Okay. So, I know I usually post my recaps on the day of the show, but this week had me in a chokehold! Yall! YALL! I just want to start by saying that this show keeps getting better and better! Episode Three took me through a whirlwind of emotions, and I eagerly await Episode Four on Tuesday! Just when I thought I was finding a pattern or some sort of sequence with the show, the bottom of the floor fell out!
But I love this type of storytelling! It’s not too predictable but also not too out there where it seems illogical for the plot. Let’s start off with the visuals and the music this past week! Everything in this episode was so late 90s, from the swag to the songs featured during the epic rap battle between Naomi and Brianna. In typical fashion, I like to break down each character’s story for the week and then provide some opinions on what I think may happen next. This week I want to break it down by the moments! Since I mentioned Naomi vs. Brianna, let’s begin there.
The TV Show Verzuz We Didn’t Know We Needed
Playing off the pandemic social media and entertainment movement of the viral series Verzuz, Naomi vs. Brianna had the internet waiting with bated breath, and I must say that the girls didn’t disappoint. Between the raw lyricism and the hip-hop battle presentation, plenty of low blows and punchlines were exchanged.
After the girls had a bad show review from their comeback show in San Diego, they were almost all itching to revive their image and press forward. Understandably, Naomi took offense to the thought of switching up their appearance and style, considering everything that the group stood for in the 90s and the significant contributions she made to the group as the lead lyricist and vocalist. So, the battle went down to prove who would maintain control over the group’s imagery and presentation.
Throughout 3 rounds, Naomi delivered lyrical blows and bravado in Brianna’s direction. But it was Brianna who took all of the room by surprise by cutting the music and dropping a freestyle off the dome that ultimately shook Naomi to her core. Naomi, of course, felt a way, and she escorted herself from the room in disappointment. But, for once, she got a chance to see that Brianna had bars as well. It just wasn’t her main focus back in the day.
So, since the battle ended with plenty of smoke, I am really eager to see how the group will move forward now that Naomi is basically forced to acknowledge her group’s talent beyond her. Since Naomi has consistently reminded the girls that she’s given up solo opportunities for them, it will be interesting how their group moves forward with the season as the newly revamped Queens that they are now officially called. With their newest comeback song called Girls Gonna Run This, each queen shared their story on a fresh beat and talked about overcoming their own personal obstacles and battles to make it to the top. It’s very female empowerment, and I love it! Since the ladies have officially changed their group’s name, I wonder if their individual names will be changed next? Speaking of names, I ready for them to name who is JoJo’s dad!
The Maury Episode Waiting to Happen
This week we got to see Naomi in mother mode as she supported her daughter JoJo during her piano audition for one of the top music schools in LA. Naturally, both ladies suffered some tension and moments of misunderstanding because, despite the significant strides that Naomi is putting in place, they still have a long way to go. I personally hope the center some healing and therapy for them both because baby, this daddy reveal is going to be a lot. (Sidenote: The actress that plays JoJo, Precious Way, is one of the most phenomenal pianists I have ever witnessed on television. She’s insanely talented, and I am proud of her representation with the arts and music.)
After the girls celebrated JoJo’s triumphant audition, which led to her acceptance at the school, JoJo asked her mother once more for any clues that she might have regarding her father because she wanted to take the search into her own hands. My girl Naomi looked like her world was closing in, and she quickly expressed that she wanted to work on nurturing their relationship first and that she would help her find her father in time. (Sidenote: Girl, the clock has run out on this one. Father time has caught up, and you are going to have to answer soon! *taps watch*)
Each week since the first episode, they have teased about the particulars of who her father might be. Last week, the writers cleverly wrote in Cam’Ron and his spitting similarities to JoJo. However, this week the stakes went higher! After the girls recorded their new song, Eric (with his conniving self) pulled out some raw file audio from 2001. He spoke privately with someone about releasing some “Best Of” type music with the files. Well, to his surprise, when he played an audio clip of Naomi from 2001 where she’s talking about her pregnancy, he overhears her statement about being with a dude, carrying his child, but not being able to let him know because he had another girl.
