Queens Mid-Season Finale aired this past Tuesday, and there is a LOT to discuss! It’s Winter Break, and the semester is finally over! Did Queens pass the semester final? Let’s chat about it and assess if they understood the assignment?
OH.MY.GOODNESS! First, I just want to say that I did watch the show on the night of the mid-season finale! But, with semester final papers submissions and resubmissions, I put off talking about the show and my thoughts on what’s next for the Queens in the New Year until now. Last Tuesday’s show was SOOOOO GOODT! There were so many layers and nuances in the storyline and interaction that I wanted to go back and really watch for different things that I missed during the initial viewing. Let’s just keep it completely honest.
I pretty much sobbed half the episode between happiness, sadness, shock, and then relief. Now that my semester final grades are posted, and I’ve received a 4.0 for the semester, it’s time for me to grade the mid-season finale episode, God’s Plan. Usually, I like to recap each Queen’s storyline individually. But this week’s episode was just full of so much great content; I’m just going to review scene for scene in sequence. God’s Plan began with the frightful rush to the hospital for both Brianna and Eric’s injuries after the Billboard shooting.
The opening sequence as you hear the news coverage and the ambulance whirling was beautifully filmed. As you watched the women following behind both Brianna and Eric’s ambulances, the emotion was palpable. Besides the action during the scene, I believe the music played during the montage made this opening sequence a highly charged moment. Little did I know that this was just the beginning. The part that made the Niagara waterworks begin for me was the beginning stages of the vigil wall. I know we had glimpses of it from the previous week’s advertisement. Still, I believe seeing the fans walk up with the first candle and bouquet of flowers was so surreal. As the opening sequence transitions into the hospital scenes, I want to comment on the usage of lighthearted comedy and active drama from this point in the show until the end of the episode.
First Funny of the Night: Valeria and the VIP hospital section. Ms. Valeria wants everyone to know that she’s bad and bougie in every space she occupies! I’M.HERE.FOR.IT. lol
As the ladies settle in the waiting room and begin what is set to be a long evening, the women start to showcase their strengths and weaknesses during the trying moment. And while they each try to recount the moments after the shooting about Brianna and her condition, a highly emotional Jill proclaims that she can’t die. At this moment, we get introduced to where and how the Queens came into existence.
Flashback to 1993: The Young Brianna and Young Naomi Meet
In the opening scene of the young queens being introduced into the storyline, we meet Brianna, the intelligent and highly gifted young tutor with the sassy and emotionally layered young Naomi. Brianna, who appears to be an excelling student in all of her academic studies, tries to win Naomi’s attention by showcasing that Shakespeare was an O.G. MC. (Sidenote: Young Naomi and Young Brianna are just too cute for words! I can’t wait to see more with them the remainder of the season!)
Once Brianna won the conversation, Naomi opened up mentioned a rap opportunity at a nearby club the following evening. This, of course, was the establishment of the young emcees’ rap career. But the duo would soon realize that they were destined to be a trio after a spiritually divine meeting with the young Jill, who ultimately set things in motion. However, before we were introduced to the young Jill, we were taken back to the present with the Queens and an LAPD detective.
1 on 1 Interview(s) with the Detective
One by one, the detective began talking with each member to gather more clues into the shooting incident. A visibly shaken Naomi expressed more concern in wanting to know the status of both Eric and Brianna more than being interviewed about possible suspects.
But the suspect list started forming after Jill, Muffin, and Valeria were questioned. For Jill, the potential suspect in her eyes was her ex-Tina based on the heated exchange and actions she’d done to not just her but everyone she’d come into contact with. Suspect #1 is now set as Tina.
Valeria’s potential suspect was Rosie Valentina, a.k.a, the fake-ass con mom. (Her words and they were hilarious. She went to the police despite Ms. Valentina’s demands, and now she’s alarmed that the possible shooter could be her. Yet, unbeknownst to V, her con-mother is fully aware that she went to the cops. For now, Rosie is suspect shooter #2.
Finally, Muffin’s turn to share with the detective and her testimony to the detective was comically perfect. At this point, Muffin was trying to keep everything a secret due to Eric’s request. So far, she’d maintained her promise, but the pressure to tell proved too much for her. She shared the backstory about Eric arriving and the Billboard beating and that he was financially in trouble with the star, making Jadakiss suspected shooter #3.
Update on Health Status
After sitting through the interviews, Naomi, Jill, and Valeria searched for more information regarding Brianna and Eric’s conditions. Despite their family-like closeness, they quickly find out that it’s almost impossible to get information regarding their loved ones since they are not related. However, Naomi gains access to Eric’s information after sharing that he’s JoJo’s father. This moment appears to be the first time outside the group that she’s told someone about her relationship with Eric beyond him being the group’s manager.
