Star: Season 3, Episode 12 “Toxic” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Gigi staring at the camera.
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Issues with parents are on full display as moves are made to get Star out of jail and the ASA nominations come out.


Network
FOX
Director(s) Tasha Smith
Writer(s) Leo Richardson
Air Date 3/27/2019

#FreeStar: Charlene, Miss Bruce, Simone, Cotton, Star

With it being clear Charlene is out for revenge and gaming the legal system, the question is how? Well, the simple answer is Charlene is the mistress of Star’s judge. This information Miss Bruce found out through their connections, and this leads to them exposing Charlene, with Cotton recording and Simone as a witness. This causes the judge to freak out and promising to undo the damage he did.

Star crying on the phone.

However, before that can happen, Charlene sicks that goon who has been harassing Star to beat her up. Leading to Star, seemingly, ending up in a coma.

The Battle For Respect/ ASAs: Noah, Simone, Alex, Gigi

Despite the possibility of mutually assured destruction that could have happened, especially since Gigi decides to make her beef with Alex public, things go well for all parties. While Alex wins a battle in a silent listening party against Gigi, that Houston shows up to, Gigi gets a nomination for her song “Bossy.” Mind you, over Star’s “There For You.” However, their battle ended before the nominations for reasons noted in the next topic.

As for Noah and Simone? Noah, with Alex, got a nomination for “So Sick” but his issues may deal with getting addicted to OxyContin again. This is discovered by Simone, who has grown close to Noah as she helps take care of Davis. So with him using, and saying it is for his back, she wants to believe but is worried.

Mommy/ Daddy Issues: Alex, Simone, Gigi, Ginny, Missy, Cassie, Calvin, Maurice

One of the consistent issues a lot of characters, if not everyone we’ve met, has dealt with is a rocky relationship with their parents. However, what is prominent this episode is trying to reconcile or recover what can be salvaged. Take Alex’s relationship with her mom Rose. For years Alex has tried to keep things going despite her mom’s alcoholism, trying to mess around with Derek, and other shenanigans and she claims she is sober now. However, the timing makes Alex feel a little apprehensive since this is her moment and her mom, formerly, was all about herself.

Taking things to the next level, Maurice encounters Calvin as he begs for time and attention from Cassie. Someone who still wants not to hear or see her dad and is adamant about that. But, with Maurice talking about reconciling with his mom, after a rough upbringing, and Christine calling about Calvin falling, she goes to see him and confronts him. Leading to the reveal the child he had with Carlotta, a son, is alive out there.

Cassie visiting Calvin.

Leaving Gigi. After antagonizing Alex repeatedly, she shows Gigi she has a video of her doing coke with her aunt, Ginny. Now, Alex didn’t have intentions of putting this out, but she made sure to send the video to Gigi so that all the pettiness would stop. Leading to Missy deciding maybe, if she exposes Ginny, she can manage Gigi by herself. After all, and this is just my way of thinking, Gigi having a coke problem might be a PR nightmare but can be recovered from.

What seems to be forgotten though is Gigi’s mom died from coke and how badly Ginny would take being exposed and cast out. For rather than just cry, be upset, and head home, she publicly kills herself. Perhaps boosting Gigi’s standing due to such a tragic event but also leaving a dark cloud over her head and fears that maybe she’ll die next due to the tragic cycle within her family.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

You’re a conversation, but I’m an entire press conference.
— Gigi

Highlights

Addressing Parental Issues

Gigi talking about the issues she had with her aunts and family.
Gigi: They treated me like a paycheck.

Since the beginning, Star has addressed generational cycles of tragedy, holding parents accountable for childhood trauma, yet pushing the idea that you shouldn’t let your childhood define your adulthood. If not better said, you can break the cycle. We’ve seen that with Star and how she has done everything to make sure she and Simone don’t end up like Mary or even Brody. Carlotta, while getting help from Christine to open her shop, has made it so she could be independent of her and her lifestyle. Heck, Noah, Maurice as we’ve learned, and more have shown they can outgrow and find independence away from their toxic parents.

Yet, Maurice takes that step forward that Star was in the process of doing in season 2 – reconciling. For even though we don’t see his mom in the show, just noting after what likely was a rough childhood that he still speaks to his mom and their relationship healed is important. After all, cutting people off is easy but actually communicating why, how they can atone, coming to an understanding of your part in the situation is hard – whether you’re really at fault or not.

