Photo: Sir Baffo / Freeform
Well, well, well, two of our ladies from Coterie are getting very honest this week. First, it seems that telling her truth will have long-lasting consequences. On the other hand, it seems that maybe nothing (ever) will change. They are both emotional. Let’s start with the first one, Malika.
Malika is finally in therapy! We know she has a lot of things to deal with, especially around her relationship with her mother, but her initial sessions focus on something else: growing confusion over her feelings for Dyonte. The last time we left Malika, she had just survived a raccoon swim and things were, um, strained between her, Isaac and Dyonte. After learning that Dyonte is in a polyamorous relationship and that Malika has kept that information to herself, Isaac asks Malika without a threshold if she is interested in anything with Dyonte. We finally see the end of that conversation: Malika assures him that she only wants Isaac, but her face says something different.
Then with his therapist Malika’s mouth says something different. She tells her therapist that she is very confused. Dyonte is kind and they share a similar life story. She is happy to be near him. Isaac makes her feel safe and loved and challenges her. In the end, the therapist hears enough: She doesn’t think Malika is confused at all, she obviously feels strong feelings for both men. He also talks to Malik about how “monogamy is a social construction,” and some people believe that polyamory is a sexual identity – some people are just “tough” that way, and to deny that part of you is to deny your authentic selves.
Malika chats with her friends. They’re basically like, okay, if you you want to be polyamory and that’s what you need to be happy, that’s one. Does Malika think Isaac would do that? Her friends openly said, “Is it worth the risk of losing him” to find out if he’s in it, because telling him the truth is “a bell you can’t ring.”
And then we see the tearful Malik back in therapy. She says she should tell Isaac that she lied when she told him she wasn’t interested in Dyonte because she “wants to continue the relationship with Dyonte.” But she also wants to continue dating Isaac. He wants them both. And then we see Isaac sitting there in therapy and looking at her in shock and maybe a little broken heart? It’s suspicious Good trouble he would go this deep into the field of connection and not dive to the end, so something tells me that Isaac might be willing to give him a chance for Malika. At the very least, it looks like Malika and Dyonte will take things to the next level. No matter how things turn out, it will surely become complicated.
So who is the other member of Coterie who is telling the truth tonight? After another discouraging day in a comedy diversity workshop full of director Scott pushing racist stereotypes in sketches, the entire crew decides to entertain the comedy again by heading towards the open microphone. Alice’s set really violates workshop problems, including jokes about how the only doors open “in the 1950s,” how it “creates racism for a new generation,” and how horrible Scott is. This creates problems for Alice in two ways. First, Ruby, a recruiter for the workshop, is on Alice’s open mic, so it’s a little awkward when they run into a chat. Ruby claims that Scott actually has great results (“human resource complaints?” Alice suggests) and that he helped launch many careers (“and racial stereotypes,” Alice adds). Ruby also says she understands Alice’s problems with the workshop, but these are just the types of roles currently available to people of color. This is a worrying argument on so many levels.
Ruby moves pretty quickly out of that conversation, because actually all she wants is to reconnect with Alice. Remember, last week after Alice dreamed of having sex with Callie, she decided to control her relationship with Ruby more. It’s translated so it’s not available whenever Ruby wants to hang out. Initially the plan works. Ruby seems to be more interested in Alice, the more Alice says she’s busy or having fun with someone else, but in the end Ruby decides she’s too covert and tells Alice they should pause whatever they are.
Alice is currently having bigger problems, as fellow workshop participant Derek posts Alice’s set on Instagram, and Scott eventually sees it. Just three weeks until the comedy show and one person cut in front of it, Alice is sure that means she will be kicked out of the workshop. But Scott comes in and says it was “hilarious” and that “you have to be able to laugh at yourself” before continuing with the agenda as if nothing had happened, stereotypes and everything else. Alice was obviously relieved she wouldn’t get the boot, but if calling Scott didn’t change anything, what would? Alice is in point.
Gael is on a real emotional slide this week as well. Davia and Gael bring restorative justice kids to Yuri’s studio and he’s great with them! When they arrive, Gael is nervous because Yuri was in a really good mood ahead of the gallery exhibit, but when Yuri comes in and sees the kids, he’s nothing but kind and … a little excited to share his art with them? Who is this man? It makes them work on a project, allows them to ask questions and … bring in wisdom? Could this really be Yuri? Gael’s Yuri?
When children ask who decides which art is good art, Yuri talks to them about how they are all art critics and should talk less about the “meaning” of the work and more about how they feel about it. He had to try them on one of his paintings. These poor kids – Davia told them to respect Yuri, but now Yuri wants them to be honest with art critics. Everyone agrees that his painting feels them nothing. It’s brutal! Kids, man!
Again, good for Yuri, he receives criticism with a smile. Then the impressive children leave and Yuri cuts the picture in question with a knife. Ah, there’s our Yuri. Gael tries to ease the situation and leads to a dazzling conversation in which Yuri opens up about having lost all inspiration since his wife left and took his daughter with him to Australia. His daughter is his inspiration and he misses him. Gael tells him to focus everything he feels about her on his art. Yuri thanks his intern for the advice, but seems less than confident in it. However, he is grateful that Gael brought these kids to the studio and seems to be in the mood. He would like to come see Gael’s art. This is huge because Gael needs the recommendation of a great artist to bring his stuff into any gallery.
Of course, Yuri eventually hears Gael’s advice, is overwhelmed with inspiration, and instead of coming to see Gael’s art, let him come to his studio to help him. And then he hands Gael a sketch and tells him to paint it. Hmm, Yuri who published Gael’s work as his own in his upcoming show doesn’t seem to be evolving. We leave Gael in a very precarious situation.
• Kathleen Gale and co-workers (is that what they call themselves? That’s what I call them) take over the murder case. Who do you think is in the prosecution? It’s that guy Mark from Jerod’s case who put it out for Kathleen, Nicolette and yes, Jamie Hunter. Mark tries to use Jamie to rattle Callie, and he succeeds! But Callie advised to “fight back” and that works too. So this should be fun.
• Kathleen makes a big bluff during the pre-trial proceedings, and now the team has three days to come up with a plan so the case can be postponed (they were hired after the accused, a 19-year-old striker, fired his last team if they want any chance of winning). Like I said: so much fun !!!
• Wow, Callie calls Ben (Ben!) A favor and asks Kathleen to investigate the FBI, but when she comes in with information, Callie says she doesn’t want to know. Callie and Kathleen have reunited over the loss of their mother and now he wants to place his full trust in her. Meanwhile, Jamie asks his boss Mark more about the investigation, and Mark says Kathleen is definitely dirty. I hope we will get some clarification on that situation soon.
• The lady technicians are learning about mutual trust this week: as they rehearse their show in the Bulk Beauty app, they realize that Gina is horrible at it, but they are too afraid to tell her the truth. This escalates until women finally get heart to heart, and Gina tells them that they will never get anywhere as business partners if they are too afraid to be direct with each other. He is right about both things! They decided to make a critique of everyone, which sounds healthy, but it could turn out very quickly and badly!
• Mariana’s red lipstick in the technical team’s honesty circle is perfect and I adore it.