Star ends with a bang, a bit of redemption, and a few body bags to take out characters who outlived their purpose.
Episode Focus: Atlanta NextFest (Star, Hunter, Carlotta, Alex, Jahil, and Simone)
It has finally come. Atlanta’s NextFest has arrived and there are but a few small hiccups on the way. The first being, with Jahil in jail, the girls need a manager. Enter Big Boi who offers a contract then decides to snatch it back and just invest in Eva. Fine. The next issue comes from Star’s costume being at Hunter’s house. Now, Star maybe an around the way girl, but let us not forget Hunter is a football player. So, by himself, despite Star having a tire iron, he seemingly breaks her nose and locks her in a closet. Luckily, Simone decides to go to the house and while she gets tossed like a winter jacket when it is 90 degrees in your house, she gets that tire iron and hits Hunter’s knee and head to take him down. Then, to finish him off, when Star gets rescued she gives Hunter’s hand and wrist a few good whacks and likely breaks them.
Thus leading to the girls heading to Atlanta’s Next Fest and winning the show. Though without a manager, so comes the question of what to do going forward? Star may be street smart, but she isn’t business smart. Simone is still technically in high school and Alex is still very much about doing things without her dad’s help. Enter Carlotta who offers her services and the girls agree to her taking over and getting them a better name than “Big Trouble.”
There is a lot to unpack here so the Hunter and Eva topic will be noted separately as well as the Jahil situation. So, focusing on the NextFest, I gotta admit I’m sort of on the fence about the girls getting everything they want in season 1. Granted, we know and have seen, Star and Simone struggle with abuse and rape, yet music wise there is something which seems a bit too much like a fairy tale here. Which I found odd since this was the first episode, since before Jahil and Eva’s drama went full force, where you got that sense of realness.
As usual, Simone was in the heart of it and when she was asking Star how’d she let a man hit her and Star returned with telling Simone you know you don’t let someone do this to you, I was shook. Not to the point of crying, but it was that reminder of all the things these girls went through which reminded you how much this win was needed for them. They spent their whole lives fighting and struggling, relying on hope and eventually faith, and the day finally came. Despite some last minute route changes, they made it to the mountaintop.
So, with them being on top now, it should be interesting to see what may happen from here. [note]Especially considering Alex is keeping her baby.[/note]
Subplot 1: You Reap What You Sow (Hunter & Eva)
As noted, Hunter once again hits Star but Eva? Oh, she is a sneaky girl. She tries to lead Jahil to believe Star set him up as if, after all, he has done for them, she’d do him like that. Truth is, Eva was the one screwing him over. With Big Boi, she found a way to become a bigger star and with Star and the rest of them noting how they could legally get out of their contract, they gave Eva an idea.
However, Eva and Hunter, despite becoming villains on the show, they won’t make it to season two. Both are shot and killed, as they have sex, and are undoubtedly dead.
I’d find it hard to argue that Eva has been dead weight for a while. If only because she wasn’t written to be sneaky and mysterious. Once it was revealed to us the extent of her lies, she lost any sort of nuance she could have had. Hell, in this episode, when they had her call Jahil a “Stupid Ass” as we were wondering who snitched, it showed how weakly written this character was and how little the investment was as well. Making her getting shot up not just satisfying because she was someone you loved to hate, but a blessing for a show which sort of strayed for its core and compelling drama to accommodate some sort of semi-separate plot for Jahil.
As for Hunter? His death is also a blessing in a way. Like Eva, he served a purpose for Jahil’s storyline and also Star’s in a way. Unfortunately, he was used to make Star a sympathetic and likable character again, through domestic violence, but either way, he served his purpose. Plus, let’s be real, between the two, where could either of their storylines go?
Subplot 2: A Sense of Freedom (Cotton, Carlotta, and Jahil)
While Jahil gets out of jail, it only seems temporary. That is until Carlotta puts her detective hat on and gets a confession out of Otis’ wife about murdering him. Though Jahil isn’t fully in the clear for while he dodges a case, Maggie reveals that the people Jahil were supposed to sell the girls to, they know he let them be free. Thus leading to him having a hit on him and a hitman going to his apartment and killing Eva and Hunter thinking it was Jahil and some girl.
As for Cotton? Well, it seems she wakes up from her surgery with freedom from her past but a sentence for her future. For with her being charged with grand larceny, it seems she will be seen as a woman, but one who will be going to prison.
With most of Jahil’s storylines wrapping up this episode, I kind of thought and wished he got shot too. For now, we have this unknown mob hanging over the show to deal with. But what really is going to be interesting is Cotton going to prison. Especially since, in my mind, bottom surgery or not, I feel like they won’t send her to women’s prison. Something in my spirit leads me to feel that because her papers still likely register her as Arnold [note]A name which, despite all their issues, I’m surprised Carlotta didn’t call Cotton more.[/note], she is going to be sent to a men’s prison. Leading to not your Orange is the New Black, type of story, but something far worse and with less comic relief.