Happy 25th birthday, Davia! Or, sorry, happy re-birthday. Davia is turning a quarter of a century old and this year she is making some changes. She’s going after all of her dreams and she will be reborn as a new and happier Davia. Oh, the young, bless their precious hearts.
Listen, I believe in Davia and I want good things for her, but until she really kicks this toxic Jeff habit, there’s no way this can be the Year of Davia. And that’s where the problem comes in. She says she is over her married boyfriend, but it’s only because she hasn’t heard from him since he lied to her about being in Los Angeles. He knows how important her birthday is to her, so the fact that he hasn’t even reached out about that is the final strike. So she says. No one believes her.
To keep her mind off of Jeff, Davia comes up with a “Re-Birthday Bar Crawl Amazing Race Trivia Thing,” per Mariana’s description, in which all of her friends and their plus-ones will run around the city performing Davia-related challenges to win points. There is no prize. This seems very much like something a 25-year-old would do, because once you hit 30, let me tell you, you have no energy to organize a citywide trivia bar crawl in your honor for 12 people. You might be able to make buttons with your face on them, but even that is a stretch. Aside from being a 20-something’s dream, this bar crawl is also a great framing mechanism for Good Trouble. It gets the entire cast together in a fun way while also moving storylines forward. It’s like a better-executed version of “Swipe Right.”
Oh, also, Brandon Foster shows up. As Mariana and Callie’s Uber driver. Okay, so in this world it’s called “Coche,” but you get the picture. Brandon is very sad. You can tell by his messy hair and scruffy beard. Thankfully, Jamie, Callie’s plus-one for the evening and the brother to Brandon’s wife, Eliza, is on the other trivia team, so he doesn’t spot him — and Brandon wants to keep it that way. As he admits later, he doesn’t want Eliza to know that he’s driving for money. It sounds silly when you type it out, but at the next stop, when Dennis gets in the car, everything becomes much clearer. You know what one sad married dude really needs? An extended conversation with a sad divorced man.
Brandon, OF COURSE, is the type of driver I always dread getting and he begins to spill his guts to Dennis. He’s driving because he wants to make his own money — he has no job after graduating from the Musician’s Institute, where he studied film scoring, whereas his wife is a cellist with the L.A. Philharmonic — and he wants to keep it a secret because it would look like he isn’t committed to the whole “what’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine” aspect of being married to someone. From where Dennis sits, it looks like Brandon thinks that only a man can provide financially for his family and that is dumb. But Dennis knows all about being dumb when it comes to marriage and about refusing to take money from his wife. We get a quick flashback to the time Jennifer came to the Coterie and learn that in the divorce settlement, Dennis didn’t take any money. He’ll figure it out on his own.
Anyway, this very depressing conversation is good for both of these sad men. It helps Brandon open up even more to Callie, who is like, dude: talk to your wife. It certainly gets Dennis thinking about his current situation. Although what really pushes Dennis to make a change is Davia. Yes, that Davia!
You see, as much fun as Davia is having forcing people to shove the hottest hot wings down their throats and kiss people they’ve never kissed before (here for Gael kissing Alice, always and forever), her mind is clearly on Jeff. When she’s left alone, she can’t help but reach out to him, and then she learns the truth: He did come to see her for her birthday, but he ran into Dennis first. And Dennis punched him the face. And told him that Davia is worth more than he’s giving and if he can’t be better, he should just go. It’s definitely an overreaction, but Dennis’s heart is in the right place. Davia does not see it that way. She runs out of the club to find Dennis. How could he? They get into a screaming match right there on the sidewalk about self-respect and being deserving of love and honestly this cannot be good for club marketing. Davia tells Dennis that she’ll start respecting herself when he does, which is like, not the point, but okay.
Fighting with a birthday girl whilst mascara is streaming down her face stirs something in Dennis. He texts his wife and tells her he’d like his half from the sale of their house, not because he’s angry, but because he’s trying out this new thing where he respects himself. That’s some improvement!
Davia is a different story. She invites Jeff home with her (this is bad!), but mid-makeout-sesh it dawns on her that if she continues to sleep with Jeff, nothing in her life will change (this is good!). She deserves better. And she tells him this! It’s a glorious moment of self-awareness and we should celebrate the Year of Davia … oh, wait, Jeff tells her he’s maybe getting a divorce and now she’s reconsidering. Oh, sweetie, no.
But wait! There’s someone else experiencing some true self-awareness tonight. Um, guys, can we get a round of applause for CALLIE ADAMS FOSTER? I know I was very harsh on her last week, but this week she apologizes AND admits to being self-involved AND promises to do better. This would never happen on The Fosters.
Jamie hears through the grapevine that Gael and Callie have called it quits. He’s a little put off by the fact that Callie has yet to inform him that she’s not dating anyone else. Sure, the following conversation takes place in the middle of a dance club, but it is incredibly mature nonetheless. Jamie flat out tells Callie that whatever they have going on isn’t working for him. He isn’t into being friends with benefits only when it is convenient for her — it’s all on her terms and it isn’t fair to him. This guy is so well-adjusted I’m worried he’s like an alien or something.
Now that both guys Callie has been dating have called her out on being selfish, she takes a long, hard look at what she’s doing. And instead of digging in, she realizes she needs to change. She apologizes to Gael for making him feel used. Their relationship was about so much more than sex. The intensity scared her. She’d like it if they could become friends. She tells Jamie that she wants more than friends with benefits with him, and she wants it to work for both of them. Jamie only replies with a “thumbs up” emoji which is way too casual for this momentous occasion — Callie! Showing! Self-awareness! — but since he’s been so calm and mature throughout this ordeal, he gets a pass. I’m very excited for this next chapter in Callie’s life. By which I mean both her dating Jamie and her growing as a human being. I am the proudest mama bird right now.
• Is Maraj the best ’ship name in the history of ’ship names? The only negative here is that Alex and Sam are the ones who come up with it as they continue to harass Mariana and Raj at work. Also, Raj tells Mariana that he’s not upset that he’s lost Alex and Sam as friends because he’d much rather be friends with her. My Maraj ’shipping heart cannot take this, people!
• Hello, I am very attached to Malika and Isaac. The guys just wants to know more about her, and even though Malika wins their little birthday bar crawl side bet, she still allows Isaac to take the win and ask her three personal questions. She opens up to him about her family. They are so cute.
• Could it be? Is Alice truly moving on? Sumi forces her way into being Alice’s plus-one and spends the whole night Flirting. Yes, the capital F is warranted. Aside from bringing up old, fun memories, when Alice asks for a palate cleanser after Gael kisses her, Sumi offers up one by way of her mouth. Old Alice would fall under the spell of Sumi. New Alice ends the night by calling Joey, admitting she’s not out to her parents even though it scares her to tell Joey that, and begging for a second date. Man, the birthday bar crawl is doing wonders for the Coterie crew.
• For a few points, Jamie dances shirtless with the go-go dancers at the gay club. It involves the Sprinkler and it glorious. Please never leave us, Jamie.
• Bryan confronts Gael over the fact that he knows Callie broke up with Gael, Gael didn’t just choose him. But Gael wants to be exclusive with Bryan and he needs Bryan to be confident in that. IDK, you guys. All those lingering stares at Callie tell a different story.
• While talking to Callie, Brandon calls Gael a “Latin demigod” and I have never liked Brandon more. I know the bar is low, but still, it needed to be mentioned.