The pandemic hits, and with that comes a lot of reflection for Marcus. Thus leading to multiple shifts in his life.


Aired 11/11/2021
Network HBO Max
Directed By Satya Bhabha
Written By Theo Travers
Introduced This Episode
Jalessa Jasmin Walker
Anjali Asra Arif
Josh Steven Boyer

Recap

Onto The Next One – Anjali, Marcus

So it’s January 2020. Marcus has been divorced for 4 years, went through many hookups, relationships almost had a kid, and now he is with Anjali. That is until they are just about to quarantine together, and he realizes he likes her but doesn’t love her and can’t live with her. Because of this combination, he pulls the plug on their relationship, much to her shock.

Anjali (Asra Arif) apologizing for going to yoga class
Anjali (Asra Arif)

But, at this point in life, Marcus refuses to go on autopilot and hope for the best. Thus, he isn’t going to waste his or someone else’s time hoping things could get better or feelings escalate in a positive direction.

So Now You Care? – Marcus, Josh

When the pandemic hits, Marcus’ employers furlough all but 5 people, and he is the only Black person who doesn’t get furloughed, and he feels he is tasked with most of the work. This doesn’t feel right to him, and by March, as the Black Lives Matter protest hit, he is exhausted. Hence, he goes off when his employer talks about running a BLM statement in support.

Take note (again): Marcus is the only Black person in his company still getting paid. He is one of the few if only, Black people who are editors. But here is the big one: Josh, his boss, the one who approves books for publishing, has rarely, if ever, been in support of Black voices. Trey Lang’s book became a hit, but Josh would barely read a page before that happened. Hell, for most of the work that Marcus brought to Josh, he didn’t get it, so he’d not support it.

So for Josh and the rest to seek Marcus now that they want to appear better, seem inclusive? He decides to take the same attitude he has gained in his personal life and maintain that same energy in his career. So he quits rather than continue to be on autopilot and hope for the best while sometimes experiencing the worst.

Down For Another Round? – Mia, Marcus, Jalessa, Ida

Jalessa (Jasmin Walker) and Ida announcing their marriage
Jalessa (Jasmin Walker) and Ida

With playing an active part in his life, not allowing, or waiting for others to make decisions, or pushing them to make the ultimate decision so he doesn’t have to, Marcus has evolved. So while he originally rejects Mia when she calls and reveals her reasons for breaking up with him abruptly, after Ida married her former ex Jaleesa, the one she was willing to have a child with, Marcus reconsiders his decision.

This leads to Mia noting her ten months of therapy and her journey to accepting and dealing with what she did and how it affects her relationships, not just with Marcus. This honesty doesn’t absolve her, but it allows Marcus to have the kind of closure needed to risk giving Mia another chance, which she accepts. Thus leading them to spend New Years 2021 together.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Things To Note

  • Trey Lang’s book became a hit

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What went on in Yogi’s life when he was forced to homeschool his kids, MSG got shut down, and an additional kid was on the way?

What Could Happen Next

  1. A lot of things seem to be in alignment now when it comes to Marcus’ personal life. So the only question is: Where is he going to get a new job?
  2. The possibility of Marcus going to Kian and Emily’s wedding.

Review

Highlights

Marcus & Ida’s Relationship

We don’t know Marcus and Ida’s full story since Love Life mainly focuses on romantic love, not the love between siblings or family members. However, we have seen bits and pieces of it over the 4 years since his divorce, and for better or worse, Ida usually had Marcus’ back. She gave him a place to stay, held down their father when he came to visit, as a favor, and even if not lovey-dovey, they cool, close even.

This is why, when Ida asked Marcus to be her best man, that smile he had got me choked up. For I think sometimes Marcus, like Mia, really tests people to see how much they can take or how much they’ll do, and for him to put Ida through so much throughout their life and he is still the best man? That was touching.

Marcus Breaking Up With Anjali – That’s Growth

If there was one word we’d associate with Marcus, it would be “auto-pilot.” Marcus has shown himself to be someone who doesn’t necessarily want to take the wheel. He’ll fuel up the vehicle and give it an initial push, but he doesn’t want responsibility for whether it goes downhill, uphill, turn to the side, or what have you.

That is until now. It seems Mia breaking up with him broke him down and might have been the final piece of the puzzle needed for him to take the initiative. Healing his relationship with his dad seemed to make it, so criticism from a significant other wasn’t the most detrimental thing and had to be avoided at all cost. Then with Mia, him losing someone, despite him doing everything he was supposed to do, helped him understand that there needs to be balance, there needs to be grace, yet no one deserves to suffer because someone doesn’t have a grip on who they are.

So with Anjali, we saw him walk through that process. She balanced him out since she wasn’t so anal and was a bit freer than he was. Ok. However, when he gave her grace, she didn’t show appreciation for it, she didn’t try to communicate productively, and so Marcus felt like he was suffering. Hence, he broke things off and not by getting on her nerves or doing something that would lead her to pull the plug. He did it himself, and that is what we call GROWTH.

BLM & The Vaccine

Marcus telling off Josh

So, once again, Love Life decided to get a bit Black, and we appreciate it. On the lighter side (no colorism implied), we got Ida saying Kirby wasn’t sure about taking a vaccine, with the acknowledgement that the Tuskegee Study, and then how many Black people likely felt about the various companies that had BLM statements. To sum it up, there was a resounding: BULLS***! Respectfully.

After all, no matter what industry you’re talking about, it’s true. From trying to get a loan to start a business to working your way up the ladder, even if you were just skin folk and not kinfolk, you found yourself under the glass ceiling, hearing the noise of white women’s shoes over your head.

But the point is that many places spoke about the importance of Black lives with very little evidence they’d actively try to uplift Black people. They may have their token, like a 90s sitcom, but never enough to have it so that one Black person didn’t feel like they had to maintain their representative out of fear of ruining any chance someone else who looked like them could get an opportunity. Which is all to say, Marcus may not speak for all Black people, but his release spoke to me.

On The Fence

Wishing We Got To Know Jaleesa More

Don’t get us wrong, while we’re critical of Marcus, it could just be because it may feel a little too close for comfort, so we’d rather punch the mirror than really face the image in it. With that said, it still is unfortunate that all these things happen around Marcus, and at best, we can give it a “That’s nice” since we don’t really know these people well outside of how he views them.

When Marcus was dealing with potentially being a dad, we were told by Jaleesa, but I can’t recall if she was before that. And being that only Mia got her own episode, what Ida went through with Jaleesa and the ups and downs of her situation are a mystery. All that we know is Jaleesa is back in the picture as a potentially permanent fixture. Which should be a joyous thing for you as much as the characters but, there is the question of whether we’re supposed to care or just feel through Marcus solely?

Love Life Directory


Character Guide

Created

Collected Quotes

Not Created

Season Reviews

Created

Mia talking to Marcus
Love Life: Season 2/ Episode 9 “Marcus Watkins” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Trajectory: Plateau
It's the penultimate episode, and it has been quite a journey with Marcus. Not the best, not the worse, definitely rough for a good portion, but never so bad we wanted to get off the ride.
Highlights
BLM & The Vaccine
Marcus Breaking Up With Anjali – That's Growth
Marcus & Ida's Relationship
Disputable
Wishing We Got To Know Jaleesa More
82


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Avatar of Amari

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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