Well, that’s one way to put all of Callie’s love triangle (quadrangle?) woes in perspective, huh? It’s extremely difficult to muster any strong feelings about how Callie and Gael’s undeniable attraction to each other is just straight up ruining lives when Good Trouble pulls a last-minute reveal indicating Dennis may have killed himself. And who cares about Sumi admitting to Alice that she’s still in love with her when Dennis is in so much pain? “Broken Arted” is stuffed with story lines, but they all come to a grinding halt in those final few minutes when we hear the telling voicemail Dennis has left for his ex-wife. Oh, Dennis. You’re breaking my heart.
I suspect we’ll eventually find Dennis alive, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stomach this story line. Dennis is in pain, and the show doesn’t shy away from showing that. Like the rest of the Coterie gang, Dennis arrives at Gael’s art show to support his friend. He shakes hands with Jeff — who, yes is still around — and tells him to be good to Davia and reminds Davia to be good to herself. At this point, that tracks for Dennis. He’s very up in Davia and Jeff’s business! We also see him chat with Mariana about Jesus’s Tiny Houses, which is coincidentally the name of the band I one day hope to front. He tells her to remind her brother not to feel guilty about taking a handout and assures her he has a plan. Then he gives her a little hug. Not totally weird, but also kind of A Lot for an art gallery.
Still, everything seems normal until Jen shows up at the Coterie the next morning looking for him. They had a huge argument about the money he’s asking for. It ends with her calling Dennis “a shitty husband and a shitty father” and telling him that “Jacob had to get cancer for [him] to pay attention” to his son. Reader, I gasped at that last one. So harsh! Jen explains all of this to Davia, including who Jacob is, and plays her the voicemail. We watch Dennis make that phone call the evening before, sitting alone in his car, weeping, telling Jen that he wishes he had died instead of their son, that he wants her to be happy. As Davia thinks back to Dennis’s interactions with everyone at the Art Gallery — a lot of one-on-one good-bye hugs — it’s clear to her what’s going on. Davia is freaking out. We’re all freaking out!
Surely this situation, however it may end, will give Davia some perspective in regards to wasting her time with Jeff. He still hasn’t separated from his wife and he’s still full of excuses. At least Davia firmly tells him that there’s no way in hell she’s moving back to Wisconsin until he is divorced. Davia is nobody’s mistress! Except for Jeff’s right now, but that will change. I have faith. The Davia and Dennis relationship has been one of the most interesting to watch develop on this show. They seem to have little in common, and are always at odds, but you can also tell that they truly care about each other, like siblings neither of them asked for. It’s been a nice undercurrent of a friendship throughout season one. Anyway, I’m anxiously awaiting next week.
Davia also has some drama with Malika this week (I told you this episode was stuffed). When she brings home a student whose father is late picking her up, Malika think something else is going on. Little Vivian is carrying around a school bag full of dirty clothes and is eating everything Davia and Malika put in front of her; Malika thinks she’s homeless and that Davia needs to call CPS. The two immediately go from concerned to arguing. There is definitely some residual tension from their argument last week that bleeds into this one. Malika thinks Davia’s white privilege is showing and Davia is tired of being patronized by her friend. These ladies need to have a sit down in which there is no yelling allowed. Also, remember that Vivian is the focus here. Sorry guys, I just feel like I could be a great asset to the Coterie, spouting off old lady wisdom from a chaise lounge in the living room. I am available for those services, should they be required.
We can’t totally blame Davia for the reason Malika is so on edge. She’s going hard on planning this protest as Jamal Thompson’s trial draws closer, and in the midst of all that, she’s worried about Dom. She sent him an invitation to her graduation party and that got sent back because of an invalid address. She tries texting him, but again, it doesn’t go through because that number is no longer in use. She finally gets a call from him and when she asks if everything is okay, he gives her an ominous “no.” Malika has a lot on her plate right now, is all I’m saying.
You know what would help Malika? An app that helps activists organize protests. An app just like the one Mariana wants to pitch to Evan. She’s hesitant to do so because Casey warns her that Speckulate isn’t really a civic-minded company and the pitch will most likely tank. Not a lot of confidence there. When Mariana runs into Evan at the art gallery (lots of Speckulate folks are there to support Gael, who, you may have forgotten, is a graphic designer at the tech company), they have a little chat about his social anxiety and they get onto the subject of the pitch. Although I’d never recommend telling the person you’re going to pitch how unsure of your pitch you are (she yelled again from the chaise lounge!), Mariana does just that. So Evan asks to hear it right then and there—she’ll never know if he’ll like it or not unless she tells him about it. And guess what? He loves it! Mariana needs to get out there and celebrate! She did it! You go—
Oh, wait. No one can have anything good in this world. As soon as she tells Raj the good news, he expresses his fear that Evan is interested in more than her app. He’s seen them together, and Evan is different with her than he is with anyone else. Mariana’s all like, HELL NO, SIR. The only one who has proven to have an ulterior motive with her is him. And she storms off! I love these two precious nuggets with all of my heart, but even I was glad Mariana walked away from that.
Fingers crossed they don’t go down the “he was only into her app because he wants to get into her pants” route with Evan and Mariana because Good Trouble’s better than that cliche. Can’t he like her and think her idea is great? Or just think her idea is great? I’m worried because thanks to Josh and Angela standing in the corner like two cartoon supervillains, we learn that there was an “Amanda Situation,” alluding to the fact that perhaps Evan had some type of inappropriate conduct with a staffer at some point. Josh orders Angela to shut the Mariana pitch down or else it will be her ass on the line. Which leads us to the second lady saying “hell no” to a man trying to tear her down: Angela pulls Mariana aside at work to inform her that she knows all about her pay gap spreadsheet—and hands over a flash drive with all the information on male employees’ salaries. Looks like someone else is fed up with the toxic environment at Speckulate.
• So yes, it’s true: Sumi tells Alice that she’s still in love with her and thinks she’s her soulmate. Not a great sentiment to be expressing a week before you’re supposed to get married to someone else, someone else who is seemingly all in. Somebody stop this wedding, it is a terrible idea!
• Jamie and Callie meet with Jamie’s investigator in a super secret meeting out in broad daylight. They learn that the Chief of Police at the time of Jamal’s shooting was forced into retirement after Internal Affairs discovered that he was saying things like “it’s easier and cheaper for the department to let victims of police shootings die.” The LAPD wouldn’t want that to get out!
• Jazmin takes a settlement from the catering company instead of shining a light on trans discrimination in the workplace as she had planned, in a suspiciously low-key end to that storyline.
• Gael and Callie are back to making lusty eyes at each other. Callie ends up helping Gael build one final piece for his art show and Gael tells her that she’s his muse. I don’t know you guys, maybe gag me. I’m all for heated love triangles, but Gael and Callie are always SO INTENSE. Dial it back a little guys, it will be much more fun that way!
• Gael and Callie don’t hook up physically, but there is a lot of eye-fucking going on as they do a hipster version of the Ghost pottery scene. Bryan sees the same paint on both Gael and Callie’s hands at the art show and confronts Gael about still being in second place behind Callie. There’s lots of shouting about how closed off Gael is and they end things. Here’s the thing: I will never believe that Callie wouldn’t find a way to get that paint off of her hands. That’s not our Callie!
• Jamie anonymously buys Gael’s art piece! He’s going to feel so awkward when he learns about how it was made!
• Oooo, who is Gael’s long lost love Elijah and when will he show up?