Good Trouble is back with a healthy dose of angst, and there was no shortage of it for almost every character involved.
And while a couple of relationships are moving forward on Good Trouble Season 3 Episode 11, most of them are at an impasse at best.
Are we ready for another round of Callie and Gael with the bonus of Isabella?
Callie told Gael that she's okay with complicated, and well, she isn't wrong. Not only can Callie handle it, but with every one of her relationships, she practically lives for it.
It's still a bit fuzzy as to what sparked Callie's latest round of running to Gael. They barely eased their way back into a friendship before getting thrust, pardon their signature imagery invoked, together.
Gael confessed his feelings for her, and she hopped aboard the Gael train again. Their chemistry is undeniable, and their physical connection is always on point. But it's ridiculous that we're repeating this storyline for the umpteenth time this soon.
That said, what Gael and Callie have going for them this time is that maybe it'll be more serious than the two of them having sex and nothing else.
Gael is in an adult situation and has to step up in a more significant way with Isabella -- maybe it means his and Callie's relationship will have real challenges and not feel so hollow.
Gael facing fatherhood is an unexpected scenario unique from the child's play love triangle matters from before.
Gael: Hey, I'm sorry. I know you said you don't mind complicated but ...
Callie: I don't. For the right person.
We'll have to see what Callie and Gael's relationship even looks like through the lens of something more concrete and substantial than lust and attraction.
Basically, as unenthusiastic as one can feel over yet another round of Callie and Gael not that long after her breakup with Jamie, we can cling to the notion that maybe this time it will be different, with development and more layers and depth.
Callie is drawn to complications like a moth to a flame, and it doesn't get any more complex than Gael possibly having a child with a homeless, unemployed one-night stand whom half the Coterie still hates.
Gael is a good guy, and he better than anyone understands the stress and hurt that comes with a person essentially getting disowned from their family.
Regardless of mixed feelings about Isabella, he's making the right choice here. Isabella needs a place to stay and time to find her footing. But more than anything, she needs friendship and support. She's in a terrifying position right now.
She can't keep staying at an unaffordable motel, and it's honorable that Gael signs on as her emergency contact when she's all alone. I'm assuming that she doesn't have any other friends, and that's disheartening.
They handled the paternity issue well here, too.
It is common for the pregnant person to get offended when the other questions paternity. But it's a reasonable question when two people weren't exclusive or anything of that nature.
Isabella: I know you're the father, but I think that it's important that you do too. And don't worry, I'll cover the cost of the test.
Gael: Thank you, Isabella. Can we at least split the cost?
Isabella: I would normally say no, but my parents just caught me off, so if you can swing it.
Isabella says that she knows Gael is the father, but she wanted the test done so that he can be sure of it, too. It saved Gael the awkwardness of bringing up this request he wanted without feeling as if he were offending her. I love that they normalized this.
And it's fair that they split the cost for it, too. I had no idea those were that expensive, my goodness!
So far, despite Isabella coming in like a hurricane with this baby bomb, she and Gael are handling it as well as two people wholly unprepared for a child can.
If the baby is Gael's, then they're at least on a path toward a healthy co-parenting relationship.
Things will get complicated with Isabella staying at the Coterie. She still seems upset about her parents cutting her off and turning her away after she refused the abortion, and it doesn't get any easier from here.
Do you think it's something that she will reconsider? For now, she has comfort in knowing that Gael is a good guy who, without a second of hesitation, insists on doing right by their baby.
He doesn't even know if it's his yet, but even if that's not the case, something tells me, he'll look out for her and allow her to stay at his place anyway.
But Gael is overwhelmed. He had this fear of losing Callie again with these new developments, and it seems a relief to him that she insists she's sticking by him.
But he's also influx with his career. If he has a family to support, then he'll want to start seeking something more stable that pays. I'm sure he'll probably end up wondering what that means for his dreams and plans. Hell, what it means for his relationship with his family, too.
And as he expressed to Dennis, he's terrified by the unknown. Dennis and Gael's friendship remains one of the highlights of the season, and there was no better person for Gael to confide in about all of this.
Pregnancy plots are such an acquired taste, but there's room for this one to be interesting. It could potentially work with Gael especially. Gael is a character who the series struggles to find something to do with outside of romantic interest.
