Get Caught Up: Before you indulge in this juicy meat and potatoes of last night’s episode, first get caught up on what you’ve missed thus far by watching OWN’s brilliant 6-minute recap of season 1.
Part 1 of Greenleaf’s mid-season premiere aired last night, Wednesday August 15, with a real cutthroat opening scene (pun intended.) To “cut’ right to the chase (there it is again,) Uncle Mac (Gregory Alan Williams) is a goner. The brutal, yet inevitable fight between Robert ‘Mac’ McCready and Grace “Gigi” Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge) that began during the midseason finale’s closing scene, continued and fatally ended within the first 60 seconds of the opening.
As Mac lay there bleeding and spitting out blood, Gigi is unmoved until she gets answers about her daughter’s whereabouts. With his last words he reveals that he doesn’t have Sophia, (Desiree Ross) doesn’t know where she is, and utters “I’m sorry” before taking his last breath. Then and only then does she call 911.
Now that ish just got real, the Greenleafs are forced into full damage control – trying to figure out how to handle this scandal. It’s simple, just say it was self-defense – is how Lady Mae (Lynn Whitfield) chooses to spin this. Gigi is battered and bruised from the fight. She’s clearly been attacked. What’s not so clear is why she was attacked.
That’s what the detectives have to piece together. Especially after Gigi tells the officer at the scene of the crime that she thought Mac had her daughter which definitely gives her motive to kill. Then there’s a number of harassment claims against her for vandalizing Mac’s vehicle, amongst several other issues between the two. Still, Lady Mae does what she does best – protects the image of her family, even through her grief.
It’s almost like she’s stuck between a rock and hard place. On one hand she’s committed to convincing others that her daughter acted as a heroine in this attack, all while grieving the loss of her brother – although she seems to be only one. Luckily, Aaron Jeffries, (William H. Bryant Jr.) the family lawyer, has been living in the house with the Greenleafs. He’s there, ready and prepared to coach Gigi through this process of proving she had no malicious intent when she headed to Mac’s apartment.
What he’s not prepared for is dealing with the morning after effect from his night with Kevin (Tye White) who’s clearly in a weird space right now. Kevin’s sexual encounter with Aaron has him enraged and quite possibly, a little lost. He’s angry, but the question becomes is he angry with himself or with Fortitude for Families (FFF), the group therapy he’s been attending to be rid of his sexual desires for men. He barges in on a FFF meeting in progress and flips out, calling everyone a liar.
Drinking the small dosage of “wayward thoughts be gone” that the group provides for the members hasn’t been working and it’s driving him crazy. Which is why the mysterious note left for Charity (Deborah Joy Winans) when she returns from her trip, with Kevin nowhere to be found, is cause for concern. (We hope he’s okay.)
Speaking of Charity’s trip – things could be looking up for her. Hopping on that plane at the last minute to meet up with Jabari (Sean Dominic) and his singing group may work in her favor. The group loved her music, and of course, so did Jabari, which may lead to more alone time for the two.
Meanwhile, the unyielding faith over at the house of Jacob (Lamman Rucker) is being put to the test. Though Jacob pulled a power move in buying that land from Basie Skanks’ (Jason Dirden), all it really did was set him back financially – leaving he and his family in debt. With deed in hand but no money to build on, Jacob goes to his father, the Bishop (Keith David) to propose an idea.
He wants to work with the Bishop as co-pastor, alternating Sundays to preach in his pulpit and in return he will allow Calvary to expand onto his newly acquired land. It takes all of two-minutes for Bishop to hear him out, throw a couple of insults on Basie Skanks’ name and turn him down cold.
His wife, Kerissa, (Kim Hawthorne) suggests they consider getting help from the man they met last season, who was willing to offer Jacob a TV gig (and his own wife) if Jacob was also willing to offer up his wife. We’ll see how that goes.
Meanwhile, their daughter Zora (Lovie Simone) has agreed to break up with her boyfriend Isaiah (Roshon Fegan) after he berated her in front of everyone at the studio. Now, viewers just have to wait to see if she’s actually going to follow through with that.
The most jaw-dropping moment in this episode comes in the closing scene when Aaron delivers the good news to Gigi she’s not going to be prosecuted, no charges are being filed, and she gets off scot-free. Hmmm?? In the words of Keith Sweat “something something, something something just ain’t right.”
That was a little too easy and causes for both a side-eye and a slight eyebrow raise. But then again, who knows – maybe her come to Jesus moment in the church where she asks for forgiveness and pleads for mercy actually worked. Her prayers may have been answered. Maybe it’s like Aaron says, “sometimes the bear gets you, sometimes you get the bear.” We’ll see what part two brings.
QUOTABLE: “If they try to make you pay, we will move Heaven and Earth to keep you out of jail.” –Bishop Greenleaf
Read our recap of Episode 10 on the next page!
Part two of the mid-season two-night premiere, “Call Not Complete,” continued Wednesday, August 16. Not only is the call not complete, like the title suggests but, so are we – the viewers, who are left with so many questions, comments and concerns on what happens next.
Let’s get in to some of those questions, shall we:
First and foremost, “Harpo who dis woman?” A new character, Mrs. Rochelle Cross (LeToya Luckett) is introduced to the scheme of things during Wednesday night’s episode and is already taking her position on the wrong side of right. It’s without question that she’s going to pose a problem this season and anticipation runs high to watch it all unfold.
So far, we know Rochelle was married and now feels compelled to issue a check to the tune of $10,000 to Bishop James (Keith David) as a contribution to Calvary. Why? Well, as she explains to the Bishop while they’re having lunch she neglected to go to church at all during her five-year marriage but, after hearing him preach, it brought back fond memories of her church-going days as a child. This is one lunch date Lady Mae should not have missed.
