Yall. Whyyyyy do y’all keep trying to make Lala an actress? Just when I was rejoicing about not having to see her horrible acting in Power every week, here she comes on The Chi. She changed networks and shows, but she’s still on my tv… whyyyy?? If you know me, you know how much she grinds my gears! But anyhoo… on to the recap, lol.
Okay, so in episode one, a lot happened. After we find out that Brandon is now dead due to Jason Mitchell being written off the show, Emmett, who was somewhat of a protege to Brandon has decided to take over Brandon’s food truck and catering business. But Emmett was apparently not paying attention when he was in the kitchen with Brandon because his food is inedible. Nobody is comfortable with paying someone for food they can cook better at home. Emmett is still getting gigs, though, and in this episode one of his baby mamas hired him to cater her cousin’s baby shower. She’s heard about Emmett’s botched catering job at Nina and Dre’s wedding, so she’s eyeing him suspiciously as he says he’s preparing the food. He asks her to leave the kitchen as he anticipates the arrival of his “assistants” but in reality he’s receiving take out deliveries from various restaurants in the area. As guests are eating his food, they begin to recognize the ribs from “Lem’s” and the mac and cheese from some other local restaurant, etc. Emmett’s baby moms is not pleased – “I could’ve ordered takeout myself!” she complains, but she pays him anyway. Nevertheless, Emmett realizes that this plan won’t work forever and he’ll need to come up with a better plan for keeping the business afloat.
Emmett’s mom, Jada, goes speed dating, and while she looks absolutely gorgeous, she does an incredibly poor job of connecting with the men she encounters. First, she tells them she’s a grandma (c’mon, sis… that’s not sexy). Then she asks one Asian American guy what country he’s from… he’s like “um… actually I’m from down the street” and I cringed. I mean, how offensive can you be? LOL. It’s obvious that sis is rusty in this dating game and she says herself she hasn’t been on a date in years. (I guess her date with Emmett’s dad to Nina and Dre’s wedding didn’t count, ha!) Dejected, Jada heads to Emmett’s apartment to get advice from Tiffany, the baby mama that Emmett lives with (he has 3 BMs *smh*). Jada brings Tiffany a plate of food from some woman she knows, who’s selling plates out of her house, which they share while Jada recounts her horrible speed dating experience. Tiffany told Jada that she needed to loosen up and she thinks the best way to do that is to get her back blown out. So Tiff reaches in her purse and hands Jada the card of a masseuse that should be able to get the job done. When Emmett gets home, he tastes the food that Jada brought and gets an idea about how to salvage his catering business.
While Emmett was catering a baby shower, Nina and Dre discovered that Keisha is missing and they decide to go to her school to look for her. They meet with the principal who, to their surprise, tells them that Keisha has been missing a lot of school lately. When they ask why this is the first they’re hearing about Keisha’s absences, the principal is just like “I mean we have a lot of kids here, my bad.” She kind of shrugs it off. Kevin decides to also go to the school to meet up with Keisha’s friend Malaysia so he can get more information about Keisha’s new boyfriend. Malaysia tells him, with a whoooole lot of ghetto girl realness, that Keisha’s boo is an older guy named Nuck who runs with a gang. Now, the thing that struck me the most about this whole scene (besides Malaysia’s stank ass attitude) was the fact that the scenes were alternating between Kevin at the school and Emmett at the baby shower. Who hosts a baby shower in the middle of a weekday? So I’m guessing the timing was off and these scenes were actually occurring on two different days or at different times? If so, then why did the writers mix the scenes, making it seem like they were happening concurrently? Bad writing? These kinds of matrix glitches are not my favorite, but I’m willing to ignore it for the sake of the show, lol.
Emmett eventually goes to find the woman who cooked the food that Jada brought to the house. When the woman opens the door, guess who it is? Yep, you guessed it, it’s Lala-Freaking-Anthony! Wait… is she still Lala Anthony even though she and Melo are splits? Idk. Idc. I’m just mad that she’s here. Anyway, Emmett is at Dom’s (played by Lala) door and to make Emmett prove who he is, Dom asks him to drop his pants and show his “third leg”, which is one of my favorite euphemisms for a well-endowed man, lol. Emmett complies (of course he does!) and I guess he really IS packing because once she sees what he’s working with, she lets him inside. As they walk through her home, Emmett is surprised to find that Dom has a whole dine-in ‘hood bistro right in her living room. He goes into the kitchen with her and she prepares to make magic with lots of fresh colorful and vibrant produce and some very meaty oxtails. Emmett is hooked on her food…. And possibly more, ha!
