Admit it; you would love to kick it in the Coterie for a night.
Ain't no party like a Coterie party,and Malika's birthday bash on Good Trouble Season 2 Episode 6 came with some drama. For the most part, everyone had a fun time. It's always a treat when the gang gets to share the screen.
It's also a treat when Grey's Anatomy's Chandra Wilson takes a spin in the director's chair.
For it to be Malika's special day, she lacked content during the hour. Her birthday was a backdrop for other characters' relationship drama or tension.
In that sense, it had a lot in common with Davia's birthday during Good Trouble Season 1 Episode 10, but somehow it was more noticeable than ever this time around.
There are two of Malika's Coterie relationships I find intriguing. Malika and Alice's bond is alluded to often, and we get the sense they're like sisters. They have a history, and I would love it if the series had flashbacks to when they met and when Alice took Malika in.
What were the circumstances around it? Malika's birthday speech applied to all of them, but Alice was who she mentioned first. Alice is the person she named; she is who Malika credits for starting their found family.
When they have those moments, so much is unspoken between them, and it's as though they're the only ones in the room. I love their friendship; it's one of the best of the series. Someday, the series will give us more of it.
I miss you. I don't want to pry into whatever's going on, but I would really like if you came to my party today.Malika
Malika and Dennis' friendship is another one. They don't have scenes together often, but when they do, you can tell they're close as well. It's why a perceptive Malika's comment on him being a stranger during Good Trouble Season 2 Episode 4 was a notable moment.
She has noticed his absence, and she hasn't pried into his life, but she did miss him. She knows something is up, which is why she assigned him the task of sharing a secret. He didn't oblige yet, but he will when he's ready.
I would love to know the origins of their special bond as well. Dennis showed up late, and he powered through it, but he showed up for Malika because of how much he cares about her.
The return of Malika's friends was a delight. They are always a hilarious bunch with their one-liners, but their best moment was the "Dear Black Girl" spoken word performance.
The performance itself was enjoyable; the poem was empowering, provocative, and real. However, it also felt ill-placed. God knows I love Malika and her unapologetic blackness, but when every storyline of hers has to tie into her racial identity all of the time it runs the risk of her being one-dimensional when she isn't.
Even her birthday party had to be a political statement. When your very existence is a political statement, there is no escape, which is why you have "off" moments when it isn't in the back of your mind.
I wanted to use my birthday to thank you all. When Alice brought me into the Coterie, she literally carved out a piece of her loft to give me a roof over my head. But she and all of you gave me so much more than that. You gave me my first home. My chosen family. Without you all I woudn't be graduating from college soon.Malika
For Malika, which is something Isaac has noted before, there is never an off moment. No downtime or reprieve, not even in the safety of her home on her birthday.
But that aside, Zuri Adele was a total goddess during the performance, the poem had some great quotes, and I'm here for the black girl magic.
The sisters need to find some magic, or at least Callie does. Usually, it's both of them who behave like children when they fight, but it's all freaking Callie this time.
I don't like Callie right now. I'm struggling to feel anything beyond annoyance with her character this season. WTF?!
She's not in the position to pick fights with Mariana over bills or anything else when Mariana is paying the bulk of them. She needs to stop resenting her sister or lashing out at her because of her issues with failing the bar and losing her job, and working for peanuts at the new job.
I know she's upset life didn't work out as planned, and she doesn't know what she wants, but it has crap all to do with Mariana. Callie needs to grow up.
Jamie: So why don't you?
Jamie: Move in with me?
Initially, it seemed as though she made some progress during Good Trouble Season 1, but she hasn't grown nearly as much as we may have thought. She's behaving like an immature brat.
It's usually Mariana who you expect to air out everyone's dirty laundry, but Callie was doing way too much telling all of Mariana's business to get back at her. It's as if she was deliberately trying to sabotage Mariana's relationship with Raj because of how miserable she is in hers.
Jamie deserves better. It's frustrating how no matter how wrong Callie is, other people always end up needing to bend to her will to appease her.
She has been pushing Jamie away and running cold with him. She looks for any excuse to run away from him, and he always jumps through hoops or compromises something to get back into her graces.
Callie distancing herself from Jamie had nothing to do with him being a Republican. She freaking knew he was a Republican already! She needed a reason to justify why she wanted to bail out of a relationship again because of her inability to handle them.
Their back and forth about politics was weird, and it felt more like an attempt at forcing in commentary even when it didn't fit the narrative or Jamie's character. I'm not conservative, and I'm getting tired of the shift made with the conservative characters.
It was refreshing that Wilson was fair and more open-minded than one would presume before he became an on-the-nose character. Jamie is progressive as hell and a decent guy and person. For some reason, now he has to answer for being a conservative.
Why? Callie doesn't have to answer for being a judgmental, impulsive hot mess all of the time.
Jamie explaining how the party isn't the same as the party he believes in was pointless. Didn't we already know he felt that way? He showed us through his actions.
Why did he need to burn his card to prove something to Callie? Who the hell is Callie?
It has appeased her for now until she finds another thing to nitpick about instead of telling him she doesn't want to be with him.
Callie needs to be honest with herself and with Jamie. It's not fair to either one of them if she stays in a relationship where she isn't emotionally mature enough to handle it.
She sure as hell shouldn't move in with him. Please, God, no.
Raj needs to work on his insecurity. He already felt like Mariana was out of his league, and Alex got into his head again after finding out they were together. He's also jealous of Evan's relationship with Mariana too.
If you can't believe I want to be with you, nothing I can do can ever convince you, and I'm done trying.Mariana
I wanted to reach through the screen and shake him when he freaked out about Mariana's past crush on Gael and her dream about Evan. Did he assume Evan and Gael were the same type? They seem different to me, so why was it a shock to him that Mariana could find all three of them attractive?