Reluctantly the hospital staffer said to them that Eric was out of surgery and he was doing fine. However, there was still no word on Brianna’s condition at this point. And then, like a flood of emotions, Valeria mentions the one thing that even slipped my mind at this point: Brianna’s kids! I was so caught up in action I forgot as well! Lol (Sidenote: I love how we have gotten the opportunity to see this side of Valeria. She’s really stepped into a mother-like role with Brianna’s kids and advocated for JoJo to know about Eric earlier in the season. And the scenes with her and the kids were just so touching. I’ll discuss more on that in a moment.)
The very next scene we see is a frantic Valeria trying to rush the children into the hospital as the mob of paparazzi hound for pictures and questions. Before Valeria announced for them to back off, I was yelling right along with her. The poor babies. (Hard sigh)
The Makings of A Family
After the kids make it into the hospital, we finally see Brianna in the room with Eric. He’s still sleeping after surgery, but she’s sitting beside his bed, holding his hand and firmly scolding him on his actions at the Billboard. And Naomi had a valid point. If anything happens to Eric and JoJo just had the opportunity to learn about him, it would be tragic. And just like that, after a few moments in this scene, I was pulled right back into their storyline. Lol, That’s what you call great acting! I was riding a different wave last episode, but I’m torn now. I also think Naomi is as well. She’s playing hardball right now, but it appears deep down she wants to see how things might fair with them since they are older.
But Eric will have to work on his habit of keeping secrets. I know he didn’t want to say anything, but seriously! Naomi knew you were in trouble, so she asked you. After Eric tells her that the surgery was successful and they exchanged some more playful banter, we are taken back to 1993 with the infamous meet-up between the future hip-hop legends.
Out of the gate, when Brianna’s mother met Naomi, she did not like her. (Sidenote: I’m curious to know more about Brianna’s family life, so I’m excited to see where this goes. Her mom is obviously strict and stern, but it’s got to be a reason behind it.) But when she announced that she invited another young lady for Brianna to meet and we find out it’s the young Jill, I was audibly voiced AWWW! The moment was just too cute! (Side note: The music during this episode was very on point! It felt nostalgic and fresh all at the same time.)
Back in 2021 and at the hospital, the kids meet up with Grandma Renee and the girls as they wait in the waiting room. At this point, Naomi and Jill are catching V up on the 411 about Brianna’s mother, who appears to be shading her own daughter and how she’s raised her kids. (sigh) As they provided the back story, the moment was lightened with the second funny of the episode.
2nd Funny of the Night: Lil’ Muffin questions their age when she overhears Naomi stating that the mother hates them because her daughter didn’t go off to college and marry Barack Obama. She asks if they are that old, to which Naomi replies, “Hyperbole,” and then she follows up with “Sounds like an old people word.” (SCREAMS). Muffin and her quirky remarks send me every episode!
We finally get to hear an update about Brianna’s status. It was, of course, minimal because the doctor hadn’t arrived yet. The moment that the kids were going to get an opportunity to see their mother, their grandmother didn’t want to go with it. In essence, she was in straight denial the entire episode. I understand wanting to see your daughter in her normal state, but she was unrealistic. The ladies finally got through to her, although she disagreed with them. Valeria got the opportunity to take the children back to see their mother. At the same time, the remaining ladies just stared at Renee in disbelief.
And then we get the first of two excellent performance flashbacks from the young queens! The bedroom scene as they begin the battle rap challenge was everything. And then young Jill shocked them and me with Queen Latifah/Biggie flow! The icing on the performance was when she said, “I love Jesus and HipHop!”
I was like YESSSS! I’m so happy we are getting to see their backstory. It’s not only going to add beautiful layers for their character development and story arc, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to see how people actually evolve as they continue in their passions.
The episode then takes an intense turn back to the hospital room scene with Valeria and the kids surrounding their mother’s bed. I was blown away between Valeria’s speech and the kids embracing her at the end. After the small meeting with the detective and Eric, we finally learn the extensive injuries Brianna sustained during the shooting. As the doctor listed the details and mentioned the possibility of lifelong paralysis if she didn’t receive a second surgery to remove the bullet fragments, I was highly emotional again. My heart sank even more, when her mother was initially against the surgery. But I can’t say I’m surprised because this is, unfortunately, a reality regarding next of kin decisions.
Depending on the motives or what a person stands to gain, those types of decisions happen all of the time. I also want to admit that I was HIGH-KEY worried for Brianna because her mother was WORK. But in the following scene, Naomi laments at how unfair it was that Renee ultimately had the final call and doesn’t really know her daughter like they did. BINGO! Plot point here. (Sidenote: When do they know when they are picked up again? I mean, where DO I need to write or sign for them to get Season 2 and beyond? They CAN’T drop this show or these storylines off like they didn’t happen. If they need me to help count the ratings+streams (we are in a streaming type of world now) for them, I’m willing to.)