He shines best when he's in a familial storyline, and this is a variation of that. Let us convince ourselves that this more mature turn for Gael's arc can be something of interest rather than just a convoluted complication for Gael and Callie's relationship angst.
Gael: I just can't let her do this alone.
Callie: I didn't realize you two ...
Gael: We hooked up once, the night before she left. It wasn't anything serious, but ...
Callie:I get it. You want to do the right thing. I love that about you. And I'm here if you need a friend or a babysitter.
She already has her hands full with Kathleen and the case. It's not a surprise that Katheleen's legal troubles are about her trying to save someone.
As Albert Chen's attorney, her hands were tied with some things, but because of Albert's reach, she had to do whatever she could to protect the wife, even if it meant facing some legal consequences.
The FBI suspects the truth. But the reason they're putting pressure on Kathleen is because of the other witness they have who can verify that Albert planned to kill his wife isn't a reliable one.
It's all a game, in a sense. And Katheleen is confident about how it will play out. She's relying on Callie because of how much she trusts her and the control she can have with Callie representing her.
But it does make things awkward with the other guys. Regardless of what Katheleen said, no one believes that she isn't playing favorites here.
But the problem with representing Kathleen is how often she blindsides Callie with things. She left out valuable information at least twice, and there's probably more she's omitting! Who could've prepared for the revelation that their current client on trial for murder is Albert Chen's nephew?
The relationship angst-train continued with Mariana's situation with the Byte Club and Evan.
The girls didn't handle the news well that Mariana was dating Evan, and they were intent on suing him and Speckulate anyway. Mariana spent most of the hour serving as a mediator between the two, negotiating on behalf of the Byte Club.
Interestingly, Mariana and the girls aren't wrong about Evan and how he makes changes when he has no other choice. But it's also a bit more complicated than that.
Most of the time, he wasn't aware of the issues happening at his company. Evan made changes when he was made aware that situations required them, and those two things aren't mutually exclusive. Evan has a hell of a lot of work to do, no doubt, but he's also not a lost cause.
And that certainly doesn't change that the girls were harassed and discriminated against at Speckulate and deserved compensation for that. They had a reasonable and winnable suit on their hands.
It was quintessential Evan to consider a solution that benefited both he and the company and the girls. His logical business acumen, while in conflict with things, never translates to a lack of care.
Mariana: How can they trust you when the truth is you only do the right thing when you're forced to?
Evan: Do you feel that way too?
Mariana: Yeah. They're right.
Evan: OK. I'll settle with them. I'll tell the board immediately.
It made sense that he thought investing in the startup was the way to go. You knew he wasn't malicious or ill-intended with the suggestion.
But Mariana, as a woman of color, has often felt frustrated with how aloof or dismissive Evan is to issues regarding inequality and discrepancies. He doesn't see how something he considers "just business" has far-reaching and more personal and systemic implications and effects for other subgroups.
When Mariana makes him aware of things, he does get on it and tries to figure things out. And yet, as devastating as it was to witness the breakup, Mariana made perfect sense when she said that even though she makes him a better person, she can't say the same for him.
He doesn't make her a bad person, and she should take accountability for her actions, but loving Evan has cost her a lot, too, it's made her compromise pieces of herself, too, and there's no getting around that either.
The sad thing is she did all of this fighting for the Byte Club, and she had no idea that they would kick her out of the startup and their lives. Mariana lost her friends, her startup plans, and Evan.
What does she do now?
How did Mariana go from inspiring the Byte Club and leading the charge and saving them to getting removed from the group?
The Byte Club has every right to be angry. However, no way in hell would I have left without a fight if I were in Mariana's place. Damn all of that.
Mariana: So, now that we got the funding for Bulk Beauty, what's our next step?
Rachel: As far as we're concerned, our next steps don't include you.
Speaking of fights, thank goodness Dennis and Davia didn't go in the direction that it first appeared.
Most of us want Davia and Dennis together. The allure of this pairing is unlike anything else on the series. And it would be a lie to suggest the second Dennis waltzed back into the door, saying all of those perfect things, the notion of them falling into each other's arms again wasn't appealing.
