Good Trouble 2×12 “Gumboot Becky” aired on January 22, 2020
Good Trouble this week focuses on among other things, the complexities of grief. Judge Wilson’s grief is full of anger, he just lost his son and needs someone to blame. Dennis’s grief we’ve been watching unfold for longer, but he continues to refuse help. It’s an interesting episode that makes me very glad Good Trouble got renewed for season 3.
Callie’s juggling act
Callie is juggling a million things this week, and she actually manages to pull them all off! Work is keeping her busy at Legal Aid, she continues to help Marcus with the class action suit, while Teresa is on her to do the job she’s actually being paid to do. Callie gets all her work done and gives an impassioned speech to the tenants that saves the class action suit from falling apart. On top of that, Judge Wilson needs Callie’s help to investigate who sold Tate the drugs that ultimately cost him his life.
Judge Wilson’s grief, guilt and anger continue to fuel his desire to find who sold Tate drugs, and thus find someone to blame for his death. Callie manages to speak with Graham, Tate’s former drug dealer, who claims they hadn’t seen each other in a while. The security footage Judge Wilson obtained clears Graham, but shows a different person entering the building with Tate. Graham is then asked to identify this mystery guy, and gives them his name, Chase, and eventually his address.
Judge Wilson and Callie immediately head to his place. Chase is not home when they get there, but he shows up shortly and Judge Wilson angrily pushes him against a wall. Chase denies selling Tate the drugs, in fact Tate bought the drugs online, and Chase urged him not to take them. When Callie tries to deescalate the situation, Judge Wilson shoves her away and she hits a parked car. This rattles him and he finally let’s go of Chase. Judge Wilson breaks down, Callie holds him as he cries, blaming himself for Tate’s death
Later Judge Wilson apologizes to Callie for his actions. Callie understands; he was motivated by grief and anger, by wanting to find someone to blame. This, she tells him is the same thing that motivated Malika when she stormed into his office and what motivates BLM to fight against his appointment.
I have to admire Callie’s guts and her loyalty at this moment. Callie assures him that Malika didn’t know he was the target of the BLM protest, but that once she found out her commitment to her beliefs required her to stay. Judge Wilson can’t help but be a little impressed with Callie’s persistence. He makes no promises regarding Malika, but he at least listened to Callie, that counts for something, right?
You’d think that Callie’s hard work would mean she would be rewarded with a chill night at home with her boyfriend, but nope, the world is never that kind to Callie. The episode ends when Callie learns that Jamie represent the company that owns the development group Legal Aid is suing. So, yeah. This sucks.
Davia’s breaking point
After seeing Malika in Dennis’s room, Davia tortures herself by imagining that the two have hooked up. Davia talks to Malika, who clears up that nothing happened between her and Dennis. They just got drunk together. Except that doesn’t sit well with Davia who asks Malika not to drink with Dennis. Malika at first dismisses her, but Davia ends up spilling the beans about Jacob. Dennis quickly pieces together that Davia told Malika.
Davia crossed a line by telling Malika about Jacob. I understand that the burden he has put on her is a lot. They’ve had this conversation over and over and nothing would change, it wasn’t fair to either of them. Her frustration and fear is very palpable, but her breaking point was not entirely out of concern for Dennis, but jealousy.
In a staple Dennis and Davia scene by this point, the two argue. Dennis tells Davia he regrets trusting her. Over and over he calls her a liar and says he wants to be left alone. Davia refuses to leave, but she doesn’t apologize, she confesses she can’t keep enabling him and that if he really wants to honor Jacob’s memory, he needs to get help. In the end, Dennis takes the first step in seeking help and goes to a grief counseling meeting.
I was pleasantly surprised that we got to see Davia teaching in class, an area of her life that has mostly been left offscreen, even if it didn’t seem to quite fit with the rest of the episode. Davia struggles with one of her classes, her track three class which is made up mostly of low income and POC students. So far, her efforts to engage them have been unsuccessful. Davia thinks she’s made some progress when she shows up to class and performs a Gumboot dance, a South African dance used by miners to communicate, which ties in to her lesson about apartheid.
Her dance is filmed by the students who spread it around the school….and they call her “Gumboot Becky”. I wish Davia had run her idea by the other teacher who offered to help. Davia’s attempts are earnest, but out-of-touch. It seems this won’t the last we see of Davia’s teaching storyline, so I guess we’ll see where this goes.
Elsewhere in The Cotiere:
- Malika is coming to terms with her probation violation and what that means for her. She has a conversation with her father about the role of activism in her life. He advises Malika to show up for Isaac like he shows up for her. Malika ends up inviting Isaac and his whole family to dinner at the Cotiere.
- Last week Mariana appointed Raj as interim team leader for her app. She obviously spends the whole time micromanaging him and won’t let anyone do their damn jobs. Byte Club has a meeting and Mariana apologizes to the other women for not trusting them.
- Mariana has another secret meeting in her favorite spot, the rooftop. This time it’s Evan who reaches out to her and it’s one of those good news, bad news situation. Good news: She apologizes to him, but he insists it’s not her fault and that he has a plan to get his company back. Bad news: His plan includes having her app fail.
Watch Good Trouble Wednesdays on Freeform!