Fortunately, we quickly learned who got shot, and it’s definitely an upsetting turn of events!
The cliffhanger resolves itself rather quickly on Good Trouble Season 5 Episode 1 and opens the door to many new possibilities one couldn’t have anticipated.
And it also brought Callie back to the Coterie by the hour’s end if only to comfort her sister, the new acting C.E.O. of Spekulate.
The premiere was a hodgepodge of things that attempted to connect the dangling threads of Good Trouble Season 4 Episode 18 and catch us up with the series’ heaviest hitters.
And as a result, the hour was one where they should’ve sacrificed character arc balancing for a more even tone.
The tonal whiplash of sex gods, Denvia, failing miserably at keeping their new relationship secret to their poor roommates with a sullen, emotionally depleted Mariana at Evan’s bedside or Alice’s ferret jokes with Isabella’s rapidly declining mental and emotional state set too frenetic of a pace.
We’re balancing some very light-hearted, average life changes and movement with some truly dark shit within the same installment, and it’s a doozy to process some of it.
Getting into the absolute heaviest of it all, it wasn’t so much shocking that Evan was the one who got shot because, truthfully, it felt like the best option, storytelling-wise, but it was jarring nonetheless.
Your heart plummets along with Mariana’s when the beloved billionaire falls to the ground, a bullet wound to the chest, and there’s at least some plausibility that if they don’t kill him off outright, he’ll be incapacitated long enough where this is a turning point for the character.
And that essentially happened. Given the circumstances, Evan is in stable condition, which is better than we hoped. He got shot at a cult farm by an asshole, and they were likely God knows how far away from civilization and the nearest hospital.
Now, they’re keeping him in a medically-induced coma, but it’s scary times for Evan, and his loved ones, which we know only consist of a sister across the pond and Mariana.
In all this time, it’s remarkable how little we’ve learned about Evan as an individual character outside Mariana’s love interest.
All of it was so jarring, and then the entire cult storyline that has likely been a thorn in the side of many viewers disappears the second they leave that farm because we’re stuck on Evan’s life hanging in the balance of it all.
One can maybe hope and guess that the near-death of a Silicon Valley billionaire on a cult farm in the middle of nowhere is newsworthy enough to have Silas and his entire situation blown up and utterly destroyed.
But as of yet, we don’t know if that’s the case. And from the hushed tones that Mariana and Joaquin used while they were at the hospital, it makes you wonder what they said about their encounter.
Malika: I’ve been thinking, what if I agreed to be monogamous while we see where this is going? We haven’t dated long. I’m not opposed to monogamy if this is a forever thing.
Angelica: Wow, I didn’t expect that.
Malika: I’ve been trying, but I don’t want to get over you.
Angelica: I love hearing that, and I’m for supporting to good work you do, but I don’t think you have time for the type of relationship I’m looking for. I still want to be in your life as a friend.
You can’t go to a hospital with GSWs without the cops getting involved, but these are parts of the story that get sacrificed to account for all the other things the hour chooses to address.
As Mariana sat there, disrupting the Coterie mood, telling everyone about Evan with his blood still soaked into her skin, you just felt awful for this woman who has endured a crap-ton of trauma. But you’re also angry at how ludicrous it was that she put herself in this type of danger at all.
Cierra Ramirez does great work, very subdued, and Mariana was far from her sparkly, self-assured self. It was incredibly bleak and painfully isolating.
She blamed herself for Evan, and then briefly Joaquin, and seemed to take some comfort in Joaquin’s words that he told Evan how much she loved him and broke things off with him for Evan.
Maybe the next time she envisions Evan talking to her, she’ll consider that rather than her version of him expressing (and echoing fan)frustration that she took such colossal risks.
But now we’re in some interesting territory as Evan’s shockingly unfazed lawyer handed her paperwork and informed her that she is Evan’s proxy. She’s in charge of making all of his decisions in his stead moving forward, including as acting C.E.O. of Spekulate.
One can’t even fathom what’s going through Mariana’s mind as she gets handed an enviable opportunity on the back of something so traumatic. It’s hard even to think that Mariana can function with all this without becoming overwhelmed.
She seemed to be running on fumes by the hour’s end, which was somewhat disconcerting. But this new development will take time to process.
What’s in store for a woman many loathed, suddenly acting as Evan Speck himself at his billion-dollar company? Mariana is great but incredibly inexperienced and at her most emotionally fraught. She’s trustworthy but out of her depth.
In some ways, this could circle back around to some of the sexism and racism that she faced in the tech industry, now with the added stressor of the man she loves knocking on death’s door, partly because of her doing, and legions of Evan fanboys or whomever else directing their ire, vitriol, and everything else at her new position.
I don’t know if I’m emotionally prepared for this storyline’s direction, so it’s doubtful Mariana is. But fortunately, Callie is by her side.
Callie couldn’t have reappeared at a better time.
