Kevin (Alex R. Hibbert), Papa (Shamon Brown Jr.) and Jake (Michael Epps)
"Kevin (Alex R. Hibbert), Papa (Shamon Brown Jr.) and Jake (Michael Epps)," The Chi, "Long Live," directed by Boma Iluma, 2023, (Showtime)

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General Information

This section Includes information about the Director, Writer, and Cast.

Release Date (Showtime) September 15, 2023
Director(s) Boma Iluma
Writer(s) Mia A. Brumfield, Kristiana Rae Colon
Previously Noted Characters and Cast
Jemma Judae’a
Jake Michael Epps
Shaad Jason Weaver
Deja Carolyn Michelle Smith
Bakari Ahmad Nicholas Ferguson
Maisha Genesis Denise Hale
Lynae Zaria Imani Primer
Kiesha Birgundi Baker
Emmett Jacob Latimore
Darnell Rolando Boyce
Dr. Kwame Camille Robinson
Nina Tyla Abercrumbie
Nuck Cortez Smith
Papa Shamon Brown Jr.
Nuck Cortez Smith
Zay Aaron Guy
Douda Curtiss Cook
Isis Monroe Alise
Victor Luke James
Fatima L’lerrét Jazelle
Aerin Toni Bryce
Kenya Kennedy Amaya
Kevin Alex R. Hibbert

Plot Recap

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Disturbing The Peace – Jemma, Jake, Shaad, Deja, Bakari, Maisha, Lynae

Unfortunately for Shaad, a break-in at Deja’s house means having to use the guns he was holding for Bakari, and with Deja seeing guns in her house? Oh, she flips out and threatens their relationship and his ability to stay in the house. So, the first chance he gets, Shaad gives Bakari those guns back, and Bakari, in desperation, asks Lynae to hold the guns, which she does.

As this all happens, Jemma is making moves. She meets with Britney, who we don’t see on screen, and because of that, she is late to a recording session with Maisha. As you can imagine, Maisha isn’t happy about this, and hearing that Jemma will split her time between her and Britney, and Britney nearly has an EP done? Oh, it lights a fire under Maisha’s ass.

But, while Britney is doing more, Jake votes that Maisha is worth investing in more. Britney sounds too much like other rappers, and pair that with how she was pushing up on Jemma? Oh, Jake doesn’t trust her.

We Are Not Our Parents – Kiesha, Emmett, Darnell, Dr. Kwame, Nina, Nuck

With what happened to Pastor Jackson, Kiesha wants out. Emmett, with how much Kiesha is an asset to him as a partner, buys himself some time, but when both go to Nuck, he is unable to guarantee their safety if they rile Douda’s feathers.

This is a problem for Emmett. With him trying to be everything his father wasn’t, not being allowed to protect Kiesha upsets him. But, in Kiesha’s defense, just as Emmett is trying to avoid being anything similar to Darnell, Kiesha is doing the same when it comes to Nina.

Dr. Kwame Camille Robinson The Chi Season 6 Episode 7 Long Live scaled

In conversation with her therapist, Dr. Kwame, solo and with Nina, it is noted how much Nina has influenced her as a child and how watching her be what some could consider submissive affected her. Nina, in her defense, from her perspective, was aiming to be the perfect daughter, and in her time, that meant getting a husband, having kids, and being a good wife.

In all honesty, that wasn’t what Nina wanted. She wanted to explore the world and her sexuality and didn’t want kids. Hearing this alarms and hurts Kiesha, but it is the truth.

Some Things You Never Heal From – Papa, Jake, Bakari, Nuck, Zay, Douda, Isis, Victor, Fatima, Aerin, Kenya, Kevin

Isis and Aerin come to Victor and Fatima’s house, and he asks them for advice and what appears to be a blessing. Note: he isn’t trying to propose just yet, but with wanting to start a family soon with Fatima, he wants her chosen family to accept and support him – which they do. Mind you, Aerin is an easier sell than the slightly jaded Isis, but both are happy for Fatima, and while Fatima worries about the FBI and Victor’s time management, she is excited as well.

