The third season of Greenleaf seemingly is about resolving past issues in order to do a soft reset and ensure the show’s future.
|Charity||Deborah Joy Winans|
|Aaron||William H. Bryant Jr.|
|Coralee||Bethany Anne Lind|
|Phil Demars||Sean Blakemore|
|Bob Whitmore||Beau Bridges|
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Sometimes, in order to move forward, become stronger, you got to destroy what once was. That is pretty much what happens this season. With Mae and James’ relationship set on fire, Rochelle, and Basie causing so much drama they basically lose the church, it hits a reset button on their relationship. For Charity, she goes into a downward spiral because Kevin and Aaron have a family and she just has her blood relations – especially after losing Jabari. Yet, with becoming useful to Mae, and her family as a whole, she finds validation.
Then with Jacob and Kerissa, after Tasha reminds both of his past, they are forced to question what are they together for? As for Grace? Well, thanks to her taking on this case dealing with a woman whose story reminds her of her own, it seems she may have finally put to bed any ill feelings about killing Mac. Also, in terms of ill feelings, it seems, just like when Mac died, Mae and Grace may try to be cordial, maybe even loving, to one another again.
Leaving the kids. Sophia, after losing her uterus, goes on a journey of rediscovery. For with bad things happening to people like her, who had a strong faith, how do you reconcile with God over that? Then with Zora? Well, FINALLY, she leaves Isiah alone. Making it so, in their own way, those two have also found themselves closing a chapter and ready to face what’s next.
Greenleaf - Episode List
The third season of Greenleaf seemingly is about resolving past issues in order to do a soft reset and ensure the show’s future.
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.
Featuring: Rochelle, James, Charity, Mae, Grace, Connie, Tasha, Basie, Jacob, Kerissa, Maxine, Lionel, and Aaron
So many surprises jump out at us you’d think this episode of Greenleaf was a haunted house attraction.
Featuring: Rochelle, Coralie, Grace, Isiah, Zora, Kerissa, Jacob, Tasha, Michael, Charity, Lionel, Mae, Basie, Maxine, and James
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.
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.
It seems like history is repeating itself on Greenleaf for some characters as others press on forward despite many an obstacle in their way.
Charity hits rock bottom, something huge happens with Sophia, and Tasha and Rochelle take additional steps in their plan.
As Sophia loses her faith, and Charity finds Iyanla Vanzant visiting her, James and Mae’s plans may have resulted in mutually assured destruction.
There are many last-ditch efforts to salvage, sometimes, selfish plans, and when they don’t come through? Well, people get nasty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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?”
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Greenleaf returns and there is the question of whether Grace is going to Jail and how will everyone will handle their own personal struggles.
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?
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.
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.
Greenleaf returns and with Mae and James’ relationship on the rocks, the foundation of the family is splintered and puts all on unsteady ground.
Lady Mae is put on the defensive and while she is getting hit every which way, she refuses to go down without a fight.
What Maxine Awakened in Lady Mae
Let’s be real, for a long time, Mae has been a broken record. It has been about either her serving airs and graces or making it seem the world is against her. Maxine shook all that up. In a handful of episodes, she revealed to us Mae long dreamed of becoming something more and pushed the character to develop more than perhaps we’ve seen the entire series. She went from the wife, who often was just holding on, to someone who owned her power and was ready to snatch the power she gave up to James back.
Plus, considering damn near no one has much in the way of friends, it made Maxine all the more important. Especially in terms of bringing some form of hope this show may make it where blood, or a romantic relationship, will be the sole means you’ll get to consistently show up. And I bring up the consistently part since Percy was around for a while but then was mentioned by name only.
Kerissa is at the point of having a moment. For most of the show, she has just been one complaint after another, but we got to see a softer side to her this season. One dealing with her insecurities, seeing her cry over Zora making dumb decisions and her letting the child make mistakes. Leading you to hope, even though it seemed like she reverted to her old ways in the final scenes, maybe she may finally evolve next season? I still, personally, am hoping they can cast Janet Hubert to play her mother.
The Mae & James Focused Episodes
Lynn Whitfield and Keith David are legends – plain and simple. However, most of their noteworthy moments come in the form of battling it out with one another or with other characters. But, this season, both get to explore something beyond what we usually see from their characters. Mae gets to venture off on her own, drink, and be merry in ways we haven’t probably ever seen her. Then James? Well, we get a full on episode from his point of view. One in which he tries to help his daughter Charity and speak to Sophia, who is having a crisis of faith. And truly, he delivers the type of performance which will make many of us mad when he doesn’t receive the accolades he deserves.
The problem with Charity’s storyline is that Charity has consistently been a backburner character. She usually has something going on, be it Jabari, Kevin, or feeling unfulfilled/ lonely, but it is never made to be the storyline to watch. Sometimes, it honestly feels like, if this was the kind of show to write and kill characters off, she’d be on the chopping block for some drama. Yet, because that is not how this show operates, rather than deal with her losing Jabari, being jealous of Kevin, maybe dealing with post-partum depression and all that comes with it, she gets a hard reset.
How? Well, Percy butters her up and then she finds herself useful to Mae and so it seems she is better now. Despite her barely wanting to leave her room before and nothing being fixed. Even when Iyanla Vanzant came around to attempt to fix her life.
The issue with Zora’s storyline is that it went on too long. I get she is the bad girl of the show and reps those wild children who are the preacher’s daughter. Thing is, surely they could have given her more than a bad relationship right? But the real kicker here is, she stuck around through abuse, him taking up all her time and pushing her to do free work for his record label, but cheating was the last straw. Are you kidding me? Black eyes, him pushing your dad to violence, embarrassing you publicly is forgivable. However, you suspecting him with another girl and him not claiming you is what leads you to leave?
