The Carmichael Show: Season 3/ Episode 3 “Grandma Francis” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Jerrod (Jerrod Carmichael), Francis (Marla Gibbs), Joe (David Alan Grier), and Bobby (Lil Rey Howery) in The Carmichael Show.

Grandma Francis is looking to die. But before she goes out, she pushes everyone to realize how she shaped their father and them.

Your Grandma Never Liked Your Mother: Joe, Grandma Francis

Colorism is real and being that Grandma Francis (Marla Gibbs) grew up in the times of Jim Crow, she was scared. After all, who knows when the clock would dial back and how far it would go. So while she may not have had anything personally against Cynthia, she didn’t want her for her son. She is dark as hell!

But, with time, she seemingly got over it and now she loves her two snicker, licorice looking grand kids.

Commentary

Joe (David Alan Grier) in The Carmichael Show

I think I now understand why Cynthia doesn’t like Maxine. It may not be because she is smart, talks too much, or anything like that. Her issues with Maxine may very well stem from her dealings with Grandma Francis. Think about it. While the abuse Joe and Francis went through definitely framed their minds, let’s not pretend she don’t got a slick mouth. So who knows what the hell she may have said to Cynthia upon meeting her. Never mind the comments she may have made to and about Bobby and Jerrod that they don’t remember.

So, with that in mind, with bi-racial and light skinned Maxine in her life, hence the hate. Leading me to be a bit surprised that Cynthia wasn’t part of this episode. Also, it makes me mad that we may not revisit this topic since now Cynthia’s hate makes sense. It isn’t your generic, “The mom always hates the son’s girlfriend like the dad hates his daughter’s boyfriend” trope. You can see there is definitely more to this.

Bobby (Lil Rey Howery) in The Carmichael Show

Though, it makes me wonder, being that Nekeisha isn’t dark, nor light, how did Cynthia handle her at first? Especially with her dating Bobby, Cynthia’s favorite. If not just the one she worries about the most.

I’d Rather Die Knowing Who I Am: Grandma Francis, Joe, Jerrod, Bobby

Grandma Francis has decided to kill herself. With that, naturally, Joe is not supportive at all. After all, he has watched his momma go through so much. So for her to end her life like this? How can he support that? Granted, she does have Alzheimer’s, but he doesn’t care. That is his momma. The woman who protected and saved him from his daddy. A woman who raised him, took care of him mentally, physically and spiritually, and he just can’t let that go.

Joe (David Alan Grier) addressing his sons as they support his mother committing suicide.

Like most dutiful sons, he’d rather her live as she does, or with him, and gather all the moments he can. However, as seen, people in the Carmichael family aren’t easily swayed. Once they made up their mind, their thoughts start churning any and all kind of reasons to support the idea. So, whether he wants to be by her side or not, Grandma Francis is ending her life.

Something Jerrod helps Joe deal with and perhaps accept. Leading to a sort of rare emotional moment for the show and between these two. The ones who usually are debating wave a white flag as they prepare to say goodbye. To help Joe mourn. All the while Bobby cracks inappropriate jokes.

Commentary

A continuation of a story? One of the characters from a past season coming back? If only the show would do this more often. For really, I remain firm in thinking that is perhaps the sole thing which dings this series. You can just jump into any episode and it isn’t really like you miss anything. Which is perhaps good for new viewers but for old ones, often there doesn’t feel like a reward for really taking note of what is said or what happened.

Jerrod (Jerrod Carmichael) and Joe (David Alan Grier) in The Carmichael Show

Leading me to hope, as always with this show, that there is a real follow up. For while the conversation is mostly done, it would be nice to hear Cynthia’s feelings about this. I don’t recall Cynthia and Francis having scenes during Joe’s dad’s funeral. So, with that, it would be nice to hear her point of view when it comes to Francis’ death and how she was likely treated.

Though, I’m kind of surprised she wasn’t used, even if through a phone call, this episode. Especially so that Jerrod could see how this is effect Joe. Much less, show Joe fully vulnerable and how the dynamic between him and Cynthia is more than what we often see. What I mean is, it would have been nice to see him break down, be vulnerable, and for her to be the strong one. The one calming him down and soothing his ills. Just to show a different side to their relationship and really push how strong women like Cynthia and Francis have been the rock in Joe’s life.

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