In some ways, Mariana and Malika’s storylines could mirror in that there will be a lot of resentment and everything else under the sun directed at these two women of color who got suddenly promoted to substantial positions.
It’s still hard to place Lucia’s angle. I can’t figure out if she’s actively setting Malika up in some capacity or inspired by her.
She had to know that offering Malika that position when she’s only been there for a short time would lead to severe backlash from everyone else on the staff.
If it’s setting Malika up for failure, it’s such a cruel thing to do.
Alice: how long do I have to pay my dues?
Luca: As long as it takes. Just the opportunity itself is harder to come by for people.
I feel for Malika. I’ve been in similar positions where the work put in trumped the time, and when rewarded, it can breed uncomfortable interactions with colleagues and friends.
Malika is the most passionate we’ve seen out of the brood working for Lucia. But it’s still a hell of a thing to bypass an entire staff of people who have been there longer to give her this substantial promotion, then expect them all to be copacetic.
If the others won’t want to work with Malika or are bitter, whatever goodwill with that goes out the window. It’s a challenging situation.
Plus, she’s put her women’s center plans on the back burner to address the immediate concern of the housing encampment situation. And while that’s the logical choice, and it’s great that she can see the bigger picture, it could also garner her ire from those who wanted the women’s shelter now rather than later.
Malika understands the game of politics better than ever, but it’s coming at a price.
That price has also been her personal life and the developments there, as she didn’t realize how much she missed out on three months. She didn’t know one of her best friends was dating her brother or that her father had a girlfriend.
In that sense, Angelica isn’t wrong about why they shouldn’t date. Angelica knows what she wants and accepts that Malika can’t give that to her right now, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of their friendship.
It’s an interesting turn of events after this long journey of Malika navigating her sexuality and love desires; she’s concluded that with the right person, she can be monogamous.
Now, not to knock the importance of depicting polyamory onscreen and providing that representation, but it sucks that we had to sit through some of the messiness we’ve had thus far and the dissolution of Malika and Isaac for Malika to know now that she can manage monogamy.
Yes, it’s essentially what she told Isaac before, but it’s also true that she still would have wanted to explore things.
Nevertheless, Malika got to advocate for a better work/life balance with Lucia and agreed to it, to her chief of staff’s surprise.
And there’s something empowering about a woman asking for what she wants and setting her boundaries and terms. Sure, people scoff at it, but then isn’t the issue that we’ve come to accept the status quo so easily that we don’t make waves?
Everyone discussing jobs and things made for some great group interactions, especially when Dennis was so open about his life in ways he never was before.
He’s taking ownership of his flaws when he was a corporate shark, and it’s a significant step for him.
He and Davia are genuinely happy right now, sometimes multiple times daily. And they can’t hide things for shit. And while there’s excitement about these two and how happy they are with each other, the gimmicky nature of their scenes contrasted with some of the more serious vibes.
Alice’s storyline was similar, although she also connected with Malika and Mariana, finding themselves in new positions.
Alice has had some lucky breaks, and once you get them, you don’t want to go back to the start, but I enjoyed that both Sumi and Luca offered her some perspective about how privileged she’s been and humbled her a bit.
The new gig with the three older guys as a writer for funny videos will be interesting. It’s going about as well as you’d expect with three older, white gentlemen who are just casually sexist and racist enough to provide the microaggressive angle of Alice’s experiences but not so much where it won’t be amusing.
The grown-ish go-cart scene was funny but tonally off from some of the serious storylines.
Mariana: I’m so sorry. This is all my fault.
Evan: Why did you go to the Farm in the first place?
Luca finding out he has an aunt opens the door for some interesting storytelling that can give him something meatier to chew on so that he actually be a Coterie member like the others rather than the bordering on “Gary-Stu” new addition.
And I say that as an avid Luca fan. I’m ready to follow him on this journey of discovering his family and pursuing a job that could lead to his dancing and participating in his passion.
The Gael and Isabella situation is no less exhausting.
Lyric is here, and she’s a beautiful baby, but now we’ve reached the point where Isabella has taken off with her, likely after overhearing Gael’s conversations and concerns.
Jazmine: So, how do you feel about Isabella changing her mind?
Gael: I feel blindsided.
I hate this for Gael. Isabella needs help. The baby should’ve been with Jazmine and Spencer.
Gael’s concerns about Isabella are valid, and she’s too far gone to understand.
Now, we have a missing Coterie baby; Isabella has taken off to goodness knows where after raising many red flags. It’s all stressful.
It was so wild that Jenna was just at the Coterie again and then gone. What’s even next for her and Joaquin?
The Grown-ish shoutout was funny
Denvia are definitely hot together, no denying that.
Sumi is forever a gift and most excellent scene-stealer.
Where did Isabella take the baby? Was Evan your prediction? Were you surpised by Callie’s return? Sound off below!
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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