Good Trouble episode 1×09 “Willful Blindness” aired March 5, 2019
Parents aren’t perfect. Honestly, sometimes they’re awful. That doesn’t make it any easier when they disappoint us. It doesn’t stop us from wanting their love and acceptance. Alice and Rebecca know who they are, but it’s not who their parents expect them to be. While Malika faces yet more heartbreak when it comes to her family.
Rebecca’s surprise exit
Rebecca comes from a very privileged background, as Ben likes to remind everyone as often as he can. Her family’s connections have opened many doors for her, including the one that led to her clerkship with Judge Wilson.
Rebecca is smart, so it’s not a surprise when she figures out that Callie went behind her back and spoke to Judge Wilson about Judge Handelman. Callie defends herself by pointing out that she didn’t mention Rebecca’s name. Still, it’s not a stretch to guess that Judge Wilson knew who Callie was referring too. Callie believes that it’s Rebecca’s responsibility to speak up. While Callie’s heart is in the right place, Rebecca is right to be upset with her, it’s not Callie’s place to tell Rebecca’s story.
Rebecca talks to her mother about Judge Handelman and his new female clerk. Her mother’s response is to complain about how her generation is too sensitive and have taken #MeToo too far. Rebecca’s mom expects her to stay quiet, and actually tells her to be grateful she didn’t have to earn everything for herself.
Rebecca takes in he mother’s words and then immediately files a sexual harassment complaint against Judge Hadelman. She tells Judge Wilson that while she knows nothing will come from this investigation, she needed to do it for herself and for the vulnerable clerks. Judge Wilson, who had also been called out for being complacent, files his own complaint asking for Judge Handelman’s removal from the bench.
When Callie arrives at the office, Rebecca is gone. She’s accepted a job offer with a small firm in Denver, instead of with the prestigious DC firm her family had chosen for her. Rebecca leaves a letter for Callie, telling her she was right about speaking up and that she’s chosen to make own her way in the world, one that is not reliant on her family’s connections.
Rebecca we barely knew you, but we will miss you. I enjoyed the dynamic of two feminist women who disagreed but still respected and challenged each other. I might not agree with Rebecca’s politics myself, but self-righteous Callie sometimes needs someone to take her down a peg.
Malika Isn’t Sorry
Malika’s brother Dom shows up at the bar she works at. She’s initially happy to see him, until he reveals he’s there to deliver a letter from their mother. Instead of reading the letter, Malika shows up at her mother’s place, so she can tell her what she wants to say.
Malika’s visit with her mother is painful to watch. Her mother wants Malika to know that she forgives her for calling CPS on her. For the entire visit, Malika’s mom continues to make excuses for her behavior, never accepting any responsibility for her actions. Every word breaks Malika’s heart further and fills her with rage, but she keeps it together. Malika somehow even ends up APOLOGIZING to her mother and leaving money for her.
Money her brother immediately uses to buy their mother more alcohol. When Malika sees this, it’s her breaking point. She fights with Dom, she tells him that he’s being manipulated. Malika tries to make Dom understand, “giving birth to you, that doesn’t make her your mother. Taking care of your kid, that’s what does”. It’s not something that Dom is ready to accept, maybe he never will be.
Malika immediately takes back her apology, reaffirming the most difficult decision she ever made, to call CPS on their mother. I’m devastated for Malika, but I’m also so proud of her for recognizing that she doesn’t owe her mother anything. Walking away from toxic relationships is important, regardless of who they are.
Alice Isn’t Out
And then we have sweet Alice. Alice’s parents take her and Sumi out to lunch. This is a less than ideal scenario for Alice. Alice parents love Sumi. They also don’t know that she’s the ex. They don’t know because Alice hasn’t come out to her parents.
Lunch is miserable. Alice’s mother spends the entire time pointing out her faults, comparing her to her more successful brother and criticizing her career. Even when she does tell them she’s dating someone, she has to play the pronoun game so they don’t figure out she’s a lesbian.
The one bright spot in the episode is when Alice goes on Joey’s radio show. At first, Alice bombs but once she gets more comfortable and makes jokes about Sumi things start to look up. Alice gets invited to another show and scores a second date with Joey.
Meera, Sumi’s fiance was listening to the show. Meera and Alice have a huge fight about how much the other one sucks, the fight stops when Sumi walks in asking what’s going on. They lie and pretend they were fighting about her surprise bridal shower. Alice then backs out of the radio show, and Joey cancels their second date.
Elsewhere in The Coterie….
- Bryan wants Gael to use Instagram more to promote his art, and urges Gael to brand himself as a queer artist. Gael struggles with the decision on how to label himself. Mariana suggests reaching out to the Latinx community. While Davia reminds him that if he’s not comfortable showing his body, then he doesn’t have to.
- Callie keeps going up to Gael’s loft, her reasons are seemingly legit, paperwork for Jazmin’s case, but it’s a pretext to see him and they both know it. It eventually escalates to a fight between the two, Gael calls her out and he’s right!
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