Make it rain! Make it rain! The crew has finally made that trip to the strip club that they were discussing a few episodes back and everybody is getting turnt up! Everyone is there, including Bible thumper David (RJ Walker) who looks just slightly uncomfortable. Tia’s (Lala Milan) boo Rocky (Kimberly Alex Hall) is there too. We haven’t seen our girl in a while!
The show itself has a more cinematic look this week in terms of shots and lighting that truly does the subject matter and the cast justice. Some of the best shots in the series, so far, are in this episode and confirm the argument that it is important to have representation behind and in front of the camera. There is a skill, an art, to shooting the melanated. They all look beautiful! Props to the director of photography! Anyway, I digress.
Crystal (Brittany Inge) gets a notification on her phone and it turns out that Simone’s (Tetona Jackson) ex, Camden (Joey Bada$$) is getting married. He has proposed to his new girlfriend. Say what??
Simone, surprisingly, is shook! Definitely more shaken than someone who already HAS a man should be! Tia tells her she will do some investigating (stalking) into exactly who this new chick, or as Simone has already christened her, “This ho!” is. The two do some quick covert ops through her social media and find out she is multilingual, very accomplished and attractive. Simone doesn’t seem too happy about this information. When you think about it though, why would you want your ex to be with a loser? What would that say about you? Anyway, I digress–again!
Crystal, the good friend that she is, reassures Simone that she is cuter than Camden’s new girlfriend. Rocky, who feels no such obligation to Simone, disagrees. She unabashedly declares Camden’s fiancé to be better looking than Simone.
Later on, when Bryson (Tequan Richmond) and Simone are in bed, adorned by culturally appropriate headwear I might add, Simone asks Bryson if he felt some type of way when his ex got married. –These are some marrying young people, aren’t they?– Anyway, Bryson admits he was a little upset, but not really. He asks Simone the same question and gets heated when she seems a little too hung up on Camden. Simone insists that they drop it and just go to bed. They turn out the lights and Bryson falls asleep but Simone stays up looking at old pictures of her and Camden. The camera pulls out enough for the audience to see the great physical distance between the couple as they lie in the bed. Well, this doesn’t bode well for their emotional connection.
Camden texts Simone before she is able to go to sleep and she congratulates him on his engagement. He ends up asking her out to dinner- as “friends”. The scene ends without the audience knowing if she answers his text.
The next morning at breakfast, Bryson apologizes for getting testy the night before. Simone then tells him that Camden has asked her to dinner. Bryson doesn’t seem thrilled to hear this but tells her it’s okay with him, that he trusts her. She is “grown,” he says, and can do what she wants.
That night, when Bryson is out shooting pool with Ari and David, Ari stays Ari-ing (being a provocateur). He is adamant that Bryson is a “fool” for not being worried about Simone having dinner with Camden. David thinks it’s okay. Ari starts stoking Bryson’s fears by saying, “sometimes feelings come up that people aren’t even aware are there.” Okay, Ari has a point. Is it helpful for him to voice it right now is the question. Ari goes in even more. “Next thing you know,” he says, “you’re eating Apple Jacks soaking in a leopard print tub!” This surreal Random Acts of Flyness type scenario, I would like to see actually! What is telling is that when asked directly if he trusts Simone, Bryson is hesitant to answer. Does he suspect that when it comes to Simone, the Apple Jacks don’t fall far from the tree? Is she even more of Marcus’ daughter than he realized?
Simone meets Camden at a very, very nice spot, complete with romantic lighting and music. Probably not the best idea for two exes! They soon come to their senses and head over to a BBQ joint, where they seem much more relaxed. Realness wins over romanticism. There, they take a trip down memory lane over mac and cheese and cornbread and it’s beyond obvious that these two are still emotionally connected. Uh oh! Camden finally confesses that he still wants to be with Simone. She, in turn, asks him the obvious question, “Why are you getting married?” He replies that he just got tired of waiting for her. Well, that’s a great reason to ask someone to get married, isn’t it? Smh!
They leave the rib place and head to a roller skating rink. It’s the middle of the doggone night so it’s closed, but Camden has the hook-up! It’s one of the places they frequented while dating. They have the whole place to themselves.
Camden watches longingly as Simone skates before finally joining her. To be honest, they’re acting like they’re still a couple and this is definitely a whole date! When Camden falls down, it isn’t long before Simone falls giggling conveniently and sinfully, on top of him. Of course, the inevitable happens. He pulls her in for a kiss. Simone yields immediately but soon pulls back. She walks a few feet away from him as her phone starts to ring. It’s Bryson calling to make sure she got home okay. Smiling (smiling!), she lies to him and says she got home okay and just failed to call him because she didn’t want to bother him. I had to put on a sweater after watching that scene. Brrr!!
The scene then shifts to show the audience Bryson sitting in his car outside Simone’s house where it is all too obvious that homegirl is nowhere near home. The scene goes dark as a tear inches down Bryson’s heartbroken visage. The violins rise and all our hearts break in that moment. Poor Bryson…
The next scene unfolds in an amazing overhead shot of an agonized Simone soaking in the tub. How far has she gone? How much has our misguided and morally challenged girl messed up? There is no dialogue but the composition and score say it all–she has pushed too far. It’s equally sad and beautiful. Simone’s body is submerged beneath the cloudy water. Only her head and shoulders are visible and it’s fitting, seeing as at the moment how much Simone’s head is fighting with her heart and body. The season ends on this note and the audience is left in suspense.