The church bells are ringing. Evan and Gently are attending marriage counseling. I was actually happy to see this. A little counseling goes a long way. The pastor asks the couple questions that they should consider before making the leap. Are you quick to forgive? Are you willing to share responsibilities? You both must be willing to put the other first. Now here’s the tricky part. The pastor tells Gently that she is Evan’s rib and she needs to accept that. Lawd. Both of them laugh about it and brush it off. Anyway, they are at Evan’s family’s church and it’s beautiful and majestic. It reminded me of the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal. Beautiful! As the two leave the pastor’s office, Evan runs into several church members who congratulate him on the wedding. As they stroll down the long aisle of the church, Gently goes on and on about the broom she ordered – because they are definitely jumping the broom. Evan is cool with it.
Gently has Evan on a schedule so they can get lots of wedding stuff done today. The wedding is a month away. I have to admit, I was kinda surprised that Gently was into the whole wedding thing. I was fully expecting her to have planned a destination wedding somewhere. But, nurp. Here we are. Gently is stressing because the people have been slacking on getting their fittings done. I can relate. The Uncle Village ain’t tryna get fitted. Esther and Ellene done missed TWO whole appointments and Ben still doesn’t have a tux. And Queen Muvah still hasn’t been fitted either! But all that’s gonna change today.
Back at Miss Luma’s, Gently and Rika are packing up Gently’s room. Rika is a little sad because things will change. Gently promises that they won’t. Gently is going along with this thing being at Evan’s church, but she has a few surprises up her sleeve to counteract that. First, she done picked out a Kente alphet for Evan to wear at the reception – but he doesn’t know it yet. Rika is like…Stanford in a dashiki? I said the same thing. I can’t even see Evan in that. But, he ain’t my man. So whatever. They both laugh. There’s more. Gently is getting her dress made from material she got in Thailand. Let’s see how this goes. Sidenote: It looks like Rika is a flight attendant now. Whappened to the salon life?
Next up on Gently’s list is to meet with Ben at the reception venue. He found a spot in their hood – it’s a rec room and he got a good discount too so you already know that’s the move. Ben is all up in this reception planning and I love it! Evan meets up with Gently and Ben and he brings his mom. Surprise! This wasn’t in the plans and the reception at the reception venue between the bride and the future mother-in-law was…cold. Here we go.
So Marilyn wanted to come by to see the reception spot. Evan is playing mediator and explaining why it’s good for them to all be together and get the plans squared away. And now it’s time for the moment I have been waiting for – Ben and Marilyn meet. This thang ain’t go nothing like I thought it would. Ben turns on all the charm and Marilyn softens up immediately. She asks Ben if this place has linen and dishware. Ben was like…linen…what’s that? Lordt. Ben starts talking about how he loves that women see the details and all that stuff. Marilyn goes into this long explanation about how things like linen are important and nice to have – especially to women. And I sweatuhgawd Marilyn was flirting and looking at Ben like he was a schnack. These two shole did hit it off and even Evan and Gently were floored and flummoxed. Marilyn mentions that Johnny (Mr. Fisher) grew up near this spot. I had totally forgotten that Mr. Fisher was from the hood too. Ben arranged for the band he hired – Earth, Funk and Fire (bless it) to come by and give them a sample. I wish he hadn’t. Earth, Funk and Fire sounded exactly how I expected Earth, Funk and Fire to sound. BUT…Mama Fisher was jammin. What is going on here?
Time for the next appointment. Cake anyone? Except they didn’t go to a bakery. They went over to the neighborhood cake lady’s house, where she gave them a wedding cake sampling. Actually…they were just sittin at her kitchen table eating lemon cake, but she pulled some other flavors out her pantry since Marilyn said she was allergic to lemon. I don’t think she was allergic to lemon at all. She was prolly just worried because the cake lady prolly doesn’t have a Safe-Serv Certification. You gotta be careful in these streets. Anyway…cake lady pulled out some more cake slices for Marilyn and she obliged. She even complimented the cake. The table is happy. All was going too well. Marilyn had to burst their bubble. This cake is good and all, but it’s not a wedding cake – so, thanks…but we will let you know. Miss Jackie was like…you gonna let me know what? Nah, sis. I am making that baby’s cake. She family. PeriodT. Ben pipes up. Yeah…this wasn’t a debate. It was a decision. Womp. Marilyn gives in. Ok. Cool. What flavor yall want? And what I know for sure is that this ain’t over…
Evan and Mrs. Fisher leave for the next appointment. Ben takes that time to help Gently manage her expectations. He fully expected Marilyn to be much more of a bish. Gently is shocked too and starts to feel bad for her. Ben tells her to pump the brakes on that. Keep your guard up because they are different kinds of people. Gently defends Evan. He’s not like that. Ben reminds here that actually – he is. And it’s ok, but you just have to know what and whom you’re dealing with. Be smart enough to respect the differences. Lemon cake and rum-soaked cake are two different things. They are not acting like they are the same. They are both good, but they are made of different ingredients. Another wise word from Uncle Ben.
