As members of Teddy’s family come together, so comes the question of whether Nate, Jack, Raymond, and Tyrique may disturb Teddy and his daughters’ peace.
|Directed By||Keesha Sharp|
|Written By||Rebecca Boss, Chris Masi|
|Introduced This Episode|
Bonding Time – Nate, Nikki, Angela, Leah, Quincy, Jackie, Sloane, Teddy
With Teddy back home, everyone is showing him love, and he appreciates it. Despite the toxic relationship he fostered, he especially appreciates his girls both being so sweet and caring towards him. He even makes sure to invite Nikki and Angela to his Harlem Renaissance-themed birthday party! Though he isn’t alone in bonding with his daughter, Nate does the same, but things get a little rough.
How? Well, when Nate sees cops coming his way, he gets triggered and is prepping to be taken away, and in his moment of fear, he freaks Nikki out badly. Thus leading to a bit of a rift between the two. But, as they grow distant, Angela and Leah grow closer.
Why? Well, with Leah stressed out trying to not only handle things in Teddy’s stead but to get the respect she deserves, Angela decides it is time for her to chill out and talk. This leads to them talking about their men and their communication skills, and the two really bonding as sisters would.
But it isn’t just the adults, or an adult and their child, who are seeking to strengthen ties. The rarely noted Quincy is trying to get close to Sloane, the granddaughter of Jackie, since she gets him and is encouraging. In fact, she even helps him get his dad to understand he is no longer going to intern at Darmon and instead pursue what he is passionate about. Which he would have loved to celebrate with Sloane but Jackie makes it clear if those two meet up, it will have to be in secret.
Quincy Finally Having A Storyline
I can’t be the only one who felt like Quincy sort of faded into the background? While Lauren was going back and forth with Nikki or having issues with Leah and Taylor, Quincy’s storyline completely stopped once he learned Nikki was his cousin. But, with his pursuit of Sloane, maybe we’ll get a taste of the trouble Teddy and Darius got into back in the day, regarding relationships between the haves and have nots?
The Complications Of Bonding Someone Who Has Been In Prison All Your Life
Offhand, I can’t recall a show or movie which focused on a father and daughter bonding after the father was put away for most of their life – especially without the father being a piece of work. But what I appreciate the most about this storyline is that it’s not just about the time lost but also Nate’s state of mind because he was locked up. Him freaking out since the cops were approaching him was startling and forced you to remember he didn’t get out due to time served. Nate got out due to a favor, and all it would take is someone mistaking him for someone or believing he did something to end up right back where he was.
Angela and Leah Having A Relationship
The growth of their sisterhood has been rocky but always a treat. Especially since you can see their personalities shine through. Angela, constantly, is taking the initiative to earn Leah’s trust and form the kind of relationship she might have longed for as a child. Then with Leah, while she is very cautious about Angela, I think she has come to the point of admitting and accepting Angela doesn’t come with an agenda.
Legitimately, Angela just wants a shot at success, and while he whole incubator storyline has gone to the waste side, though it does get a mention in this episode, Leah sees her sister’s hustle. I’d even say, while not at the scale Leah is accustomed to, she respects it.
Losing A Liability – Jack, Raymond, Leah, Teddy
Unfortunately, in the fight for his family’s company, Raymond is shackled to Jack, who still owns enough shares to complicate any move Raymond wishes to make. Specifically, as part of the bailout agreement, there is the ability to request an audit into Franklin Holdings management of Darmon, but Raymond needs Jack’s signature.
This whole fight, this poking the bear thing, Jack isn’t into. He gets the same perks, same paycheck, for less work, and likes life that way. But with Raymond wanting to push him and talk mess, Jack decides to get petty. First, he sells his shares to Teddy, which effectively cripples Raymond, and then Jack hits on Leah. Which, Raymond doesn’t learn about, but he does hear Jack isn’t going to sign the document he needed to, and with Jack noting he sold his shares and plans to pursue Leah? The combination leads to Raymond beating Jack’s ass.
On The Fence
Jack Going After Leah
Jack, like Quincy, has thus far been the kind of character who has been on ice and didn’t really contribute much to the show – thus making his absence not something you question. However, unlike Quincy, who can give us a peer into the past, Jack seemingly is just around to give us the kind of drama that weakens this show’s value.