On a darker note, Pastor Jackson’s death haunts the community. Papa is especially hit hard, leading to verbal altercations with Bakari and Kenya. Luckily, both see he is just working through pain, and let it go. As for Kevin and Jake? Naturally, they are there for their friend, including when he gives the eulogy, and for Jake, on top of bearing the weight of his friend losing his dad, he convinces Victor to open up about what is going on with him regarding the FBI, which furthers the idea that these people we’ve seen grow up aren’t kids anymore – either by choice or circumstances.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Kevin packs up his apartment in this episode and shares a sweet moment with Emmett.

Review

Notable Performances or Moments

Kiesha and Nina In Therapy

Kiesha Birgundi Baker and Nina Tyla Abercrumbie The Chi Season 6 Episode 7 Long Live scaled

Black women, whether in television or movies, don’t get the ability to be vulnerable and express their vulnerability, or even flaws, outside of moments of crisis. Usually, the world is falling apart; someone just gravely wronged them, so space is made for them to cry, yell, scream, shout, and express themselves.

This situation was different. Kiesha and Nina were in a safe space, speaking to another Black woman, and allowed to be vulnerable and say things amongst themselves that could make them look unlikeable.

Nina especially, with revealing she originally didn’t want kids, was allowed to say something you don’t often hear without there being some kind of joke or mention of being physically unable to. It was straight up that she had kids, got married to a man, and a lot of what she has done thus far in life was to live up to someone else’s expectations.

But, on the flip side, while doing so, her own daughter damned her for being so submissive to her father and runs from all she saw her mother as. These moments don’t come often. Then, considering where “The Chi” was when it started, it shows how the program has evolved in making its female characters more than people who react to what male characters do or are focused on what they feel or go through.

Highlights

Papa’s Eulogy

I’ll admit, days separated from watching the episode, I don’t remember most of Papa’s eulogy to his father, but I do remember him talking about transitioning from living under his father’s guidance to having to control his own moral compass. Was it impactful, tear-inducing, and a true mountain for the season? No.

However, I do feel it did raise the expectations for monologues after Kevin’s graduation speech and reminded us how good of an orator Papa can be when you are sitting in the moment.

Maisha Going Harder With Competition In Her Sights

I see Maisha as the type who, with never having to exist in the same league as others in most aspects of her life, isn’t used to competition. She didn’t have the ability to compete for the same boys, wasn’t taken seriously enough to be considered competitive academically, and as a rapper, while she was aware of people at a higher level doing it, women included, they weren’t her direct competition.

Britney changes all of that for Maisha. Now, Maisha has someone who is direct competition, who Jemma is forcing her to go head to head with, so Maisha can’t just challenge unnamed members of society or herself; now, a physical person is getting in the way of what she wants. Which luckily, she rises to the challenge of, but it does make you wonder, with Jemma one of the most consistent people in Maisha’s life, how will that affect the friendship that has built her up when it is no longer a reliable source of comfort or support?

Fatima Getting Her Own Family

Isis Monroe Alise and Aerin Toni Bryce The Chi Season 6 Episode 7 Long Live scaled

While we have had shows like “Pose” and “Good Trouble” focus on or feature trans characters, there is still a sort of othering there. Either their experience is the focal point or a small part of a much bigger ensemble. Things feel different for Fatima. With the introduction of her house mother and sister, with neither played by well-known names within the mainstream, it feels like there isn’t a push to make Fatima a notable presence put on a pedestal.

Yes, she is trans, but it is treated just like Dre and Nina being lesbian. Does that mean they have led a different life and had specific experiences? Yes. However, it isn’t something that is othering, for the core of it is the human experience. Nina and Dre have dealt with infidelity, mid-life crises, and having to reconcile who they wanted to be when they were young with where they are now.