Bishop does get full benefit of the doubt though, because he did properly extend the invitation to Lady Mae (Lynn Whitfield) to join he and Rochelle for lunch but, with all that’s already happened and still needs to be done with Mac’s (Gregory Alan Williams) death, she declines.
She does however raise an eyebrow later when Bishop speaks to her about the lunch and mentions how Rochelle’s donation has nothing to do with her wanting to join the church – she simply wants to settle a debt with the Lord. Lady Mae can’t wait to meet her (and neither can we.)
As the matriarch of the Greenleafs, Mae she needs her family to show a united front after the death of her brother at the hands of her daughter. Mac’s death is rehashing old memories of their childhood and her toxic relationship with their father. She feels that Mac became the man he was because of who their father was, and what he used to do to her.
Lady Mae’s grief even has her reaching out to her sister Mavis (Oprah Winfrey) in an attempt to mend their broken relationship. She makes a second attempt to contact her by phone but, her call goes unanswered. Nevertheless, she has to keep on pushing because there’s other mess happening in her family right now, which leads to the next question – where the hell is Kevin?
Kevin (Tye White) has up and disappeared. Though the exact words written in the letter left for Charity in part one (Deborah Joy Winans) are never fully disclosed, what we do know for certain is he’s gone and no one knows where he is. He’s not responding to Charity’s phone calls, text messages or emails. And it’s not only Charity that feels neglected – Aaron (William H. Bryant Jr.) feels slighted too. He’s also been making calls and leaving messages for Kevin that have gone unanswered. And to make matters worse, Charity asks Aaron for his help to hire a private investigator to help locate Kevin. (SMH, just messy)
Ultimately, Aaron comes to terms with the fact that remaining in the Greenleaf home is not just uncomfortable but, inappropriate and decides it would be best if he just left. Without spilling too many details, he lets Lady Mae know he has to go.
Charity also comes to terms with some of her problems during dinner at her brother’s house. In what looked like a hysterical meltdown, Charity finally told her secret – “Kevin’s gay” – and then she burst out laughing. A very unforgettable, yet odd and uncomfortable moment where you don’t know if you should laugh with her, hug her or express deep, genuine concern for her sanity. Jacob (Lamman Rucker), Gigi (Merle Dandridge) and Kerissa (Kim Hawthorne)l are both perplexed and concerned. Thankfully Zora (Lovie Simone) dismissed herself from the table before the uncomfortable adult conversation began.
In fact, having an uncomfortable adult conversation is the very reason why Gigi and Charity go over to Jacob’s house for dinner in the first place. Gigi wants to confront Jacob and see where his head is and ask some questions.
Questions like what exactly are you trying to do or hoping to accomplish with this new brainchild of forming a “real church?”
Well, he has to do something with all that land he just acquired. He has no money to build on it and the Bishop just shot down his idea to use the land to expand Calvary but, only if he agrees to let him become co-pastor. Since that didn’t work, he improvised by having “real church” right there in the open field.
“A church not made with his hands. No walls. No stain glass windows. Just the people and the word of God,” is how Jacob describes his new church, formally known as The Real Church of Memphis. He feeds the people. He teaches people and helps the people in whatever way he can, all from that vacant lot of land. He even started a website, with Zora’s help, where he can upload videos of his sermons and launch a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help his cause. Unfortunately, the only person in the family that seems to be fully supportive of the idea is his daughter.
Kerissa feels he needs a bigger platform like TV maybe? Who knows what she really has up her sleeve but whatever it is, it’s causing her to hang on to the idea of reconnecting with that man who offered Jacob a spot on his TV network but, also offered to get a little more familiar with her.
Bishop and Lady Mae also take issue with Jacob’s vision and can’t understand why that vision has to be carried out right across the street from their real church – Calvary. Gigi has a solution to that though. Jacob can take her job as assistant pastor at Calvary to preach like he wants to, without conflict, once she leaves for New York. He declines that offer but both he and Charity are none too happy with the idea of Gigi leaving – again.
Yes, Ms. Gigi is moving right along with her life, in her own little world like she didn’t just kill her uncle in the last episode. She’s keeping a low profile from most of the church-folk but there’s one relationship that’s becoming more clearly defined after the family tragedy. She and her boo-thang Darius (Rick Fox) have established that they are definitely more than just a fling- or as she puts it when explaining it to him, “I know we’re just hanging out but yeah, we’re something.”
This defining moment comes on the heels of a job offer that Darius is considering in New York. The offer comes from an old friend who not only offers him a job but, also already has his first story all planned out for him. She wants him to write about Gigi killing Mac. Gigi’s hesitant at first but ultimately decides to give him all the details of what happened that night for his assignment, should he choose to take the job. Luckily he doesn’t. He turns it down because he doesn’t want to leave her. (Awwww)
And speaking of love, Sophia (Desiree Ross) seems to be developing a love for helping children learn more about God and falling right in line with her family’s legacy of ministry. (It’s like Gigi’s sister Faith all over again.) She’s even trying to help Zora find a good boyfriend by arranging a double date. But Zora’s totally disinterested and it could be because Isaiah (Roshon Fegan), the boyfriend she should be staying away from, is still lingering around in her thoughts and on her phone just like most exes, that should remain exes, tend to do.
Then, to make matters worse, he makes a generous donation to her father’s online GoFundMe campaign which makes it even harder for Zora to leave him alone.
QUOTABLE: “Bishop Greenleaf… this round table, the one we’re sitting at right now, that’s the only Bishop’s round table that I’m interested in” – Rochelle
Wanda J. Coppage is a full -time Music Director at an Urban AC radio station, journalist and proud Virginia State University alum – Go Trojans! As a music enthusiast who can’t go a day without hearing R&B/Soul or Classic Hip Hop as well as a TV passionista, why not live a life that covers both?