Good Trouble Season 4 Episode 9 Review: That’s Me In The Spotlight
Good Trouble closes out the first half of its season with a relatively understated spring finale.
Some of the biggest developments we’ll ponder by the close of Good Trouble Season 4 Episode 9 are the Jenna sighting, a tease of Denvia that puts the ‘ship back on our radar, and Isabella going all Carrie Underwood on her parents’ car.
And as far as love lives go, well, as customary for this series, “it’s complicated.
Malika cut 100-something pounds of “dead weight” by finally breaking things off with Dyonte, and it’s one of the smartest moves she made in some time.
The issue with Dyonte is that it feels as if he overstayed his welcome. We essentially lost a beloved character like Isaac because of him, making it increasingly harder to enjoy Dyonte.
He served as a vessel for Malika to realize that she’s polyamorous, and that’s good for her, but otherwise, it was time for her to move on.
The two of them haven’t felt connected in some time. It felt like they were headed down different paths. Dyonte had an idea of how he wanted things to be, and it always felt as if he preferred their relationship to operate on his terms and with him in control of things.
It was also increasingly difficult to ignore how unsupportive and judgmental he was about Malika’s job pursuits and ambitions or his jealousy over Angelica.
And Malika truly hit the nail on the head when she pointed out that Dyonte relies heavily on the women in his life to take care of him, providing an array of financial or emotional support when he doesn’t exactly deliver the same.
Dyonte: Maybe this isn’t going to work.
Malka: Maybe you lean too heavily on the women in your life. Tanya supported you when you were an intern. I wrote your grant, and five minutes after you and Tanya broke up, you asked me to be your primary.
Dyonte: If that’s how you feel.
Malika: How I feel is unsupported by you, especially when your solution to all of this is to break up. Dyonte: Maybe I do rely too much on women. Maybe I need to be alone for a while to figure my shit out. Malika: Yeah. Maybe that’s what you need to do.
If Dyonte were an interesting enough character, his journey of digging into why that could be somewhat compelling and serve as some great self-reflection and character development. But sadly, he isn’t that intriguing of a character, so if he does that type of internal work offscreen, so be it.
You knew their relationship would come to a head when Malika brought up that she turned down the DPN job, and that’s the real reason he got it, and she said all that without a care in the world about how he’d react.
It’s a mark of growth for Malika that she’s comfortable in herself and confident enough at this stage to not care about what Dyonte thinks when historically, she always seemed eager to please.
To be fair, Dyonte had every right to be upset that Malika canceled on him again, and it’s been evident that she prioritizes Angelica over him. Malika’s immersion in her political job when it’s a toxic chess game with Lucia does have its concerns.
Kicking Dyonte to the curb is only one check off the things Malika has to address. She’s learning how to play the political game, and she’s decent at it. However, there’s always the sense that everything will come crashing down on her.
And she’s hanging onto this position by a thread. Lucia is such a drag. It’s absurd that she even has time to play these games with Malika because of her jealousy over Angelica and Malika’s relationship.
At some point, Angelica is bound to get fed up. Thus far, so much of Malika and Angelica’s relationship consists of discussing Lucia and Malika’s position with her.
Lucia remains this obstacle in their relationship that they have to address once and for all if they hope to sustain and build on what they have.
And with Dyonte out of the picture, there’s also a question of whether or not Malika will find someone else in the near future. Malika is content with Angelica now, and things seem to be going well for them.
However, there’s still a sense that Angelica struggles with Malika’s polyamory, too. She sure as heck wasn’t the biggest fan of Dyonte. It seems like more issues could arise if Malika meets someone new — ones that they have not unpacked yet.
The timeliness of Alice’s storyline isn’t lost, both as an Asian-American woman in this present time and a comedian who got assaulted.
Fear consumed her, and it was awful to see her that way. She didn’t want to leave the house, but that fear was eclipsed by her fear of being alone and feeling unsafe when that happened.
Fortunately, Sumi was there to guide her through all the stages of this horrific experience and encourage her to get back up there on that stage and embrace what she loved.
She couldn’t let some jerk steal her joy, voice, or comedy. She loves it too much, which would mean he took more from her, giving him a power he didn’t deserve.
