Season 5 of “The Chi” continues to give what is expected, in terms of presenting a complex view of the city, while making improvements to how the girls and women are developed.


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Season 5 of “The Chi” continues to give what is expected, in terms of presenting a complex view of the city, while making improvements to how the girls and women are developed.

Aired (Showtime) 6/24/2022 – 9/4/2022
Genre(s) Crime, Drama, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT+, Family
Noted Characters
Emmett Jacob Latimore
Tiff Hannah Hall
Kiesha Birgundi Baker
Victor Luke James
Tierra Nia Jervier
Otis Curtiss Cook
Fatima L’lerrét Jazelle
Tracy Tai Davis
Roselyn Kandi Burruss
Q Steven Williams
Suede Bernard Gilbert
Jada Yolonda Ross
Darnell Rolando Boyce
Kevin Alex R. Hibbert
Simone Antonyah Allen
Jemma Judae’a
Jake Michael Epps
Papa Shamon Brown Jr.
Bakari Ahmad Nicholas Ferguson
Shaad                Jason Weaver
Maisha Genesis Denise Hale
Rob Iman Shumpert
Lynae Zaria Imani Primer
Mr. Bradford Joel Boyd
Peaches Sherrice Eaglin
Deija Carolyn Michelle Smith
Nina Tyla Abercrumbie
Dre Miriam A. Hyman
Nuck Cortez Smith

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Summary

Covering the fall, winter, and ending at the cusp of spring, season 5 of “The Chi” mainly focuses on relationships. The top one is Emmett and Tiff’s, which might be beyond repair at this point. Emmett has began to explore reconciling with Kiesha and Tiff? Rob seems willing to take on all that baggage she is holding from being with Emmett and trying to make it work.

As for the others? With Imani gone and him trying to get into politics, Victor (Trig) ends up with a fake girlfriend in Tierra, thanks to Otis, while he is trying to secure a relationship with Fatima, who is a reporter and trans woman like Imani. And as that happens, Otis and Tracey continue having their usual back and forth, which gets flared up by Roselyn and Q getting involved with ROCK. Then, to finish talking about the adults, while Nina and Dre are okay, Jada is contemplating whether to stick with Suede after he has proven himself by staying by her side through her cancer or getting back with Darnell.

Which leaves the kids. Kevin gets a new girlfriend, Simone, and Jemma and Jake continue to go strong. With that, Papa is left out there, and you can see from his actions that he doesn’t do well on his own like a puppy with anxiety. Luckily, Bakari, one of Jake’s enemies, and he grow close, especially after Shaad cannot mentor Bakari as he’d like. Also, Maisha, who has been sidelined a bit, links with Jemma, who becomes her manager.

Thus giving us a season of new relationships forming, old ones healing a bit, but still more than enough drama to show us it is all a process.

Things To Note

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Watch This)

Notable Performances, Moments, or Episodes

Rob reacting to Tiff's confession about trying to sleep with Emmett
“Rob reacting to Tiff’s confession about trying to sleep with Emmett,” The Chi, “I’m Looking For A New Thing,” directed by Marvin Lemus, 2022, (Showtime)
  1. Rob’s grace to Tiff as she navigated mourning her relationship with Emmett is the most notable performance of the entire season.
  2. Papa and Jake’s conversation about taking advantage of relationships based on the assumption the other person will always be there

Highlights

The Relationships Emmett and Tiff Get In

The main thing worth talking about in season 5 of “The Chi” is the relationship dynamics between Emmett and Tiff and how their new partners factor in. Kiesha has been close to Emmett since they were messing around in season 1 or 2. Rob is new, but he is older, mature, and far more stable than Tiff is used to. This leads to some interesting scenes regarding Emmett being all Tiff wanted him to be for Kiesha and Rob being all Tiff could use as she transitions into this new chapter of her life.

But again, Rob deserves a special designation because the stuff Tiff pulls or tries to with him, and how he handles it, is one of the few times I’ve ever seen a Black man give a Black woman that level of grace. He never yells, he asks questions to understand and not judge, and I would say as he breaks her out of her toxic thinking, you see she gives him something back in return. This isn’t like a coming-of-age movie setup where the older man siphons up the young lady’s youth, gives her a lesson, then off she goes.

