Can someone hug the Martinez siblings for me, pretty please?!
If you're anything like me, you probably wanted to embrace Gael and Jazmin by the end of Good Trouble Season 2 Episode 3. Oh my loves, you'd always have an open-ended invitation to every holiday and all cookouts in my family.
But you may have also wanted to embrace Mariana too; how the HELL is she going to get ten grand to cover what the app doubled at the event?! Yikes!
You have to love the powers that be at Good Trouble. They knew there was a mixed reception to the dance number during Good Trouble Season 1 Episode 13, but they doubled down on it with a fiery number at Jazmin's Doble Quince.
Their characters will dance sometimes, and you're going to have to accept it and like it!
Jazmin is one of the best guest characters on the series, so her return was welcomed and didn't disappoint. Jazmin choosing to have an adult Quinceañera was not only creative, but it was beautiful for all it represented.
She was unable to have one as a teenager, but she could have one celebrating womanhood, and she used it as a protest to the Military Trans Ban and to make money for Trans veterans such as herself.
Jazmin makes me so emotional sometimes. It wasn't solely about Jazmin though.
It wasn't pretty, but we needed to meet the Martinez family. Gael and Jazmin's parents were discussed a great deal during the first season, and despite the siblings being close with another, their family was a point of contention.
Gael: Is this how it's always going to be? I mention Jazmin, and everyone gets quiet and changes the subject?
Mrs. Martinez: Déjalo, mijo (leave it, son).
It's satisfying that the show is exploring Gael outside of his relationship to Callie or Bryan. He ran the risk of being a one-dimensional love interest, which would've been a disservice to an important character and the lovable Tommy Martinez.
Jazmin and her parents are estranged, but we had no idea the extent to which they treated her. Abuelo's birthday was awkward as hell. He and Jazmin share the same birthday, but everyone except Gael pretends as if Jazmin doesn't exist and their Alejandro is dead.
The scene was almost reminiscent to the Cody family celebrating the birthday of one twin but not the other during Animal Kingdom Season 1 Episode 4.
Gael was the only who spoke Jazmin's name, and they could've used the birthday cake knife to cut the tension every time he did it. It seems as though Gael and Jazmin's father is the one who is the worst at taking this in stride.
Jazmin's gender is different than they assumed, not her personality, or her feelings, memories, or her freaking service.
Mr. Martinez: I was proud of Alejandro, my son. I miss my son, but she took him away from us. She killed him!
Gael: She didn't kill anyone, dad. Your child is still alive.
Mr. Martinez: We only have one child now. One son who hasn't brought shame on us.
Gael: You know what? If Jazmin is no longer your child because she's trans, I think you have no children at all because I'm bisexual.
The scenes and their refusal to accept her were painful enough, but Mr. Martinez refusing to return her dog tags and suggesting that her service was dishonorable or somehow died the moment he lost his "son" was enraging.
She earned those dog tags. She served her country proudly, and they belonged to her. It's unfathomable how someone would rather claim their child is dead than love them for who they are (not tolerate them, or accept them, but love them).
It's what you sign up for when you become a parent, but you need only look at the statistics for homelessness and other things among LGBTQ youth to understand how many families put conditions on their love.
Gael has been a devoted brother to Jazmin all this time, and it didn't stop. However, he took a big step coming out to his family. For a while, he was stuck in the middle.
Gael was Jazmin's sole support, but he wasn't ready to come out to their parents and face rejection and disownment. Finally, by doing so, he drew his line in the sand. He could only hope if their parents realized they were willing to lose both their children to their ignorance, then maybe they would work through their prejudices.
Jazmin: You came out to our parents.
Gael: Yeah. So, what are you doing for all the major holidays?
Maybe someday they will, but for now, it was devastating when Abuelo casually made his statements to Gael about making choices, and Gael asked Jazmin what she was doing for all the major holidays.
Protect the Martinez siblings at all costs! They deserve so much better than this, and where they're fortunate is having The Coterie to lean on as family since their own turned their backs on them.
I love all my grandchildren. You don't have to turn your back on family.Abuelo
To think, it was gratifying and moving when Abuelo showed up at the Quince to give Jazmin her dog tags and share the traditional father/daughter dance with her.
We barely had time to enjoy the purity of the moment and how emotional it made Jazmin and Gael before it was ripped away and left a gaping hole of pain where the good feels should've been.
Jazmin has her brother, and her sweet boyfriend she met at the Speculate catered event. And Gael has Elijah.
Gael: I want you to be happy, Callie
Callie: Thank you. You too.
After one of the best introductions on the series, the chemistry between Elijah and Gael smolders, and we need to know their story. Gael is adamant about not owing Elijah anything, and they both allude to some tension back when they were together. Elijah has apologized for his behavior.
What happened? Spill it now!
Elijah made Jazmin's beautiful dress, and he wanted to buy Gael's artwork. Gael puts up a wall when it comes to money around Elijah, and it must have been something that tore them apart in the past.
Maybe Elijah was one of those people who voluntarily did things and splurged on someone he loved but then threw it up in his face when he was upset or something.
It's a touchy issue, but it's something they may have to face again if Gael and Elijah try to rekindle their romance.
On the one hand, it's regrettable that Gael was fresh off of Callie's rejection and drinking when he made out with Elijah, but on the other hand, their kiss was something worth rooting for and so are they.
It's such a breath of fresh air having this exploration of Gael.
Also, kudos to Mariana for telling Callie the gospel truth about how she treats both men. Callie takes Gael and Jamie's affections for her for granted, and she disregards their feelings while figuring out her own.