In another unexpected scene, Ben and Gently are practicing their waltz for the reception. How sweet is that? Ben is messing up and he apologizes, but this waltz thing ain’t his ish. He wants to do his own thing. Gently tells him they waltz first then hit the Dougie. They are so cute. Ben tells Gently that he’s proud of her and the way she turned out. She gives all the credit to him. He credits her with saving his life. If she hadn’t come along, he’d be dead. Whew, chile. Whose cutting onions?
I told yall Marilyn wasn’t done with that cake situation. She makes a beeline sKraight to the nearest high end bakery for a real cake sampling and to talk some sense into Evan. Evan is unimpressed. This cake is good but it’s not Miss Jackie’s. Mama was like…son, you can’t be serving house cake to your guests (your guests from STANFORD and Silicon Valley). I mean…I kinda get it. Is Miss Jackie’s cake decorated? Does she do tiers or will she just send 6 cakes over to the reception hall? Miss Jackie’s cake is like the cake at the repast at your uncle’s fune. It’s REAL good, but I wouldn’t expect to see it at a wedding. My Aunt Betty makes a MEAN pound cake. You hear me! I eat all of it and EYE don’t even like pound cake, but it never crossed my mind for her to bake me a wedding pound cake. I digress. Anywho. Per Evan, Gently wants house cake, so that’s what she’s going to get. And now, it’s time for the moment I have been waiting for. It’s the moment where Mrs. Fisher let’s all of the ish she’s been holding back go. Evan! Be real. You want a reception at some random azz rec center in the middle of the hood and house cake out of an oven that’s prolly never been properly cleaned. I cackled. I know you Evan. This isn’t what you want! You know good and dayum well you want a fly-azz reception. Call me bougie and let me take the blame. I will foot the bill for the wedding you want. I got you, boo (she actually said that)! And you know what? Evan didn’t even say a word but he did shake his head yes.
At the tux spot, Mr. Fisher is there and finally gets to meet Ben. Turns out that Mr. Fisher is from round the corner and Ben and Mr. Fisher went to rival high schools. I find this all kinda funny. Once upon a time, Mrs. Fisher fell in love with a boy from the hood. Johnny and Ben hit off and Gently smiles.
Finally it’s time for Esther and Ellene to be fitted. Esther, who is now a teenager and has shaved her head bald, and Gently wait for Ellene to come out in her dress. When she does, she blows them away. She looks gorgeous in a royal blue number that shows her curves. Is it me, or did she look heavier in past episodes? Even Esther is complimentary and we have come a long, long way from where we started. Esther tells her that she loves seeing her like this. Ellene wanted to stunt on em – especially since she’s divorced now! Say whetttt? This is the best news of the day. Nick was hot trash. Ellene tells Gently that her marriage story will be better and she tells Esther that she will always be her baby. Esther has come out of closet now and they head on over to the other side to get her a tux. So much happened in the blink of an eye – literally! Divorce. Out of the closet. I was like wayment…I wasn’t ready.
Johnny, Ben and the Uncle Tribe are finally getting fitted and they are having a great time reminiscing about their younger days. One of the uncles got the memorial shirt made with Geno’s picture on them. And they plan to wear them at the wedding. Let’s see how this goes.
In the final appointment of the day, Marilyn meets Gently for the wedding dress fitting. Gently is chillin because she is getting her dress made. Surprise! The lady at the drycleaners is going to make it. She has a side hustle and her Insta looks hella good. So…yeah. Marilyn is so confused. Marilyn basically begs Gently to try on a few. She told Gently that there’s some black designers she might like – maybe that’ll help her get a regular dress. It didn’t. Gently tells Marilyn that all of those dresses are expensive and that’s not her dream anyway. Marilyn tells Gently that all moms want to see their daughters walking down the aisle in a beautiful dress. Gently shares that her mother isn’t coming. And then the walls come tumbling down. Marilyn consoles Gently. Your mom doesn’t know what she’s missing. Marilyn reaches for Gently’s hand and apologizes for the trajectory of their relationship. It’s just that Gently wasn’t what Marilyn had envisioned for her son. She had envisioned someone like her. But Gently is everything she’s not. She’s unique, bright, carefree and brave. And those things are beautiful. Gently tells Marilyn that she loves Evan and that she hopes that matters to her. Marilyn agrees that it’s the only thing that should matter and she’s working on it. Whew! We just witnessed a miracle, folks.
