Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
Jahil continues to use “Big Trouble” as a means to reestablish himself and while he begins to reclaim some of his former glory, Cotton is starting to bottom out. Also, Derek makes a foolish mistake which could cost him, and maybe Alex, everything.
Episode Focus: Atlanta’s NextFest (Jahil, Star, Simone, Eva and Alex)
With NextFest being everyone’s big shot, from the girls of Big Trouble, Eva, and Jahil, each and everyone does whatever it takes. Jahil hired someone to make it seem if Eva isn’t in the group they have to drop out. Then Jahil appeals to Pumkin’s feelings by getting her to produce a track for NextFest by talking about how he is trying to do right by Mary. A topic which, while Pumkin doesn’t believe Jahil changed, the name still has a place in her heart so she does it for Mary’s kids. Leading to one good performance. Albeit, one which didn’t seem like it could be that good, because of Eva and Star combating for the lead position. However, in the end, egos were put aside for the future of the group.
Which, in the end, all paid off. The girls ended up in the top 5 and will head to the next stage. Though it isn’t clear if all 4 girls, much less Jahil, will be on stage when it is all over. For Simone, as everyone goes off with their significant other, overhears how Eva and Jahil planned everything to trick the group. Something she tells Star and you know will lead to payback.
Star is petty. She is petty and on top of that, she doesn’t like being the victim or getting played. So, needless to say, she is going to do much more than get a new manager and make sure Eva’s time in “Big Trouble” is short. The question is, what will she do and will it just be the dynamic duo of her and Simone participating? Alex, as we have seen, almost seems entertained by all the drama. Hell, when Star and Eva fight during rehearsal, she laughs because she never got in a fight before. Also, when this whole issue started, of Eva in the group, she barely said a thing. It seems, if anything, she is indifferent as long as she didn’t waste her time. Leading you to wonder if she may help or hurt Star’s plans. Especially if she thinks Eva’s bilingual lyrics help things. Which, to me, they honestly don’t.
Subplot 1: The Surveillance Video (Derek and Alex)
It is believed that if Derek’s lawyer can find that surveillance video from the protest, he can be free. Problem is, Derek can’t just keep a low profile. This is especially true when he hears Alex got roughed up from a news reporter. With that, he tries to point the reporter in the direction of the cop who roughed Alex up. Something Alex gets upset about for that could complicate things for Derek’s case and if Alex’s name gets put out there, you know her parents will come running.
Though with the car accident Derek causes, due to not paying attention while driving, that assault case and surveillance video maybe the last thing they both need to worry about.
I’m starting to wonder if Derek maybe more a liability than an asset. For while I appreciate his #BlackLivesMatter angle, he is drowning out Alex. Which wouldn’t be such a big problem if she got to say or do more in the group, but as more characters came on board, Alex has become an afterthought. At this point, if she isn’t complaining about Star her life is all about dating Derek. And while I like those two together, and I think it is so important to see a dark skinned girl in a normal and healthy relationship, cause you can’t come up with many examples of that, Derek is eclipsing her. He is no longer an accessory to her story, he is no longer her support system who we are told just enough about to know he has his own life. She has become absorbed into his drama and has lost herself to that. To the point where I question, even if her mom or did get involved, can she recover?
Subplot 2: Relapse (Cotton, Jahil, and Carlotta)
With Elliot leaving her and Cotton just feeling depressed, she goes back on drugs. Something Jahil tries to pull her out of by reminding her of her talent and even trying to get her back to Carlotta’s, but that doesn’t work. In fact, Cotton almost questions if all the nice things said and done is because Jahil has feelings for her. But as Carlotta hears this, and Cotton starts making moves, she announces quickly that Jahil is her father and Cotton is his son. Yes, she still misgendered Cotton after everything that happened in episode 8.
It was clear from the start Jahil was Cotton’s dad. What is worth talking about with this topic is Carlotta still referring to Cotton by the wrong gender and Cotton being on drugs. Something I found interesting since while Cotton does do sex work, it is hard to imagine her being a junkie. Especially since the way she was “high” didn’t look like no marijuana high. So you gotta wonder, what is her drug of choice? We know being molested is why she does drugs, to drown those memories out, but who introduced them must be asked. Anyone wanna vote for Pastor Harris?
On another note, now that Cotton and Jahil’s now about each other, you gotta wonder how will their relationship move forward? Especially when you know Cotton probably danced for her dad before, if not more.
Things to Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Hunter buys a house and puts it in Star’s name. Something which will lead to a lot of problems in the next episode. Especially since, so it seems, he will feel used. Similar to how he felt when Star ran up his credit card.
- Alex supports the idea of prayer before their NextFest performance. Something which shocks the group. Though, with that comes Simone doing the prayer. Leading me to wish we got to see her sing in church more and get some spiritual healing.
- How came up with the band’s name? It seems too corny for Star and Alex to agree to.
- Can someone explain how Joseline Hernandez had a better (acting) performance than Missy Elliot?
- So, Otis’ murder is just going to be instantly dropped and not talked about? Ok.