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

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

by Amari
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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.

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.


Greenleaf Show Directory


Craig Wright

Character Guide

Not Created

Collected Quotes

Not Created

Current Status


Buy a TV Pass From Amazon To Watch The Entire Series.

Season Reviews

Season 3
Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page

Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationStorylines & Characters
Season 4, Episode 9 “God’s Justice”Between blackmail, backstabbers, someone getting fired, another resigning, and more, like Karine said, “This sure don’t feel like church.”
Director(s) Allan Kroeker
Writer(s) Karen Corneille
Air Date 10/29/2019
  • By Any Means Necessary: James, Connie, Mae, Kerissa, Jacob, Dante
  • What’s Done Was Done: Nikki, Sophia, Zora, Charity, Judee, Phil, Dante
  • Your Momma Or Your Child: Mae, James, Phil, Charity, Grace, AJ, Sophia
Season 4, Episode 8 “Surprise!”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
  • I Will Not Be Forgotten: Sophia, Dante, Nikki, Zora
  • Self-Interest: Kerissa, James, Charity, Phil, Mae, Grace, Judee
  • I Know What You’re Doing: Judee, Grace, Mae, Connie, Charity, Phil
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
Connie Getting Hers - 76%
How Kerissa & Charity Will Get Their Comeuppance - 74%
Kerissa, Charity, And The Ones Who Blame Grace For Everything When It Is Really Mae & James’ Fault - 75%
Is This The Best They Can Do With Sophia? - 65%
Mae Having Kerissa’s Number & Consistently Sending It To Voicemail - 85%


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