Nope, when it comes to Rob, he learns from her about the things he didn’t have growing up. Like, with him, gifts are about price more so than meaning, and she helps him learn how to understand the reverse. Also, you can see that, as much as Tiff has to relearn how to be in a relationship, she knows how to genuinely love someone. And through loving Rob, when she isn’t looking over at what Emmett’s doing, you can see who she is and who she could have been if Emmett didn’t put her through the wringer.

Jemma and Maisha’s Friendship

Maisha looking at herself in the mirror
“Maisha looking at herself in the mirror,” The Chi, “Angels,” directed by Cierra ‘Shooter’ Glaudé, 2022, (Showtime)

With the way “The Chi” can be, it is easy to imagine Jemma and Maisha slipping into that girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend in Maisha’s case, void and being forgotten. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen in season 5. Yes, Jemma is chosen to be the woman who goes through something notable and tragic, but she strangely bounces back quickly, and you can potentially thank her having a quality storyline with Maisha.

You see, while Maisha had some buzz in previous seasons, nothing has come of that since. But, she still has an interest in pursuing music. It’s just that she knows she can’t potentially do both between music and going to a higher education institution. So, Jemma befriending her, outside of the men in their lives, and really investing in her leads to a business partnership and a notable friendship.

The Resurgence of Papa

Since Kevin and Jake started dating, Papa has been trying to figure out a life outside of them and has struggled throughout the process. With Maisha, he couldn’t really deal with not being her everything; without her, he is trying to make Papa’s Pulpit a notable thing, but sometimes at the expense of others. Thankfully, when Bakari comes into his life, we see a bit of the old Papa mix in with the new, and it seems after trying to figure out who he is without Jake or Kevin, he may have rediscovered himself.

Bakari

Bakari tearing up
“Bakari tearing up,” The Chi, ” We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off,” directed by Boma Iluma, 2022, (Showtime)

While Bakari isn’t a new character, he is one who hasn’t really been prominent. However, with Shaad taking on a mentoring role, since his life has become stable, Bakari becomes an example of what happens when the community looks out for their own, both positively and negatively. A vulnerable young man like Bakari around those like Victor, Shaad, and Papa, can become something. Add in Lynae giving him that extra pep in his step, and you got someone who can believe he can become anything.

But, the same vulnerability which calls the community to action can also be a bell that has people like Otis come running, ready to recruit a new soldier for their business. And seeing Bakari enticed by the streets while welcomed in the likes of Papa’s home helps you to understand the crossroads many find themselves at that can lead to salvation or damnation.

Kevin’s Relationship with Simone

After Jemma, it would be fair to say Kevin doesn’t have bad taste but isn’t the best at finding someone who can be what he needs, and vice versa. Enter Simone. She is weird and next level into astrology and crystals, but she seems about Kevin’s speed. She is supportive, and he can embrace her weirdness, and there is a balance in all things when it comes to their relationship. Almost like he, in a non-sexual Emmett way, he finally matured to the point of being ready to be in a relationship that makes sense for his age.

Scenes When The Moms Got Together

Jada talking about a ring she discovered that Suede bought
“Jada talking about a ring she discovered that Suede bought,” The Chi, “This Christmas,” directed by Katrelle N. Kindred, 2022, (Showtime)

Nina and Dre this season, after the cheating and all that Kiesha went through, have a mostly chill season. Kevin is ready to move out, and that causes issues, but otherwise, things are calm. Jada is thinking about leaving Suede, which is perplexing, and Tracy is still managing her feelings with Otis. But, while as individuals, their storylines aren’t the most interesting or exciting, when they get together and talk about what they are going through? Honestly, it is the highlight of the episodes we see it.

Watching the ladies crack on Tracy’s relationship with Otis, talk about Darnell, or Dre casually bring up the struggles she and Nina have, it reminds you there could be so much more done with these ladies. It’s just that they are attached to these men, Nina and Dre, with a boy, and that seems to be all they want to do with them.

