There’s a storm brewing – literally and figuratively…
This episode opens with Dai envisioning the memorial for Willie Derrick. It’s happening in the common area of the housing complex. Dai watches it all from the second floor. He cries and trembles. Everyone is wearing white. The song being sung is “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.” All of Dai’s worlds are present. Seren and Marissa are there. Mx. Elijah holds the hand of WD’s mother. Pallbearers, wearing shirts with WD’s picture on them carry his small casket through the crowd. Dr. WT is there, too. She asks questions about which traditions this ritual comes from. It has its roots in circle dance, drum call and response and ring shouts. The processional continues with choreographed movements and WD’s mother screaming for her deceased child. Shinobi and Raynan dance. Tare and the neighborhood girls dance in their white dresses. The mother mourns her son and wails. Dr. WT gives us an explanation. Wailing and moving allows the grief to move from intellectual and emotional to spiritual. The cries of the mourner giving themselves unto the unknowable. The mourning continues, but Gloria becomes the mother and JG becomes the dead. Gloria cries over her son’s casket and reaches to the sky asking why. But it was all a dream. When Dai snaps out of it, he sees Tare collecting and boxing up the flowers and teddy bears that have been left at WD’s memorial site and hears WD’s mom crying. This has got to be the most beautiful, yet haunting scene of the entire season. I got all the Alvin Ailey and ancestoral feels from this one. Bravo.
In Shinobi’s apartment, he is ready to ride out the storm. He watches TV in the dark. The news is reporting on the impending storm, and WD’s death. Shinobi sees WD’s ghost sitting before him. I found this interesting because it’s very similar to how Sky’s ghost is still with David. Ms. Hertrude tells Nobi he has to leave, but he ain’t even trying to hear her. He is staying to grieve and ride out the storm – with WD’s ghost haunting him.
David is packing his stuff because he knows they have to evacuate. He makes sure to pack his money as well. JG and Gloria are chillin like the storm isn’t about to hit. Gloria says that JG needs a minute. He is in mourning over WD’s death. It’s clear Gloria doesn’t have an evacuation plan. Ms. Hertrude reminds her that her mom is her emergency contact on file.
At Raynan’s house (the one not in the hood), his mom is questioning him about his whereabouts and his behavior. What’s up? She already suspects that he has done something stupid. And then she drops the bomb on him. His uncle (Teo) is coming to ride out the storm with them. Uh oh. Angela is of the belief that her brother has an actual job. She says that Teo’s business trip got cancelled, so he’s coming. Raynan is shooketh. Raynan tries to leave, but Teo shows up and stops that. Angela has no idea of the real relationship Teo and Raynan have. Smh.
Tare’s family is preparing to leave. They are taking WD’s mom with them. Tare asks about Seren. He’s still missing. Tare is understandably emotional. It will be days before they all get back to The Ville, but it may be good to get away. Tare breaks down over WD’s death and Dai comforts her. In his mind, the moment is much more tender. They say their goodbyes in what is the calm before the storm.
Gloria comes up with a plan and they end up at JG’s granddaddy’s house. It’s a straight madhouse in there! It’s overflowing with people and their nonbehavior. Dai is uncomfortable and goes to find Gloria. She is drinking with Saul and Dai has to stop it – and he does. Of course Saul is pissed because Dai thinks he’s in charge of somebody. Gloria is over Dai. Saul is, too. Dai knows how to change this whole thing. Where is JG? Glo doesn’t know. They find him and he’s sitting on the patio talkin about how he’s not afraid of death. They think he’s talking to himself, but nurp. He’s talking to a crackhead named Quita … and now it’s time ta go!
