It sure has been a long, hot summer over on Good Trouble. Long because there are two characters who need to get together who just will not get together already! And hot because, well, partly because of said sexual tension, but also because there was some real drama heating up the Coterie during the first half of the Freeform series’ second season. Every single person in that communal living space found themselves dealing with a problem or 15 — as is correct and expected. I mean, the trouble, whether with the heart or with the law, is why we show up, right?
Now that the summer season has come to a close, it’s time to take a look at that trouble collectively by ranking the Coterie’s biggest troublemakers, from those who mainly stayed above the fray to those who found themselves in the middle of so many problems it is a true wonder they don’t flee DTLA immediately. I’m looking at you Callie Adams Foster. I’m always looking at you.
Oh dear, this angel person! Okay, Gael pissing off Mariana for bailing on her big app presentation to go pitch an art piece for a commission is on him, but sometimes you gotta do you, you know? The other problems Gael has this season? Not his fault! His long-lost love Elijah rolls back into his life (and bed — you’re welcome), claiming he wants to help Gael garner more publicity for his work by setting Gael up with an interview. Gael soon discovers that Elijah paid that journalist for the good review, and when the scandal breaks — the writer was taking lots of bribes for positive articles — Gael loses his big art commission and all faith in Elijah. Top that off with the fact that Gael also learns Callie was lying to him about Jamie buying his art piece last season, and one has to wonder if this guy will ever trust anyone ever again! His heart is certainly in trouble. Oh, also, Gael is in trouble with me because he let Elijah cut his glorious hair. Elijah is the worst, huh?
You don’t know how grateful I am that I don’t have to write about how Dennis slept with Davia’s mom, because that would’ve been some real trouble. Instead, it turned out to be a wonderfully awkward red herring. Still, Dennis has a few non-mother-lover related things to deal with: Davia and Dennis have developed feelings for each other (truly, what a time to be alive), but neither wants to admit it. I get it on Dennis’s part — the dude is dealing with a lot. Since coming home from his self-imposed psychiatric hold after almost killing himself, he’s only confided in Davia about his son’s death and his depression. He barely leaves his apartment. That’s becoming an issue for Malika, who misses her friend. He’ll have to reveal his secrets soon enough.
The bigger problem, however, arrives in the form of his estranged wife, Jennifer, who wants to “work things out.” Apparently, to Jennifer that means getting Dennis to sign the divorce papers and informing him that she’s pregnant and marrying Dennis’s ex–best friend. That crushing blow is either going to paralyze Dennis from moving forward or push him into confronting his feelings for Davia. Obviously, I’m hoping for the latter as long as this broken person is truly ready, because as evidenced by the uncontrollable squealing that comes out of my mouth every time the show does a montage of Davia-Dennis highlights, I need this pairing to last.
How much trouble has Davia gotten herself into in season two? Well, it depends. Do you consider “ditching your married boyfriend (get out of here, Jeff!) just as he’s left his wife because you’ve fallen in love with your best friend who you can’t tell the truth to because you fear both ruining your gorgeous friendship and also rejection” trouble? UM, YES YOU DO. YOU DO VERY MUCH. This is trouble for Davia, because her heart might burst from the overwhelming amount of feelings she has, and it is trouble for me because I am so obsessed with this potential pairing that I am constantly watching their performance of “Falling Slowly” from Malika’s birthday party on repeat instead of doing things I’m supposed to be doing, like working or leaving my apartment. It’s trouble for everyone!
Alice Kwan is going to have some explaining to do in season 2b — possibly about why Freeform continues to categorize seasons in such a weird way, and definitely about why her stand-up comic mentor Lindsay kissed her before Alice went onstage to do her first real set, knowing that Alice is in a relationship. Making things extra-complicated is the fact that her partner Joey told her that Lindsay burned them before by stealing their last girlfriend, while Lindsay claims the opposite. Somebody’s lying! Lindsay seems much shadier than Joey, but however this unfurls, Alice is in for some real confrontation. Not like things with Joey were perfect before the kiss: The two hit some rough waters when Joey changed their pronouns and Alice used her time at the mic to process. Though, let’s be honest, Alice should have at least three get-out-of-jail-free cards for her “surprise” sexy dance during Malika’s 25th birthday party. One for her ponytail whip alone.
