This section Includes information about the Director, Writer, and Cast.
|Release Date (Showtime)||August 11, 2023|
|Newly Noted Characters and Cast|
|Rob’s Mom||Lynn Whitfield|
|Sasha||Sasha Go Hard|
|Previously Noted Characters and Cast|
|Papa||Shamon Brown Jr.|
|Maisha||Genesis Denise Hale|
|Kevin||Alex R. Hibbert|
|Lynae||Zaria Imani Primer|
|Bakari||Ahmad Nicholas Ferguson|
|Jackson||Tory O. Davis|
|Deja||Carolyn Michelle Smith|
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It’s All Love – Papa, Kenya, Victor, Jamal, Maisha, Kevin, Fatima, Lynae, Bakari, Jackson, Douda
For many, love is in the air, and not always in a romantic sense. Yes, that is the case for Papa and Kenya, who bond over being preacher kids, not getting to listen to too many secular artists, and just having a vibe, it is romantic. Mind you, Kenya isn’t going to let it get too far until Papa is 18, but you can see both would like to explore what love is with one another.
The same could be said for Maisha and Kevin. It isn’t clear to either one what their situationship could evolve into, especially considering their past, friendship with Papa, and where they are at in life. However, they want to explore it, and maybe keep it on the low until they can figure out, long term, what this can be?
Setting that aside, however, you also have Jamal, who is recently out of prison, seemingly found God in the pen, and is asking for help to reconnect with Lynae from Victor. As you can imagine, Jamal being a murderer who now walks with Jesus, is a bit of a 180 that is hard to comprehend, for as much as everyone deserves a second chance, no one has seen the work to believe he truly wants or deserves it. Yet, between Victor, Lynae, and Lynae’s foster parents, an opportunity to reconcile is arranged, and there is faith beyond God that maybe Jamal can turn things around.
In fact, he inspires Victor to maybe focus on the mental health of Black men as part of his time in office. Which, of course, gets some pushback from Fatima, who questions the need to hone in on just Black men, but she gets it after Victor explains it.
Which leaves one last showing of love that is quite notable, Mr. Jackson’s, aka Papa’s dad, love for Bakari. Now, let it be clear, the love he has for Bakari showed up as Papa was feeling himself, calling out his dad’s past transgressions, and seeming like he didn’t come from a household where you can get your ass whipped. Yet, despite Bakari thinking he should excuse himself, like he was a guest, Mr. Jackson brought him back into the fold and noted that he is family, a son, and this was a lovely moment for Bakari but made things awkward when Douda, again, tried to have Mr. Jackson clear his money and get told no.
It’s Just Business, Baby – Tiff, Cairo, Shaad, Deja, Dante, Maisha, Jemma, Sasha, Rob
Shaad really doesn’t like being unable to contribute to the household, so he decides to open his vintage shop in front of Deja’s home. As you can imagine, aesthetically, it doesn’t look good, and she’d rather invest in something that looks more professional, but Shaad refuses her money. He wants to build himself up, and he can’t do that with a handout in his mind, so he rather struggle as he is, and say he made it himself than allow her to provide more and more assistance, which leads him to feel he can’t stand on his own.
But what can anyone say? Money, whether it is making it or lack thereof, complicates relationships. Look at Maisha and Jemma. A rapper known as Sasha Go Hard sees Maisha and invites her to be an opener, and while Jemma gets to work making a deal, a green room, and all that, Maisha is taken back when she sees Jemma take 10% of the cut. In Maisha’s mind, if you didn’t get me the job, why are you taking the money and for Jemma, her thought is, I kept you from being exploited and not having the environment that would allow you to do what needs to be done, and decompress with ease.
Now, while those two sets struggle with making money, or the lack of it, Tiff and Rob have a different situation. Rob just got a raise to 15% of the cut, which is better than what his Uncle Q gave him. At the same time, Tiff, via Dante, has just met Cairo, whose weed is clean and smooth. There is no coughing, it gives you a nice high, and he delivers premium stuff.
This leads Tiff to think she is about to be out of business, but Cairo isn’t about the competition of capitalism. He wants Black folk to expect better and is willing to put Tiff and Rob to game – without any sort of fee. All they got to do is build everything they need, from a warehouse, cultivation, etc., on their own, and he seemingly will provide the guidance to do what he does, at the scale they want to.
You Gotta Give To Get – Tiff, Emmett, Rob, Cairo, Rob’s Mom, Douda, Kiesha
The trouble with that is, money. Tiff and Rob aren’t hurting for money, but they don’t have the kind of money required to build or buy the type of real estate Cairo is talking about. So, Rob is pushed to speak to his mom, who, for $50,000, is willing to give, not lend, Rob the money if he finds out who killed Q. That was her brother, who was like a father to her, and she needs answers.