Low Points

The Criminal Underworld Has Gotten Bland

You’d think Q returning would be a big thing, especially with how he shook things up before, but that’s not the case. The whole crime element of “The Chi” has become not only an afterthought but the weakest aspect of the show. Otis is barely of that world, as he is mostly seen trying to be with Tracy or mold Victor to win a seat on the city council – which we see nothing of to know what local politics are like after Otis resigned.

Then with Trig becoming Victor and Nuck barely being in the season, either you can consider this a rest season before a grand rebirth in season 6, or the criminal element of “The Chi” becoming a necessary evil to touch upon since it as much part of the show’s legacy as Tracy.

On The Fence

Wishing We Got More Of Mr. Bradford and Peaches

Mr. Bradford (Joel Boyd) talking about his class making NFTs
“Mr. Bradford (Joel Boyd) talking about his class making NFTs,” Katrelle N. Kindred, The Chi, “Oh Girl” 2022 (Showtime).

Peaches is Victor and Jake’s mom, who was previously introduced as an unreliable addict. In this season, she is on the mend and trying to provide for Victor, Jake, and even Shaad, with some sense of family and a maternal figure. However, she doesn’t stay for the entire season.

As for Mr. Bradford? It is in his class Kevin and Simone meet, but what makes him notable is that he is the first teacher, or anyone at Kevin, Jake, and Papa’s school, who seems like he could be potentially impactful since Mr. Gasca in season 1. Yet, while he is introducing the kids to NFTs and more, he sadly falls off and is seen for maybe one or two episodes before not appearing again.

Some Of The Relationships The Adults Have

The back and forth between Jada and Darnell shows some of the negatives of a show running for so long. Shaad and Deja, while cute at first, seemingly lost the writers’ interest as time went on. Victor and Fatima? It felt a little like a rehash of any cis man and trans woman relationship you can think of. And honestly, out of nowhere, it seems the new Brandon and Terricka could be Emmett and Kiesha.

It’s a strange development, but it isn’t like even with the longest married amongst the cast, Nina and Dre, there has been a real effort to make couples real yet swoon-worthy.

Tracy and ROCK

I will forever maintain that Tracy is a legacy character and because her son’s death triggered most of the events on “The Chi,” that is the main reason she is kept. For if you compare her journey to Jada, Nina, Dre, or any of the mothers who remain, you don’t get the same satisfaction. And you’d think with Otis’ wife, Roselyn, getting involved with ROCK, maybe that would drum up some things? Perhaps lead to a mutually beneficial situation where Roselyn can further establish her life outside of Otis, with Tierra at that, while we get to see her butt heads with Tracy over how to take ROCK into the future.

Victor and Tracy The Chi Season 5 Episode 6 Bring It On Home To Me

Yet, that doesn’t happen. Tracy is chained to Otis, who had a lackluster season, and thus Tracy is the weakest link in most of her scenes and definitely for the show.

Lynae

The issue with Lynae is that she was just there once Kevin got a girlfriend. She was part of a notable storyline that boosted Victor, and once that was done, this season made it seem they weren’t sure what to do with her. Now, yes, there is the potential between her and Bakari, but with the potential requiring her to date him, it is more to his benefit than hers.

[ninja_tables id=”57300″]

Victor, standing in his truth, looking at Fatima
The Chi: Season 5 – Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
The fifth season of "The Chi" shows much growth, but with it hanging on to certain characters and a criminal element that has long grown stale, a new chapter might be necessary, with many left behind in the old one.
Highlights
Scenes When The Moms Got Together
Kevin's Relationship with Simone
Bakari
The Resurgence of Papa
Jemma and Maisha's Friendship
The Relationships Emmett and Tiff Get In
Disputable
Lynae
Tracy and ROCK
Some Of The Relationships The Adults Have
Wishing We Got More Of Mr. Bradford and Peaches
The Criminal Underworld Has Gotten Bland
80

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