Though the biggest part might be what we’ll see through Alex and that is just sometimes your mom or dad was a flawed adult who may have known better but found it hard to do better. Which, at the time, made you resent them but as you experience your own struggles, you begin to get it. A feeling some begin to have once they are on their own, and maybe Alex is starting to reach the point of. Though Simone and Star not having access to either of their parents and reminding Alex how lucky she is, certainly helps.

Simone Continues To Take Control Of Her Life

Simone thanking Miss Bruce.
Simone: Thank you.

Though this was mentioned before, one thing which can kind of irk you about Star is it can have a character make notable progress as a person or in terms of their importance on the show, and then they take a step back. Cotton is perhaps one of the best examples of this. However, Simone’s time in the spotlight is really pushing you to see she has learned to adapt to new situations and has gained a voice.

Now, has she evolved? Well, yes and no. She can still be that scrappy foster child, as noted by Miss Bruce, but she seemingly is learning time and place. Also, when it comes to Angel, rather than fall into that idea of doing anything to keep her dude since he makes her feel good, even if he is her husband, she is putting her foot down on certain things like getting pregnant.

Mind you, he talks about a condom breaking, and we don’t hear anything about Plan B, but maybe I missed it?

The ASA Nominations Are Finally Out

It’s easy to forget, because of all the drama, one of the original dreams of the members of Take 3 were getting ASA nominated. So with that finally happening, in major categories, it means we’re truly reaching a new chapter of the show and these characters’ lives. One which challenges the writers, surely, of what’s next? If they lose, they can extend this another year, but once they win what follows? Also, with Alex going solo, Star’s solo career already in motion, and Simone having acting and music, what can be done here? Take 3 making albums seems to be a process which strains the ladies’ friendship too much so will there be a time jump? Perhaps a reunion tour or what have you?

Honestly, between seasons 4 and 5, it wouldn’t be the worse idea to jump ahead.

Gigi’s Backstory

Gigi's face with it looking like she is about to cry.

Star is filled with the kind of characters who have bit parts or usually are seen only in urban dramas. But, unlike the aforementioned, what Star does is show people from urban areas as multi-faceted. Yes, they can cut you with their tongue, be ratchet, dance, sing, and entertain. Yet, we’re always reminded these people are human. That those like Miss Bruce, as funny as they often are, they still feel pain, have their demons, and if you say the right thing, you can shut them down and not just shut them up.

As for Gigi, she has been played as larger than life since we’ve met her but only recently has she seem like more than a ball of energy who has a few memorable lines then dramatically exits. So while it is a bit rushed, you have to appreciate learning so much about her upbringing and her speaking for people like her whose talent was recognized and used as a family source of income. Nevermind how bad management, who creates a toxic environment, can be the downfall or rock which either supports or tarnishes a career.

But now with a tragedy fresh in Gigi’s life, so comes the question of what is next? Will she chill out or with Missy now being her manager, will it become worse? If not Gigi trying to venture completely on her own and a new character being introduced to manager her?

Low Point

The Whole Charlene Thing

You know how in many Black movies there are token white folk? Charlene feels like that token who you think is only there for the sake of having someone who isn’t Black and Brown. Which isn’t me forgetting Star is white, but while I’m not giving out invitations to the proverbial Cookout, Star hasn’t said or done anything recently to raise an eyebrow at. Plus, considering her experience at the cookout in season 1, I think she realizes she may have a place, but she needs to be mindful of getting into anyone’s face.

Star aside, I hope the Hunter, Arlene, and Charlene drama ends this season. The three of them have been around far too long and should have gotten dropped like Jahil’s issues with the mob and some political corruption he was in. A season 1, maybe early season 2, storyline that clearly was going nowhere and got washed out.

On The Fence

Calvin and Carlotta’s Son

Calvin revealing his and Carlotta's son are alive.
Calvin: Me and Carlotta’s Little Boy

I want to recognize that this Calvin situation is good for the conversations it can inspire, as well as what it is giving Cassie’s character, and Brandy as a performer. However, my issue has and may always be wondering where that line is between drama for the sake of drama and something more pressing. That is, pushing the need for conversations by exposing and triggering discussions on family secrets. If not crafting storylines which challenge the writers and actors instead of storylines made to trend on social media.

Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m invested in what follows, but sometimes with Star, I get disappointed by how much drama doesn’t involve the music industry and is just soap opera madness.

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Season/ EpisodeSynopsis
Season 3, Episode 16 “Square One”With Star flailing, she decides to do something drastic. However, her actions don’t compare to Simone’s which may have gotten someone killed.
Director(s) Tasha Smith
Writer(s) Rebecca Boss, Chris Masi
Air Date 4/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Giselle Nicole Ari Parker
Season 3, Episode 17 “Proud Mary Keep On”A lot of family drama gets addressed, but only a handful of it gets resolutions. Can you guess which one?
Director(s) John Krokidas
Writer(s) Jewel McPherson
Air Date 5/1/2019
Season 3, Episode 15 “Lean on Me”It has been a week since Star woke up and she is trying to hope right back into things, and as she does that, Carlotta faces Christine about the truth.
Season 3, Episode 14 “Amazing Grace”With Star away, everyone is making up for the drama she usually brings. Yet, for some, they are just milking their moment for it’s long overdue.
Season 3, Episode 13 “The Reckoning”“The Reckoning” has one, maybe two, happy moments, but it ain’t enough for all the mess we get put through.
Season 3, Episode 12 “Toxic”Issues with parents are on full display as moves are made to get Star out of jail and the ASA nominations come out.
Season 3, Episode 11 “Watch The Throne”Nalex makes a platonic appearance as Simone takes on Atlanta’s city council and Mateo’s past enters his present.
Season 3, Episode 10 “When Stars Fall” Star returns with Cassie facing Calvin, Star and Charlene coming to blows, Noah adjusting to fatherhood and Simone watching everything catch on fire.

Season 3/ Episode 9 “Zion” [Mid-Season Finale]

You may have thought the reveal of Star’s baby would be the big surprise, but oh it most certainly is not.

Director(s) Bille Woodruff
Writer(s) Karen Gist
Air Date 12/5/2018

Season 3/ Episode 8 “Roots and Wings”

With the mid-season finale next week, Star is clearly setting us up to be in our feelings.

Director(s) Scott Peters
Writer(s) Jewel McPherson
Air Date 11/28/2018
Introduced This Episode
Carlotta and Cassie’s Dad Ben Vereen
Rebecca Kelly Sullivan

Season 3/ Episode 7 “Karma”

Everyone’s romantic relationships are hanging on by a tip of a finger and a grand gesture only fixes one. Can you guess which?

Director(s) Erica Watson
Writer(s) Kimberly Ann Harrison, Nina Gloster
Air Date 11/14/2018
Introduced This Episode
Chloe Draya Michele

Season 3/ Episode 8 "Roots and Wings"

With the mid-season finale next week, Star is clearly setting us up to be in our feelings.

Director(s) Scott Peters
Writer(s) Jewel McPherson
Air Date 11/28/2018
Introduced This Episode
Carlotta and Cassie’s Dad Ben Vereen
Rebecca Kelly Sullivan

Season 3/ Episode 6 “Ante Up”

Love and distrust are in the air and with it being Star, you know no one is having an easy time dealing with their feelings.

Director(s) John Krokidas
Writer(s) Randy Huggins, Rebecca Boss, Chris Masi
Air Date 11/7/2018
Introduced This Episode
Maria Gabrielle Walsh

Featuring: Miss Bruce, Maria, Derek, Alex, Cotton, Cassie, Maurice, Xander, Simone, Nina, Jackson, Star, Megan, Noah

Season 3/ Episode 5 “Someday We’ll All Be Free”

As Carlotta has a breakdown, revealing her dark past, Miss Bruce FINALLY get some development.

Director(s) Janice Cooke
Writer(s) Leo Richardson, Jordan E. Cooper
Air Date 10/31/2018

Featuring: Megan, Noah, Maurice, Cassie, Olivia, Alex, Derek, Nina, Simone, Mateo, Star, Carlotta, Miss Bruce, Bobby, Cotton

Season 3/ Episode 4 “All Falls Down”

As Carlotta goes off the deep end, Noah takes a page from Star’s book and Olivia… well, let’s just say she becomes more annoying than Cassie.

Season 3/ Episode 3 “A Family Affair”

As Star and Noah worth through their daddy issues, Cassie and Carlotta’s beef reaches a boiling point. Also, Miss Bruce may get a man.

