Grace is a major theme in this episode as apologies are issued, and paths to reconciliation are paved. But that doesn’t mean multiple mistakes will be allowed.


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Grace is a major theme in this episode as apologies are issued, and paths to reconciliation are paved. But that doesn’t mean multiple mistakes will be allowed.

Aired (Showtime) 8/26/2022
Director(s) Marvin Lemus
Writer(s) Ricardo Gamboa

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Recap

Was the Old Me That Bad? – Nuck, Otis, Q, Victor, Fatima, Shaad, Tracy, Tierra

Tracy learns someone has been messing with ROCK’s finances, and Otis narrows it down to Q. Tracy, who isn’t about her organization’s money being funny, tasks Otis with handling it, and after talking to Nuck about Q gambling his money away, the idea of taking out Q is brought up. Tracy doesn’t like this because Q is the father of her son, and she doesn’t like how Otis talks about the potential of doing it. For Tracy, it reminds her too much of the old Otis, but the old Otis got the new one this far, so Otis isn’t seeing the problem here. Hence, he kills Q and plans to have eyes everywhere between Victor and his street person.

Tierra making it clear she does have a heart and feelings, but she sometimes sets that aside for her ambitions
“Tierra making it clear she does have a heart and feelings, but she sometimes sets that aside for her ambitions,” The Chi, “I’m Looking For A New Thing,” directed by Marvin Lemus, 2022, (Showtime)

Which could become a problem for Victor. At this point, he thinks Fatima is his soul mate but believes that, in order to win, he needs Tierra. Someone who, despite Shaad being in his feelings, isn’t heavily thinking about him or Victor. Hell, she is barely thinking about Roselyn. All these people are opportunities for better, and she’ll date, sleep with, whatever for what she wants and needs.

A Matter of Trust – Dre, Nina, Kevin, Kiesha, Rob, Tiff, Emmett, Marshawn, Otis

With Kevin having $300 shirts, a PS5, new shoes, and wads of cash, Nina automatically thinks he is a drug dealer, but Dre tries to give Kevin some grace. However, Nina’s lack of faith bothers Kev, especially once he explains everything. Thus leading to him talking to Simone about holding his money and even the possibility of emancipation.

Leading us to Tiff, Emmett, Rob, and Kiesha. Emmett and Tiff confess what happened, and to much surprise, Kiesha and Rob give grace to Tiff. Mind you, both recognize she is in the wrong, and Rob isn’t giving Tiff much more leehway. As for Kiesha? She recognizes another chat is due, but when to have it is the question because what Tiff did was a major violation.

But, as for Emmett, he is not only proud of himself for saying no, but also glad that Kiesha believes him. The icing on the cake was going to be Marshawn walking into his shop, but realizing Marshawn is a character broke his heart a little bit. Though the person coming to his shop that may really surprise him next is Otis, who, with changes to his organization, may want to purchase and franchise Emmett’s business.

It’s About Moving Forward – Bakari, Lynae, Jemma, Jake, Papa, Kevin

Bakari wanting to apologize and Papa advocating for him is a problem. At least it is for Jake who has no desire to see Bakari again and thinks Papa is a trash friend for even talking to Bakari. However, in Papa’s mind, Kevin and Jake abandoned him. They got girlfriends and forgot about Papa, and to show how much he is forgotten, Kevin knew Jemma was pregnant, and Papa didn’t until Jemma lost the baby! So with Papa getting heated, he curses at Jake, and the two go back and forth until Papa has had it.

This doesn’t stop Bakari from apologizing, and while Jake doesn’t want to hear it, Jemma appreciates it and frees up Bakari enough to feel worthy enough to approach Lynae, who furthers the grace given to him. In fact, the two kiss, and Bakari lights up like a little kid. She even inspires him to dream up something – a book based on his life. An idea he runs with and even tells Shaad about who, despite how things ended with them before, those two are cool, and Shaad even reveals he plans to open a vintage shop.

Jake explaining why he hasn't been investing lately in his relationship with Papa
“Jake explaining why he hasn’t been investing lately in his relationship with Papa,” The Chi, “I’m Looking For A New Thing,” directed by Marvin Lemus, 2022, (Showtime)

Now, with all this grace being issued out, it seems Papa finds it in his heart to extend an olive branch to Jake as long as the conversation can be on “Papa’s Pulpit.” Naturally, Jake isn’t happy about a recorded conversation, but the two hash out their issues. Papa feels like Jake doesn’t get his assumption Papa will always be there, no matter what; even if their relationship is neglected, he doesn’t like that. So, Jake commits to being more communicative, and by hashing out the core of their issues, the friendship is given a new lease.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. When is Papa going to confront Kevin about not being around?
  2. Who is Victor running against?
  3. How did Roselyn find Tierra or did Tierra find Roselyn?

