It’s a therapy episode that focuses on everyone’s past and recent events, so they can move forward – with the help of Rosie O’Donnell.
|Directed By||Nastaran Dibai|
|Written By||Nastaran Dibai|
|Newly Noted Characters|
|Teen Whitney||Aubrey Cleland|
|Teen Ella||Shania Mundy|
|Teen Renee||Tamya Taylor|
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The Distant Past – Renee, Whitney, Ella, Nancy
For Whitney and Renee, their issues have been going on since high school, as told to Nancy, the therapist for all four lead cast members. Now, what was the issue back in the day? It seems Renee’s need to be seen and perhaps having to compete with Whitney, who is fair-skinned. Which, I should note for clarity, isn’t explicitly mentioned as an issue, but the idea is pushed that Renee does the most to be seen. Though, it is said by nearly everyone that, while doing the most, she consistently looks good.
Getting back to Whitney, Nancy advises her to just let it go for her seeking perfection and control is just going to give her anxiety and make her lose her mind.
Fairly Recent Happenings – Ella, Barb, Nancy, Sondi
As has been made clear, 2 – 3 years ago, Ella was on top of the world. She had 100,000 followers on social media, released a book, Anderson and she were going strong, and Barb even offered her a job as an editorial director. But, as you and I know, “What The El” flopped critically and financially, Anderson left for South Africa, and now Ella does work for Barb, but not as an editorial director. Rather, Ella writes articles that appear to be beneath her.
Nancy’s response? Well, why haven’t you written anything personal in 2 years? To which Ella just has reasons that are seen as excuses.
In terms of Sondi? She is still reeling from Ella co-signing Professor Baptiste’s comment during Matthew, and her’s dinner party. Especially considering how much she has supported Ella through her breakup with Anderson. Nancy’s reply seems to gear things towards Sondi stifling herself and perhaps taking in these perceived critiques because she fears that if this doesn’t work out with Matthew, she’ll look foolish.
Going Forward – Nancy, Renee, Whitney, Ella, Sondi
After having their session with Nancy, it seems Whitney and Renee are the ones who got the most out of it. Ella and Sondi are cagey about what Nancy said and her comments, but Renee practices saying “I Feel” and talks about how issues with being alone have arisen as her anger subsides. As for Whitney, it seems she might not let go of the slit thing but is ready to reaffirm, as are the rest of the ladies, Renee will never be alone, forgotten, and rotting in her condo for days. They love each other, and Sondi takes it so far to say she’d do a bid for everyone, which no one else says they will.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- So when did Sondi join the friend group?
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
The better question is: Who’s giving it life? Who’s making any of it matter?
It’s not an excuse. It’s what happened.
You know, there’s a difference between being your best and being the best.
Life is ultimately about self.
Depiction of Therapy
While going to therapy is important, one of the benefits of this episode is showing Nancy being able to speak with very different kinds of Black people, Black women specifically, and her admitting when she doesn’t know things. For example, when Sondi mentions Professor Baptiste calling her “Sis” was insulting, Nancy admitted her age or lack of cultural awareness makes her unable to interpret Professor Baptiste’s statement.
And while, yes, this is all done with comedy in mind, showing therapy as something that isn’t the last resort or something you do when you hit rock bottom is important towards normalizing the practice.
More Info On Ella’s Downfall
Ella is stuck in the past. She got a taste of what she’d call glory and with it now out of reach? She is struggling. To be specific, she isn’t struggling financially but appears to be in a self-loathing stage. One that has allowed Anderson back into her life, almost like his presence is part of a superstition that requires him around to retain all she had before. Which, honestly, I wish was brought up in her therapy session for while it was nice to see when it all went wrong, I’m far more interested in the one thing she makes seem is going right, as of now.
Though, in general, the fall of Ella’s career as an author was the least desired part of this flashback. But with no desire to show how the ladies met, how Ella met Barb, Anderson, and other origin stories, I guess this is just a taste to tease us for what’s to come.
While you do have to give a tepid clap for Run The World showing its cast in therapy, most of the flashbacks only confirmed characters haven’t necessarily evolved much over the years. That and this show may not get that, if we are going to go into the past, a school dance or Ella’s book premiere isn’t what many might be clamoring to see.