However, Dennis has a lot of shit that he needs to work out, and Davia deserved to move on. At the very least, she deserves someone who can prove that he's capable of fighting for her and pouring into her and their relationship as much as she does.
Dennis needed Davia's love and support, so it's not to suggest that he was deliberately selfish or even self-absorbed in their relationship. However, that doesn't change the fact that it has been a one-sided relationship.
Davia has given her all to their dynamic. She's been the person who holds Dennis up, carries him when he needs it, and so much more. She's met all of Dennis' emotional needs, but she's not getting that in return right now and hasn't been.
It's imbalanced and not fair to her at all. Davia has been the one pining, and giving, and pouring, and lifting. And for these two to have anything resembling a fighting chance, then Dennis has to do the same and meet her halfway in that regard.
He could start by emphasizing that he loves her more than he "needs" her. A primary concern about this relationship in the first place was Dennis using Davia as a crutch and becoming too dependent on her in unhealthy ways.
He needed to figure out how to add Davia to his life rather than her becoming his life or the only reason to keep fighting to live.
It was genuinely frustrating when Dennis said how much he wanted her, apologized, and she spoke about calling things off with Matt.
It was another case of her and Dennis not fully communicating. It was too easy until Dennis slipped and let her know that he was aware of who Matt was because of Gael.
And fortunately, Davia saw it for what it was. As far as she knows, Dennis only came back when he found out that she was moving on, and there was a prospect of him losing her.
He loves Davia -- there's no denying that, but she's also been his security blanket. Unwittingly, Dennis has taken for granted that she'll sit on the shelf and wait for him to get it together -- wait for him to be ready.
I'm proud of Davia for setting some boundaries and not running into Dennis' arms because she loves him so much. It doesn't matter how much we love him; Dennis needs to prove himself, earn her love and trust, and show that he's ready for this.
And he needs to figure out how to do it on his own. It's not up to Davia to tell him how to prove it to her.
Davia called things off with Matt, and she explained it well enough where he understood with no hard feelings. Fortunately, the two of them can still be friends.
It would've sucked if their dynamic was ruined altogether. Matt's a good guy, so he deserves more than to be someone's rebound. But he likes Davia, so it's nice that he values her enough to stay her friend even if they can't be together.
Davia: You are not acting, Dennis. You are just reacting! I can't trust that you fully know what you're capable of, so if you really are back, and you are really ready to stop running from your grief, or from me, or from being happy and whole again, then you are going to have to prove it.
Davia: I don't know. But I'm not committing to waiting until you figure it out.
- Alice and Malika hanging out together, eating edibles and drinking, had some funny moments.
- Good for Alice! Words cannot describe how proud I am of her for finding her voice and sticking up for herself and others. It's the one consistent thing that Alice needed to work on -- becomng more assertive. And she's done it with success!
- Not only did she take a stand with the program, but she asserted herself with Ruby, too. Everything she said to Ruby at that moment was right, and everything Alice wants is nothing less than what she deserves.
- Alice is back in the program, and she's the cause of some important changes. Margaret Cho's assist was a step forward. This show's seamless ahead of the curve exploration of discrimination, particuarly AAPI issues, never ceases to impress.
Isaac: Look, I called you to tell you that I'm leaving the country for six months. I got a contract in London, and I was debating whether or not to take it before, but I just think it's what's best for now. Just, I think we need some time and space apart to process things.
Malika: To process what? I'm telling you I want to be with you just us like it was..
Isaac: But it's never going to be like it was, Malika. It's just not.
- I cannot believe Isaac is relocating to London for six months! He's having a hard time, and you can't begrudge him that, but he's running away from Malika right now. I never envisioned him as someone who hauled ass when it got hard.
- On the flip side, how did Malika think she could drop this news on Isaac, and he wouldn't believe that everything about their relationship has changed?
- Malika and Isaac were one of the most stable couples, and it hurts that they're dealing with this!
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics. Which "breakup" hurt you the most? Are you ready for another round of Gael and Callie? Hit the comments below.
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.
And stay-tuned for a TV Fanatic exclusive interview with showrunner, Joanna Johnson, about the upcoming season.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.