What Could Happen Next

  1. We learn who Victor would be running against
  2. All that Q has been keeping on the down low springs up

Review

Highlights

The Grace and Understanding Given Throughout The Episode

Too often, if someone screws up, they get cut off. This is especially true for Black women, for while we’re all used to the narrative of a Black woman taking back a trash man, especially after an apology, see Jada with Darnell or Emmett with anybody, you don’t see that much in reverse. Tiff is a rare example, and you have to appreciate her being one.

Now, granted, is Rob happy that she did what she did? Hell nah! She is messy, but he gets it. She is growing, hurting, learning, and love to her looks like pain and drama. All he can do is provide her an alternative that feels safe and stable. Not at the expense of his sanity or feelings, of course, but with noting he is used to yelling in his upbringing and Tiff unsure why he isn’t going off, he sees she needs this grace. For even if he isn’t the final man for her, she needed to see there is an alternative to what she is used to.

Jemma accepting Bakari's apology
“Jemma accepting Bakari’s apology,” The Chi, “I’m Looking For A New Thing,” directed by Marvin Lemus, 2022, (Showtime)

But, it isn’t just about romantic relationships allowing grace, but even Bakari getting that. Between Lynae not damning him for killing someone because she knows the story of her brother, to Jemma forgiving him, despite his role in the death of her baby, we’re reminded of the power of forgiveness. Heck, not even just forgiving someone to move on, but giving them a sense that they are understood, and while the sin may continue to weigh heavy on them, the weight is all theirs and not something a 3rd party put on their shoulders.

Fatima and Tierra Not About The BS

Fatima told Victor from the jump that she doesn’t play secrets, and you have to love that she is firmly setting her boundaries and leaving Victor all messed up. But it is Tierra who really draws attention. She still is quite the unknown character, and between her relationship with Roselyn and her ambitions, it is difficult not to be drawn in and question why isn’t there more development for her? She is one of the most interesting new characters in quite some time, and seemingly, she is featured but not focused upon just because she isn’t someone’s love interest.

Papa and Jake’s Conversation

Before Papa developed feelings for Maisha, we were huge Papa fans. He was the most mature character emotionally, and through him, there was a lot of growth for Kevin and Jake. However, he tripped, stumbled, fell on his face, and didn’t really recover when he started to have an interest in Maisha. It seems love made him stupid, and while it was wonderful to see two people like them in a relationship, like many of Papa’s relationships, it benefitted the other character far more than him.

However, with Maisha, I would submit that he didn’t recover. That relationship exposing him to his flaws and having to work on himself led to Papa’s role in the show being taken. Then once Papa’s Pulpit came around, and he found a way to get the attention his friends and girls weren’t giving him, it tainted his character even further. But we got the old Papa back by seeing him talk to Jake about needing attention, needing to be told about what is going on, and having the well of their friendship replenished. In his comments about not taking advantage of the longevity of a relationship and just assuming people won’t go nowhere just because you didn’t do them harm, we got that wise beyond his years Papa that I’ve missed terribly.

On The Fence

Older Characters Still Have Meager Storylines

The gangster element of “The Chi” has been weak for quite some time now, and it is on life support through Otis. Tracy remains a character who seems trapped in the past, and Nina and Dre have been demoted back to simply being Kevin’s parents.

Heck, even Jada and Darnell have fallen, and it’s hard to say why. Is it the lack of new pursuits when it comes to these characters? Does it deal with it seeming like each storyline is a rehashing of what we already saw or that the characters have become stagnant?

Either way, for the last few episodes, the show cut out or down most of the fat, and with the fat returning in this one, it might be a sign some characters could/ should/ need to be written off or further demoted in season 6.

[ninja_tables id=”57300″]

Rob reacting to Tiff's confession about trying to sleep with Emmett
The Chi: Season 5/ Episode 9 “I’m Looking For A New Thing” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
It is starting to seem that the issue “The Chi” had with how it wrote women is starting to convert to a problem with writing intriguing characters past their early 30s.
Highlights
Fatima and Tierra Not About The BS
The Grace and Understanding Given Throughout The Episode
Disputable
Older Characters Still Have Meager Storylines
80

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