TV Series Greenleaf: Season 4, Episode 10 “Gratitude” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)
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Greenleaf: Season 4, Episode 10 “Gratitude” [Season Finale] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

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All seems lost. Which is a strange thing to say when it comes to a religious family like the Greenleafs. Yet, in the darkest hour, he shall arrive.


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Network
OWN
Director(s)Clement Virgo
Writer(s)Craig Wright
Air Date11/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Real AJ, An Angel, Maybe GodKevin Curry

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Recap

And So Begins The Fall: Sophia, Dante, Phil, Grace, AJ, Bob, Charity, Mae, James

From Sophia deciding to lose her virginity to Dante, a boy she barely knows, to complete her bad girl image to Phil, oh, the fall is swift. For when it comes to Phil, to solidify the changing tide, he knows he will need Charity to be the deciding vote. Why? Well, in the event of a tie, the senior-most Greenleaf always has the deciding vote, and Bob needs this to get what he wants.

Phil prepping Charity to be the tie breaking vote.

Thus, James tries to reason with her, and Mae reads her down like a book for a child. Hence what can only be conceived as them both failing – though James isn’t allowed to utter the results. But, considering Charity still had a home after the vote, maybe she decided to not vote? Either way, whatever the results, it is made clear it is the beginning of the end for the church Mae and James built.

Oh, and in terms of AJ? It seems he has been harassed to the point of suddenly wanting to turn himself in. Yes, this is very strange, the idea Sophia begging him getting him to come out of hiding, but let’s not pretend this whole AJ saga hasn’t long been strange.

But There Is Rock Bottom: Bob, Phil, Charity, Mae, Kerissa, Fernando, Jacob, James

Just when you think things are bad, they get worse. How? Well, it’s a doozy. You see, to secure Charity’s vote, or as an award, I should say, Phil not only proposes to Charity but d**ks her down. On top of that, and here is the fun part, he learns from Bob that Bob would rather go with Mae to lead the church, the person, just a few months ago, was damn near a pariah amongst the deacon board, than promote Phil.

As you can imagine, desperation starts sinking in since Phil has been the man behind Bob 20 years, and now all he wants is his own church and to preach. Yet, no matter what he does, of his own accord, he can’t earn what he believes he deserves. So, flat out, he asks Bob what it would take to get the church.

Well, first it is breaking up with Charity and instead of marrying her, marrying Bob’s daughter. So yes, Charity got left for a man in her first marriage, and now, a day after being proposed, and having pre-marital sex under the guise she would be married, she is left for a white woman. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but considering how much of a victim Charity sees herself, believe me when I say this is a blow that is going to send her to a dark place.

Phil noting H&H is going to be demolished.

Yet, that’s not all. On top of breaking Charity’s heart, Phil reveals the church is to be demolished. Meaning, not only is the deal Mae thought she had gone, there may soon be no means or method to try to wrangle the church back. From its spirit to the foundation, it may soon all be gone.

Now, would you believe that isn’t it? For on top of all that, Kerissa finds out she has chlamydia from Fernando, and Jacob, after she tells him, is ready for a divorce. Leading to her pulling a trump card, from the STD spreader, that Mae and James may have killed the former owner of the house and land. If not Mac. So, to say this episode doesn’t drown you in drama, beyond many a daytime soap opera, is an understatement.

As Well As Salvation: Grace, The Young Man

Leaving the one moment which could perhaps redeem the show in the oddest of ways. You see, as everything her family has worked to build and preserve starts to shake, possibly crumble, Grace prays in front of Faith’s tombstone. She prays, is humbled, and thankful for each member of her family.

Grace talking to God.

And as she mentions AJ, so comes a young man from the forest. Someone who Grace initially believes to be AJ, but then we realize he isn’t. Leading to the need to question who is he? He is a young man who doesn’t claim to be lost and despite the security and other features of the grounds, nearly walked right up to the house.

Now, immediately, you are pressed to believe this being might be God in human form, an angel, who knows? However, as the man mentions Faith being Grace’s sister, and noting it is an educated guess, so breaks down that theory.

Yet, as he follows that up with the idea everything has an expiration date, so again comes the impression this could be a celestial being. Add on him knowing Grace’s name, without a proper introduction, we’re left to wonder who this young man could be and whether, considering all the sin which led to the rise of the Greenleaf, maybe things are meant to end?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

If the best you can do is, ‘It wasn’t my fault’ then it is!
— Bob

Review

Highlights

The Question Of Who Grace Was Talking To

Unknown (Kevin Curry) saying he'll see Grace around.

We’re left on the type of cliffhanger which speaks volumes by saying very little. For me, I take the young man’s comments being that not just the church, but also the show is coming to an end. After all, as he notes, all things expire. And at this point, Greenleaf has strayed so far from being about church, the word, and things like that, it can’t go back. There is no reset. All that can happen is for it to expire, to end, and as Jacob spoke about new church, that is all that can be done. For from the rubble could start something new.

I mean, considering how large the estate is, it isn’t like they couldn’t make a new church on that land, with all the fancy programs talked about, off and on, for years. If not, perhaps the best idea, the family stepping away from the ministry business. An unlikely option, but considering so few of them seem to hear the voice of God and more so confuse that with the shouting of their frail egos, what can truly be salvaged when it comes to their reputations and ministry?

