Not to toot toot, beep beep my own horn here, but I believe it was I, your fearless recapper, who declared Sumi a “stealth MVP” of this show at the beginning of season three, and now here she is all this time later saving the day once again. Or at least saving Alice’s career. Sumi! We love her.
When she learns the comedy workshop is most likely getting canceled now that it has no director and Alice is simply going to wallow in her misery, Sumi has other plans. Insane plans! But you know what? They work. Because an MVP gets things done.
Sumi thinks they should convince Margaret Cho to take on the directing gig because, yes, sure, why not? Alice tries to explain that Margaret Cho hates her now that she called her out for not speaking out against the diversity program (she bases this on a blocked DM), but this does not deter Sumi. So what proceeds is this: With an assist from Ruby, they trick Margaret Cho into an interview with Sumi, who is being fed what to say by Alice, sitting outside in a car, in the hopes of convincing Margaret to save this comedy workshop. It is admittedly wild and also goes poorly. So, so poorly. Alice and Sumi are not built for these types of shenanigans, and it doesn’t take long for Margaret Cho to figure it out. She has Alice come inside and explain herself, and while she is very sad to hear the workshop isn’t moving forward, she just doesn’t have time to take on a project like this — and pulling the whole thing together with just a week left seems especially daunting. She’s sorry, but her answer is no.
Sumi won’t accept that. After she and Alice leave, she pretends to have forgotten something in the diner and has a quick chat with Margaret Cho. Sumi reminds her that Margaret Cho was the one who taught her “and Alice and every other Asian girl that [they] can be strong and funny and in charge” and that after being an inspiration for so long, she can’t let them down now. She is holding back tears, and Margaret Cho is no match for that.
At the next workshop session, where everyone realizes it was Derek who told Scott about Alice and Ruby and is also a huge dick, Margaret Cho walks in to save the day. She’s going to direct the showcase. Now please, for the love of all things holy, let this workshop story line wrap up. Listen, it has fostered some great conversation, but it has felt never-ending. It’s time to move on, Good Trouble. Please let us move on.
Maybe we can move on by way of letting Alice and Sumi find their way back to each other. They are currently stuck in that TV problem of characters not simply TALKING TO EACH OTHER to clear the air. After Sumi sees Ruby leave Alice’s room one morning, she assumes Alice is still sleeping with her (Alice did sleep with her but realizes it was a mistake and they should just be friends), so when Alice brings up talking about their Lunar New Year kiss, Sumi acts as though the kiss was no big deal … which leads Alice to believe Sumi isn’t interested in getting back together and so drops it without telling her how she feels. Very infuriating stuff! It’s been such a well-earned reconciliation up to this point, watching Alice and Sumi find their way back to each other after they grew individually in the ways needed to make this relationship work — Sumi becoming less selfish, Alice learning to stand up for herself — so it’ll be nice when all that finally comes together. Fingers crossed it doesn’t take too long.
You know what is moving full steam ahead? Our little murder trial! The prosecution is calling Katie, Tommy’s girlfriend, to the stand in an attempt to set up a “jealous boyfriend” motive, claiming that Katie was flirting with Zack to make Tommy mad and that is what led to Tommy and Zack fighting before Zack’s death. Of course, we already knew Kathleen wants to turn suspicion on Katie, and thanks to additional intel from Izzie, they learn that Katie hated Zack — she had a whole Instagram account dedicated to it — even going so far as to post a photo from that very party saying she wished Zack were dead. Kathleen grills her on the stand, painting a clear picture of how Katie resented all the time Zack and Tommy spent together and how that had motivated her. And just as Katie’s back is up against the wall, she blurts out the truth: Tommy and Zack were secretly hooking up, and that night at the party, Zack broke things off with Tommy and that is what the fight was about. Ruh-roh. The court erupts in gasps and yelling. A secretly scorned lover? Tommy is looking much more guilty than he was when the day began.