Her awe over Davia’s ability to push past her fears and take to the stage during her burlesque show was that final push that Alice needed. And it was a beautiful moment when she hopped on stage, forgoing her jokes for the honest truth of what happened that night.
I realized my fear is most crippling when I don’t face it.
The video of her giving that heckler hell on stage already went viral, and people loved her. She could also lean into some of that support by sharing the aftermath. In that way, she could make the stage her safe space again.
Davia did the same on that stage, and her burlesque performance was phenomenal. They treated us to an entire show, and it was beyond impressive and so much fun.
Hunton getting the opportunity to combine so many of her talents into this role continues to be a highlight.
She struggled with many nerves as she fretted over what it meant when she got up on that stage in front of people she knew and cared about. More than anything, she was worried about what Dennis would think.
They’ve had this relationship built on love, trust, intimacy, and support. But she wasn’t wrong when she mentioned that there was never conscious sexiness thrown into the mix.
Davia: So what did you really think?
Dennis: I really think that was the most goddamn Davia Moss thing you could’ve done.
It’s a side of her that she’s struggled with the most showing off, and it’s one that Dennis never experienced, even when they slept together.
Thankfully, Luca was there to get Davia out of her head and remind her that she did all of this for herself and no one else.
Dennis looking at Davia with obvious attraction and new eyes was only a happy bonus to this arc solely about her coming into her own as a confident woman.
Seriously, Dennis looked like he was ready to eat her up with a spoon, to put it delicately, and when he walked her to her room, skimming her pinky with his, the temperature ratcheted up a few notches.
They looked like they were about to jump each other’s bones right then and there. And thus, we now have a more primal sexiness added into their situationship, and clearly, we’re back on that good Denvia shit.
Luca is an angel for this.
His and Davia’s friendship is one of the highlights of the season. It was so unexpectedly profound and layered despite the short time they’ve known each other.
My heart aches for this kid, and Booboo Stewart brings such vulnerability, softness, and sweetness to this role. Luca is such a pure soul, and you instantly become attached to and love him.
Davia: Please, don’t leave town.
Luca: I think I have to.
We need Luca to stay, and he sure as heck should live at the Coterie. He’s too talented of a dancer, for starters. Aside from Davia, he stole the burlesque performance. I could watch him dancing for hours!
His experiences on the street are terrifying. It was physically painful to watch that man beat him up. No person should have to endure the type of ugliness and hatefulness that the homeless do.
He’s insistent on relocating, though, and he even paid Davia back with the money out of that asshole’s wallet because he doesn’t like to owe anyone.
But it’s unlikely things will get any better for him if he migrates and has to adjust to a new city and street culture. I genuinely hope he takes Davia on her offer and finds the loving family he deserves in the Coterie. Luca has been a fabulous addition.
And regardless of how one feels about the missing sister storyline, Joaquin has been, too. It was so good to see him at the burlesque show because those times when he gets to enjoy being part of the Coterie fully are treasured ones.
He’s been singularly focused on finding Jenna; he grew discouraged after receiving that message.
Mariana didn’t mind doing the heavy lifting and being optimistic, and keeping his hope alive. And in a moment of vulnerability and gratitude, it prompted him to kiss her.
Despite the chemistry that the two of them have had, the kiss wasn’t a romantic one. Mariana’s sole focus was helping Joaquin and being a good friend to him.
She reacted maturely, not making him feel uncomfortable about his actions or dwelling on them, but not encouraging or implying that they were anything other than friends.
And they both set that aside to follow a lead at the farmer’s market. Jenna was there, but she bolted from Joaquin the second she saw him and hopped into some guy’s van. What is her deal?
Do you think she’s afraid Joaquin is like their religious parents? Has she had a mental break, and she’d instead vanish without him knowing her whereabouts? Finally, we found Jenna, but she bailed before we got any answers.
On Mariana’s work front, the girls agreed to let Evan buy out Revitalize so he could merge the companies. And he was amenable to it all, saying that they’d be on the board and agreeing to a clause where they can buy him out at their earliest convenience.
