The ladies of the Coterie are getting after it tonight, you guys. Mariana, Malika, Davia, and Alice decide to put the fates of their dating lives in each other’s hands, with each girl picking a date for one of the others through Shipper, Good Trouble’s version of Tinder. It feels a little like a filler episode — there are a few important character developments that we’ll get to, but in the grand scheme of Good Trouble, not much happens. (We’re taking a breather from both Speckulate and the Jamal Thompson case.) Still, it’s a fun, flirty ride. You know, kind of like a date in which you see very little potential but you’re not not going to go home with him.
The most ridiculous news of the evening certainly must be, and there’s really no other way to say this: our little Mariana Adams Foster partakes in a threesome. Remember when she was just building robots in S.T.E.A.M. club? What would the Mamas think? They spent so much time worrying about their daughters’ new home following proper fire safety protocol, they had no idea. So how did this actually happen? Honestly, pretty easily. Mariana’s Shipper date is a total toolbox and she is rescued at the bar by a very handsome, kind man. He seems perfect — but he has a girlfriend! But his girlfriend wants him to bring Mariana home! It doesn’t take long for them to proposition her. After some thought, she’s into it. It goes well until the next morning when she’s caught kissing the guy alone. You either share or nothing at all! Threesome rules!
The really mind-boggling part of this whole situation is that when Mariana comes home and tells Callie about it, Callie barely reacts. “I warned you about that dress” is all she says to her very satisfied sister. Listen, I get the whole “no judgement” thing, but she doesn’t even ask for details! It all just confirms my suspicions that Callie is not the type of person you want to have the Morning After Download with. She’s no fun. You know who is the perfect person for the MAD? Davia. That girl is a hoot and she’ll always make you feel great about your life choices. If you have a threesome, definitely tell Davia.
Davia’s date ends up working out for her, as well. He may wear pants he bought from Costco and unironically love the Dave Matthews Band, but bumbling Paul is still very good as far as revenge sex goes. What does Davia need revenge sex for? Well, she discovers that Jeff lied to her about his Los Angeles trip being cancelled. That he didn’t think Davia, a “social-media influencer,” would see the picture of him at the Lakers game up on Facebook is just insane. He does not deserve our Coterie goddess. So she texts him asking how the game was and follows up with a picture of her in bed with Paul. It is both very cold and very awesome. The next morning she tells the ladies that she is done with the whole Jeff thing. I shall believe that when I see it.
Alice also has a breakthrough with her own toxic relationship thanks to this Shipper experiment. Alice has a very nice date with a radio host who is almost as awkward as she is, but not quite. They head back to the Coterie and proceed to make out when who should arrive at Alice’s door in tears but Sumi. Ugh. Sumi is the World’s Worst. Alice, of course, sends this very nice woman home in order to take care of Sumi, who in the same breath as telling her that she and Mira got in a fight and are calling off their wedding tells Alice that it’s too weird to think about her with another woman. And yet Sumi still wonders how Mira could ever call her selfish. They spend the night in Alice’s bed as Alice consoles her friend-slash-ex-slash-great-love, and even say “I love you,” but when Mira calls to apologize the next morning, the wedding is back on. Poor Alice!
Thankfully, this story has a delightful, happy ending. Alice knows she can’t keep doing this, so she finally, FINALLY does something good for herself. She calls into her date’s radio show and asks to go out again. The ladies of the Coterie cheer as they listen to it all go down. I cheer because these youngsters actually own a radio and know how to operate it. We all cheer because Alice deserves a win.
As lovely as Alice’s story is, the sweetest, sexiest date night belongs to Malika. Ah, you guys, I am so in love with this storyline. And not just because of the homage to Love & Basketball, although that is a big part of it. Malika swipes right on a very hot dude she’s seen around the neighborhood named Isaac. He does not swipe right on her. So that makes things extremely awkward when Isaac comes sauntering into Malika’s bar (she’s a bartender — social activism doesn’t exactly pay the bills, you know?) and starts flirting with her. He’s handsome, tall, and is a fan of rom-coms. He is perfect. But just as he is debating the merits of the Run versus the Gesture in his favorite romantic comedies, Malika tells him that he rejected her on the dating app and reams him out for only swiping right on pretty white blondes. He wrote her off immediately. So, thank u, next, or whatever.
But Isaac doesn’t give up! Thanks to some of Malika’s clues from earlier, he figures out that her favorite movie must be Love & Basketball, so he shows up at the bar after closing with a basketball and asks to play a game of one-on-one; if he wins, she has to go on a date with him, if she wins, he’ll never come back to her bar. You guys, it is a Gesture! They proceed to have their own little Love & Basketball moment (including some one-on-one stripping) and then they proceed to GET IT ON. It is wonderful and although I’d appreciate some follow-up on Malika’s family storyline, for now, this is perfect.
• Callie and Gael make a No-Sex Pact for the weekend so that she can study for the bar exam and he can work on his art. This pact does not last long. When Callie sees that all this sex and lack of focus is hurting her career, she picks a fight with Gael and eventually tells him that they need to take a break until she passes her exam. A risky move, since Bryan just told Gael that he’s done with the casual thing — he doesn’t want to share Gael anymore.
• Gael refers to Jamie as Clark Kent and … he’s not wrong.
• Alice on Mira: “What kind of terrorist wants a pie bar instead of wedding cake?”
• Malika’s seamless use of the Pretty Woman quote, “Big mistake, huge,” was glorious.
• “Why is it so hard to find a nice couple in this town?”