Season 3/ Episode 2 “Who’s The Daddy?”

As we finally learn who Star’s baby daddy is, most of the cast is trying to deal with their past so that it doesn’t impede the joy pending in their future.

Season 1/ Episode 1 "Pilot"

Season 1/ Episode 2 "The Devil You Know"

Season 1/ Episode 3 "Next of Kin"

Season 1/ Episode 4 "Code of Silence"

Season 1/ Episode 5 "New Voices"

Season 1/ Episode 6 "Infamous"

Season 1/ Episode 7 “Black Wherever I Go”

Season 1/ Episode 8 “Mama’s Boy”

Season 1/ Episode 9 “Alibi”

Season 1/ Episode 10 “Boy Trouble”

Season 1/ Episode 11 “Saving Face”

Season 1

Season 1/ Episode 12 “Showtime”

Season 2/ Episode 1 “The Winner Takes It All”

5 months have passed since Star: Season 1 ended and damn! Wait till you find out all that has happened since then.

Season 2/ Episode 2 “Insecure”

While Star understands the struggle and hustle, her peers are letting setbacks bring them down and get distracted.

Season 2/ Episode 3 “FUA… Good Night!”

As Alex begins breaking under pressure, the girls continue to push Ayanna’s buttons and leave Carlotta to clean up their mess.

Season 2/ Episode 4 “It Ain’t Over”

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.

Season 2/ Episode 5 “May The Best Manager Win”

We are introduced to the new name of the group, Take Three, and police brutality returns to focus for Star.

Season 2/ Episode 6 “Faking It”

As the pressure to get into the showcase rises, so does Derek with someone who isn’t Alex and Jahil with Ayanna.

Season 2/ Episode 7 “Ghetto Symphony”

Alex really begins to take center stage but best believe that Star isn’t going to let that last for too long.

Season 2/ Episode 8 “A House Divided”

Be it the recent or distant past, everyone’s seems to be thrown up in their face. Be it due to another's person or through reminders of recent failings.

Season 2/ Episode 9 “Climax”

Star leaves us with the kind of cliffhanger which seems like a desperate move for ratings vs. for the betterment of the story.

Season 2 (First Half)

The first half of Star Season 2 pushes us 5 months after the season 1 finale and it seems despite the major career step, everyone’s personal lives remain in disarray.

Season 2/ Episode 10 “Rise From The Ashes”

The show returns, the drama continues, but now there is a secret of what happened in the 10 days since the mid-season finale.

Season 2/ Episode 11 “Take It To Church”

The drama begins to rev up as old memories and characters begin haunting our leads, as well as possible new love interests.

Season 2/ Episode 12 “Dreamers”

Brody’s past comes to haunt him, as Star learns the truth about what happened the day her mother died. Alongside this, Simone finds a way to even things up with Angel.

Season 2/ Episode 13 “Forward (E)Motion”

Clearly, everyone at Midtown needs a few rounds of therapy. For between using sex and alcohol to cope, there is going to come a moment when someone doesn’t get to be so lucky.

Season 2/ Episode 14 “After The Set, It’s The Afterparty”

Many of the relationships end up in jeopardy as third parties try to get involved. But, at least with one new third party, it seems everyone’s career may be moving forward.

Season 2/ Episode 15 “Let The Good Times Roll”

Sexual assault, LGBT issues, alongside Ayanna making a triumphant return is featured. Alongside your usual relationship drama.

Season 2/ Episode 16 “Take It Or Leave It”

Things have been kind of holding together, but falling apart for awhile. But, as Alex’s star rises, and she begins to really leave Take Three behind, Star finds herself making some moves.

Season 2/ Episode 17 “Mrs. Rivera”

The characters of Star all go through so much this episode that even trying to figure out what may happen in the finale will depend if the writers will get their foot off our necks.

Season 2/ Episode 18 “Thirty Days To Famous”

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for many on Star. But ain’t a single person feeling good about the cards given to them.

Season 3/ Episode 1 “Secrets & Lies”

3 months have passed, and we learn the results of the multiple cliffhangers of the last season. Most of which will make you roll your eyes.

Season 2 (Second Half)

The second half, of season 2, of Star seemingly is about cutting any and all fat so that season 3 can refocus on core characters.

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