I’m a little worried about Malika. Season two kicked off with her stealing Callie’s security card and marching into Judge Wilson’s office to scream “Shame on you!” at the conservative judge after he found the police officers not liable for the murder of Jamal Thompson during an extremely one-sided civil trial. Wilson was going to press charges, but was convinced not to when his secretary Naomi pleaded with him to show Malika leniency.
Throughout the rest of the season, Malika gets more involved with the Black Lives Matter movement, and in the summer finale, she’s asked to be on the front lines during a disruption BLM is planning at an event. That’s all the info she’s given. Soon, it becomes clear that the disruption is taking place at an event … honoring Judge Wilson. Malika is right there in the middle of it. Wilson may not be so lenient the second time around. So, um, that’s not great. There’s also a chance she’ll be in some hot water with her brother Dom, who took offense at Malika reaching out to their ex-con father. She’s continued to have a relationship with him — at first almost getting him evicted from his apartment! — behind Dom’s back. That probably won’t stay a secret for too long. All I know is, she better not mess things up with Isaac, who is 100 percent the best boyfriend on this show.
It’s a good thing we know how resilient Mariana is, because this girl really stepped in it this season. Like, in so much of it. On the professional end, Mariana ruffled the feathers of her fellow Byte Club members when she asked Raj to join what was supposed to be the first all-female app team, a situation that gets even stickier when the ladies discover that Mariana is dating Raj. She has to fire her boyfriend. That’s not her only problem with her app: The “Activism beta test” at Jazmin’s doble quinceañera doesn’t go smoothly, and Evan ends up having to donate $10,000 to the charity to cover up the problem. I mean, Evan is laughably rich, but it still isn’t a good look for Mariana’s app. She has a lot of pressure to get this right and prove all the “bro-holes” at Speckulate wrong. That pressure gets exponentially increased when Evan tells her the board wants to launch the app in ten days and she has to deliver. Mariana cracks — she’s not only working like crazy on the app, but she’s also assisting Evan with his dating life — and ends up yelling at Evan in front of her team. Again, not a good look. After all that, she ends the season in even more of hole, when she meddles in the Evan-Amanda situation, and instead of making a love connection, ends up pushing Amanda to sue for wrongful termination. Oh, and there’s a new chief operating officer in town, sent by the board, who immediately demotes Mariana as team leader. Cool, cool, cool, no need to panic.
At least her personal life isn’t hitting as many bumps. Sure, her passive-aggressive attitude toward covering Callie’s portion of the rent and talking shit about her sister behind her back cause Callie to move out, and the Raj-Mariana-Evan love triangle might actually become a real and viable thing which will certainly cause some problems, but at least … okay, no, you know what? She’s in a lot of trouble here, too.
Did you honestly think anyone else was going to be sitting atop this list? Do you even watch this show?! Bless Good Trouble for not forgetting that one time on The Fosters when Callie willingly got into a pimp’s car, because that was wild, but she has in no way gotten in any less trouble on this show than she used to as a teenager. I mean, the season starts off with her yelling at Judge Wilson about being a biased dick and quitting her clerkship and ends with her yelling at Mariana for not having her back and then moving out of the Coterie into Jamie’s penthouse apartment. (Seriously, an espresso machine built into the kitchen? You get yours, Jamie.) It’s no sleeping with her adopted brother but, yes, Callie’s had A Time.
That’s not even mentioning the trouble in between those two meltdowns, which includes but IS NOT LIMITED TO: Callie finally getting called out by Gael for using him as a distraction; Callie failing the bar exam only to take a research job with Legal Aid in which she immediately oversteps REPEATEDLY; Callie almost getting Malika’s dad evicted; Callie getting caught spending $1,600 on a suit even though she can’t pay rent; Callie trying to blame Mariana for Gael discovering that Jamie bought his art piece when Callie was clearly in the wrong; Callie choosing to help her one boss, Marcus, with a class action suit he’s filing in partnership with the ACLU and turning her back on her other boss and mentor, Teresa.
Whew! You guys! Callie was very busy in season 2b. Yes, it was sad to watch her discover that the ladies of the Coterie had a group text going about how icy she is, but Callie is not totally innocent in that situation, and we all know it. And I haven’t even mentioned the greatest trouble Callie got into, which was with the audience, for making us watch her and Mariana do horrible improv while also depriving us the joy that would’ve been Mariana and Callie doing a Sister Act performance. HOW DARE SHE!