Star: Season 3, Episode 15 “Lean on Me” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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.

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Star as Simone and Alex perform without her.

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.

Director(s) Scott Peters
Writer(s) Randy Huggins
Air Date 4/17/2019
Introduced This Episode
Rashad Major.
Amber Erika Tham
Randall Kinyuma Mutakabbir

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Fresh From The Hospital & Into The Drama: Star, Noah, Bobby, Simone

It has only been a week and Star makes it seem that coma was just a snap she needed for a while. Since no sooner than her coming out the hospital she is trying to get back to work, coming at Simone’s neck because she knows baby Davis more than her, and then there is Noah. Bobby returns and is trying to help his son through detox but Noah is going through it. What doesn’t help though is Simone, after everyone dodges the Noah question with Star, telling the truth. Thus leading her to go off and make it seem Noah isn’t going to see his son anytime soon.

The Struggle To Move Forward: Leon, Cotton, Star, Alex, Simone, Carlotta, Rashad, Amber

Rashad (Major.) talking to Cotton.
Rashad (Major.)

Cotton feels torn. As someone who is trans, who had to fight not just to feel herself but for safety, the idea of working with Leon in any capacity doesn’t sit well. Yet, the alternative is the girls working the street, possibly being killed. So, with much hesitation, she agrees for the girls to work out of Cassie’s club as long as Leon doesn’t say anything.

But even with that weight on her shoulders, at least cousin Rashad is around. To give you the skinny, cousin Rashad was the first one to recognize Cotton as she sees herself so him coming around, even if for Calvin’s funeral, is a sweet moment. Also, for Carlotta, he seems to be the only one willing to back off when it comes to her not wanting to go to Calvin’s funeral. Which, of course, is a questionable decision amongst the family, since Carlotta is the only one who saw the man’s dark side.

Speaking of the dark side, Star’s comes out a bit. Nothing evil or violent, like Calvin, but insecurity. For with this new girl Amber blowing up and Star out of commission, she sees her chance passing her by. Add in Simone and Alex, as well as Carlotta, agreeing she can’t perform – partly since her voice is shot – and Star is a twister going in circles. Leading you to wonder, with all this pent-up energy, will she be as destructive as we often see her?

Peace Be Still: Christine, Carlotta, Cassie, Star, Simone, Alex

The answer is: No. As we’ve seen Simone grow, and Alex, Star has her turn and while Simone and Alex represent Take Three, she stands on the side of the stage. Her heartbreaking, since she can’t do what she loves, but she is learning that it is what her body needs to heal. Otherwise, if she keeps pushing herself, there won’t be a comeback.

And when it comes to Carlotta, she too learns that she has to let go in order to truly lift herself up and move on. Cassie reveals she killed Calvin, assumingly as part of her plan to heal her relationship with Carlotta, and that is treated in a peculiar way. I mean, it’s Star, and Calvin was a bastard so Carlotta’s response may seem strange but is in step with the show.

However, what really matters is Christine admitting she knew and apologizing. Granted, it is one of those types of apologies which recognizes responsibility but also slips in them doing their best, but sometimes you just need to take what that person is able to give. It may not be perfect but the acknowledgment of your pain is essentially what you need. So while they may not be chummy, they at least can begin to heal their relationship.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What are the chances Rashad, or Randall, again?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

Randall (Kinyuma Mutakabbir) laying some game down.
Randall (Kinyuma Mutakabbir): Well, look, I may not be able to make that go away forever…
  • The man Carlotta slept with, Randall, is named Kinyuma Mutakabbir

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Every word of denial was a bullet to your heart.
— Cassie


Come To Jesus Meeting

Christine breaking down as she admits her part in Carlotta being molested.
Christine: If I hadn’t been running the streets

One of the things Lee Daniels has pushed with Star, Precious, and maybe Empire (I haven’t watched since season 2 to know) is accountability. Also, having it where a lot of things which are usually kept in the dark coming to light. Be it Carlotta being raped and molested by her step-dad, drug addiction, and things most keep private until it is too late to say or do anything. So Carlotta owning the truth, not letting Christine douse it, as she has done for years, was of great importance. Even if at Calvin’s funeral.

But, the biggest and most important moment was Christine admitting she knew. She has been avoiding owning up to that for who knows how long but letting it be said that she knew was all Carlotta needed to hear. An apology as well, but acknowledging it was part 1. Because, like Cassie said, each denial by Christine left a gaping wound in Carlotta that she has been limping with for a while. Maybe now she can become whole.

The Trouble With Guilt & Dealing With Generational Issues

Noah asking to see his son.

What you have to appreciate with this Star and Noah storyline like is their individual fights to not repeat the mistakes of their parents. Star is trying to be everything Mary and Brody was not, and Noah trying to do better than Bobby did. Yet, there is also the need to note that Noah still has access to Bobby and saw him get better. Which allowed him to heal and deal with his issues.

When it comes to Star though, her mother died when she was a child and Brody died just when she was on the cusp of forgiving him. So healing for her will, unfortunately, have to be through Noah and with time. Yet, with her being forced on the sidelines, not hustling every minute and hour, maybe she may take this time to really sit, think, and reflect.

All she has ever done is work hard to protect Simone, not be like her mom, and now provide for Davis. There, soon I think, will come a time when Star may realize she doesn’t do all that much for herself. Which we kind of saw when it came to Jackson, in terms of letting him love her with no agenda. Yet, I think she needs something beyond trusting a boyfriend with her free time. With a son now, I think she has to, and will, learn to balance between the hustle, rest, and knowing you don’t always have to go hard.

Jude Still Wearing Those Outfits After Having A Baby

After watching Homecoming and hearing how Beyoncé felt getting back into her costume, how she felt post-partum, it makes you wonder how Jude, who plays Star, felt. Since Star is still baring midriff, breasts out and up, and nothing has changed. Which, a part of me sort of wants to question, yet with not being a woman, who is to say be it Star or Jude, maybe feelings about the physical don’t change with pregnancy or birth?

Also, like many a celebrity, if you didn’t know Jude was pregnant for real you’d think she was just wearing padding. Because she doesn’t look too different from when the last season ended. So props to her trainer, dietician, and stamina.

Low Point

Amber Drake

Amber Drake (Erika Tham) introducing herself.
Amber Drake (Erika Tham): Hey guys.

After Gigi’s exit, Amber Drake just doesn’t give me anything which makes her feel like an equal replacement. Yeah, she is the new girl, but nothing about her pops in terms of singing or personality. Which isn’t to say the girl can’t sing but, her introduction was uneventful. Even with her manager’s little snide “Let me see you top that” comment.

On The Fence

Cotton’s New Storyline

Cotton being a madam means she’ll be doing more than what she and Miss Bruce usually do. However, with her being a madam comes the question of whether we’ll see pimping ain’t easy or will it deep dive into the plight of sex workers, especially those which are trans. And I’m only worried about this since Cotton and Miss Bruce’s storylines are all over the place. So while they may acknowledge serious aspects, I worry about consistency.

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