With Brody’s return comes the reminder of the effect of Mary’s death and we’re also reminded people have lives outside of their work w/ Star.
Previous Recap: Star: Season 2/ Episode 3 “FUA… Good Night!”
Working My Way Back To Normal: Jahil, Alex, Derek, Cotton
Due to past drug use and antics, Jahil seems seriously blackballed no matter who he turns to. This is even despite stealing his nephew’s beats to try to make headway. Luckily for him though, while the music industry shows him no love, it seems Cotton might be ready to reconcile and start building a relationship. One which begins with the proposal of doing drugs together and, when this idea is rejected by Jahil, her destroying them so they both can stay clean. Which, considering Jahil approaches Ayanna again and slips a USB drive into her blouse, maybe it is a good thing he wasn’t on that stuff so that he wouldn’t be going a mile a minute and can talk nasty to her like she enjoys.
As for one of the sole healthy relationships on the show, well everyone pretty much is tired of placating Derek. Alex wants him to live life again, do his Black lives Matter thing, and just get out the house period. Hell, even Grandma Ruby tells Derek off for she ain’t for contouring her life anymore because she already got two dead kids and ain’t looking for a grandson pretending he is helpless. So, with everyone who actually talks to him telling him to stop feeling sorry for himself, he goes out to get food to make for Alex’s dinner. During that, he does what the old Derek would do when this Muslim girl, Soraya (Annie Jacob), is being harassed. Which leads to him being pushed out of his chair.
But it was good for him. He even thanks Alex for giving him that initial push and tries to have a dialog with her about what is going on with her. However, she instead decides to have sex with him rather than reveal she has taken to stealing. Something she may not have to do for long for between Noah and Gigi (Keke Palmer), her being Big Trouble’s producer and writer is starting to get around. And considering Noah seems quite impressed with the skills she has, it seems Star may not be the first one to break away from the group with a solo project.
A Little Lost, A Little Lonely: Carlotta, Simone, Maurice
As we have seen, outside of Star, Simone doesn’t really connect with anyone. With Carlotta, she gets a mother figure but with her about 10 years removed since her biological mother was around, she is hot and cold when it comes to the idea of someone stepping in. Making Karen something special in a way. Though Karen’s story is complicated in a different way and isn’t on the same upward trajectory, she is someone Simone can really connect to. Someone who is her own and isn’t Star’s friend or someone who feels guilty for what they did or didn’t do for her mom.
Perhaps leading to why Simone is falling for Karen a little bit. Not to imply she may not be naturally queer but with Simone getting the attention of Rachel and now Karen, it seems she might be going in the direction she is wanted. Where she can experience the love and affection which has been missing in her life and she sees Star getting all the time.
And speaking of missing things, Carlotta has been missing having a church home something awful. It hasn’t been talked about but when Maurice takes her to his church, it seems Carlotta got a similar jolt to her system like after Jahil gave her a pep talk. For while long retired from Mixed Harmony kind of work, being on stage in church is cleansing to Carlotta. Especially as Brody walks around here, alive and well, and yet Mary is dead in the grave. Something Carlotta feels guilty about for she never stepped in when it came to Mary and the drugs. She needed Mary on stage and Mary needed to be high to do so and that meant she let Mary do whatever she needed to do. A fact which still haunts her.
Daddy Issues: Star, Brody, Ayanna
As Carlotta said, the girls and Ayanna aren’t that different. Star and Ayanna especially it seems. She, Star, even notes herself, they are both just trying to prove something to people. For Ayanna, it deals with trying to get the approval of her father and arguably, for Star, while proving to Brody she is, and will be, fine without him is a factor, in general, she is trying to prove to every foster parent she is the sugar, honey, and ice tea.
However, even with Star showing out and winning over a newcomer to the label, Gigi, who Ayanna is trying to sign to impress her dad, it isn’t clear if that will be enough. Even with Star seeing the soft underbelly of Ayanna and, with her acknowledging she did, that pushing Ayanna to wonder about how Star’s own vulnerabilities? Not to use it as a weapon but since this girl seems to refuse to listen to authority, it seems Ayanna is trying to figure out how they can connect in a way so she can at least guide the child.
Leaving Brody. To make an already too long recap short, Brody seemingly wants nothing more than to reconcile. From what it seems, his abandonment of her was because the whole Mary thing was too much and when she OD’d, that was his wakeup call. And to prove he never forgot Star, maybe Simone in extension, he shows a folded up picture Star might have made when she was a child. One which sends Star into tears for while the abandonment isn’t forgiven, the idea her daddy might be worth a damn gives that little girl inside her hope. So she shuts her hope by having sex with Noah.