I apologize for a late review.
This week’s episode had me feeling like maybe this show has a chance. I’m going to be jumping around a bit, so bare with me. Let’s get into it.
“I’m getting real good at not taking no for an answer thing y’all do here in Beverly Hills.” – Spencer
After last week’s kiss, Spencer has become more persistent on courting Layla but she’s like, ‘I have a boyfriend now’. Layla is very indecisive, what do you expect? For the first time Layla is not the innocent one and her vulnerability is starting to show. Olivia finds Layla sitting outside of the restaurant after school. Layla is looking at Asher helplessly as he talks to his friends who are inside the restaurant with him. “People keep secrets like that for two reasons, either the cheating was a big mistake and they want to protect the person that they hurt or they want to protect themselves,” Olivia advised Layla. Next thing we see is Asher saying, “I forgive you.” What? That felt unnatural.
Later on, Layla got real bold at the homecoming dance. She dumped Asher and was all boo’d up with Spencer only moments later. Really, Layla? You couldn’t wait until afterwards? Asher’s ego is very fragile right now. He got drunk and aired everything out ON STAGE in front of the whole school. The secret is out, now Layla knows Olivia and Asher slept together. Ouch. Of course Layla was mad but let’s not forget that Spencer wasn’t up for grabs. She kept pushing Olivia to talk to him then Layla made a move. That wasn’t considerate Layla. In the hallway after Asher’s fiasco, Layla calls Olivia a ‘treacherous bitch’ but Olivia calls her a ‘hypocrite’ for kissing Spencer. Olivia was never oblivious to Layla’s true intentions. She knew that Layla wanted Spencer since day one. Coach Baker finds out about Asher’s drinking and suspends him from the team.
“We’ve been summoned.” – Shawn
Shawn starts working for JP but as an intern. Instead of sitting in on studio sessions, he’s emptying trash. He’ll get there. But that wasn’t the downer. Turns out the head honcho of his gang, Tyrone (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) needs him for a job but Shawn can’t do it. Trying to be a supportive friend for Shawn on his new path, Coop tries to take the job for him but Tyrone quickly dismisses her saying she’s starting to make the gang ‘look soft’ because she’s a lesbian/stud. But Coop reassures Shawn that she can handle it on the night of the homecoming dance.
Plans fall apart when Coop meets Tyrone instead of Swiss to make a ‘drop’, dropping off any gang related merchandise i.e. drugs, money, etc. Tyrone tries to pressure Coop to kill someone to prove her loyalty to him but Coop says no and he isn’t happy about it. Later in Shawn’s apartment, he’s hopeful about his internship until Coop explains the night’s events and tops it off with a less than affirming conclusion, “Tyrone isn’t feeling me or you right now. To be honest Shawn, I’m a little scared.” Shawn can see his future fading away, “Who am I kidding Coop, a day job isn’t the right fit for me.”
“Some girls are worth rocking the boat for.” – Coop
Jordan’s new love interest, Ripley (Michelle Hayden), is the cheerleader for Malibu. Not only is Jordan taking chances with Ripley, he could be costing his alliance with his team by dating someone from the opposing side. But he doesn’t care because Ripley is ‘it’ and she’s turning him into a bad boy.
This is a stereotypical storyline but I’m happy for Jordan because he can’t be that fine AND boring! Ripley gives him the confidence to take a walk on the wild side. Sex on the beach and smoking weed, what else could Jordan ask for? At the end of the episode, he worries about staying out late because of the game against Malibu, but Ripley changes his mind by skinny dipping.
“Was leaving Crenshaw and marrying Laura a rebound thing after we broke up?” – Grace
Laura convinces Grace to help Coach Baker chaperone for the night. Laura needed some alone time. The door to Coach Baker’s office locks with Grace and Coach Baker inside. While they’re waiting on Laura to save them, they reminisced about old times. “Why Laura?” asks Grace, after they share a good laugh about the bad service in the café of the courthouse she works at.
Grace can sense the apprehension from Coach Baker and tries to throw it under the rug, but he answers anyway. Coach Baker replies, “I married Laura because I loved her. When you chose Corey over me back in the day, that broke the last tether that was holding me to Crenshaw…I was tired of the responsibility that came with being a black man from the hood. You know, I always had to be better than great and it felt like if I messed up then the whole hood messed up, that was a lot to carry.” The door is unlocked by Laura. Grace received the closure she was hoping for. I think Grace and Billy will always love each other and that connection will always be there.
“Y’all keep shooting Kobe and Shaq death stares. Y’all gotta get it together.” – Coop
Coop chastises Chris and Spencer for not enjoying themselves. She’s right, it’s getting old. “Stop looking at me like I’m stupid. Figure it out,” Coop leaves Chris and Spencer to squash their beef. “She’s been bossing us around like that since the fourth grade,” says Chris to Spencer as they share a laugh. Spencer threatens Chris about Olivia but it doesn’t phase Chris. He tells Spencer that Olivia has lingering feelings for him. Can Spencer be involved in multiple love triangles? Now it’s Layla, Olivia, and Spencer but it could turn into Chris, Olivia, and Spencer. Before it was Layla, Asher, and Spencer. Confusing. Luckily, after the dance, Olivia gives Chris a kiss before ending the night early to comfort Asher. This could be another love triangle. Please do not make this like Degrassi.
“The last thing we need is anything complicated.” – Spencer
After all that, Layla still did not get the guy. That’s fair. Her bad girl streak abruptly ended. Layla still finished her dance with Spencer, which was a good thing. Asher needs a friend, badly.
Moving forward, I hope to see all of the character’s storylines fleshed out more because it felt like the first few episodes covered a lot of back story. However, this episode showed some promise. The characters are doing more in terms of being more present, they’re starting to feel like real people. Please continue to show their rawness and vulnerability because I think more viewers will feel attached to the characters in an authentic way. If the show keeps going in this direction, it may get renewed for a new season. Lastly, Coop and Olivia had the best outfits for the homecoming.