Teo wastes no getting on Raynan. How did an 11 year old die on your watch? You are in charge, so this is YOUR fault. Raynan claims ignorance. All of this went down while he was in jail. Teo says it doesn’t matter and wants to know if any of this will find it’s way back to them and him. It won’t. You know why? Because Dai handled it like a bawse and did what Raynan wasn’t capable of. Teo tells Raynan that he needs to be kissing the ground that Dai walks on. Truer words have never been spoken. Teo still wants to know why he collected so much cash from Dai tho? Raynan’s only explanation is that business has been good. And then Raynan is saved by a knock at the door…or not. It’s Desmond! Oh Lawd. Angela, Desmond, Teo and Raynan sit down for a nice “family” meal. Desmond is actually trying to make the moves on Angela. Raynan has lots o’ problems with everything Desmond has to say and questions why Desmond is there in the first place. Doesn’t he have a home…and a wife…and kids? His ex and kids are in New York with family. Raynan still bothered. Why you ain’t with them? Oh, you a deadbeat dad? Desmond says he’s quick enough to stay alive for his kids tho. Lawd. Them is fighting words. Desmond says it’s not his fault Raynan ain’t got no daddy (but isn’t it his fault tho…didn’t he kill Sky?) Desmond says he gon play his daddy now and get with his mommy. And THAT was the final straw! Raynan grabs a knife and lunges for Desmond. They struggle and fight and mess up Angela’s dinner and her dining room. Desmond almost kills Raynan…until Teo pulls a gun on Desmond. You don’t put yo hands on Raynan in his mother’s house! You gotta go. And they send him out in the storm with an umbrella. Angela takes care of Raynan’s injuries and they talk about Sky. She tells him that he didn’t have to choose this life. Neither one of them wanted this life for Raynan. He’s smart and he could have been anything. Sky would want him to be better than this and better than him…and her. Angela used to be in the game, too, but she decided to deal over the counter. And then Teo comes to get Raynan because their business ain’t done. Angie tells him to be brave. Teo tells him that he won’t hurt him because it would break Angie’s heart, howsoever, if he finds out that Raynan has been stealing or assisting in theft, he will make his life a living hell forevah. PeriodT. Raynan promises that he will never lie to him and he doesn’t know what’s going on. But, he does tell Teo that they have been dealing in prescription drugs and he handed the money to Desmond and he thought all was well. Oh…Desmond? It be yo own people…
Gloria came up with a Plan B and they are on the bus and headed to her mom’s house. Gloria reminds Dai that she IS the adult and she can take care of her kids. It’s clear Gloria doesn’t want to go and Dai tries to lift her spirits by telling her that his chances of getting into Hurston are good. She asks about the letter from Dr. WT and why it’s taking her so long to give it to him. I am wondering the same dayum thing! Dai claims she’s been distracted lately. At that moment, Gloria remembers that Seren is still missing and tells Dai that she will say a prayer for him. They make it to the grandma’s house and she greets them with attitude. Gloria and Alma’s relationship is beyond strained and we are about to find out why.
Alma is mad judgey! She judges how Gloria is raising her boys and where she is raising them. Because JG has a big mouth, Alma finds out that JG’s little friend, WD, has just died. And even tho Alma is off the chain, she wants a relationship with her grandkids and wants them to come see her more often. The fam is having a stroll down memory lane and looking at family photos. But JG finds a picture of Darius (David’s father) and all hell breaks lose. Gloria is floored. Where did you get this and why do you have it? Alma asks what happened to him and Gloria tells her that she hasn’t talked to him since the day she left him on the porch…have you? He didn’t leave you, you left him. He was married. Remember? Oh..he was just being a man. You could have had him if you did what you needed to do. He was good and probably could have kept you off drugs…and you wouldn’t be raising two kids with no daddy. JG jumps up. I got a daddy. Alma tells him that James Gregory wasn’t nobody’s daddy. He was a hood who died how he lived. And JG responded like JG responds and told her to not say ish about his daddy. LOL. Gloria tells them to leave and now it’s on. Gloria calls Alma a horror, but Alma doesn’t care about Gloria’s opinion because God knows the truth. Let’s talk truth. Alma knew that her husband/Gloria’s father was sexually abusing her and chose to not do anything about it except blame Gloria. Alma is still in denial and there’s nothing that Gloria can say that will change that. Gloria promises that once the storm is over, she won’t be back and the guilt will continue to eat at her. Alma tells her that she can’t blame her for the drugs and how her life turned out because that was all Gloria’s fault. You were smart and creative, but you turned to wickedness and hanging out with Elijah and nem. And when she got pregnant, Alma told her to give it to the Lord and live her life, but Gloria didn’t. Gloria tells Alma that her life is different because her kids love her and David, who has been listening, chimes in. She’s right…if you didn’t have us, you could have done whatever you wanted to do with your life, instead of being stuck with us. Gloria slaps him. Don’t you ever even think that. She chose to have him and he is not a mistake.