Low Point

Kerissa Bringing Up A Murder Plot

Why? Simple question. Just why? Why is Mac’s name still haunting this show? At what point is murder or something similar not going to eek its way onto this show and make itself comfortable like a bed bug? Much less, why couldn’t Kerissa just go away scratching, having a hard time peeing, or whatever chlamydia does to a person?

Sophia, What Is You Doing?

Dante and Sophia canoodling.

Well, I guess her 180-degree turn is complete. She went from one of the most religious and honest people in the Greenleaf family to someone who sleeps with a guy out of spite. Heck, if it weren’t for the fact we were told she couldn’t have children, I’d bet anyone she would come into season 5 pregnant. For that is the direction Sophia’s character is on at this point. If not the whole show.

On The Fence

Phil Showing His Ambition Has No Bounds Or Shame

Phil is strangely complicated for me. On the one hand, he is an utter bastard for what he did to Charity and a prime example of not learning from your predecessor. For his ambitions, the sin and acts that are unbecoming of a pastor, are of a similar murkiness to that of many a Greenleaf.

But, at the same time, with 20 years behind Bob, being behind a desk and raising another man up, hoping he’d give his hand so you could be right beside him, you can understand the desperation. Not accept or support, but definitely understand. After all, what Phil likely saw in Charity was someone like himself. Someone who had been passed over, disregarded and treated as less than.

However, the major difference is Phil didn’t wait for things to be handed to him. He had his credentials, gained more and more experience, and didn’t wait on nepotism to come around to reach his goals. So, in many ways, as much as you can damn Phil, considering what James and Mae may have done, or benefitted from thanks to Mac, and their ignorance, Phil may not be a saint, but he is no less a sinner than the others.

Harmony & Hope Likely To Return Next Season

I’m very much over Bob, his daughter, and Phil. Not because I dislike the characters, but more so what they represent. Between how much Bob being white and trying to take over a Black church is being pushed, the nonsense with the deacon board, and the politics of this all, including Fernando, I won’t say it is too much, but it does feel foreign. Yet, on a show which has strayed away from its selling point more than a season ago, what can you expect? It lost its core identity and took on a new one. Perhaps, like an artist with age, it evolved, and the evolution just doesn’t click for me?

Either way, I’m hoping this is the beginning of the end.

 

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Amari Allahhttps://wherever-i-look.com
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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The Question Of Who Grace Was Talking To
90 %
Kerissa Bringing Up A Murder Plot
64 %
Sophia, What Is You Doing?
65 %
Phil Showing His Ambition Has No Bounds Or Shame
75 %
Harmony & Hope Likely To Return Next Season
70 %

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?

  1. Ok, could AJ be another Skank? Remember Ms Cross told Grace that she knew what she did in Phoenix. So maybe this is not the real AJ. He was hired to screw Grace over but, could not go through with it because he saw that she truly is a good person.
    As far as the line from the unknown guy about expiration dates… Bishop is sick. He could be the one dying. The church could truly be done. Also, what if the paperwork/ deed that Lady Mae had in her jewely box was not for the club but actually the will from Ms Davis that Fernando and Karyssa were talking about.

  2. What if that’s the real A.J. at the end? It’s possible that both guys were in prison together and conspired a plan for the one who showed up first to play like the real one. Maybe he got out first and they just wanted money until they found out Grace was a good person and wanted a relationship. Maybe the real one (who shows up at the end) is dying. This could mean that the fake one stole the drugs for whatever sickness the real one has OR he didn’t steal them at all and they’re just drugs he had on hand for his illness. He did look a bit worn in the eyes.

  3. I can’t believe y’all missed it. There are two tombstones in the last shot, when the camera pans away from Grace. My guess is – with AJ being so willing to go to jail – that he killed himself. In any case, someone will show up dead in Season 5. What do you think?

    Season 4 was very well written. I loved Mae and Bishop’s lines, especially. Brilliant!

    • A part of me sometimes feels that the names mean more than we give them credit. Faith dying could be associated with the family losing their faith and the people’s faith in them. Charity’s consistent downfall could be associated with the fact the church really doesn’t give back and they live in splendor. So Grace running into trouble would be the final sign – the fall from grace.

      Though I could be thinking about it too deep.

  4. If Sophia lost her ovaries this young, she immediately goes through menopause. She would have to take hormones. Does she?

    Everything has an expiration date: the church, the antics, the actual show, life. All things end eventually. At best, The stranger could be an angel (of death), Grace had just finished praying. At worse, he is related to her and her family or a debt collector.

  5. This might sound crazy but I was thinking that AJ maybe fighting a terminal illness or he’s stealing them for someone else that he cares for that is? He didn’t have a twin right? That’s why what he took was never actually pinpointed just that they were pills. I know it’s crazy it’s just a thought. He kept saying that no one would understand and maybe that’s where the “Everyone has an expiration date” comes into play.

  6. I agree. I’m thinking the guy in black is the real AJ or did kill the real AJ. The guy who turned himself in isn’t the real AJ. It’s also possible the guy in black and the one pretending to be AJ switched identities. It never occurred to Grace and Noah to have a DNA test done.

  7. What came to me was, AJ was in a hurry and didn’t want to be around. I think he may owe the guy in black money or something. He told Sophia she couldn’t go take a walk with him and I think the guy in black is the reason why. I think he may have killed AJ. All season long AJ kept needing more money and Grace even said once, I just gave you money. Then he robbed the drug store, maybe to get money to pay his debt. I feel he wanted to turn himself in so he could be safe.