Now, granted, with Lauren at peace with most, this throws her back into the foray and can stir up old issues with her mother. But considering how nice it is when the Vaughn, DuPont, and Franklin families get along, this threat to that balance is frustrating.
Raymond v. Teddy
I don’t know about you, but I just don’t think Raymond makes for an interesting match against Teddy. Olivia? Maybe, just because both of them have ways that make the idea of them facing off interesting. However, Raymond lost a few points when he brought in his ex-wife into the game, and following the nonsense, Jack brought into his fight, I wouldn’t say Raymond’s battle is futile, but it definitely lacks any reason for you to get excited about him trying over and over.
Heck, to make matters worse, as much as he talks about legacy and this fight being core to his character, I feel like Olivia giving a brief history of the company isn’t enough. They need to really pump up what this company means to him to get viewers on board and have us root for Raymond, rather than root for Teddy just to see and hear Joe Morton play the villain.
Vulnerability, Insecurity, and Uncertainty – Lauren, Nate, Nikki, Angela, Tyrique, Leah, Raymond
During Angela and Leah’s conversation, they come to agree that trying to maintain the Strong Black Woman perception doesn’t serve them at all. Just like their men, they need to be vulnerable, open about their uncertainty, and for one of them, it works. Who? Well, Leah, surprisingly. Raymond and her come to an understanding regarding her father, Raymond’s fight for his family’s company, and both sides, though mainly Leah in the moment, take accountability for the state of their marriage. However, with Leah leaving the room card Jack gave her in her truck, Lauren’s discovery of that might blow up her parents’ reconciliation.
Though that won’t be the only blow-up in the family. With Nikki still shaken by what happened with Nate, Angela thinks it might be good to invite Nate to live with them. That way, he doesn’t have to be in Teddy’s household, and feel a tad awkward, and can also bond with his daughter. But, the trade-off seems to be, the closer Nate gets to Nikki, and the closer his proximity to Angela, the more Tyrique feels insecure. This leads to such a fight that it is hard to know whether Angela and Tyrique are or may stay together.
On The Fence
Perhaps the main issue with Nate is that he doesn’t bring much, if anything, to make you interested in him as an individual. As Nikki’s father, what that relationship can be like for her, that is interesting. The idea of seeing someone who just got out and their PTSD from being arrested to being in prison is interesting. However, Nate doesn’t get pushed as he needs to and the character doesn’t do well standing on his own.
But, to make things worse, Nate will probably be used to stir up drama between our favorite off-and-on couple, Angela and Tyrique – who honestly don’t need this drama! Between Tyrique mourning his father, the stadium project, and dating Angela, he has more than enough. Yes, like Nate, his character leans a bit too much on what Angela can do for him, but I’d like to think Tyrique has a bit more potential than Nate.
Lauren Complicating Her Parents Reconciliation
I guess Lauren having a charity and bonding with Nikki on occasion wasn’t enough, huh? She has to get in grown folks’ business, really show how far her being a daddy’s girl is how she operates, and have reason to beef with Leah, right? I mean, on the one hand, I appreciate Raymond and Lauren’s relationship, especially after how Lauren described the importance of Raymond in her life to Nikki. On top of that, Lauren could confide in Nikki, and this could lead to them bonding, Nikki getting involved in the Franklin-DuPont family drama, and blowing up everything?
There are just more ways this can go wrong than right, at least in terms of this show not relying on tried and true soap opera plots that clearly don’t benefit it too often. Mainly because it doesn’t know when to speed up a storyline or let one breathe a little bit.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
Getting by is the devil’s playground. It’s not the right place to be.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered | What Could Happen Next
Things To Note
- Nate has a Computer Science degree
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- What draws Jake to Leah beyond getting back at Raymond?
- So, is Taylor on the backburner for now?
- Will we see Leah’s mother ever again?
- Wasn’t Louis going to haunt Teddy, or was it just for that one episode?
What Could Happen Next
- With Leah giving Raymond permission to take the gloves off, I expect Raymond’s note of how lonely and miserable Teddy is will come to pass.
- What are the chances of Sloane and Quincy mirroring Teddy and Eva or Patricia and her man?
- Nikki learning more about Nate’s imprisonment
- Jack becoming a real pain in Raymond and Leah’s behind
- Lauren, being the Daddy’s girl she knows she is, coming down on her mom hard, under the assumption her mom is cheating.
- Angela having major problems with Tyrique
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