It’s ridiculous that we’ve come full circle where now that they’re getting what they want, the BB girls are content with Evan and his money, power, influence, and help.
And they’re also fully in support of Mariana dating him again since they could see the sparks and insane chemistry between Evan and Mariana.
But it’s still absurd that Mariana ever needed their approval or permission for any of this in the first place.
Evan sat at that table and owned up to his shortcomings as a businessman regarding Speckulate, the activist app, and more. And it was this great moment of growth for him because, too often, he’s in this murky place where his aloofness causes him to shirk accountability.
However, they can’t let that sit long or allow us to bask in that bit of growth for him as he’s positioned as Mariana’s better half again. Because he saw Joaquin kiss Mariana, he assumed the worst.
Now, he’s avoiding her text messages when she’s ready to tell him how she feels, and they’re teasing the idea that he could pull back on his plans to merge the companies and help the girls because he’s brokenhearted over a misunderstanding.
If that ever comes remotely close to being the case, then it means everything he’s done was conditional for Mariana and not a matter of growing as a person for himself. And that wouldn’t look good in the least.
Fortunately, despite the teases, Gael and Isabella didn’t have any more challenges to their relationship after her parents’ arrival.
I’ve never been sexy in front of him before, I mean, even though we’ve had sex, once. I don’t know. I’ve never stuck my butt in his face.
We didn’t have to wonder if Isabella would seriously consider her parents’ offer or if she would somehow screw over Gael.
Despite Davia’s concerns, Gael told Isabella that he loved her, and she responded in kind.
It makes sense that they grew into these feelings for one another, and there was a sweetness to their kiss and this confession of feelings with a great song choice playing in the background.
It was a win and something good for them, and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.
But something tells me things with Isabella’s parents aren’t over. She wasn’t lying about how awful they were. They did seem like a couple who were consumed with each other and their wealth but little else.
She was almost giddy over the prospect that maybe they’d love her and embrace her and her future child this time. However, they barely allowed the waiter to set food on the table before laying out their plans.
They dangled a fully-paid for condo in front of Isabella, then told her that since it’s too late for her to have an abortion, she could give the baby up instead.
They had no regard for her feelings or Gael’s role in things, and the way they spoke about him spelled out that they weren’t fans.
Isabella’s Mom: Since it’s too late for an abortion, we think you should give the baby up for adoption.
Isabella: I’m not giving up my baby.
Isabella’s Mom: Raising a child is a lifetime commitment that you are completely unprepared for, especially alone.
Isabella: I’m not alone. Gael and I are coparenting.
Isabella’s Father: You mean the starving artist you had a one-night stand with? How he’s going to take care of you? What guarantee do you have that he’ll actually stick around?
Isabella’s Mom: What happens when he starts a family with someone he’s actually in love with?
They weren’t lying about him being a starving artist, but they’ve been far too absent in their daughter’s life to assume that things hadn’t changed between Gael and Isabella, particularly because they pushed her to him when they disowned her.
Ironically, you could tell that Isabella’s parents had her young, so their judgment is hard to grasp. And they don’t seem to know their daughter well at all.
She’s an adult woman, so it’s ridiculous that they expect to force her hand or buy her off with things. And the implication that she needs a man to take care of herself and her child as if she’s incapable of supporting herself is archaic.
Isabella taking the metal pole to her parents’ expensive car was unexpected. It was a beautifully shot scene and had some Taylor Swift vibes.
But that temporary satisfaction could have long-term consequences. After a night of bliss, she woke up with Gael to her father calling her repeatedly.
It’s hard to imagine her parents letting the incident go, and if there were cameras around that captured Isabella’s outburst, it could spell all sorts of trouble for her.
You can’t put it past her parents to suggest that she’s mentally unstable and unable to make proper decisions or raise a child, and it could prompt more messiness from here.
They said they weren’t interested in raising her kid. But can’t you imagine them pursuing custody of the baby, which is likely due at any moment, citing Isabella’s mental/emotional instability, their living situation, and Gael’s financial insecurity?
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics.
Why is Jenna running? Are you rooting for Gael and Isabella? Do you think trouble is on the way for them?
If you want to relive the first half of the season to hold you over until the series returns, you can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.