The Chi: Season 2, Episode 8 “Lean Into It” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Ronnie and Jada getting a bit cute.
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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?


Network
Showtime
Director(s) Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Writer(s) Terri Kopp
Air Date 6/2/2019
Introduced This Episode
Malcolm Cayen Martin

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Education Doesn’t Change Everything: Malcolm, Kevin, Jake, Mr. Gasca

It’s finally time for that school field trip, and neither Kevin nor Jake are all that excited. However, Jake does see an opportunity to see some weed to the North Side Academy kids and Jake? Well, Mr. Gasca sees this as an opportunity for Jake to get acquainted with the school and so he has him paired up with Malcolm, another kid he referred to the school.

This leads to a few things: First and foremost, Kevin makes a new friend who may seem like he hasn’t gone through puberty yet, but is cool. Also, later on, makes it clear he isn’t a square. Kevin ends up with Jake’s weed, and Malcolm makes it sound like he might be doing some light dealing. But, as Kevin seems like he may end up in the drug game, Jake sort of seems like he could get down with the kids. Mind you, he may just end up their entertaining Black friend who gets a reality check, but that could just be my pessimism. Who is to say the kid who invited Jake to a party on the North Side wasn’t just looking for a dancing negro to entertain his friends? Considering how pale the school was, maybe he wanted some diversity in his life?

Off The Wagon: Ronnie, Jada, Emmett, Sonny, Shante, Detective Cruz

Sonny is finally back on his feet and reveals to Emmett that the insurance money has made it so he is thinking of opening another BBQ joint. One which, since his kids want him to cut down his hours, Sonny offers Emmett the opportunity to manage – at least in terms of inventory, social media, and the non-kitchen stuff. With said opportunity, Emmet is at a bit of a crossroad. Mostly because now he actually has options and isn’t just about surviving. However, a salaried position with benefits? When he talks to Jada about that, she reminds him that without a high school diploma, this is a rather good deal.

Ronnie taking a drink.

Speaking of Jada, for a hot minute, it seemed her and Ronnie could have been a thing. Problem is, Ronnie ends up drinking again. Why? Well, when babysitting Shante’s baby, he keeps her two hours past what he was supposed to and with his grandmother leaving the ringer off, he doesn’t’ hear her call. So, she storms in, gets the baby, says Ronnie isn’t the child’s grandfather, and this triggers old memories. Ones so powerful he gets drunk, nearly assaults Jada, and ends up pulled into Detective Cruz’s car. Not for driving drunk, or it seemingly being a phone call. Likely, he was just stalking him.

Know Who You Playing With: Jerrika, Brandon, Otis, Reg, Alderman Bonner, Detective Cruz

With Jerrika having disbanded from her parents’ company, and Ms. Brown, she realizes something. With her insider knowledge, a law degree, and Alderman Bonner, she can make a difference. Leading her to consider taking the bar exam for, in order to make change, and not feel swept up, she needs to gain power beyond manipulating Alderman Bonner. Which isn’t something she speaks to Brandon about yet, but he has a lot going on right now.

Take Detective Cruz revealing he is being watched, learning the man he has been dealing with, Mr. Perry, will eventually reveal Douda to him if he don’t start falling in line. Also, Jerrika tells him, due to his mom taking out a second mortgage, the house is only worth $20K instead of over $175K. But, with talking to Reg and maybe settling into his fate a bit, he proposes to Jerrika and officially gains a fiancée. One who likely has no way from saving him from what’s to come.

Reg noting how it is easier to be that bad guy.

Speaking of unlikely saving someone, Reg is coming to that point where he may get got. For while Douda admires the kid, especially for taking care of his little brother, a war may break out if he doesn’t get handed over. So it seems Douda is mulling over letting one die or loyalty.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Where is Amir and his uncle?
  2. When is the last time Rafiq and Ronnie worked together?
  3. So, things with Tracy were just dead, huh? I get they have history, but it seemed they were reconciling.

Highlights

Jerrika Recommitting To The Law

While it was revealed Tiffany and Brandon won’t be in season 3, it would be nice to send off Jerrika passing the bar exam and working on tenant law. For a long time she has focused on money, making her parents happy, and slowly becoming them. But with this shift, it is like she is an insider using her knowledge for the people – without having to go full dark side before coming to the light. Which is going to make her exit even sadder.

Douda’s Pending Crackdown

Despite Douda’s reputation, we haven’t seen him do a lot of gangster s***. It is revealed to us he is the reason why the white girl died, but as for the person Greavy has hyped up? That hasn’t been shown yet. Now, granted, he isn’t a street kid anymore, so why would he get his hands dirty? However, I feel like the show needs him to do that. Plus, with him confirmed for another season, it would be nice if his presence wasn’t just menacing, but also a bit ominous as well.

A Whole New World For Kevin & Jake

With Maisha going poof, it is nice Kevin might be getting some kind of direction with his character and Jake as well. For with them being exposed to the life of those who live in the North Side means so much potential growth. Which does leave the question of what Papa may do, but let’s assume he’ll be along for the ride since he made a friend during the trip.

Malcolm (Cayen Martin) talking to his new friend Kevin.
Malcolm (Cayen Martin)

But perhaps the bigger deal is that, for Jake, we learn his mom is alive, and Reg has been trying to get and keep her clean. Which, considering Reg may end up dead possibly, could make it so Peaches will become a prominent role in season 3. Plus, considering the path Jake is on now, Reg’s death might be the only way he doesn’t end up dealing drugs as a profession versus exploring other options. Add in making friends with the white kids, and it could mean this show may address how diverse Chicago is, if not segregated.

Emmett Moving On Up

As we know, Brandon is on his way out, and the next oldest of the young adults is Emmett. Who, honestly, has been setup to be a potential mentor for Kevin and the rest as they hit their teen years. So him becoming a manager seems right. Plus, then he can get a place and reach the milestone of maybe having a serious girlfriend.

Low Point

Ronnie’s Relapse & Nearly Assaulting Jada

I get people have relapses, and Ronnie is dealing with PTSD, but he was finally doing well. He was sober, talking about his issues, and finally getting something which resembled a normal life. So for him to nearly assault Jada and revert back to the person we met in season one, if not worse, is so frustrating. Also, Detective Cruz popping up just leads to an eye roll since he just seems thrown into situations to remind you he is still part of the show at this point.

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