Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
With the death of Danielle comes the need to get justice. However, in the end, it seems it will just be a means to bring back old characters and push a few new storylines.
Topic 1: It’s Not About How You Win But How You Play The Game (Eva, Jahil, Ed [Alex Van], and Arlene)
With Arlene hating Star and having a boat load of stuff on Jahil, he needs something to fend her off. So, he decides to talk to Ed, Arlene’s abusive husband, and he learns Hunter is using performance enhancing drugs. Thus giving Jahil something to shut Arlene up and force her to leave him, and the group, alone.
However, while Arlene maybe off his back, when it comes to Star’s place in the group, it seems Eva may have become all Arlene could want. She uses Hunter to take away Star from a crucial practice before a protest dedicated to getting Danielle justice. Then, she manipulates the girls, Simone and Alexandra, into giving her Star’s spot since Alex wrote a song for the event for three people and doesn’t have time to make it for two. Thus setting up Eva’s ascent into wiggling her way into the group by playing on Alex’s frustrations with Star and Simone getting tired of sticking up for her sister.
You know, with Eva being conniving, and now Jahil’s official love interest, honestly I feel like his part in this show becomes a weaker and weaker link in the fence. For with Miss Bruce and Cotton a part of this show, and Cotton seemingly getting focused on in the next episode, honestly it makes Jahil’s drama eye roll inducing. I mean, the group has enough drama with the class and race issues, on top of Star’s ego, but adding Eva to the mix seems like overkill to me. There are so many other things which could bring unnecessary drama and this girl trying to wiggle her way in isn’t one that is needed. Especially because Otis’ body gets dug up so you know that “Who killed Otis?” storyline is coming back.
That aside, I am a bit on the fence about Ed’s introduction. It’s good the show is following up on who Hunter’s dad is, after he was mentioned in the last episode, but I feel like his role was purely to soften up Arlene. Make it so you feel bad for her, despite how she acts, and it just felt cheap. Though, when talking about Jahil, what doesn’t seem cheap, forced, and kind of unnecessary at this point?
But before we move on, I just got to note how hilarious it is that after all the stuff Simone pulled in the earlier episodes, she didn’t stick up for Star. Now, maybe it is seeing that New Edition Story that got me thinking, but considering the opportunities Star has had to go solo, you’d think out of all people, Simone would have her sister’s back. I mean, let’s just count the ways Star has stuck up for Simone. She stopped her from being raped, found someone who is perhaps the first healthy maternal figure in her life, was one of the first people calling her out about her drinking and drug problems, and she defended her countlessly from Alex, Jahil, and even found a way to keep things going when she was put into the mental hospital. Hell, she even worked a way to bust her out when she wanted to get out! Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Star because of her ego, and how she, and everyone on this show, talks about how jealous everyone is or how everyone wants her, but I give credit when it is due. Granted, Simone probably got caught up in the experience of being fully accepted as Black outside of the allure of being cute, bi-racial and light skinned, but come on…
Topic 2: #BlackLivesMatter (Alex, Derek, Simone, and Carlotta)
Being that Carlotta, as part of Mixed Harmony, was working on the night of the LA Riots, she isn’t too fond of being out during a protest. Something she tries to stop Simone from doing but that girl hard headed. Yet, on the advisement of the pastor, she goes there to show support and keep an eye on her 2nd chance at raising a child. More on that later. But, while she is there to support, she is pessimistic about an indictment coming. Of which, as predicted, all that happens is a suspension with pay. Leading to Derek, who started and is working the protest, starting a chant and “Infiltrators” trying to start stuff with the cops. Derek breaks it up but is mistaken for one of the people who was assaulting the cops so he is arrested. Alex becomes really distraught over his arrest and calls up the station and is real pushy. Then, when possibly going to post his bail, she gets pulled over without a license or registration and gets mouthy to the cops who rough her up a little and arrest her. Likely meaning we should expect her dad and mom to arrive within the next 2 episodes.
To me, like how the writers used Danielle’s death and this Black Lives Matter thing to push Eva to the forefront, it is also being used to make Derek more than Alexandra’s love interest. Which I feel like I should be okay with, since we get to see him organize and practice what he preaches, yet every bit of drama which doesn’t deal with the music I’m gauging as either a liability or an asset.
Now, I realize that what draws actors like the ones playing Derek and Jahil is a role they think is juicy. However, honestly Jahil has very little draw to me, at this point, and Derek is excellent at softening up Alex’s persona and showing she can be down, but I don’t know about him being the reason she gets arrested. For didn’t the group just do a charity event to heal their image before that big talent show? How are they supposed to recover from this?
Switching to Simone and Carlotta, I’m waiting on the day when Cotton peeps their relationship and asks why can’t she get the love, affection, and understanding Simone gets. For when you compare Carlotta’s relationship to Simone vs. Cotton, even though Simone is new in her life, there is a day and night difference. The type I’m fiending to see addressed.
Things to Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- One of the reasons I feel that Danielle’s death wasn’t truly taken seriously is because of that silly ass dance number which included her after the funeral and a bunch of somber moments. It was an oddly placed moment which killed the mood.