In the bathroom, by candlelight, David looks at the picture of his father. It’s the first time he’s ever seen him. Gloria comes rushing in looking for drugs and settles for a hot water bottle, but there’s no hot water. Dai tells Gloria to go lay down and he will handle it. He reaches in his bookbag. In Gloria’s old bedroom, Dai hands her a pill and some water. Ughhhhhhhh. Gloria tells Dai about her childhood and how they couldn’t have anything but Jesus. It was like her mom wanted her to lie and she doesn’t want them to grow up like that. She was lucky to find a friend like Elijah because friends are important because sometimes they are all you have and help you survive and escape. That is why David’s middle name is Elijah. Gloria asks if Dai has heard from Seren. She knows something is up, but she tells him that he doesn’t have to say anything. Dai apologizes for making her mad and tells her that she doesn’t have to worry about the rent. Gloria tells him that she was going to tell him not to do anything stupid, but he’s the smartest person she knows. And with that, she turns over and goes to sleep. She knows what’s going on with Dai and those drugs, too…
Dai walks outside to answer a call. It’s Raynan. He got Teo back on Desmond’s tail. All is well. Dai tells Raynan not to call him anymore. He will let Raynan know when they are back on.
Back at The Ville, Shinobi struggles with the ghost of Willie Derek that will not go away. And guess who rode out the storm together – Ms. Hertude and Mx. Elijah! Now…what’s that about?
At what looks like a shelter, Dr. WT listens to a voicemail from the school. The school sends thoughts and prayers to all of them and especially to Seren and his family. Dr. WT looks shook. Marissa prays for Seren’s safety. DJ looks at a book that Seren gave him. Seren’s parents sit in silence in their bedroom. Seren is waiting in the car for someone. A man comes out of a restaurant with food and gets in the car with him. I hope that’s Seren’s father.
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child plays again…
Whew, chile! That was another hard one! My mind is racing. What’s next?
Is that Seren’s father? Did he find his father in Tampa?
David has seen a picture of his father. Will this spark a desire to find him and find out who Darius is?
I feel like Gloria has been taking pills since about 2 episodes ago, but now we know for sure that her sobriety has been broken. Will she spiral? Will she work her steps and get back to sobriety? Will she be able to hold it all together?
Now the target is on Desmond. How will that play out? And will Desmond eventually come for Raynan and Dai?
How will Seren’s disappearance impact DJ’s recommendation letter? I feel like there’s whole story behind Dr. WT holding that letter that we haven’t heard.
I am so mad at Alma. I need her to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting and get her soul and heart right…and accept the truth.
Is Willie Derek Shinobi’s brother? I feel like he might be and I may have missed that tidbit. WD is haunting Shinobi like Sky haunts Dai. That’s interesting.
I need the whole story on Elijah. The whole, unabridged story! Every week, Elijah is full of surprises and I’m sick of it. I need to know what’s up. Asaptually.
Wonder if DJ and Seren have been in contact?
And the final episode is upon us. Ughhhhhhh. There is so much of this story left to be told. Let’s start praying now, Saints! We need a DMM Season 2.