The reason you haven't told Gael about Jamie is because you don't want him to move on. Because you always have one foot out the door. I mean, when are you going to make a serious choice with these guys and not have them hanging on a hook or line? Dangling, I don't know, whatever the expression is, you know what I'm trying to say.Mariana
For a bit, it was unclear as to why Jamie declined Jazmin's invitation to her party. Fortunately, it wasn't that he was an ass; Callie didn't invite him nor mention it, so he assumed she didn't want him there.
She called him during her time of need, but he was feeling out of the loop on if she was all-in. He was trying to respect her boundaries. Jamie is a good guy, and some days it seems like he deserves better than Callie. It had to be said.
After Mariana pointed out how she always has one foot out the door, Callie let Jamie know he was her choice. He was thrilled too. Their makeout session was sweet, and so is his apartment. Damn, Jamie!
Mariana was more at the forefront than Callie for this hour. Jazmin's party was an opportunity for her to test beta her charity app. It was going well, too, but then they had to fix a bug, and it was a mess from there.
The good thing about Raj is he calls Mariana out, but he also knows who he got involved with and is more about making her aware than trying to change her. Mariana needs that.
She does micromanage, and she doesn't delegate, so those are areas she needs to work on as a team leader. She also has to work on her public displays of affection at a party that served as a work event too.
One of the Fight Club members noticed her and Raj holding hands, and Evan noticed how close they were too. The rules are in place, so she'll be questioned about it soon.
Evan is not hiding his attraction to Mariana, but he manages to stay professional at the same time, so it's hard to say if Mariana notices his flirtatious comments. He does respect her ideas and abilities, and the pressure was on when he said the others didn't like the idea, but him going through with it shows how much he believes in her.
It's why the glitch which caused the donations to double is such a disaster if it comes out. The situation is stressful as hell.
Mariana was afraid of letting down Evan and the trans veterans they were raising money for, and now the app isn't working as it should, and the organization thinks they made $20 thousand when they only made ten.
If Mariana can pull something magical out of her bum to cover her bum, then she should do it, but if not, it may be best for all parties if she tells Evan what happened ASAP.
He could maybe arrange for the fundraiser money to be covered, and then they can figure out the app issues in-house. It was something which left you on the edge of your seat. How will this be resolved?!
No way in hell Malika was going to take a break from activism for long. Activism is in her blood, and it's something she got from her father. He was a Black Panther.
It's tough on Dom learning his sister reached out to their father and has formed a bond with him, but he also has to realize he always had his mother. He had a special connection with their mother that Malika didn't, but their father is someone of whom she formed a kinship.
For Malika, she feels as though she found the person who makes sense, and she doesn't feel like the outlier in her family. He was an activist just as she is, and he ended up imprisoned due to it.
However, it's also possible he has an agenda of his own. Malika barely knows the man, and now he's tracking her down at the Coterie and telling her he got evicted. She found his residence and paraphernalia unsettling.
Dom has to understand the position Malika is in, but also, Malika needs to go into this relationship with her father with her eyes wide open. She can't jump into a relationship with him without knowing all of his story.
Where is the background check friend when you need them? There is always one in every friend group.
Maraj wasn't the only ones having conflict in their relationship. Malika and Isaac were too. It's easy to understand why Malika may feel as though Isaac is trying to stifle her activism.
Isaac doesn't mind her passion; he wants her to remember to take care of herself too. He's worried about her well-being and safety, and he knows she puts her all into a cause to her detriment.
Callie: I've heard so much about you?
Evan: Yeah? From who?
Callie: From Mariana
She escaped a charge after going after Wilson the way she did, and she has graduation coming up, so he wants her to be focused. He also wants her to remember that others may not protest or fight for justice as she does, but it doesn't mean they aren't "woke" or combatting issues in another way.
Isaac is more than aware of injustices in the world, and he may not organize protests, but he's a successful businessman battling issues every day. Once they had their discussion and cleared the air, they were back to being all cute and sexy. They're one of the best couples on the series.
Malika has found inspiration and doubled down on her activism by joining the Black Lives Matter movement, officially. The series has handled many of these topics with such thought and care, and it's pleasing that they're sticking with it even though the Jamal Thompson case has come to an end.
It didn't end with him, and there are many avenues they can take. Patrisse Cullors (the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement) has moved to the writer's room this season. Unlike other shows, Good Trouble can explore the actual movement and not caricatures and replicas of it.
Malika has put in the work, but this will be unlike what she has done up until this point, and it's going to be a fascinating journey for her character.
I'm so proud of you for doing this, and I'm so sorry I couldn't get your dog tags.Gael
Speaking of journies, our precious Alice is coming into her own. She's motivated to pursue stand-up, which is great, but Alice learning how to assert herself in a relationship is the most satisfying of all.
Alice and Joey are both trying to find themselves and figure out who they are, so neither of them should be judgmental of the other for their respective paths. Their argument was difficult, but also a moment of triumph when they got through to each other and made up in the end.
In many ways, they're in the same boat, and that's OK.
Joey needed to understand that Alice coming out to her parents and accepting the rainbow comforter was a victory, and it would take a bit for her to use the right prounouns, not because she didn't respect them, but because she had to adjust to calling Joey something different.
You obviously have a problem with my pronouns!Joey
Alice needed to understand how she wasn't the only one processing who and what she was, and maybe Joey wasn't comfortable with being the punchline to Alice's jokes.
They too are one of the cutest couples on this series at the moment. Alice may not appear in every installment, but Sherry Cola plays her with such authenticity and vulnerability. Her performance and Alice surely resonates with viewers, which makes her scenes all the more magnetic.
Alright, over to you Good Trouble Fanatics. Which couple is giving you the feels the most? Did you love more background and exploration of Gael and the Martinez family?
What will happen with Mariana and her app? Do you think Malika should be cautious with her father? Which storylines are you enjoying the most this season.
By all means, sound off below! Comments are like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies -- the good stuff.
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.