Later in the episode, Emmett gets Dom to meet him at Sonny’s and convinces her to go into business with him by creating an after-hours spot using Sonny’s professional kitchen. This sounds like a bad idea to me… will Sonny let Emmett use the space legitimately or is he sneaking to do this? How will Emmett keep Sonny from finding out what’s happening there after-hours? And it’s also clear that he’s attracted to Dom (of course he is!) and we know Emmett isn’t smart about women, so this cannot be leading to anything good. Plus, Tiffany is ridiculously jealous and I cannot imagine that she would be okay with him going into business with someone like Dom or really any woman besides Jada (his mama) periodt!
Kevin is so conflicted about how to handle Keisha’s disappearance. He throws us back to a memory of Keisha being pissed at him because he got her in trouble and their history is now making him reluctant to tell their moms the full story about the events leading up to what we can only presume was her kidnapping. Nina decides to contact the police about Keisha and when the police officer finds out that Keisha was previously dating an older man, she basically brushes off the seriousness of the situation. It’s only after they receive the brush off from the cops that Nina and Dre decide to check Keisha’s laptop to try to find her cell phone. I’m not sure why that wasn’t the first step they took. In 2020 it should not be hard to find anyone with the technology we’ve got at our fingertips. Dre traces the phone to the area of the city where Mr. Ronnie lives among other people experiencing homelessness. Though Mr. Ronnie is an outcast in The Chi, he has found a home where he is respected and cared for within the community of displaced people. Dre goes to the underpass where Ronnie is living, looking for Keisha’s phone, and Mr. Ronnie helps her locate it. Unfortunately, it’s smashed beyond all recognition. Dre tells Ronnie “If I find out you had something to do with this, I will come back and kill you myself.” I really hope Mr. Ronnie is not involved in this. That would be all bad. ALL. BAD.
Jada calls the masseuse and she gets a happy ending… and more! I mean, they get it in! After they finish up, the young man runs into Emmett outside the building and as they chop it up, they realize that he’s just finished banging Emmett’s mom and Suede (the masseuse) takes off running, lol. When Emmett gets inside, he has the nerve to lecture Jada on not sleeping with his friends. I mean, that’s a reasonable request to make of your mom and all, but damn. He’s not exactly the most sexually responsible himself, so he’s not the best person to be delivering that message, lol.
We also see Trig, who’s played by Luke James, get into a sticky situation this episode. In the first episode, Trig shared some tender moments with his girlfriend Imani. Though it is not explicitly mentioned in the first episode, Imani is transgender. Her identity as a trans woman is confirmed in episode two, however. In this episode, Imani has taken Trig to a nightclub and while he is sitting alone at the bar, a man propositions him. Trig is obviously offended, and seems confused a man would approach him because he does not identify as gay. The man who hits on him is really confused like “Sir, do you now know you’re in a gay bar?” Trig becomes explosively angry and assaults the man and Imani rushes in to break it up. She makes Trig apologize to the man (but not before asking the gentleman his preferred pronouns… and as a champion of diversity & inclusion, I absolutely loved that moment!). Imani could not be more disappointed in Trig for his actions and when they get outside Trig demands to know why she would bring him to a gay bar. She tells him that sometimes she just wants to be around “her people” and he says that, to him, when he looks at her all he sees is a woman, so he doesn’t consider himself gay. She says to him in response “It doesn’t work like that. You can’t hate him and love me.” Right! To quote one of my favorite commercials, that’s not how this works, Trig… that’s not how any of this works! This is complicated. People are allowed to identify any way they see fit for themselves, but it’s hard to overcome a complete rejection of the community where your partner feels they belong. We’ll have to see how this impacts their relationship in the long run.
Earlier in the episode, Imani gives Trig a haircut in their home and she asks him to tell her what happened to his brother. He tells a long story about how his family deteriorated and how basically Jake, his younger brother that his mother sold off, doesn’t really know him. Imani encourages him to go see Jake and to let him know that he wants to be back in his life. Jake, who’s been living at Douda’s house (who’s really mean to him, but Jake seems to respect him and like living there), says he’s not trying to change his current situation, but he would be okay if Trig continued to build a relationship with him. Obviously Trig is invested in bringing Jake back home (even though he didn’t ask to come back home!), and it’ll be interesting to see the tension between Trig and Douda come to a head over Jake.
Speaking of Jake, Kevin decides to gather up Jake and Papa and go confront Keisha’s gang banger boyfriend to see if he knows anything about her disappearance. When Nuck answers the door, he’s quite um… mature… and built… and he seems mean. He claims that Keisha’s not with him, and when Kevin continues to ask questions about Keisha’s whereabouts, Nuck pulls out a gun on him. Kevin didn’t even flinch. He is determined that he isn’t leaving until he has his sister, and he tells Nuck as much. Gotta respect the kid. Not too many people can remain calm with a pistol in their face!
I hope Kevin or Mr. Ronnie finds Keisha. I hope Keisha’s alive. I hope that Jada finds love and I hope that Emmett does NOT smash Lala. What do you think will happen?