In this episode, we learn what was the thing which triggered Matt wanting to propose to Leigh as well as see Jules struggle to rebuild her image.
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Trying To Move Forward: Jules, Leigh, Amy
For around 15 years Amy has had Beautiful Beast at the same location. Through the neighborhood being horrible, sucking up to the landlord, Mrs. Hartouian, and taking out a second mortgage. Now all she wants to do is own the building but it seems they don’t want to sell it to her. They’re getting an all-cash offer from some investment group and while Amy may get to stay a tenant, who knows how much the new landlords may have her pay.
And while Amy believes in foresight, mantras, all that, it is coming to the point where really, truly believing in that, it is getting hard. Even her morning affirmations aren’t doing the trick. For like Jules, she is still mourning over Matt but unlike Jules and Leigh, she doesn’t have the luxury to slow down her life or go into a tailspin. She has a house, is her daughters’ employer, and is trying to be a local Oprah of sorts. Someone who has a women’s empowerment center but just can’t get what she needs to do so.
Speaking of can’t get what she needs, Jules is just trying to be taken seriously. She knows for a good decade she has messed up – repeatedly, but that was then, this is now, and she needs another chance. Problem is, from anything small, like taking care of a lost dog Leigh found, to creating a middle school dance party class, to address Mia’s criticism, she isn’t really given much faith or trust.
Yet, lest we forget, Jules is Amy’s daughter so she pushes beyond expectations and while, when it comes to the dog, there isn’t a huge amount she can do with that, her class goes off well. It’s basically a workout set to Britney Spears, and other classics, combined with a light workout, that has the goal of seeming less strenuous than Leigh class. Also with Jules being more approachable, it focuses less on the beast part of the company’s mission and more on making customers feel beautiful.
With Leigh talking about how she was close to Amy at tone time, Amy noting how Matt was her favorite, and how Jules presents how she messed up, I think we need flashbacks which aren’t just about Matt and Leigh’s relationship. For while central to the show, it does feel like we need to expand past that. If, at the very least, showing how big of a loss to Danny losing Matt was, to Amy, and to Jules. For we see who he was as part of the family during family events, but what about his personal relationships with these people?
Something which seems like it must be seen because Jules doesn’t seem to have a friend, Amy has no one to confide in and while Leigh has Danny, to a point, and Zack, she isn’t close to either one really. I’d even argue her relationship with Zack is more professional than personal but Zack thinks he can cross that boundary. Which, without Matt around, may lead Leigh to eventually draw a line in the sand.
December 26th: Matt, Leigh
Depending on the math, for Matt met Leigh on New Year’s Eve, their anniversary is March 16th, and they got engaged June 20th, the two may have had a whirlwind romance. Yet, as is made clear, once Leigh commits to something, that seems to be it. That’s shown by how she researches dogs when she meets Matt’s dog Rogue, how she looks into antidepressants when she learns Rogue and Matt are on them, and it could be how she is in general. For, from what it seems, she likes being prepared and able to help.
Something which we know bothers Matt sometimes, as seen with the comic book thing in the last episode. Yet, her caring so deeply, it is also why he fell in love with her. For when Rogue died, she was trying to bargain with him over putting Rogue down. Since, after who knows how many weeks or months, she trained Rogue and got the very selective dog to like and trust her. And, as made clear, Leigh doesn’t put a whole lot of effort into every last relationship which comes her way. So, for those she connects with, losing them is a major loss.
This, “How did Matt die?” thing is truly getting annoying. To the point, even if it was suicide, because they are building it up so much, I don’t know if I may cry or be like “FINALLY!” But, with that said, I find myself again wanting flashbacks that don’t deal with this relationship. For Matt has established him and his dad did not get along, and that his dad is dead. So now I want to see how that relationship molded him. Also, assuming his mom is alive, how is she grieving?
But, probably the big thing about this segment is Matt getting diagnosed. It’s especially a big deal because he’s Black and while this show probably is catering more so to a general (read: white) audience than a Black one, it is an important moment. Noting the shame yet recognizing, to function he needs his medicine. All the while noting it isn’t always going to make things better and he will get dark sometimes. Yet, it is better to know you have a disease than simply a character flaw.
For it sort of picks up on what Jenifer Lewis says in her book Mother of Black Hollywood when it comes to being bi-polar. You can call this person crazy or that person crazy and make a big joke about it, but something might truly be wrong there. And when the laughter is over, that person is left to deal with the consequences of their actions you found so entertaining and for them was the mania before a possible depression.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- Matt’s Birthday is February 5th
- Matt and Leigh’s anniversary was March 16th
- Leigh’s birthday is October 2nd
- Matt and Leigh met on December 31st
- Matt and Leigh were engaged June 20th
- December 26th is the day Matt knew he’d marry Leigh
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- You ever wonder if Amy gave her daughters body issues with them, maybe around 15 years now, being around all this fitness stuff?
- How did Boots’ owners lose him?
- Who else would cry if Danny called Leigh his sister or she called Danny her brother?
- Why does Leigh not clean her feet before getting into bed? You walk barefoot throughout the house and don’t use a baby wipe or something before sticking your feet under the covers? Yet a dog in your bed is a big to do?
- When was the last time Jules or Amy dated?
- What happened to Becca?
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
When I got diagnosed […] it was one of the happiest days of my life. My doctor telling me I had a disease instead of a character flaw.
- Jules continuing her lifelong quest to maintain sobriety and not letting her rather harsh family cause a relapse.
- Matt’s struggle with not only revealing his depression but dealing with the stigma he knows comes from it.
- The fact Amy has a full ass life outside of her kids.
On The Fence
- I could use more out of Danny. Though we were made aware he works in IT, he still kind of comes off as a more functional Jules sometimes.
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