TV Series Greenleaf: Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy” – Recap, Review (with...
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Greenleaf: Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Bob and Grace begin to clash, so he checks her. However, he ain’t the only one checking people this episode.

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Network
OWN
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

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You Could Have Done The Right Thing: Kerissa, Fernando, Jacob, Phil, Mae

Fernando (Dave Baez) - Greenleaf Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”

Kerissa wants out of Mae’s home as soon as possible. Not because of James, the living spaces, anything like that. It is just hard to function when you aren’t the woman of the house, and you know you have to bite your tongue. Hence why, despite learning the land Jacob is selling, to a man named Fernando, is owned by Harmony and Hope, which she connects after seeing and asking about Phil’s cuff links, she signs the land away for peace of mind.

Assumptions Lead To Dumb Asses: AJ, Grace, Sophia, Zora, Noah, Charity, Karine

Grace, Sophia, and Mae - Greenleaf Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”

Grace’s situation with AJ is about to come to a head. Why? Well, Sophia has already started to build a relationship with him, that is going quite well, but also furthering the right between her and Grace. For while she learns why Grace keeps her secrets, when Zora confronts her on lying about where she was, she can’t help but call out her mom for bad-mouthing the family yet being no different. Then, with AJ saying she is like Grace? That for her is a sign she needs to go back to Hampton since she stuck around too long.

Which is going to such for her since Charity, in trying to dig some dirt, gets just enough out of Karine to point her in Noah’s direction and blow up his life. I’m talking Isabel kicking him out and him heading back to Memphis to get to know AJ, who has moved out there. Mind you, not in the main house, only Sophia and Noah knows his existence, but that is going to change soon.

Well, unless Grace really does find a way to keep AJ close, but at arm’s length, until she gets the church back.

We’re Losing The Church: Cal, Bob, Grace, Mae, James

Cal (Jason Davis) - Greenleaf Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”

Bob is about that cash and will talk down to any employee, Black, White, those who identify as either or reject both – case in point: Cal. His church went from 1500 people down to 270 after Harmony and Hope, and Bob is ready to consolidate that church into the Greenleaf’s former church. For Mae, the idea of integrating Calvary not only puts another obstacle in her way, since what megachurch is led by a Black woman, so says James, but she sees Calvary as a Black church.

Which is something she explains to Bob but with him seeing some kind of MLK Jr. promise land on the horizon, he listens but rebuffs her. Hence why she doesn’t shake the man’s hand. For while she is okay with them visiting, in terms of loving thy neighbor, she doesn’t see why they need keys to the front door.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

It’s easy to show up and make promises, it’s harder to keep them.
— AJ

I will not tell your secret, but I will not lie for you.
— Sophia

Highlights

Lady Mae As Shady As Ever

This is Lynn Whitfield’s show, and everyone else is simply her co-star. She is the one who speaks to nearly every character, livening up their storylines, reminding us of their importance, or sparring with them to keep them on their toes. All the while, when you think about it, her storyline is technically the weakest.

After all, she is subject to Grace making moves since Bob doesn’t want her preaching, the Deacon board doesn’t want her, and it isn’t like, unlike James, people are inviting her to speak anywhere. So as much as Bob may have liked Mae’s sermon for “A Day With Lady Mae,” and says Grace got the Word from her, he isn’t putting out the word or trying to do a gosh darn thing.

Yet, despite sputtering every episode, Mae is the main, if only, one who leaves a lasting impression that doesn’t make you roll your eyes and wonder what nonsense they are getting into now.

Church Being More Than A Place But A Culture, With Sub-Cultures, Included

Judee (Valerie Jane Parker) - Greenleaf Season 4, Episode 4 “A Common Enemy”

In season 1, partly season 2, Calvary gave you the church experience. We had Charity singing gospel, James preaching, and it felt like Calvary was more than a setting or this thing the Greenleaf family was afraid to lose or fighting to get back. So with Mae talking about what the Black church means, Grace preaching as she did, it felt almost like a callback to what this show once was. Before it got so knee-deep in everyone’s personal drama, and messiness, that religion, the church, and what the church gives individuals and a community, was an afterthought.

Understand Bob Better Yet Still Not Having The Full Picture

If you go by the way Bob talks to Cal, you’d think he was only about the money. Taking note how he talks to Phil, you’d think he was just about appearances and making church into a franchise business where one method works for all. Yet, when admonishing Grace about her unity sermon, it seemed he was seeking something more.

What I mean by that is, Bob presents the idea like he recognizes his mortality. That, similar to Mae in a way, he recognizes that a lot of his life has been focused on lighting himself up, putting himself in positions to be praised, but he hasn’t really done anything that, beyond generational wealth, will outlive him. Which really pushes you to think of Bob as not a villain, someone who might be prejudice, or ignorant, if not arrogant, but as a fully realized person. Someone who is contradicting himself with each interaction he has and every other sentence. Thus greatening his appeal.

Low Point

Charity

At this point, what is Charity doing beyond stirring the pot? Her storyline right now is bringing secrets out into the light and not like Nova in Queen Sugar, where you can at least say the family needs said secret out. Charity isn’t trying to help people heal, she is barely focused on healing herself. More so, she is looking for distractions and challenges that help her ignore the mess of a life she has that, in many ways, she doesn’t want to take not a bit of responsibility for. She’d rather blame the easy target that is Grace, point out her family coerced her to work with Phil, and when she is truly isolated and alone, she’ll still lash out and criticize everyone’s role in her downfall but her own.

Also, can we add the question: What happened to her situation with Percy?

On The Fence

Sophia

As AJ said, Sophia is a mini-Grace. Take note of her holier than thou routine with her mother. Her learning to lie, despite how self-righteous she is, and her desire to be both needed, yet not consistently reliable. Especially for the small things. The big things, like a guy in a romance film, she’ll come out with the grandeur comeback. However, the day to day little things? Don’t call or text her because she is off listening to someone enough to judge them.

Kerissa

I appreciate Kerissa sticking to the fact she can’t stand Lady Mae, wants that high-class life, and is willing to do whatever to have it. It really says a lot about her, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. If anything, it shows how much she really doesn’t see herself as a Greenleaf and Kerissa’s struggle has likely been trying to integrate, and failing, and now trying to break away with Jacob and her family. A challenge, as we can see, yet with Mae noting James talking to Jacob, and her comment about Kerissa lacking patience, it’s time. Since, if Mae feels the need, or has the ability, to talk to Kerissa like that, despite Kerissa trying to keep the peace, that firmly makes it clear she is not wanted and might solely be tolerated.

The Return of Noah

While he will push along the AJ storyline, and give Charity something to talk to Phil about, his return seems like a waste of screen time. For what more can we learn about this man? What can he contribute to this show beyond picking up where he left off with Grace? Maybe filling us in further about their past? Information that, honestly, is anyone even asking about?

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Review Summary

Lady Mae As Shady As Ever
90 %
Church Being More Than A Place But A Culture, With Sub-Cultures Included
91 %
Understanding Bob Better Yet Still Not Having The Full Picture
85 %
Charity
65 %
Sophia
75 %
Kerissa
74 %
The Return of Noah
70 %
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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