Before he could fully process the statement, Valeria reappears, asking the question of the day, “You’re JoJo’s dad?” When I tell you I fell forward from my couch, I was done. In the preview for the upcoming episode, JoJo is seen talking to Eric. Toward the end, Eric comes over to Naomi’s house to confront her with the question, only he doesn’t realize how bad the timing of the confrontation is. JoJo was in the apartment at the time. *goes to pop popcorn and set up for next week’s show*
I’m still on the fence with this being Eric’s child. I mean, all things are currently pointing to him. He and Naomi were in a very long relationship, even if it were mainly on the low, until Valeria popped up. But after the shocking plot twist that killed one of my predictions for the season, I don’t trust this pretty package they’re selling. Now, it could very well be his daughter, but I think the writers will throw a boomerang at us. For some reason, I feel like Naomi will go with her heart about Eric being the indeed father, but I feel like JoJo will be a girl who wants solid proof. This is why I think Mr. Maury needs to be dialed up because I’m afraid our girl will be in for the shock of her life with this One. Plus, the nuggets about Naomi’s sobriety have been dropped subtly over the past two episodes. She even mentions in the new song that she’s sober and a better mom, so…*sips FRESHLY brewed and stirred Tea*
The Shocking Moment That Shocked All Shocks
I feel the writers collectively got together and said, “Now that we have your attention, let’s make you feel like you can’t trust anything!” If I were a betting type of person, I would have definitely lost. I DID NOT see Jeff expiring at the end of the show! I mean, I’m clear on I was not feeling him or his fake denial of cheating on Brianna, but I did not see him dying after surgery! (Sidenote: I should have known something was up when he said he’d fine for a couple of hours and that she should go out and enjoy herself, but I was given a false sense of comfort. I’m ready now.) The next episode will show the girls in all black at the funeral supporting Brianna and her now fatherless family.
But I wonder if the cause of death will be listed as a complication or if he simply overdosed. After all, Jeff was going through bouts of amnesia since he had brain cancer surgery. Perhaps he forgot that he’d taken his dosage and took too much since she wasn’t around to regulate his schedule. I will say that it was very conflicting but intriguing to watch her response. She was announcing that she would forgive him and try to move forward; she realized that his non-response was due to his passing. Then she quietly proceeded to check his pulse and then closed his eyes before snuggling beside him one final time. (Sidenote: Beautiful acting by both Eve and RonReaco Lee in this scene. This was easily one of the most beautifully executed scenes of the night.)
Now that Brianna’s husband is gone and the mother of five impressionable children, it will be interesting to see how she picks up the pieces while being with the group. I wonder if we will see a character shift in her quickly since she will be the sole supporter of her children. I’m even thinking that perhaps Valeria will step up more as a support system considering she revealed that she decided about motherhood at one point. I’ll talk more about that in a moment. However, now that Brianna’s lover of 20 years is gone, will she be open to entertaining a new friend? I definitely see her reaching out for comfort at some point during the season. But first, we will get the opportunity to witness the fighter that she is and continues to become.
I Got 99 Problems, But A Lover Ain’t One.
Speaking of a lover, the ladies love Jill. And from the looks of it, she wasn’t really thinking about Tina in this last episode. I mean, Jill said, “I’m free and out, so let’s experience my new truth and explore all the possible flavors at the ice cream stand.” Lol, I could already tell from the preview that Jill would give in to her temptations, but she straight curved Tina. However, for some reason, I feel like Tina might be aware of her infidelity and was possibly testing to see what she would do. From one of the scenes, it seems like Tina and the reporter actually were from the same circles, so it will be interesting once she is confronted. In the upcoming episode preview, Jill and Brianna have a conversation about Jill’s cheating incident here Brianna tells her she should come clean about her transgressions.
For some reason, I don’t see Jill confessing everything to Tina. It seems like Tina was the person that finally helped Jill to live in her truth, but I don’t think she saw herself with Tina because she appears to have a temperament that is not as exciting for her. I’m curious to see how the girls will react to Jill once she shares that she lived wild and free on Tina. I know Brianna will be stern, but for some reason, I feel the others are going to drag, ha!
She Started From the Bottom, Now She’s Here
Last but certainly not least, Valeria opened up to us more about her upbringing and her life before the Nasty B**ches when she went out to dinner with Eric. Given that her intentions since being a part of the group back in the day were to just get rich and not focus so much on artistry, it’s refreshing to see that she’s interested in getting better at her craft with the group’s revamping. Once again, Eric thought he would rekindle something between him and Valeria, and she straight put him in check.
Valeria and Eric were more than just business acquaintances/lovers. It was even insinuated that Valeria was pregnant at one point but chose not to move forward with the pregnancy. Given her childhood traumas and her drive to succeed, it’s not surprising. But I feel that Eric was a little resentful about it because he appeared to have wanted to be a father. This will make for a real exciting interaction if JoJo is his daughter and Valeria chose her career over being the mother to Eric’s child. I’m even wondering how she will look at Naomi now because, for years, she threw around that Eric chose her instead, while the real game-changer was in Naomi’s hands the whole time. I bet Eric is going to beg Valeria not to say anything until he questions her. After all, he did hear this from an old audio file that she and the other girls are unaware he still has access to.
Well, I think I’ve recapped all I could from this week! I can’t wait for Tuesday’s new episode! If you haven’t gotten the opportunity to watch or catch up on the show, please stream on Hulu and all available apps that support Queens! Since the network’s staple show blackISH is coming to its series end this coming year, I feel that Queens is the perfect series to take the reins and hold it down in their absence. Be sure to tune in Tuesday night 10/9c for the new episode!