The same goes for Fatima. Her dreams of having a family felt foreign, as what many of us may feel like due to not meeting the right person. Heck, even her mother being a pessimist and Fatima likely having to combat that voice in her head is very on par with what many could have experienced. Thus making this whole scenario feel like we’re seeing how LGBT+ characters can exist without an inclusion spotlight.

Understanding The Goals of Kiesha and Emmett

As I believe Kiesha’s therapist said, we are informed and develop based on who our parents were or weren’t. Emmett grew up without a dad, so in his mind, all he had was a few examples from the media and the neighborhood. Which, thankfully, didn’t lead him to get into drugs, but he did develop into a hustler. Because of that, his idea of what a man is has become a provider for being a partner, a father and supporting your woman? He got to see a little of that from Brandon, but Brandon’s presence wasn’t in Emmett’s life long enough, when Brandon was with Jerrika, for that to stick.

Then with Kiesha, like many, I think she got the precedent of being a woman, especially the old school expectations, and utterly rejected it because she could. Why compromise to such a degree, be submissive and flexible when you don’t have to? Why let a man lead when he isn’t even close to the type of provider of yore? Never mind, let him lead while you are expected to do everything an old school woman would do, on top of the post-feminist revolution woman, who works a full-time job and everything else?

For me, these two are perhaps the most interesting depictions of a Black couple I’ve seen as it is neither pushed to be a pedestal romance nor something toxic and to be avoided. It’s richly complicated since their issues are real issues of how gender dynamics may have evolved to new norms in various aspects of society, but when it comes to relationships? The push and pull of what it means to be in a heterosexual relationship are immensely complicated, and the battle for a new norm is nowhere near over.

On The Fence

Where Papa and Kenya Stand

Probably one of the best things that happened to season 6 is now in flux. Papa and Pastor Jackson having their last conversation being an argument about Papa being ready to be with Kenya definitely weighs on Papa’s mind. He even speaks to Kenya about it, almost in the sense that he blamed her partly for his father’s death.

With that in mind, it is hard to say if she truly felt it was a man grieving vs. his true feelings, even if Kenya did attend the funeral. But, considering how far they have come and Pastor Jackson’s absence leaving room for Kenya’s dad to show up and take over, here is hoping this isn’t the last we’ve seen of her or her and Papa as a couple.

Shaad’s Storyline

It’s understood that recidivism is a major issue, for once you have a record, the system doesn’t really allow you to move on – you’re punished for life. Yet, I wouldn’t say for Shaad’s storyline, they have done much, if anything, to really push him forward. A reminder that Deja exists, and his continued struggles giving the character, or his actor, anything juicy. It’s almost like they are taking baby steps as they try to figure out what’s next for Shaad while developing characters they are far more invested in.

Episode Directory

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The Chi: Season 6/ Episode 7 “Long Live” – Overview

Summary

While Pastor Jackson’s death has led to mixed feelings, there is no denying what may not have been the strong removal of a character doesn’t affect the overall show’s quality. For with the time and effort poured into Kiesha, Nina, Emmett, and Fatima, I’d even say Maisha, too, “The Chi” is doing course correction and building off the strength of its female characters as it decides how to go beyond the usual storylines men have in urban dramas.

Overall
81%
81%
  • Kiesha and Nina In Therapy - 88%
    88%
  • Papa’s Eulogy - 82%
    82%
  • Maisha Going Harder With Competition In Her Sights - 81%
    81%
  • Fatima Getting Her Own Family - 83%
    83%
  • Understanding The Goals of Kiesha and Emmett - 84%
    84%
  • Where Papa and Kenya Stand - 76%
    76%
  • Shaad’s Storyline - 73%
    73%
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User Review
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Highlight(s)

  • Understanding The Goals of Kiesha and Emmett
  • Fatima Getting Her Own Family
  • Maisha Going Harder With Competition In Her Sights
  • Papa’s Eulogy
  • Kiesha and Nina In Therapy

Disputable

  • Shaad’s Storyline
  • Where Papa and Kenya Stand

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