridiculous. Everyone has had these full-on arcs, transformations, huge reveals, and a whole lot of growth, but the Kerissa we met in season 1 isn’t that different from season 4. It’s just now we can tell you why Grace gets on her nerves and why she talks so much crap about her.

Charity

Speaking of arcs and transformations, is Charity stuck in the middle of one? I can understand with being a single mom, losing her husband to a man, in a family which often favors light-skinned women, being a big girl, and feeling put into a box, why she is angry. Yet, she is erratic to the point I feel like Charity is an escaped character of a Tyler Perry movie. Where is this story going and her playing Judas now, working with Phil? Is it wrong to believe this is more so about drama than Charity growing out of this victimhood she clings to?

On The Fence

Zora Going Back Down The Road She Was On Before

Zora talking about the boy who will become her next boyfriend.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Zora for she has Kerissa’s attitude but shows the ability to be multifaceted like Mae. However, can she not get with a guy who got issues and fame again? Not to say Dante might be as bad as her ex but, I need her to learn from her mistakes instead of thinking because she isn’t walking down the same path, that negates her refusal to leave the forest she is in. Especially if Sophia is leaving and she is going to be a representative for the youth on this show.

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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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