Rob, deciding to get his hustle on, raises the number to $100,000, to which his mom’s counter is, for that much, she wants confirmation and a dead body. Now, considering said person is Douda, whether or not Rob has it in him to kill someone like that, and deal with the consequences, is hard to say. However, with an opportunity of a lifetime right there and his woman pushing him from behind, it’s hard to believe Rob will pass up this opportunity.
Which is where Emmett is at. Douda is offering one opportunity after another, and with Emmett not used to having the ability to buy a car, a house, and have someone back him up, he is anxious but in bliss. Kiesha, on the other hand, with knowing of Douda and knowing who he associates with? She is very uncomfortable and wants to slow down Emmett taking all these favors as if they don’t have strings attached. But, there is only so much she can do, and threatening to walk away may work for now, but it won’t forever.
New Character Description(s)
Rich and well taken care of thanks to Q being not only an older brother but a paternal figure, Rob’s Mom is a force. However, with losing her brother comes a woman in grief who may very well show the apples of her family didn’t fall too far from the tree.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Greenleaf.“
An entrepreneur with a premium weed brand, Cairo simply wants his people to know better and in return, do better when it comes to marijuana.
Sasha is a popular rapper who takes note of Maisha.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Rhythm & Flow.”
I’m your woman, not an amusement park.
Notable Performances or Moments
Papa and Kenya
When it comes to relationships on “The Chi,” it has been difficult since Brandon and Jerrika to have that couple. Emmett has tried, but between his past and catching up, he hasn’t been able to secure that. Kevin’s relationships have barely been able to last beyond a season, Jake and Jemma’s origins remain complicated, and as for the mothers? As much as there is a need to praise Nina and Dre for being a rare depiction of a Black lesbian couple, on a Black predominant show, and be the most healthy couple, at the same time, we rarely see them.
Heck, even when we did, it was more drama than it was being loved up. So when it comes to Papa and Kenya, there is hope. Now, granted, it seems their fathers don’t see eye to eye, and that could cause issues. However, there is something sweet about their conversation, how she is looking out for him, and just the idea that, while it may take time for their families to accept one another, they can have the sort of love that has been very fickle or downplayed on this show.
What we love about Cairo is that he exists outside the hustle culture that most characters, especially male characters, exist within “The Chi.” He has a grade-A product that could make him wealthy – beyond rich. However, he is fine being comfortable, knows more money means more problems, like having to deal with people like Douda, and so, he stays niche.
Clearly, no one else is going to follow his lead, but to see a character like that feels different since being content with what you have, even with knowing its potential, isn’t the norm.
Jackson Claiming Bakari As One Of His Own
It can be easy to forget Bakari’s story because there are gaps between seasons, however, considering how he was more so dragged up than raised up, and all the trauma he went through? Hearing Mr. Jackson claim Bakari, even when his biological family is having a moment of drama, felt so sweet. Especially since you can tell Bakari wasn’t expecting to be called in vs. being excused as Mr. Jackson chastised his junior.
Now, as for what that means going forward, considering Bakari works for Douda? That’s hard to say. Will Mr. Jackson disown Bakari when he learns of this or if he is in it for life is something only future episodes can reveal.
Jamal Getting A Second Chance
Redemption is part of the human experience, and when it comes to “The Chi,” it isn’t anything new. At one time, Douda seemingly sought redemption, and from Nina and Dre to Jake and Papa, across the board, there have been efforts to heal old wounds. But, what makes Jamal’s situation special is not only because it is between a male and female sibling, but also faith is involved.
God is something that is part of “The Chi” through Papa, Mr. Jackson, and now Kenya, but it has often been just Papa, who oftentimes wasn’t preaching the word as much as trying to gain an audience. So with Jamal being a pseudo-born-again Christian, how he walks his path, tries to live up to Christian values, and how he handles the inevitable falter is going to be of note. Especially since Mr. Jackson’s fall from grace was handled off-camera for the most part.
All The Drama Douda Brings, While Not Being Over Exploited
I don’t think I’m alone in feeling Douda’s days are numbered. Despite often being a front-seat character, he is now taking a back seat. He is still well-connected, as he is part of Emmett’s story in more ways than one, likely to haunt Victor’s, and part of Rob’s storyline, which will make him more than Tiff’s boyfriend. However, with Rob’s mom wanting vengeance and Rob more likely to stick around than Douda, it doesn’t seem like a bad time to allow that character an epic ending.
But let’s hope it isn’t a fake out as we saw in the past when Laverne, if I recall correctly, shot him. Though, with that in mind, who knows who could replace him considering with the death of Q, and then if Douda were to follow, that would be a major power vacuum.
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