Star: Season 3/ Episode 1 “Secrets & Lies” [Season Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Star looking into a mirror and talking to her unborn child.
Star: Hey, big baby.
65.96% (3)

Three months have passed, and we learn the results of the multiple cliffhangers of the last season. While adding one for a past season favorite this episode.


 

Network
FOX
Director(s) Bille Woodruff
Writer(s) Kimberly Ann Harrison
Air Date 9/26/2018
Characters Introduced
Bianca Alexis Louder
Mateo William Levy
Nina Camila Banus
Bobby Harold Perrineau

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What’s Left Of The Foundation: Mateo, Carlotta, Alex, Simone, Star, Noah, Joyce, Cotton, Miss Bruce, Cassie, Christine, Derek, Bobby

Remember all those cliffhangers from the last season? Well, guess what? STAR decides to not have anyone die. Alex and Derek are alive, and Simone might be in an unhappy marriage now, but she is fine. Cotton got to her new job, quit after two months, and is right back at the salon. Noah, talked off that ledge by his father Bobby, went to rehab and now seemingly Miss Bruce may act as his sponsor. Then, when it comes to the Cassie and Carlotta standoff? Those two don’t even shoot each other. They accidentally shoot their momma Christine.

Leading to Christine wanting them to kiss and makeup but neither one is having it. They see their relationship at a point of no return. Well, Carlotta anyway. Especially since she is dealing with the new owner, since Ayanna sold the business and went to London, Mateo. Someone who wants to divest in the music industry and thus wants to shut the record label down. Which Carlotta thought she could save by announcing a $200 million dollar tour, but then Joyce, who still is getting high, pulls a gun on Star because of Star’s mouth. A mouth she has despite now being pregnant with someone’s baby.

Commentary

Bianca, a fan of Alex, trying to reassure her as their plane goes down.
Bianca (Alexis Louder): It’s gonna be okay. We’re gonna be okay.

I’m mad. Not in an angry way but in a “Ya’ll really just played me like that?” kind of way. Because no one died from all those cliffhangers. Yet, thanks to social media, among other things, we knew the majority didn’t die. The only one we didn’t really hear about was Angel and he is alive and well. So STAR season 3, it started off on the wrong foot with that nonsense.

Yet, now we got a whole lot to wonder about and look forward to. Such as, my personal favorite, maybe something finally being done with Miss Bruce. For this character has been around since the beginning yet hasn’t been much but comic relief. There was Derek coming for them and that being a major blow, but nothing was really followed up on after. Same thing goes when Carlotta went off on Miss Bruce after the illegal plastic surgery thing. So here is hoping, with them being connected to Noah, in some kind of sponsor role, Miss Bruce’s past and darkness may come out.

As for the rest? Well, here is hoping they give Cotton something to do. Though, considering the step up Miss Bruce might have, they may swap how much screen time one got rather than the other. Oh, and this Bobby situation, here is hoping that isn’t a one-time thing. Noah is seriously damaged, but reconnecting with his dad in some way would be sweet. It’s clear he is part of the many reasons Noah has issues.

Oh, and before we move on, this Cassie situation, her not being shot and killed that is, WHY?!

The Struggles Of Trying To Move On: Alex, Cassie, Carlotta, Star, Simone, Bianca, Maurice, Christine

With Star pregnant, of course she wants to reconcile with Simone. Problem is, Simone is as stubborn as Star and while she isn’t happy in the DR, partly due to being homesick, she isn’t intending to say anything. Same goes for Alex’s issues. While, once again, she found herself in an accident and left with PTSD, she doesn’t really want to talk about it. Especially because, before said accident, she treated a fan rather badly so there is some guilt involved.

But all their beef with one another doesn’t hold weight to what Cassie and Carlotta got going on. With Christine tired of their bickering, she forces the two to be in a room together and Cassie genuinely wants to reconnect. After all, Carlotta raised her while their mom was hustling. However, killing Jahil crossed a line and because of that, Carlotta talks down to Cassie and tells her she is nothing.

Which, as you can imagine, is the kind of thing which triggers people. So, she decides to hook up with Maurice to seemingly compete with Carlotta. Because being petty is the best revenge. Oh, and speaking of petty, on a Wendy Williams styled show, Alex and Simone decide to announce that Take 3 is breaking up. Blindsiding both Star and Carlotta.

Commentary

Cassie trying to show she wants to be in Carlotta's life, in a healthy way.
Cassie: when Mama was hustling, you raised me, you fed me.

I would, and still am, cool with Cassie dying. She is a nuisance and is disrupting this show’s, season by season, goal of seemingly cutting down being over the top. Season 1 had Jahil’s issues with the mob and Arlene. Season 2 cut that nonsense out and while the show established its love for cliffhangers, it seemingly found a good rhythm.

For while, yes, we had love triangles, two major deaths, two people with drug problems, three if you include Joyce who rarely was around, then of course Cotton having a son, things were better – arguably. Of course there was Arlene having a twin, which was ridiculous, and that being used to write Brody off, it seemed Star was beginning to realize its core group had enough troubles with each other and the music industry. Bringing in too many outside forces was just unnecessary.

But now we got Cassie and her bringing Maurice back into the picture. Something I only have beef with because it seems Cassie exists, still, on this show for no reason besides being able to use Brandy. If Cassie wasn’t played by someone famous, I could fully imagine her being killed off in that standoff.

