Greenleaf Recap: Season 5, Episode 1: “The First Day”

When we left off in season four, H&H was just about to take over Calvary and turn it into a parking lot or something. Charity’s boo Phil had decided to leave her in favor of Judee, Bob from H&H’s daughter; Kerissa had chlamydia; Grace was trying to protect AJ from getting caught for a crime that he DID commit; Bishop and Lady Mae were on the fritz; and Sophia and Zora were beefing because Sophia had started acting funny after dating Dante, the basketball player. I think those were the highlights…

Greenleaf is BACK, y’all! Unfortunately, this is the final season for the soap-opera-ish mega-church drama and it will be missed! The season opener did NOT disappoint! Let’s dive right in.

Anyhoo, season five starts off with Grace and Bishop standing in the parking lot watching H&H move items out of Calvary. Bishop, whom I love, drops knowledge on Grace telling her that sometimes it’s best to be present when something passes away or else you may be stuck holding onto it. But when Bishop sees the movers throwing around the sacred cross, he couldn’t take it anymore, so he and Grace head home.

Back at the ranch, Lady Mae is in crisis and fasting on hot lemon water, trying to purge her problems. The usually put-together queen is looking a raggedy mess, hunty (but her “mess” is better than some folks’ best days, though… she is still gorgeous!). When Bishop and Grace return to the house, Aaron is there, wanting to share some important information with Grace. Now, you may recall that Aaron is Grace’s half-brother, as he’s the son of Lionel Jeffries, who was Lady Mae’s side piece and who, as we’ve learned, is Grace’s biological daddy. 

Aaron reports that it turns out that the cops believe that some other man is responsible for the crime that AJ has committed and that same suspect was conveniently murdered in a recent shoot-out, so the cops now consider the case to be closed. Aaron shares a photo of the wrongly-accused man and, lo and behold, it’s the AJ lookalike in the hoodie that Grace encountered at her dearly departed sister Faith’s grave at the end of season four. The writers left us puzzled about who the AJ lookalike really was and never explained how he happened to “wander” onto the Greenleaf property. Was he a ghost or an angel? Was he there to do harm to the Greenleaf family? We knew his presence was significant but we had no idea why. And now, we see that he’s been wrongly accused of a crime that AJ freely admits he committed. But now he’s dead.

When Grace hears this info, she is basically like: “Cool!” She urges AJ to just go with it and let this other mystery man be the fall guy, so AJ can get off Scot-free. Grace even suggests that she, AJ, and Sophia go out to dinner to “celebrate” this lucky turn of events. Um… okay, PASTOR. What kind of morals are these? You’re telling your kid to lie, let someone else take the blame, and then CELEBRATE his good fortune at someone else’s expense?! Yeah, okay. I think it’s fair to say the Lord would not be pleased, lol. Anyway, it’s clear to everyone except Grace that AJ isn’t comfortable with this plan to move forward… as usual she’s clueless and doesn’t read the room very well. But it also is nagging at her that this same guy who showed up on their private gated property turns out to be the guy the cops like for this crime AND he happens to now be dead. Something is up with this and I guess we’ll discover what it is in a future episode.

Whew chile, I’m not feeling Kerissa this season. I get that Jacob hurt her with his philandering but she is just going too far now. In this episode, Kerissa tells Jacob that she has evidence that Bishop and Lady Mae conspired to kill the previous owner of the family compound. Seems to me like the Greenleaf shadiness runs in the family ‘cause check this out: First, they killed Basie’s daddy to get their church, then they killed the previous owner of the house so they could take that over… now Grace with this AJ shadiness of letting some other man be the fall guy. This family needs to be ashamed of themselves. Anyhoo, Kerissa presents a will from the previous owner that she got from her Latin lover, Fernando. Jacob killed me when he said about Fernando: “Oh he’s passing out wills and chlamydia?!” LMFAO!! But where is the lie? LOL.

Kerissa tells Jacob that he will either take care of her in the divorce like no other woman in Tennessee has ever been taken care of, or she will go public with her evidence. First of all, ma’am… you and your STD can get up out of his face, lol. Like, seriously… who are YOU to be threatening anyone given the dirt you’ve done?! Jacob isn’t here for it, though. He’s really over Kerissa and it shows by the way he just rolled out on her in the middle of her threats and temper tantrum. She looked disappointed in the way he responded… oh well, lol. Kerissa, girl, I was rooting for you! But you are just doing entirely too much now, lol.

Poor Charity is having the worst day ever. She has to go in front of the deacon board and pretend to be cool with Phil for the sake of the church even though he has dragged her and her family through the mud. Their conversation before they walked into the meeting had me dying. When she called Judee his “Great white ho”, I cackled! LOL! And then after the horrible meeting was over, her buddy Carlton tells her that he’s quitting as the choir director because he simply cannot be bothered to sing H&H’s white-washed Pinkberry church hymns. That is NOT what the Lordt has called him to do, so he’s out! Later, Charity drops by Phil’s apartment to return her engagement ring and finds Phil in a funk because he literally had just been staring longingly at the photo of Charity he keeps on the fridge door. He admitted to Charity that he is only marrying Judee because Bob won’t promote him to pastor if he doesn’t. He explained that he’s worked for this promotion for 20 years and he doesn’t know how to let the idea of it go. Charity replies, “Oh, but you know how to let ME go?” Damn… rejected AGAIN by another man. Poor Charity. That’s all I can say when I look at her. BUT… her wet and wavy bob is giving me LIFE this episode and her waist is looking snatched! So, she’s winning, lol.

