‘Good Trouble’ 1×11 recap: “Less Than”

Good Trouble episode 1×11 “Less Than” aired March 19, 2019 

The moms are visiting again, which you can guess I’m very excited about! This visit is less fun than their previous one as things are tense between Lena and Stef, but it all ends well.

Drinks with the boss

(Freeform/Richard Cartwright)

When Judge Wilson finds out Callie’s moms are in town, he invites them over to dinner. Callie makes excuses, but Judge Wilson is relentless. They settle for drinks before dinner. And so, Callie, Stef, Lena, Mariana and Jamie all attend drinks at Judge Wilson’s house!

Judge Wilson’s wife and their son, Tate are also present for this awkward get together. Judge Wilson gives a toast that basically recaps Callie’s inspirational life story from juvenile delinquent to law clerk. The toast is meant for Tate to hear, and I guess feel shame that he’s such a screw-up?

Tate informs Callie that he’s no longer under house arrest, as his case was dismissed. This news is upsetting to Callie and she can’t shake the feeling to Judge Wilson was bought off. She doesn’t know what to do with her suspicions, but there is something she can do for Jamal’s case.

Jamal’s case is in the middle of jury selection. The defense keeps dismissing the black jurors, so Jamal’s lawyers raise a Batson Challenge. Which basically means they believe jurors are being dismissed based solely on race. It’s very hard to prove.

When Callie shows up for work, she hands Judge Wilson a memo on her research in support of the Batson Challenge. He is pissed at her, and tells her that’s not her job. She’s his clerk, not Jamal’s lawyer. Callie doesn’t back down, she brings up his son, who struck a police officer and faced no real consequences, and wonders would have happened to him If he was black?

In the end, Judge Wilson denies the challenge, but does warn that that if they keep striking black jurors he will reconsider his ruling. PLUS, he takes Callie off the Jamal case because he feels she’s lost her sense of objectivity.

No perfect victim

Good Trouble twitter

Jamal Thompson’s case is approaching it’s court date, so it makes sense that some old videos of him resurface. The videos are…not good. At all. In them, Jamal demeans and belittles black women. Malika is obviously shaken by Jamal’s words, and  the people around her is trying to tell her how to feel about it. Everyone is questioning how she can still support Jamal.

Due to Jamal’s case, Callie and Malika have mostly stayed away from each other this season. After watching the videos, Callie seeks Malika out and asks how she’s doing. With Callie, Malika allows herself to be honest about her feelings.

Every horrible thing Jamal said about black women is something Malika has heard before. In fact, they’re all things she’s said to herself at some point. The difference is, she learned that she was wrong and grew to loved herself, Jamal never got that chance. So, yes, she’s angry and she’s tired, but that doesn’t matter. Jamal’s words complicate her feelings, but they don’t change the injustice that was done to him. That’s why Malika shows up to court with his mother, that’s why she will plan the protest and stand up for him.

The Mom’s Fight


Lena and Stef spend the whole episode snapping at each other. Even while at Judge Wilson’s house, everyone can tell that things are not okay between the two. Mariana’s having none of it, so she forces the moms to sit down and talk.

Turns out that in an interview, Stef gave an opinion that contradicted Lena. Cindy, Lena’s campaign manager, made a big deal out of it and Lena did not stand up for her. Throughout this whole campaign, Stef has not felt like she’s Lena’s partner. Stef even goes as far as to say that she’s out.

Never fear, the moms make up when Lena finds Stef and apologizes. She didn’t realize how her campaign was affecting Stef. Stef doesn’t want to feel disconnected from her wife. Mariana and Callie eventually find them, there are hugs and advice all around. The moms remind them to always fight for themselves and for what they believe.


(Freeform/Richard Cartwright)

Mariana’s spreadsheet of salaries reveals that the pay gap is also affected by race. She wants to include race in their spreadsheet, but the other women disagree. After her talk with the moms, she calls for another meeting and advocates her case again, she even has graphs this time! She explains that gender and race are intersectional issues, not separate like they believe. This time, the women agree with Mariana.

Except, if they do include the column about race, Mariana will lose her anonymity. Raj, the only male to have disclosed his salary so far, decides to also include his race in the spreadsheet.  If they go down, they’ll go down together. It’s both stupid and brave, and yes, I like them a lot.

Elsewhere in The Coterie…

  • Joey and Alice are finally dating. Joey doesn’t usually date women who aren’t out to their families, but makes an exception for the exceptional Alice. An obviously jealous Sumi invites them over for dinner with Meera. Dinner does not go well. Meera is annoyed. Sumi is jealous. Alice is clueless. Joey wants to get out of there. It ends with Meera and Sumi fighting, what else is new? Well, the fact that Joey points out that while Alice might be over Sumi . Sumi is most definitely not over Alice.

Watch Good Trouble Tuesdays on Freeform! 


Gabriela Acevedo

Gaby is a TV-obsessed fangirl and writer. Television is her true love, but movies and books aren't far behind. Currently living in Los Angeles, she's originally from Puerto Rico, which is still her favorite place in the world. Find her on twitter @gabsteramy.

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