In a similar fashion, that is why I think Cotton is still around. Not because her actress is famous, in this case, but because there aren’t a huge amount of Trans people on network TV. So killing off one of the few may possibly cause outrage. Even if her character has barely evolved past using being trans as the sum of the character.

Switching to our leads, between a car accident and a plane crash, should we expect a train or boat accident by the time season 4 rolls around? Considering the humor of this show, I fully expect Star or Simone to joke about how much bad luck Alex brings and to see them crossing themselves and asking Carlotta to bring out the holy water to dose on Alex. Hair be damned!

Then with Simone? Well, considering we learn she isn’t just homesick but apparently them DR girls may not be doing it for her, it seems she didn’t just miss the salon and her family.

When You Can’t Salvage The Old, Start Something New: Mateo, Nina, Simone, Carlotta, Star, Alex

With Mateo having no interest in Midtown, the tour dying because of Joyce, then Take 3 saying there are breaking up, Carlotta feels like she is down for the count. Yet, with some pep talk, she goes to Mateo’s gala, where he plans to woo and announce his plans to his investors, to get to them in ways she can’t get to him. Which works. Originally, Mateo, under his Gravity group, was just going to focus on movies, fashion, and gossip. However, Take 3 makes a grand return and Carlotta decides to announce the end of Midtown and birth of Gravity Records. Thus forcing Mateo’s hand and leading to him giving Carlotta 7 months to turn things around. She says she’ll do it in 6.

But, to make things fun, we learn Mateo and his wife are swingers. If not just plain ole sexual deviants. Though, to add onto that, Nina, Mateo’s wife, she not only slept with Simone, maybe just slept-slept, not sex, but also she isn’t just Mateo’s wife. Nina is the head of content and acquisitions for this new venture. Meaning, similar to Star, it seems Simone knows how to pick a mark. Well, sometimes.

Though Simone doesn’t reveal this affair to anyone. All she reveals, when Carlotta has a sit-down, is that she is likely to divorce Angel. Alex and Star follow this up with Alex revealing her PTSD and Star that she is pregnant. Which throws a bit of a monkey wrench in Carlotta’s plans but still, she expects a new album, their follow up to Take 3’s debut album, 3:31, soon.

Commentary

Mateo introducing his wife Nina.
Mateo (William Levy): This is Nina Ferrera (Camila Banus)

Simone can’t have one nice and stable relationship huh? Don’t get me wrong, yay for her waving that pride flag season in and season out but, like Alex, does anyone else feel like a pattern is forming? Alex getting into accidents and Simone just never really being happy? Not to say that, at barely 18, she should just settle for Angel and make it work for the next 50+ decades of her life and deal. She’s young and the marriage was only so Angel could stay and Simone could be emancipated. So it isn’t like the relationship didn’t have its time limit.

My thing is, if Alex and Derek can get back together, why couldn’t Simone and Angel play out longer? They’re a much cuter couple. Alex and Derek, taking note of when she played nurse, just seem like two hot people together, at this point in the show.

But hey, if you’re going to leave your husband, minas well do it for a rich woman who will be unavailable to you since she is married right? Then again, maybe that might be cool for Simone? A full-time relationship was hard for her so maybe being a mistress could be all she ever really needed? Something to warm her up into the idea of a real relationship, because relationships which blossom due to circumstance? Those don’t seem to work out well for her.

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Switching to Carlotta, you really can’t just announce stuff like a new label and get away with that right? What’s with shows pushing the idea that if you announce something publicly, it has to happen? Projects get cancelled every day and sometimes not too long after they get announced. Add on I haven’t known too many Latin dudes who’d let women play them like that and this just seems off. But, who knows, this could be a setup where Nina ends up with Simone and we learn Carlotta got a thing for Latin men. Well, Latin and/or Caribbean. It isn’t clear where Mateo’s people are from.

Oh, and I know there should be a question of who is the father of Star’s kid, but considering how she gets around sometimes, while Noah and Jackson are the obvious choices, there is room for something out of left field.

Miscellaneous Commentary

Ruby

Ms. Ruby before she is raped by a stranger.

Ms. Ruby has been talking about how bad crime is in the area but, being raped? On one hand, I’m happy Ruby, like Miss Bruce, may end up getting featured more but under these circumstances? I mean, this crime doesn’t just happen to young women and making that clear surely means something. Also, the actress can use this to show her skills outside of dropping one-liners. But it’s hard not to feel uncomfortable when any show uses rape as a mean to push a character’s story forward. If not, in Ruby’s case, develop them past being rather one note.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Where is Jackson?
  2. Will Angel get written off?

Highlights

  1. Miss Bruce may actually have some sort of storyline, thanks to Noah.

Low Points

  1. All of the cliffhangers leaving everyone okay. Well, Alex with more PTSD, and Christine with a hospital visit, but otherwise okay.
  2. Ayanna’s exit was abrupt.
  3. Cassie and Maurice conspiring against Carlotta.

On The Fence

  1. We’re, once again, on a “We gotta prove ourselves to a boss who underestimates us” storyline.
  2. Ruby’s rape storyline.
  3. Star’s pregnancy storyline.
  4. Simone sleeping with the big boss’ wife. Even if they do have an open marriage, of some kind.
  5. I feel like Alex is going to get dull again since she is taking a step back and putting her solo ambitions on the backburner.
  6. Cotton being a blank slate.

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2 COMMENTS

    • I’m wondering if they are even going to bring Teyana Taylor or Keke Palmer back again. I’d honestly would have preferred either being more prominent than Brandy, at this point.

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