Victor (Luke James)
Victor (Luke James)

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Plot Recap

Introducing and Reintroducing – Nina, LaPorshe, Roselyn, Dom, Damien, Douda, Serena, Jamal

For a few characters, like Nina, Roselyn, and Dom, you’d think they were phased out or simply gone, as we now know Dre is. However, new life is given to them as LaPorshe, the one Nina cheated on Dre with, returns, and we learn Dom is still in the kitchen. But, with Papa away, it seems Smokeys will be populated by different people.

As mentioned, there is Dom, but now also their deaf cousin Serena, who Roselyn takes note of when she visits, and who she may make her new boo thing. Jamal? He has been hired as a dish washer and while Dom mainly talks about work and how Smokeys needs to expand and upgrade, it seems Jamal might end up putting in work beyond those dishes.

And before moving on from Smokeys, we have to note Damien has been hired, looked at the books a bit, and questions the discrpencies. He takes this to Douda, like a fool, but with him presenting new age ways to hide and move money, it seems Damien might not be as innocent as he initially appeared.

It’s Not Just Abut What You Need But What You Want – Ezekiel, Papa, Douda, Jake, Jemma, Bakari, Professor Gardner

Ezekiel’s influence on Papa continues as he convinces him to monetize Papa’s pulpit. The idea seems odd to Papa at first, but Ezekiel is convincing. His story of being a street hustler to having a megachurch is a notable journey, and considering the privileges Papa has; he should be able to get to where Ezekiel is far quicker.

But, while Ezekiel is doing good work with Papa, we come to learn, unlike Mr. Jackson, Ezekiel has been more than willing to take Douda’s money and he is also foolish enough to try to renegotiate with Douda. This is comical to Douda, and leads to some violence which may lead to the rare occurrence of us seeing Ezekiel humbled.

However, it isn’t just Ezekiel that Douda has to reassert himself with. With Bakari getting encouragement, and a laptop from Professor Gardner, Douda is quick to break it as it continues to become clear Bakari is becoming a disgruntled employee. Which easily reads as someone who could be a problem down the road.

Which leaves Jake and Jemma. With knowing she isn’t the only one, Jemma‘s relationship continues to seem at beginning of its end.

Topics In The Men’s Group – Alonzo, Alicia, Shaad, Victor, Marcus, Rob, Emmett, Darnell, Nuck, Kiesha, Fatima, Zay, Tierra

Marcus (Joel Steingold) and Tierra (Nia Jervier)
Marcus (Joel Steingold) and Tierra (Nia Jervier)

Now more than ever the men’s group seems needed. For Victor, while Alonzo has gotten him out of jail, his bail was paid with Douda’s money and with all that is going on with him, to add insult to injury, Fatima decides they need a break and she heads to her mother’s house.

Naturaly, however, Victor isn’t the only one with issues. Keeping Alonzo’s name in rotation, Shaad learns that his leather jacket was Alonzo’s and that Alonzo still has a strong influence over Alicia, to the point she would probably drop anything for him. Thus forcing Shaad to step up if he wants to be more than a kept man.

Yet, while Alonzo is a good lawyer, and a good talker, Rob reminds us he hasn’t been the best dad, but even at his age, he wants to make it work. Unfortunately for him, Zay kills Alonzo after Alonzo threatened Douda.

Sticking with the topic of dads, Kiesha learns the man who kidnapped and tortured her isn’t Ronnie’s father, it is Nuck. This is jarring and hard to accept for Emmett, but rather than fight it or make things hard, Nuck is ready to step up as both a father and co-parent. Thus making things not only harder for Emmett, but also Tiff and Rob since killing the father of Kiesha’s boyfriend, or finding another way to get rid of him, has become immensely complicated.

On a lighter note, Tierra seemingly wants something more serious from Marcus but with not having to commit to a woman in a serious manner for years, he is unsure whether to agree to something as simple as a family Christmas card with Tierra.

Cast Guide

Character’s Name Actor’s Name
LaPorshe Da Brat
Serena Dre Hollingsworth
Nina Tyla Abercrumbie
Dom La La Anthony
Damien Brett Gray
Jamal Vic Mensa
Ezekiel Daniel J. Watts
Papa Shamon Brown Jr.
Douda Curtiss Cook
Jake Michael Epps
Jemma Judae’a
Bakari Ahmad Nicholas Ferguson
Professor Gardner Kadeem Hardison
Alonzo Leon
Alicia Lynn Whitfield
Shaad Jason Weaver
Victor Luke James
Marcus Joel Steingold
Rob Iman Shumpert
Danell Rolando Boyce
Nuck Cortez Smith
Fatima L’lerrét Jazelle
Zay Aaron Guy
Tierra Nia Jervier
Emmett Jacob Latimore
Kiesha Birgundi Baker
Roselyn Kandi Burruss

Serena

Roselyn (Kandi Burruss), Serena (Dre Hollingsworth) and Dom (La La Anthony)
Roselyn (Kandi Burruss), Serena (Dre Hollingsworth) and Dom (La La Anthony)

Serena is one of the newest staff members at Smokeys, is deaf, and seemingly is queer.

Review

Highlights

Seeing Nuck As A Father

Nuck, like many, has become someone who may have a line or two, but has become a legacy act without much to do. However, with being the father of Kiesha’s son gives new life to his story. We now will see, consistently, a softer side to him, and when you factor in his dealings with Rob, and how that could affect Tiff and Kiesha’s friendship, this could lead to some interesting developments. The kind which may show why Nuck has been kept around and not killed off.

Alicia

While Alicia is posed to become the new Douda, they are clearly not in a rush for that to happen. So the question for many could be, what are they going to do with her till then, and the answer seems to be showing Ms. Whitfield can take your man, emasculate him, or remind you the benefits of being with an older woman. I say this because, that scene between her and Shaad when he was choking her and she was getting turned on? You don’t get to see a lot of women, Black women especially, be older, sexy, and be with people who aren’t their husbands for decades, so Alicia getting Shaad riled up?

We love to see it.

Ezekiel

Ezekiel (Daniel J. Watts)
Ezekiel (Daniel J. Watts)

With Ezekiel an established member of Douda’s money laundering, paired with what he is doing with Papa, he might be our second favorite addition to this season. I mean, the man is bold, audacious, and while stupid enough to think he could negotiate with Douda, at the same time, between his story about going from a street hustler to preacher, paired with him getting Papa to see the monetary value of his voice? While he is undeniably taking Papa down a path which may not be straight and narrow, it will test Papa in ways that will show how much of what his father instilled in him has stuck.

On The Fence

Things Beginning To Seem Bloated

It’s clear that certain storylines, like Emmett’s, are the most prominent and we should expect updates from him and those tied to him in nearly every episode. However, while things work regarding Emmett’s web of storylines that all eventually lead to, and push his story forward, that doesn’t mean the show isn’t starting to have more character than it perhaps should.

Maybe it is too soon to say the show is bloated, but considering how “The Chi” appeared to be culling characters, either by killing them off or, like Dre, having them written off without any fanfare, the stories were getting tired and episodes more tight. However, with Nina dating again, Dom and Jamal, Roselyn back, Damien a potential traitor in the making, Kenya dating Zay, and so many others, “The Chi” has to show it can handle this influx. Which isn’t to say it has done bad in balancing who they already had, but the question is, can the ecosystem of the show handle more or will it lead to its collapse?

Background Information

Episode Title Legacy
Release Date June 7, 2024
Network Paramount+
Director(s) Malaki
Writer(s) Whitney Beckwith, Jewel Coronel
Previous Episode Season 6/ Episode 12
Series Page The Chi
Character Guide N/A

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