Greenleaf: Season 4, Episode 8 “Surprise!” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Mae after noting Kerissa being nosy.

We learn, blood or not, petty runs deep in the Greenleaf family as does Phil using vulnerable women to try to get ahead.

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

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I Will Not Be Forgotten: Sophia, Dante, Nikki, Zora

With Nikki moving in, and becoming Zora’s bestie, it leaves Sophia questioning what is she going to do? I mean, people think Nikki is now her after all. So, when Dante comes over to drop off the last of Nikki’s things, Sophia confirms those two are over before taking him up on his advances.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. Was Sophia joining Dante a petty move, because she is lonely, or just for the drama and attention it would bring her?

Self-Interest: Kerissa, James, Charity, Phil, Mae, Grace, Judee

Kerissa sneaking into the family safe.

It isn’t just Sophia who is deciding to put herself before family. Kerissa is trying to do the same by using James’ affection for her to see his will, the deed to the house, and check into the line of succession. However, Mae is onto her nonsense and keeps her from getting to do anything stupid.

However, Charity is a whole other case. She is so sure of her thing with Phil, she barely notices him, and Judee used to have a thing, and Judee would, since she is getting divorced, like to continue. But, you know her, Charity thinks no one cares about her happiness, it is all about Grace, and it never occurs to her Grace isn’t the reason she is unhappy, it is her parents.

It is James and Mae who put Grace on a pedestal, cover for her and bend over backwards for her. Those two enable Grace in so many ways, but I guess since Charity is so blinded by her envy, she focuses on the name she hears than the people who keep uttering it.

I Know What You’re Doing: Judee, Grace, Mae, Connie, Charity, Phil

Judee smiling at Grace.

Judee presents this grand design which will mean additional parking, restaurants, a gym, a daycare center, the works. However, in return for all this, Harmony & Hope wants half of the deacon board. Which, with Connie in their pocket, would mean them having a slim majority, but more than enough for them to do as they please.

Now, as for what it is, that long term vision that makes them want so much power? Who knows. All that is clear is Grace and Mae are trying to fight it, and their battle isn’t fooling anyone. In fact, Connie confronts Mae and accuses her saying her father raped her was a lie, and the engagement party, as well as remarrying James, all part of some grand scheme to get the church back.

As for Judee? She pretty much lays it out that if Grace wants her position, she needs to get on H&H’s side. Otherwise, who knows, Phil’s dreams might come true. Though considering Charity, in a fit of rage, gives Phil the go-ahead to use the recording she got, Grace may not be needed at all.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

The poor thing can’t resist a chance to be rude. She thinks it makes her interesting. And, I daresay, it nearly does.
— Mae

She thinks she’s judge and jury. It never occurs to her that’s she’s the accused.
— Charity

Other Noteworthy Facts, Moments, and Random Thoughts

  • Who paid for that lavish re-engagement party?



Mae Having Kerissa’s Number & Consistently Sending It To Voicemail

This show knows how to string people along. All you need is to give Mae the kind of lines that Diahann Carroll would eat up and put a religious spin on it. It isn’t hard, and it is honestly the IV drip keeping this show alive.

Especially when they give her an easy target. Kerissa? The woman who we haven’t seen at her job, even on a weekday, in ages? The person whose mom we just learned about this season and barely has any identity outside of Jacob? Ha-ha!

Low Point

Is This The Best They Can Do With Sophia?

Sophia laying on her bed.

Sometimes I wonder if this show suffers from having too many series regulars to juggle? Between that and, unlike shows like Atlanta and Insecure, not getting a real break to come back with impactful storylines, maybe that is why multiple people seem to be more geared to give us drama than a compelling story.

Take Sophia, for example. After losing her faith and ability to have children, it seemed she was going to become a minor part of the show as she attends college. They should have stuck with that plan. For between the AJ nonsense and her now becoming a forgotten member of the family, should we just assume someone is recycling Charity’s storyline? Just now, without the nuance of how most medium to dark-skinned women are treated on this show, and now just making it where anyone who needs to have something to do will get the opportunity to be petty, damn near pathetic, and foolish?

You know, as opposed to this idea that, because they aren’t put on the same pedestal as their peers, they have no choice but to fight for their own happiness and create opportunities for themselves. Even if said opportunities are just new ways for them to victimize themselves.

On The Fence

Kerissa, Charity, And The Ones Who Blame Grace For Everything When It Is Really Mae & James’ Fault

There is a reason James and Mae are vilified when it comes to the deacon board. Whether it is James’ devilish charm or the way Mae knows how to manipulate people, both of them are far from saints. However, the sad thing is, Grace somehow became their scapegoat for everything and, let’s be real, everyone was conditioned to see Grace as such.

Take note, Mae blamed Grace for everything for years! So it seems only natural that Kerissa, though she barely knew her, would see Grace as the root of all evil. Then with Charity, between Mae’s words and James’ favoritism, why wouldn’t she think Grace talks bad about her and puts an obstacle to every opportunity she could have for happiness? She is a simple woman who wants a simple life and can’t think for herself. That’s why damn near every dream she had was inspired by someone else or her mimicking someone else. Charity hasn’t ever been her own person, and her never moving out, as everyone else did, is one of the main reasons she is so damn stunted.

How Kerissa & Charity Will Get Their Comeuppance

Charity seeing Phil and Judee interact.

Between Mae exposing Kerissa, if not her affair being learned about, to Charity seeing Phil cheat on her with a white woman – Judee, as much as I want to see these two get checked, I also don’t. The reason being, unless Jacob divorces Kerissa, what’s the point? Her getting exposed would just mean her being humbled, stewing, and then making a comeback somewhere down the line. If not pretending the affair never happened, and it only coming up when there is some back and forth amongst the family. An argument that, no matter how personal, or if Mae is involved, won’t alleviate this vibe that Kerissa should have gotten a divorce a long time ago.

Then with Charity, I just don’t want to hear another reason for her to whine and finagle a way to blame Grace. Does she not see all she says about Grace applies to her? I get, as viewers, we’re supposed to be in on what’s going on before the characters do, but it feels like forever and a day with Charity, and I need her to wake up.

I mean, at this point, can anyone remember who Charity was before she felt like the black sheep of the family? Can you remember when you loved hearing her sing, and her presence didn’t make your eyes roll? Because I wouldn’t even call her someone I love to hate or a good villain anymore. She’s just someone who is on loop and seemingly stuck there since no one seems to know what to do with her next?

Connie Getting Hers

Mae escorting Connie out.
Mae: Go with God.

Here is the thing, I love to hate Connie, but that’s only because she is going up against Mae. However, there is this issue of not knowing why Connie is going so hard? It clearly isn’t because of her conservative religious beliefs, which were some of her reasons to push back against Grace being a progressive pastor. So, what’s the issue? Why does she challenge Mae like she was married to Mac and was left with nothing in a divorce but an ass to kiss? Where is all this hatred coming from? I feel like I missed a handful of episodes that would have explained this.


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