Suffice it to say, Callie’s having an emotional day, and it’s not just because of the revelation in court. The show has slowly been reminding us why Callie and Jamie were together in the first place, and it does so again in a big way in this episode. The two bump into each other at the DA’s office, and what begins as some catty murder-case trash talk ends up as a vulnerable conversation. Jamie admits that he doesn’t love some of the tricks his boss has been pulling with this case and that criminal law doesn’t seem like the best fit for him. But a return to corporate law isn’t what he wants either — he’s feeling a little bit lost. Callie can’t tease him about that. She’s been feeling adrift as well. She doesn’t even remember why she got into law in the first place. Jamie does. He reminds her that she got into law to “challenge the system” and work toward justice reform. She had dreams of working for the ACLU. Guys, it’s a very sweet conversation, and honestly, I cannot wait for these two crazy kids to just make out already.
It may happen sooner than you think since, on top of everything else, Callie and Gael have found themselves in some troubled waters. That unexpected meeting with Gael’s mother was truly the most awkward — the woman has declared herself Team Isabella even though up to this point there were no teams at all — and that, paired with Callie getting a front-row seat to Gael and Isabella seamlessly working together to tend to one of Yvonne’s kids during their stay at the Coterie, has set her on edge.
So when the two finally get a chance to go on an actual date and Gael immediately brings up the news that Isabella’s friend has offered her a job and a place to stay in Santa Barbara, things get heated. He admits that he’s bothered by the idea of Isabella spending the pregnancy away from him (she already told him she’d move back to L.A. closer to the due date), and Callie is clearly bothered by the fact that he’s bothered. While co-parenting seems like a great idea, co-pregnancy isn’t really a thing, she says. When Gael says he’s glad Callie’s true feelings about everything are finally coming out, Callie responds that her true feelings are simply that none of this is her business, she doesn’t get a say in any of it, and she would love to stop talking about Isabella and the baby FOR ONE GODDAMNED SECOND. Okay, she doesn’t use that exact language, but the intent is there, baby!!
Meanwhile, back at the Coterie, Isabella runs downstairs in tears and tells Dennis that she’s cramping and bleeding and something is wrong. The two of them rush out the door to the ER. So perhaps there is even more trouble ahead than we thought.
• Aww, the whole Coterie coming together to help Malika take care of Yvonne’s kids warmed my cold, dead heart! This season has been in need of more inter-Coterie stories and hangouts, and this scene was a nice reminder, though it did not completely satisfy that craving.
• Malika and Angelica sitting (standing) in a tree (behind the bar) k-i-s-s-i-n-g. It’s unclear where any of Malika’s story lines are going, but Dyonte is kind of a bore so maybe Angelica and her mysterious councilwoman ex — who helps get Yvonne out of jail — will shake things up.
• Well, you knew Davia’s “Fat Bitch” video was going to pop up again at some point. A teacher can’t just make a video like that and not expect her students to find it eventually. Unfortunately, it was Davia who led them to it: She shows her student Jessie her body-pos Instagram account while trying to give her a pep talk about not letting her friends decide who she gets to be because of her size, not fully thinking things through. The kids finding that “Fat Bitch” video would probably get Davia in some trouble regardless, but it’s especially bad at the moment since her principal is looking for any excuse to fire her after he learned she had encouraged Andre to bring the Students Deserve activist group to school. In short: Davia’s in trouble.
• Aww, look at Lindsay supporting Alice even after Alice straight-up wrecking-balled their relationship with Sumi. Lindsay is a softy at heart!
• Okay, so now it is DEFINITELY time for Mariana to move on from Bulk Beauty. She decides that to mend things with Claire — the one giving her the most pushback at work — she needs to come clean to Raj about cheating on him with Evan so they can start to heal, and, in turn, maybe Claire won’t feel like she’s betraying her new boyfriend any time she’s nice to Mariana. But Mariana learns Claire’s problem has nothing to do with Raj — she doesn’t trust her because of the many, many times Mariana has betrayed or lied to her since they met. She’ll never be able to trust her, she says. And so, Mariana has Zelda set up that interview. It’s time, honey.