Sophia and Dante are still in looove. *gag* When Dante called Sophia while she was out on a run, she told him that Nikki is still staying at Zora’s cute lil single girl cottage and it makes her feel uncomfortable, so she’s been avoiding the both of them. She tells Dante to “fix it” and they make arrangements to meet for a date later. When it’s time for their date, Sophia rolls up to Dante’s house (and what the hell is she wearing in this scene, y’all?! That outfit was craziness, lol) only to find that Nikki is there. When Sophia asks Dante why Nikki is there he’s basically like “Well, you told me to fix it.” Boy bye! Sophia asks him if he and Nikki are planning to get back together and he hesitated to answer WAY too long for my taste. Girl, if he has to think about it that hard, the answer is yes they are getting back together and you need to move on. I didn’t like them together anyway, so I hope that chapter is closed (I know it won’t be!). Sophia is always ALWAYS annoying, but she’s been insufferable since she started dating Dante, so good riddance to that storyline.

Because Grace knows she’s wrong for trying to blame this crime on the AJ lookalike, she seeks out Darius (Rick “the Silver Fox” Fox) for help in trying to figure out who the mystery man is. Darius agrees to help, but he also makes it clear that he is still carrying a flame for Grace, although I don’t know why because she’s annoying! But I guess men like annoying women sometimes, lol. Darius later calls to tell Grace to come back to his place so they can discuss some information he’s found out about Bob and H&H. And when he spills the beans, I was so disappointed, lol. So basically, Bob and H&H are so intent on taking over Calvary because Bob has intentions to run for Senate as a Republican in Tennessee and thinks it would be a smart political move to have a multicultural church in his back pocket when he launches his campaign. I mean… that’s it? Idk, that was anticlimactic to me. We’ve been waiting all this time to find out his motivations for being a shady douche and this is it? Womp womp. Idc about this storyline AT ALL, but I will of course be sticking around to see how it pans out. 

While Grace is with Darius, she gets a call to return home immediately and that’s because over at Greenleaf Manor (Idk if that’s what their home is called, but let’s pretend it is), Bishop has decided it’s time to pop the question to Lady Mae! These two old folks decide that they need to get married right nah! Bishop wants to start a new church with Lady Mae next to him because he concedes that she’s able to do things he’s no longer able to do. As we know, Bishop has some health issues, so Lady Mae is the stronger of the two right now and probably will be going forward (and maybe she always has been!). The first step toward realizing this dream of a new church is for them to rejoin as husband and wife. As she fasted on her lemon water, Lady Mae had prayed to God for a sign… and, baby, this is it! In this scene, I thought it was interesting that the Bishop admitted that he felt some type of way about how powerful Lady Mae had become after he saw the success of her event “A Day with Lady Mae” and that this jealousy led to the demise of their marriage. It was big of him to admit that — so many men can’t fess up to being jealous of their partners. Anyhoo, I’d have liked to see that fleshed out a bit more, but I’m happy they even chose to include that tidbit. 

So once the Bishop and the Lady decide they’re going to get married, they call the whole family and tell them to come home so they can go to the courthouse and have a wedding. Everyone converges on the house, including Charity, who seems genuinely surprised that her parents want her to come along. They were looking at her like, girl, you may be a traitor, but you still family so get yo ass in this car! I thought it was funny that even though Jacob and Kerissa were dressed alike in their blue outfits, they are definitely NOT giving “couple” vibes. Jacob didn’t even ride in the car with Kerissa to the courthouse. Also, Grace is ready to roll to the wedding wearing jeans, while everyone else is dressed to the 9s… Idk why I thought that was funny, lol. Grace began to wonder where AJ might be since he wasn’t downstairs with the family. Sophia says AJ is not in his room,  but Grace decides to go back into the house and look for him anyway. And he’s NOT in his room, but the bathroom door is locked, so she suspected he might be in there. Grace calls out for him and when he doesn’t reply, she broke down the door to find AJ on the floor in a puddle of blood because he’s slit his wrists. Now I knew he was in his feelings about various things including Grace telling him to allow someone else to take the blame for a crime he admits he committed. But I didn’t know it was THAT bad. On a completely unrelated and unimportant note, it is distracting to me that AJ doesn’t look even a little bit like Grace or Sophia. Like he doesn’t remotely look like ANYONE in that family and it makes it hard for me to accept him as a Greenleaf. I feel like it’s bad casting and it makes it difficult for me to connect with his character. But I didn’t want him to DIE. Poor child. I hope he makes it, but it didn’t look good for him…

Alright y’all… what did I miss? What did YOU think? Let’s talk about it.

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