Well, well, well, two of our Coterie ladies are getting very honest this week. For one, it looks like speaking her truth will have long-lasting repercussions. For the other, it seems like perhaps nothing will (ever) change. Both are emotional. Let’s start with the former, Malika.
Malika’s finally in therapy! We know she has a lot of things to work out, especially about her relationship with her mother, but her initial sessions focus on something else: the growing confusion she has over her feelings for Dyonte. When we last left Malika, she had just survived a swim with a raccoon and things were getting, um, tense between her, Isaac, and Dyonte. After learning that Dyonte is in a polyamorous relationship and that Malika kept that info to herself, Isaac point blank asks Malika if she’s interested in pursuing something with Dyonte. We finally see the end of that conversation: Malika assures him she only wants Isaac, but her face says something different.
Then with her therapist, Malika’s mouth says something different. She tells her therapist that she’s very confused. Dyonte is kind and they share a similar life story. She’s happy to be around him. Isaac makes her feel safe and loved and he challenges her. Eventually, the therapist hears enough: She doesn’t think Malika is confused at all, she clearly has strong feelings for both of these men. She also talks to Malika about how “monogamy is a social construct” and some people believe being polyamorous is a sexual identity — some people are just “hardwired” that way and to deny that part of you is to deny your authentic self.
Malika chats it over with her friends. They’re basically like, okay, if you want to be polyamorous and that’s what you need to be happy, that’s one thing. Does Malika think Isaac would be into it? Her friends put it bluntly: “Is it worth the risk of losing him” to find out if he’s into it, because telling him the truth is a “bell that you cannot unring.”
And then we see a tearful Malika back in therapy. She says that she needs to tell Isaac that she lied when she told him she wasn’t interested in Dyonte, because she does “want to pursue a relationship with Dyonte.” But she also wants to continue dating Isaac. She wants them both. And then we see that Isaac is there sitting next to her at therapy and he looks at her in shock and perhaps a little bit of heartbreak? It’s doubtful Good Trouble would go this deep into poly relationships and not dive all the way in, so something tells me Isaac might be willing to give it a go for Malika. At the very least, it looks like Malika and Dyonte will be taking things to the next level. However things shake out, it’s sure to get uh, complicated.
So who’s the other Coterie member speaking the truth tonight? After another disheartening day at the comedy diversity workshop full of director Scott pushing racist stereotypes in sketches, the whole crew decide to make comedy fun again by heading to a stand-up open mic. Alice’s set really rags on the problems with the workshop, including jokes about how the only doors it’s opening are “to the 1950s,” how it’s “crafting racism for the new generation,” and about how terrible Scott is. This causes problems for Alice in two ways. First, Ruby, the recruiter for the workshop, is at Alice’s open mic set, so it’s a little awkward when they bump into each other to chat. Ruby claims that Scott actually has a great track record (“of HR complaints?” Alice suggests) and has helped launch a lot of careers (“and racial stereotypes” Alice adds). Ruby also says she understands Alice’s issues with the workshop, but those are just the types of roles available to people of color right now. It’s a troubling argument on so many levels.
Ruby moves on pretty quickly from that conversation because really all she wants to do is hook up with Alice again. Remember, last week after Alice had that Callie sex dream, she decided to be more in control of her relationship with Ruby. That’s translated into not being available whenever Ruby happens to want to hang out. At first, the plan works. Ruby seems more interested in Alice the more Alice says she’s busy or dating someone else, but in the end Ruby decides she’s being too clingy and tells Alice they should press pause on whatever they are.
Alice has bigger issues at the moment, however, because fellow workshop participant Derek posts Alice’s set on Instagram and Scott ends up seeing it. With only three weeks until the comedy showcase and one person getting cut ahead of it, Alice is sure this means she’ll be kicked out of the workshop. But Scott walks in and says it was “hilarious” and that “you have to be able to laugh at yourself” before continuing on with the agenda as if nothing happened, stereotypes and all. Alice is obviously relieved she isn’t getting the boot, but if calling Scott out doesn’t change anything, what will? Alice is in a spot.
Gael’s on a real roller coaster of emotions this week, too. Davia and Gael bring the restorative-justice kids over to Yuri’s studio and he is so great with them! When they arrive, Gael’s nervous because Yuri’s been in a real mood ahead of a gallery showing, but when Yuri walks in and sees the kids, he’s nothing but kind and … a little bit excited to be sharing his art with them? Who is this man? He has them work on a project and lets them ask questions and … imparts some wisdom? Could this really be Yuri? Gael’s Yuri?
When the kids ask about who decides what art is good art, Yuri talks to them about how they’re all art critics and they should talk less about the “meaning” of a piece and more about how it makes them feel. He has them to give it a go on one of his own paintings. These poor kids — Davia told them to respect Yuri, but now Yuri wants them to be honest with an art critique. They all agree that his painting makes them feel nothing. It is brutal! Kids, man!
Again, good on Yuri, he takes the critique with a smile. Then the impressionable children leave and Yuri slashes the painting in question with a knife. Ah, there’s our Yuri. Gael tries to ease the situation and it leads to an illuminating conversation in which Yuri opens up about having lost all of his inspiration since his wife left and took his daughter with her to Australia. His daughter is his inspiration and he misses her. Gael tells him to channel everything he’s feeling about her into his art. Yuri thanks his intern for the advice, but seems less than confident in it. He is, however, thankful Gael brought those kids into the studio and he seems to be in a giving mood. He’d like to come see Gael’s art. This is huge because Gael needs a big-time artist’s recommendation to get his stuff into any gallery.
Of course, Yuri ends up taking Gael’s advice, is overflowing with inspiration, and instead of coming to see Gael’s art, has him come over to his studio to help him. And then he hands Gael a sketch and tells him to paint it. Hmm, Yuri passing off Gael’s work as his own in his upcoming show doesn’t quite seem like it’s on the up and up. We leave Gael in a very precarious situation.
• Kathleen Gale and Associates (is that what they’re calling themselves? That’s what I’m calling them) is taking on a murder case. Who do you think is on the prosecution? It’s that Mark dude from Jerod’s case who has it out for Kathleen, Nicolette, and yes, Jamie Hunter. Mark is trying to use Jamie to rattle Callie, and it works! But Callie’s advised to “rattle back” and that works, too. So this should be fun.
• Kathleen makes a big bluff during a pretrial motion and now the team has three days to come up with a plan so they can get the case delayed (they were just hired after the defendant, a 19-year-old quarterback, fired his last team, and they need much more time to prepare if they want any chance of winning). Like I said: so much fun!!!
• Aw, Callie calls in a favor from Ben (Ben!) and he looks into Kathleen being investigated by the FBI, but when he calls up with info, Callie says she doesn’t want to know. Callie and Kathleen had a bonding moment over the loss of their mothers and now she wants to put her full trust in her. Meanwhile, Jamie asks his boss Mark more about the investigation and Mark says that Kathleen’s definitely dirty. Hopefully we get some clarification on that situation soon.
• The Tech ladies learn about trusting each other this week: While practicing their Bulk Beauty app pitch they realize Gina is terrible at it, but they’re too scared to tell her the truth. This escalates until finally the women have a heart-to-heart, and Gina tells them that they’ll never get anywhere as business partners if they’re too scared to be direct with one another. She’s right about both things! They decide to do a round-robin critique of everyone, which sounds healthy but also could turn bad very quickly!
• Mariana’s red lipstick in that Tech team honesty circle is perfect and I worship it.