Jada (played by Yolonda Ross) reassesses her future after she receives devastating news.
SPOILER ALERT: This recap of Season 4, Episode 2 contains explicit plot details.
Emmett (Jacob Latimore) fesses up in regards to his affair with Dom (La La Anthony).
And yes, it was as messy — literally — as we all thought it would be.
Tiff (Hannaha Hall), in no surprise to anyone, is rightfully angry with her husband.
Feeling betrayed, she runs to Dante (played by Cory Hardrict), her business partner, who cashes in on his opportunity to take advantage of Tiff’s feelings.
‘Where are the parents?’
One of the standout themes of the popular Showtime series — whether series creator Lena Waithe is intentional about it or not — shows how parenting isn’t a zero-sum endeavor. Teens often do what they think is best despite their parents’ advice.
Kevin (Alex Hibbert) smoked marijuana with Jake recreationally in previous seasons and now is self-medicating via alcohol, getting kicked off a college tour for being high. Like many Chicago teens navigating life in the city’s marginalized communities, he’s finding ways to cope in any way he can.
Since the beginning of season one Kevin has witnessed a killing; shot the killer; dealt with his absentee father’s death; left an all-Black school to attend another where he’s one of the few Black students and endured the kidnapping of his sister, his main confidant. Two episodes into season four, he’s sorting through his thoughts on last week’s police encounter, and Brandon (formerly played by Jason Mitchell), whom Kevin leaned on for haircuts and advice, is dead.
‘There’s a war going on outside…’
After speaking with the police officer who beat up Jake (Michael Epps), Mayor “Douda” comes to two decisions that will have explosive ramifications for the city: He fires the officer makes a public vow to defund the Chicago Police Department. In real life, 40% of the city’s operating budget is dedicated to police resources, and it’s pretty difficult to fire a police officer.
‘Why don’t you get some food before you try to get into something else?’
Trig (played by Luke James) picks up Shaad, an old friend (Jason Weaver), from the Cook County Jail after a lengthy sentence and lays out some ground rules. (It seems Shaad has a bad history of disrespecting boundaries.)
In the midst of Shaad’s welcome-back party, Trig tells Imani (Jasmine Davis) he’s going to live with them. Imani — possibly thinking that her transgender status isn’t known to Shaad — is concerned. After all, remember last season when Imani told Jake about her status?
‘That’s my momma’s song’
In the aftermath of reluctantly bringing her much younger “masseur” Suede (Bernard Gilbert) to her high school reunion, Jada (played by Yolonda Ross) finds out she has cancer.
Hearing that word is a scary proposition. After all, Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women and are twice as likely to die if they are over 50, according to the American Cancer Society.
The episode, named “Cooley High,” seems to be timely viewing. The name is a not only a nod to a poorly planned high school reunion-themed party, but also to the locally based 1975 film where a group of teenage Black boys navigate their lives around some of the same issues as Kevin, Jake, and Papa are now dealing with. Time is indeed a flat circle.
5 things we learned from Episode 2:
- Kiesha (played by Birgundi Baker) doesn’t want to know the sex of her unborn child.
- Jada has long had a lump on her breast that she never checked.
- Shaad living with Trig and Imani could have explosive consequences.
- Kevin, continuing to suffer the after-effects of his police encounter, isn’t really interested in anything his girlfriend, Jemma, has to say about their future.
- Papa (played by Shamon Brown Jr.) starts his own podcast.
Storylines to think about:
- Where does Kevin go from here after getting kicked off the college tour?
- How will Douda continue to keep one foot in the streets and the other in City Hall, knowing he’s made a public claim to defund the police?
- Now that both Emmett and Tiff have stepped out on their marriage/relationship, how will their business ventures survive?
- How does Jada cope with her cancer diagnosis?
- And how will police will respond to Trig beating down one of their own?