How do you follow an episode where a despicable child molester was mysteriously murdered and no one will admit to being the culprit?
On Star Season 1 Episode 5, not much happened. It's still too soon for the murderer to be revealed, and besides, this show is supposed to be about music, not murder, remember?
Well, I sure did after this episode, which focused primarily on the music. Specifically, the music of Star and Simone's mother, Mary, and the way her voice continues to echo and effect the lives of everyone on the show.
Simone discovered a wonderfully retro old box TV with a VCR and a bunch of old VHS tapes of Mary belting out some beautiful R&B songs. Even in a tiny, fuzzy old tape, her star power illuminates the screen.
It's not even all that. All that's extra. I just want to sing.Star
Simone wants to perform Mary's song. Star refuses, still bitter about the way Mary died and left them to the mercy of the foster system, and that she has to be reminded of Mary every time she looks in the mirror or opens her mouth.
In the end, cooler and more emotionally distant heads (Alexandra's) prevail, and the girls decide to perform an original arrangement of the song for their big audition.
This performance was by far the highlight of the episode.
From the girls' new threads bankrolled by Hunter's credit card (loved those grey varsity coats and silver sequined tops!) to the awesome, Amy Winehouse-style soul song they borrowed from Mary's tapes, the overall combination of sound and style was just perfect.
If we have any chance at all, we can't be walking in there looking like American Idol rejects.Star
One of the coolest things about Star has been watching the evolution of the band's style, both musically and visually.
When they first started, they were rougher around the edges, sexy but in an almost over-the-top, trashy way (think those tiny sequined halter dresses and thigh high boots from Hunter's party in Star Season 1 Episode 1).
But the more the girls perform together, the more their individual styles – Star's sexy tomboy chic, Alexandra's trendy designer duds and Simone's schoolgirl stoner charm – start to mesh together.
Even though they seem to spend more time arguing than actually collaborating, they are gradually transforming from three scrappy singers into one well-coiffed unit.
The evolution of the group feels very organic and realistic, which can be said about literally nothing else that ever happens on Star.
Jahil is a lying, coke-snorting pig. His obsession with Mary is what ended us. Next time, ask him to tell you the truth.Carlotta [to Alexandra]
After the police discovered the abandoned car of Simone's foster father, her foster mother got in touch and spooked Simone in a big way.
Why she didn't give the rest of the gang a heads-up is beyond me. After all, if she didn't actually kill Otis, she should be looking out for whoever did the deed and eliminated this monster from her life.
Jahil installed Eva, the woman he rescued from human trafficking, at the salon, where everyone seemed generally disdainful of her and her Dominican accent.
For such a diverse cast of characters, they sure love rubbing each other's differences in their faces.
God, sometimes I get all up in my head. I start thinking bad things. And then bad things happen.Carlotta
Speaking of differences: Alexandra is gradually getting more and more resentful of Star and the fact that she's a novelty because she's white girl who can sing R&B.
First, the photographer tried to lighten her skin with powder (absolutely disgusting) and then shuffled her to the side so Star could be front and center in the photo.
Then, Jahil blatantly voiced his desire for Star to be the group's lead singer, not even bothering to hide the fact that her skin color was a factor. (That, and the fact that he's still obsessed with her look-alike, sound-alike mom.)
Not too long ago, Alexandra was a girl so sheltered that she needed Derek to explain his reasons for being involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now, it seems she's noticing all those little prejudices for the first time in her life, and the more and more they start to pile up, the more likely I think it is that she'll join Derek in the movement.
My mother got her teeth knocked out so you could vote. Don't tell me I got to open my eyes. I'm woke.Carlotta [to Derek]
We got some flashbacks to young Carlotta, Jahil and Mary in this episode. I wouldn't mind getting more.
The entire saga of their weird, twisted relationship sounds dramatic enough to be its own series, let alone a mere subplot to this one.
Of course, in the present, Jahil has his own drama to deal with.
The episode ended with him being held captive, presumably by the real estate kingpin he screwed over by freeing Eva and the other trafficked women. And yet, I still don't care about Jahil.
If every scene involving Jahil's freelance criminal work was replaced with one at the salon, with Cotton, Carlotta and Miss Bruce getting catty with their customers and each other, I would be a much happier viewer.
Alexandra [on Star]: Why does everything have to be a fight with her?
Carlotta: Because that's all she's ever known. She doesn't know how to do anything else.
What did you think of "New Voices"?
Do you think Hunter is an incredible idiot for trusting Star with his credit card, or do you think Star is at fault for taking advantage of him?
Will the show ever remember the subplot involving Cotton's decision to get surgery? And when will Alexandra get fed up with playing second fiddle to Star?
Remember, you can watch Star online via TV Fanatic.
Lee Jutton was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She went into retirement in July of 2017. Follow her on Twitter.