As someone who finds Gael, Evan, and Raj attractive, it was annoying how he made it seem as though it was an impossibility. Mariana was right to let him have it.
She can't keep trying to convince him how much she loves him. He either believes it or he doesn't. She can't help him with his insecurities.
It was disappointing how she told Raj why Evan was reaching out to her for advice (she betrayed his confidence, and she shouldn't have), but Raj knew the truth and still got in his feelings.
After finding out the truth, wouldn't you have assumed Evan's (hilarious) "DTF?" text message was him trying to figure out what the hell the acronym meant? Evan, who barely uses contractions, wouldn't send a shorthand proposition for sex to Mariana through a text message.
Use your brain, Raj!
They made up for now; I'm happy for them, but I have my doubts about their relationship and whether or not they can sustain it. They don't need Evan to sabotage it, both of them are capable of doing it to themselves.
Elijah and Joey have me on the fence. There is a difference between wanting someone to grow and wanting them to change.
Elijah is coming across as controlling, and it's frustrating how Gael is struggling to carve his place in this world and figure out who he is and what he has to offer, but every time he's in a relationship with someone, they want him to change something.
He doesn't have the space to figure things out without someone ascribing what they want to him.
Elijah didn't tell Gael about the review. But he did manage to talk Gael into cutting his hair. I want to SUE someone!
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOUR HAIR?Davia
Gael went and pulled a Felicity Porter at Elijah's behest, and Elijah wasn't deserving of such a gesture. Elijah is pushy, and it's offputting.
Maybe this is why the two of them separated the first time.
It hasn't slipped my mind that Malika assigned him a theme for his present for her, and he found a way to evade it with a sexy performance.
The more we learn about Gael, the more apparent it is how he's accustomed to molding himself around other people -- evading, distracting, and putting up a front, giving the people what they want. But what do you want, Gael? Do you even know?
Alice also had to step outside of her comfort zone again, and she put on a wicked awesome performance!
Like Elijah, Joey is also a character worthy of a side-eye. If Elijah is controlling, Joey is self-absorbed and emotionally manipulative at times.
Joey was the one to encourage Alice to step out of her shell, and that's fine. But Joey needs to understand Alice has to do things in her way at her pace, not Joey's.
Joey has ample room and space to figure out their journey as a non-binary person. Alice has been nothing but supportive, but Joey doesn't give Alice the chance to react to adjust to anything before they get offended over something.
It takes time to adjust to calling someone different pronouns; Alice started off calling Joey something different, so it's an adjustment period. Alice has every right to react to Joey's chest binder when it was something she didn't expect to see.
But Alice can't have a single reaction to anything without Joey assuming the worst or getting offended, and it forces Alice to spend more time trying not to offend Joey than feeling her feelings, and that's unfair to Alice.
At the same time, Joey never hesitates to point out something else Alice needs to work on. This time, they had an issue with Alice's confidence.
Some people are more reserved than others, and it has nothing to do with confidence and more to do with their mannerisms, and I don't think there is anything wrong with it.
Alice's self-deprecating humor and inability to feel sexy in the same way as Joey became another lesson in confidence for Alice. My girl had to stunt on them and show she could, in fact, be sexy if she wanted to after getting glammed up and giving a killer performance.
Yes, Alice was looking smoking hot, but it's understandable how she mistook Joey's appraisal as a preference for a more feminine Alice. It isn't who Alice is, so she felt as though she had to be something she wasn't to appease Joey and others.
I had sex with your mom.Dennis
Joey claimed they only wanted Alice to be more confident, but their relationship is feeling more like Joey is parenting Alice or trying to fix her.
Meanwhile, Dennis and Davia don't have to fix their relationship at all, and we're going to die from all their sexual tension.
We can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Dennis did not sleep with Davia's mom; it was a stunt the insufferable woman pulled to get him to sleep with her for real.
It was brave of Dennis to tell her the truth, but the motivation behind doing so was thrilling. He almost confessed his feelings for her.
He couldn't bear the thought of a drunken hookup with her mother interfering with their relationship (what it is now, and what it could be).
It seems Davia is the one who may have realized first that she has feelings for Dennis, but he's the one who is going to try to bring them out in the open.
Dennis: I'm not OK. I hated myself thnking that I had done that to you. That I had ruined any chance of --
Davia: Any chance of what?
Dennis: Of you ever trusting me.
Davia: Don't worry. I trust you. You're my best friend.
He subtly acknowledged he knows there is something brewing between them with the admission. He knew the words to the Falling Slowly were hitting to close to home for Davia and freaked her out when they practiced singing in his room.
He put her on the spot anyway, in front of their friends and family, and he baited her into singing the song with him at Malika's party.
She was an emotional mess when the song ended. She tried to pass it off as acting, but he knew she was lying. The downside to this is it can be a slippery slope for Dennis putting his all into Davia.
However, it is giving him something. Davia is trying to maintain they're best friends, but I don't think Dennis is going to let her lie to herself for too long.
They may be best friends, but there is more to it than that. What do you think Dennis' project is in his room? He's working on something to cover up the drywall.
I swear to goodness, if he's arranging a picture of Davia or the two of them behind his bed, I will lose it, but if it's a collage or photo mural of his son or something, I will be a heap on the floor.
Anyway, we can always count on Pence and Hunton to be the ultimate show-stealers. I eagerly await their scenes during each installment.
Also, their singing voices and duets are beautiful, and they need to get those duets on Spotify or something, pronto!
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics. Am I being too hard on Callie again? What are your thoughts about Elijah/Gael and Alice/Joey? Are you wrapped up in the Denvia magic too?
Hit the comments below!
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.