It’s an episode of redemption, sweetness, and perhaps a rare reprieve in The Chi. Well, before it likely goes to hell.
|Writer(s)||Ayanna Floyd Davis, Joe Wilson|
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Clipping At The Knees: Detective Toussaint, Detective Cruz, Reg, Douda
Detective Toussaint shows how things are done where she comes from, and they are anything but by the book. She raids one of Reg’s stash houses, and on top of taking drugs and money, she hits a kid and leaves him to send a message. An action which doesn’t go unnoticed by Detective Cruz who is dealing with being investigated – something we don’t see.
And with Reg becoming a bigger and bigger issue for Douda, he is starting to believe whatever potential this boy has is never going to be realized. Leading him to take two corners from Reg but he does hear him out about a potential way to clean money he discovered.
Restitution: Rafiq, Jada, Emmett, Ronnie
With Emmett starting to get some stability in his life, he decides it is due time to speak to Jada, perhaps apologize for his father, and reassure her that nothing he said was true. She was a good mom, and a lot of what he did was just him being immature. Which is nice to hear but, to be honest, she wasn’t expecting this conversation with her son. Actually, Jada was expecting a date. One that, without Emmett to mess up her game and take up space, maybe could lead to something? If just good practice.
Which, depending on how you look at it, could come from Ronnie of all people. Granted, he did smooth things over with Tracy in the last episode, but who knows if they may just end up friends or become something more? Also, while he seems to have moved past Jason’s death, it will always haunt their relationship. Not to say Jada finding Ronnie shot and knowing he killed someone near her son’s age means a good beginning, but Ronnie is working on himself.
Case in point, he decides to visit Rafiq, who had someone tend to Miss Ethel’s grass, and despite all the stares, he makes himself useful. In fact, Rafiq not only gives him the ability to pay restitution but also gives him a sense of purpose that he hasn’t had since the military. Perhaps because he feels needed and is given tasks rather than feeling as if he has all these skills and abilities with nowhere to funnel them? Leading to the need to wonder if, with his ability to love restored, will Jada be on the receiving end?
Come Together, Over Me: Brandon, Kevin, Emmett, Douda, Reg, Keisha, Nina
Kevin is having a difficult time with his father’s death mostly due to Nina’s complicated relationship with him and also Kevin, like Keisha, only knowing one half of the full story. Leading to him seeking out Brandon for while he has Reg and Papa, what he needs is an older figure. Not Keisha, since she is not giving him what he needs, but a male one.
Thus putting Brandon in a big brother position for both Emmett, who helps him take the business to the next level, with a small investment, and Kevin. Though, while Emmett and Brandon’s newfound relationship is sweet, nothing beats Brandon not only giving Kevin a safe space but him opening up about losing his own dad as well. Which seems to allow Kevin to feel, to cry, all while he gets his hair cut. An act that, when you think about it, might be when most Black men are the most vulnerable.
Yet, while Brandon is doing good, and getting some attention for his success, unfortunately, the one whose attention he gets is Douda. Someone who takes note of him, after Reg recommends him as a means of cleaning money. So, with Douda always liking local entrepreneurs, he uses a soft touch on Brandon. Just slips him a card, thanks him for a delicious taco, and walks away.
Leaving just one last thing: Emmett and Keisha. As you can imagine, with Keisha learning the truth about her parent’s marriage, and not really having an outlet, Emmett giving a quickie to take her mind off things makes sense. Yet, recognizing she is having sex more so as a vice than due to passion, he pushes her to get what she really needs – a cuddle. A sense that, yes things are messed up, but someone has you.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- What went down between Nina and her kids’ father?
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- Brandon’s father died when he was 4.
- Tiffany posts Emmett’s child support check on IG so now it seems the rest may file for money too.
Brandon’s Role In His Community
While Brandon isn’t marching down the street yelling “Black Lives Matter” or running for office, we’re reminded through him how even the smallest acts of kindness lead to you becoming a leader in your community. If not someone who may not be noteworthy to many but can be that reliable someone to multiple people.
Take note Kevin and now Emmett. Because of Brandon, arguably Emmett’s skills are being honed from a day to day hustler to someone who thinks long term. Also, while Darnell is in his life, arguably Brandon is taking Sonny’s place as a guiding force in his life. But, with him not being old enough to be his dad, he seems more open to listening and it gives Brandon a better opportunity to be a positive influence.
The same could be said for Kevin. With his father dead, and the only male figures in his life being his friends, Brandon can be the deciding factor. Making him take time out of his day, stay true to his word, everything Kevin may need to go from almost having Reg as his role model, in terms of hustling, to seeing Brandon’s life and take note of him.
Which isn’t to say Kevin ignores the positive influences at home or downplays the role of women in his life. If anything, I think Kevin is looking for someone who gets him in a way and while he appreciates the women in his life he’d like a male role model too. Making Brandon perfect since he comes from the same area, has a business, a nice home, and with things in Brandon’s life not being perfect, he is the best kind of role model. One who isn’t on some weird, unreachable pedestal but just at the top of the stairs. Waiting for you to put in enough effort to catch up.
Toussaint Showing She’s No Saint
Detective Toussaint is really showing herself valuable to the show and a worthy pairing to Detective Cruz. For while far from corrupt, by her not going by the book, she makes the whole cop angle of The Chi far more interesting than it was in season 1. Also, with her really disturbing Douda’s operations, making him seem like such a threat he heads to an OG, she does more in 5 episodes than Cruz the entire first season. All the while, thankfully, only being about her work and her personal life being nil.
