Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
As Otis’ death still haunts Simone, and Carlotta’s relationship with Jahil is brought up, the girls refocus on the Atlanta talent show.
Topic 1: An Abuse of Trust (Star, Hunter, Carlotta, and Simone)
Two things have been well established: Simone has an eternal fascination with her mom and Star has lived a life where she took what she could get. However, both aspects end up aggravating one of their most important relationships. Carlotta has quickly become a maternal figure for Simone and while she can never replace her mother, she is making a quality surrogate. However, with her digging up mixed harmony tapes and pictures, bringing up bad memories for Carlotta, she is not only hurt by her digging through her things but not even asking first.
As for Star, Hunter opens up to her about his dad and tries to see if he can trust her. He knows she is talented and needs outfits to really pop, so he lends her his credit card. She, in return, spends 20,000 spending money at a high boutique store so she, Simone, and Alexandra, can have fly outfits. Making him royally pissed. Though it doesn’t end there for she allows herself to be seen by paparazzi. Thus making it seem she really was just using him.
I really love the bonds Carlotta is making with Simone, and even Alexandra. For while not mentioned, it seems Alexandra is warming up to Carlotta perhaps for the same reason Simone is. Because, while she may not be the mom living in the house behind a picket fence, she is there, she is an active participant in these girls lives, and her actions and mentorship don’t seem because she is jealous or controlling. She genuinely cares and for Simone that is foreign and for Alexandra, to a point, I think the same could be said. For her mother loves her but she can barely take care of herself, much less support a girl who once looked up to her but now looks down on her.
As for Star, I feel like, with her not used to having nice things or people, she takes what she can get before they turn on her or toss her aside. Hence why, even setting aside the fact Hunter is rich, she fully exploited the opportunity he gave. For never mind he revealed how his dad used him as a human shield and all that, she has heard sob stories before from guys and they still did her wrong. So what makes him different? I mean, he did seem like he was going to hit her when his mom told him about how much money was spent.
Topic 2: History Repeating Itself (Star, Alexandra, Carlotta, and Jahil)
One of the biggest problems with Mixed Harmony and this current group is the girl doing all the work doesn’t get to be the star or get the credit she deserves. For Mixed Harmony, like with Star’s group, it’s the Black girl doing all the work while the white girl sings and follows the steps she comes up with. That’s how it has been since the beginning and if you watch the videos, “It’s Alright” especially, you see that while Star picks up quick and has that hustle spirit, her main selling point is that she is a cute white girl who has some soul to her voice. Hence why Jahil wants to put her as lead, hence why Jahil started to push Carlotta to the side and focus on Mary, despite them having a thing. Also, despite Carlotta, like Alexandra, seeming to be the multitalented one compared to the white girl who only has the voice.
One of the big things with this episode is how Black women don’t get the credit they deserve and how colorism is still a major issue. Something which, for some of the people I talk about the show with, is one of their major issues with Star. Despite Star being nothing more than a white girl who can sing, she is treated as the star of the show when really, as entertaining as it is seeing a good white girl, it is problematic in some ways. For while I may not subscribe to the idea urban culture solely belongs to Blacks and Latinx, it is hard to say when the line is crossed when it comes to white characters, as well as people, go from authenticity to caricature.
Though you have to love how this show points out how dark skinned woman are pushed aside, how doing something as basic as just singing well makes Star get all this praise as Alexandra is seemingly handling the writing, mixing, possibly the choreography and really getting no props. Even Star, who knows Alexandra is that girl, fights with her and her input barely makes for a better product. Outside of assisting Cotton with the fashion aspect, Star’s contribution is keeping Simone in line, singing, and arguably getting Jahil. Someone who increasingly seems like more of a liability than an asset.
Topic 3: On To The Next One (Star, Alexandra, and Simone)
The talent show auditions happen and the group makes it into the top 20.
“Unlove You” to me is the first real bleh song of the season. So, with that said, I didn’t get into the whole talent show portion or performance. I recognized the importance of it, Carlotta’s song being sung and it showing her and Star moving pass their own issues. However, with Carlotta putting the group in her shadow with that gospel song, I mean… I know Queen Latifah can blow and is the biggest name on here, but she didn’t have to make the girls such an afterthought.
Things to Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- I wish, so badly, Mariah Carey was cast as Mary.
- I can swear the last episode ended with it being said no one was supposed to talk about the murder or the body? So why in the hell is it such a big to do and everyone trying to figure out who did it?
- Jahil has been kidnapped and taken to a warehouse.
- Eva hasn’t seen her mother in 15 years, is Dominican, and now is working in Carlotta’s salon. Oh, and Alexandra understands Spanish. Likely because she was raised by a Spanish woman.
- For those who want to hear “Heartbreak” from last week’s episode, someone was kind enough to make a lyric video for it here.
- Leecan calls about Otis and Simone answers, beginning to cause the grief and anxiety that was subsiding for her to raise again.