Marilyn wants to have fun at the bridal shop still. She has them pull some dresses for Gently.
Ellene and Esther come out looking ravishing in their blue ensembles. Gently appears looking like a melanin goddess in a stunning gown. Everybody is speechless. Clearly that’s the one. Gently tells them to chill because she can’t afford it. Mama Fisher pulls out the AMEX. It’s on her. The sales lady says there’s no need for that. Evan left his card on file. Uh oh. Now why would he do that? Becky tells her that Evan said that once Gently got in a store like that, she would want something better. And this, my friends, was when the ish hit the fan.
Gently headed straight on over to the men’s side to find her fiancé and get some answers. Evan sees her in that dress and he is excited. He asks her if it’s the one and if she’s happy. Nah, son. I ain’t happy. Evan was like…what my mama do now? Oh no, Evan. It’s not yo mama, it’s you. You have led me to believe that it’s all her, but it’s you too. He said he just wanted Gently to have dress options. Gently lays it out for him. Be clear, Evan. Are you really good with the rec center, the house cake and my homemade dress? Evan says he just wants her to be happy. They head between the racks of clothes to dish it out some more. Gently is over it. Allowing her to make plans and undermining them behind her back aint it. Can she trust Mrs. Fisher…or Evan for that matter? Evan apologizes for hurting her and tells her that he can ditch all the plans. Then he goes biblical. “Forsake all others and cleave unto each other.” He doesn’t care about any of this. And then he tells her all the right things, per the usual.
And now they are gonna do them…and get married…now.
Everybody was already at the store, so they told them their plan to go get married asaptually. Everyone was here for it. Uncle Smooch said they gonna have something in the backyard later to celebrate and I believe that. I also believe that Uncle Smooch throws one hayle of a cookout. Evan apologizes to his mom for doing this his way and Mama Fisher gives him her blessing. They took a bomb arse family picture outside of the store. I mean…errybody was dressed (except Marilyn), so why the hayle not.
Evan and Gently leave to go get married at the Wedding Place. They exchange vows in Spanish. Gently still has on that beautiful dress. Evan wore his tux and the memorial tshirt. And they got married – their way.
I don’t even know where to start. How does Ava get so much into an hour long show. Sooooo much happened!
The MVP of this episode has to be Marilyn Fisher. I have been hating her since she came on the scene and you couldn’t have convinced me that one day I would actually like her. Sure, Marilyn came at Gently hard in the beginning, but we know exactly why. We all have dreams for our kids and when those dreams don’t go the way we planned, it’s hard. The thing about Marilyn is that she realized it AND she verbalized it AND she apologized for it. She did some pretty shady things, but in the end, she accepted how things had gone wrong and her part in it all. I applaud her for that.
I love Ben. He just stays on my good list. His love for Gently is so pure and so true. Apparently they needed each other and God worked it out.
I need an accounting of time. How many years have passed since the last episode? How did we get to Esther being dayum near grown and out the closet? Good for her, but I need clarity on time. Ellene is no longer miserable and married to Nick. I am so here for that. I would have liked to have seen how that all played out tho. I was pretty sure that Ellene was aware of just how trashy Nick was. But, Nick confessed to Evan about the side apartment he had (presumably to help with his cheating escapades). Did Evan say something to Ellene? Or did it all play out without Evan’s involvement?
This whole wedding thang…le sigh. I don’t believe that everything Marilyn said was a lie. I believe that when Evan dreamed of his wedding, he did see the same things Marilyn saw. He had already halfway planned it out and shared his plans with Gently right before she told him she didn’t want to marry him. A part of me feels sorry for Evan because the groom matters too. I know his love for Gently and her happiness is very important to him and in the end, they did what they felt was right for them, but still. Gently spent lots of time and mental energy on that wedding dress situation, but she sure did look happy about that dress she ended up trying on. Did she have a slight change of heart once she got in it? I think so because she looked mad comfy in that dress. Gently was also mad about the plans being made behind her back, but she had a few secrets too. They could have skipped that whole dress fitting had she told Marilyn it wasn’t needed. And there’s still the issue of that whole African alphet she’s expecting Evan to rock at the reception.
I missed Miss Luma. She needs to be in every single episode. I wait for her. #insert sad emoji here*
I probably have more to say, but I am exhausted. What did I miss? Yall help me out. This episode woe me out.