Rafiq’s convenient return is quickly and easily forgiven considering he is turning a page and starting a new chapter in Ronnie’s life. One which leads us to see the man smile and have purpose once again. Though, most importantly, beginning restitution. Also, in a similar ilk to how Brandon is a mentor to Kevin and Emmett, Rafiq is to Ronnie. After all, he killed someone too and turned his life around. So after all Ronnie has been through, here is hoping Rafiq can make this change in him permanent and not just a flash in the pan.
Emmett Being Nice To Keisha Instead Of Taking Advantage Of Her
While my numbers might be off, let’s not forget Keisha is still a teenager and Emmett, due to various decisions, age possibly included, is an adult. So him not looking to smash and go, but console Keisha really makes you think he is growing as a person. Now, whether he will date her for real or at least make it so she gets more consistent screen time, who knows? However, it would be nice if Keisha could be elevated to at least a Maisha level. Plus, having a real girlfriend could be a good look for Emmett.
Balancing Out All These Characters
With mention of Maisha, and hoping to see more of Keisha, I think we quickly have to note that, for the most part, the balancing this season is a bit better than the last. Yeah, female characters are still catching up a bit but led by Jada, Jerrika, and Detective Toussaint, things are better than before. Also, everyone has some sort of storyline going on which makes them come off as individuals rather than a supporting role in someone else’s life. Thus really pushing that everyone is a star of their own story and it is just we’re focusing mostly on this or that person vs. a lead and a supporting or reoccurring role.
On The Fence
Brandon Is About To Be Dragged Into Douda’s Mess
It’s silly to think Brandon wouldn’t get dragged into Reg and Douda’s mess sooner or later. After all, Reg still thinks he owes a debt, it makes Detective Toussaint’s case easier, and Brandon having a fall from grace would be a tragic story. Especially if he loses Jerrika in the process. Yet, is it wrong I don’t want him to get mixed up, and his life screwed up for my entertainment?
Not that I expect this show to be all happy and like a paid advertisement to visit Chicago, but it’s hard to not sometimes wish a character’s struggle could just involve personal issues or business matters. Not cops and local gangs getting involved.
|Season/ Episode||Synopsis||Episode Information||Topics & Focused Characters|
|Season 2, Episode 7 “Blind Eye”||Alongside venturing into Detective Cruz’s past, part Detective Toussaint’s is revealed, and Jerrika makes a big move. As does Douda to make sure Brandon becomes a fat fish.|
|Season 2, Episode 8 “Lean Into It”||As we approach the season finale and know certain people are going to be written off, you’re left to question if others may join them?|
|Season 2, Episode 9 “Guilt, Viral Videos, and Ass Whuppings”||As the show preps for Brandon’s exit, it becomes clear there is more than enough going on that his time can be used well.|
|Season 2, Episode 10 “The Scorpion and The Frog” [Season Finale]||While we already knew certain characters wouldn’t make it past this season, additional names get added, and it becomes clear there is a lot of change on the horizon.|
|Season 2, Episode 6 "A Leg Up"||The ladies of The Chi continue to get a voice as Keisha gets features and Emmet’s past partners. Alongside this, Brandon decides to get a leg up and Ronnie reveals a trigger to Jada.|
|Season 2, Episode 4 “Showdown”||Jerrika and Brandon’s relationship gets tested as Ronnie learns he will be paying restitution for a long time.|
|Season 2, Episode 5 “Feeling The Heat”||It’s an episode of redemption, sweetness, and perhaps a rare reprieve in The Chi. Well, before it likely goes to hell.|
|Season 1/ Episode 1 “Pilot”||The Chi seems like the evolved form of the urban dramas which dominate Black late 80s through early 00s nostalgia.|
|Season 1/ Episode 2 “Alee”||The Chi still treats its female characters dirty, but as it delves deeper into Chicago post-Jason and Coogie’s death, there is hope for others.|
|Season 1/ Episode 3 “Ghosts”||As Ronnie’s life continues to get complicated, the women of The Chi finally begin to be developed – somewhat.|
|Season 1/ Episode 4 “Quaking Grass”||Violence begets violence, and there can never be peace as long as revenge links together like chains. In other words, things only get worse for damn near everyone.|
|Season 1/ Episode 5 “Today Was A Good Day”||While the title of the episode maybe, “Today Was a Good Day” that doesn’t necessarily apply to most of the characters on the show.|
|Season 1/ Episode 6 “Penetrate a Fraud”||As Brandon and Sarah grow closer, a major piece of evidence comes into Detective Cruz’s hand. Though considering the moves Quentin is making, Jason may not remain his focus for long.|
|Season 1/ Episode 7 “The Whistle”||People pay for their deeds, good or otherwise, and while some are as sweet as a kiss, others are as brutal as a bullet.|
|Season 1/ Episode 8 “Wallet”||As Brandon figures out how to start his next chapter, Quentin treks backwards to prove a point to Trice and Reg of who not to f*** with.|
|Season 1/ Episode 9 “Namaste Muthaf*ka”||What goes around comes around isn’t just about karma in this episode, but also what happens in darkness will eventually be exposed by the sun. Whether you walk into the light or not.|
|Season 1/ Episode 10 “Ease On Down The Road”||The Chi ends in a polar opposite way to how it began. There is peace, little to no drama, and rather than focusing on endings, it is all about new beginnings. Though not necessarily of the positive kind.|
|Season 2, Episode 2 "Every day I'm Hustlin'"||As the investigation into Miss Ethel’s attack begins, it appears Ronnie may get out, and Brandon may have more issues than Reggie.|
|Season 2, Episode 1 “Eruptions”||How Ronnie end up in the position he’s in is uncovered alongside everyone’s struggle to either grow up, find stability, or just not succumb to the bad side of Chicago.|
|Season 2, Episode 3 “Past Due”||Kevin and Brandon FINALLY reconnect as Ronnie is hoping he can get out thanks to Detective Cruz rushing to close Coogie’s case.|