It is better than her staying around but, come on now. To me, this is another case of them deciding to quickly end a storyline so the character can progress in the future rather than fully resolve what led them to the series of decisions we’ve seen thus far.
The Coralee Storyline
As said damn near every episode she was on, the biggest and maybe only issue was Coralee being a white woman. This is a Black show on what is a Black network, whether Discovery or Oprah call it that or not. So for Coralee to be touted as a victim, represent women who dealt with domestic violence and lost it all when they fought back, it seemed like a lost opportunity. What makes it worse is Grace walks past a Black woman, who thinks Grace might be there for her, before she meets Coralee. Thus adding fuel to the fire.
On The Fence
The issue with Sophia’s storyline isn’t the fact it happened but that it wasn’t explored deeper. After a certain point, it felt more about having dramatic moments then deep diving what it means to lose one’s faith. For someone her age, who wanted children, to lose the ability to do so without notice is a lot to deal with. Which the show does address with her crying, stuffing bible pages in the toilet, throwing her cross, and a really beautiful scene with James, but it felt like it could and should have gone deeper. Problem is, with such a large cast, when could this storyline really get its due?
The Rochelle, Basie, and Tasha Storyline
It seems safe to assume we may not see these 3 in season 4. However, I got to admit, towards the latter half of season 3, it felt like they all overstayed their welcome. Rochelle, while a beautifully portrayed character, was coming to the point where she was running out of schemes. Tasha, well she just fell off the face of the Earth for a long period of time in the middle of the season. Only to return when Rochelle remembered Tasha was part of the plan. Then with Basie? As much as his return was long awaited, it wasn’t like how it used to be. He still had his swag but he came off like the hook to drag everybody out.
Hitting The Reset Button
The way this season ends reminds you of where everyone was once before. It’s almost like, with the way many storylines were handled, a lot got swept under the rug so that this show could remain fresh. The problem is with that, it made all of Mae and James’ beef seem like it was just them letting off steam after decades of being married. Sophia’s situation and Zora’s seemingly ended, or got put on pause, because the writers want to go back to the drawing board with them. And, in general, it just felt like the show wanted to put an end to storylines which have been developing for three seasons because it didn’t inspire them anymore. So, instead, we got a brand new villain to bring the family together and this vibe the show is starting over.
Leaving but one question: Taking note of all that has happened since the pilot, what will keep being addressed or be set aside for the sake of solidarity?
Whatever Happened to Darius?
When the hammer came down on James and Cavalry, Darius was coerced to say something to his employer and that set Grace off. But, we never got to see them talk or anything afterwards. Now, it wouldn’t be wrong to say she had bigger things to worry about. Yet, considering that has been her man for at least a year, at this point, and them being really into one another, working on their differences, you wouldn’t expect this to break them. Especially considering it seems he is but one of many who could provide a comment or confirmation.
Percy Just Fell Off After A While
There was a good period of time Percy seemed like he’d become a regular part of the class. In a way, he seemed like James’ Maxine – just pushing him in the wrong direction a little bit. But what really sucked about Percy falling off was he was trying to bond with Charity and was perhaps the first one to break through to her. Add in him being a lonely old man, buying sex workers for company, and he became someone you wanted to invest in. Yet, in the long run, it seems he was meant to just become a warning to James about the life he could have if he didn’t clean it up.
The Lionel Situation
Let me admit off the bat, it was never on my radar that Lionel was Grace’s biological dad. What can I say, the drama of Mae cheating on James seemed to just be a tit for tat situation. Anything beyond that didn’t click for me. However, killing the man off before he got to meet Grace, that seemed messed up in so many ways. Yet, it fits this season’s way of handling things. A lot gets done which can and should be considered dramatic and have a full-on arc but it gets cut short. Why? Well, because the show needed to find a new path. Get new villains and that leads to the next thing.
The Harmony & Hope Fight
I really don’t know how to feel about the takeover. Maybe it is because the “villains” are people who generally seem nice, outside of Connie, so you don’t want to damn them. Even with it being noted they suck money from churches like a vampire does blood. It’s just, the show seems to be so quickly and drastically changing all for this upcoming battle and there isn’t any real need to be hyped. Phil Demars and Bob Whitmore are different from Rochelle and Basie in ways that doesn’t inspire interest. Connie’s betrayal has been a long time coming but when has anyone been left wondering what happened to her after an extended absence?
So, as much as you have to appreciate the show shaking things up, it is hard to say whether it will be for the better or not.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
Hence the mixed label. Season 3 pushed Mae in ways long needed, gave Sophia a really interesting storyline, let Keith David have his own episode and really flex, but in many ways, it felt like the beginning of the end. With Mae and James, after all their petty fights and a divorce reconciling in the end, it made you question what did we just go through and was it just for drama? With what Charity goes through, Sophia did, Zora, Kerissa, and so many others almost abruptly ending, should we expect their problems to pick back up or are they officially over it?
Ultimately leaving season 3, by no means terrible but definitely feeling similar to season 3 of Queen Sugar – at least in the idea that it is closing a lot of chapters and starting semi-fresh with season 4. However, the difference with Greenleaf is that it feels like the writers thought this series could end and so they came up with a contingency plan. One which feels a tad bit rushed and makes it so you can’t firmly be excited but more so be cautiously optimistic.
Has Another Season Been Confirmed?: Yes
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