While waiting in the room again, the detective greeted the girls with updates on the suspected shooters. He quickly rules out Tina as she was leaving on a plane to return home during the shooting. Valeria’s con-mother was also ruled out as she was waiting outside of a Taco Bell (V’s visible gag at the thought of Taco Bell had me weak) at the time of the shooting and is being detained due to a warrant in Wisconsin. But he hadn’t ruled out Jadakiss and ended up quietly telling Muffin that he was presently the Number 1 suspect.
Good Vibes Only
After a quick throwback shot of the young queens meeting up for the rap battle contest, Muffin is seen taking a giant stuffed animal into Eric’s room. I just love Muffin! Eric is upset that she told the detective about Jadakiss and his beef. Muffin quickly gets him to realize the seriousness of the issues at hand and reveals the dire condition that Brianna’s currently in. As they get deeper into the conversation about the situation, Naomi interrupts them. She then also questions why there is a giant bear in the room. Lol
Muffin leaves, and Naomi again expresses her concern for Eric’s situation and then asks him an important question. She stresses the importance of making things official on documentation regarding JoJo’s father’s status on her birth certificate. Although Naomi is apprehensive of his response, he agrees and states that he’s ready for their family without question. (Sidenote: When SWV’s Weak started playing, and they shared their cute kiss, I was officially now on #TeamEric. He won me over. I just need him to get it together and DO better. And the thought came to mind of if this song might be their song? If it is I.LIVE.FOR.IT. If someone who writes for the show or knows someone who writes for it is reading this, PLEASE make this their fall in love song. It’s perfect!)
After this beautiful moment, we were shown the cold side of V’s life. I really hope V finds her mother or maybe even her mother’s sister soon. The con basically tells V that her real mother has passed and that she did, in fact, love her. She also shares that the story was true about what happened when V was dropped off at 2. But when she asked her to get her a good lawyer and that she would tell her everything, I SCREAMED at the TV “RUN!”
I was happy when she left her behind, but I feel that Rosie isn’t going to be gone for too long. (Sidenote: In the previews for when the show returns after hiatus, V ends up marrying a mystery guy after one date. I wonder if there’s some connection to Rosie? Maybe her son, a nephew, or one of her goonies could make her have a direct pipeline to Valeria and her lifestyle again.)
Back at the hospital, the ladies finally convince Brianna’s mother to go ahead with the surgery. Their argument was just too compelling for her not to agree. But that didn’t stop the mother from being condescending towards them all. (Sidenote: Whew! The performances during this moment! Someone, please send me a nomination form!) After the mother finally gives consent, Brianna is wheeled off to surgery. We are taken to the girl’s first performance. And they rocked it! They quickly won the audience over and rocked the house! I’m ready for their scenes as they work on their first projects, etc.
The creation of their name was hilarious as It was literally a spur-of-the-moment decision. Besides Brianna’s mother glaring down at them in the crowd, we see someone who turns out to be a young Eric admiring their talent. After the fanfare, they were met with the wrath of Brianna’s mother, scolding them and escorting them out of the club. But before the car drives off, the young queens are greeted by Eric, who hands them his card. Of course, they were all smiles at the thought of a manager wanting to work with them. I’m ready for it!
Will The Real Shooter Please Stand Up?
After catching a glimpse of Jadakiss leaving Eric’s hospital room, Muffin finally breaks down and tells V and Naomi that Eric is in trouble with Jadakiss. Then, on cue, the detective asks about Jill’s location since she wasn’t answering her phone. Jill fervently prayed for Brianna’s healing in the hospital chapel when a mysterious figure knelt beside her. When the camera panned to her ex-husband, I sat back on the couch and cringed. This moment was not only disturbing, but it was scary! The writers’ did an excellent job of throwing this curveball because I had ruled him out after it appeared he was trying to move on. But I should’ve known this wasn’t the case at all!
As he stood there being both scary and creepy about the shooting and the fact that Jill avoided getting shot because it was God’s Plan for them to have a family, I got chills. Once she tried to reject him again, he began choking her. Reaching off to the side of them, she grabbed a candlestick holder and struck him in the head, knocking him unconscious. I thought he was gone, but he was still alive, which means he’s not going anywhere. This dude is ready to haunt Jill for what she did.
Then the most emotional moment of the evening happens. As the music plays in the background, we see Brianna beginning to crash during surgery. The vigil wall and crowd swelled, and the girls were all-embracing one another. And then, as it all seems like it’s over, we hear the heart monitor starting up again. My heart! It was so much, but it was so good! So, now that I’ve thoroughly gone through the episode and given my thoughts, what’s the final grade I’d give the ladies during their Mid-Season Finale?
Based on the action, drama, laughter, and panic I went through during this episode, I am more than happy to say they WROTE the assignment and passed with an A! Each week so far, the show has been getting better and better, and this week was no different. I’m here for everyone’s storyline, which is a rarity for some shows because I will admit that I’ve watched shows and series for one or two storylines only. Queens is on hiatus until Tuesday, January 4th. The previews of Episode 9 look as if the momentum will not let up.
After the situation with Brianna, the ladies have a new lease and attitude on life. As I mentioned, V appears to marry a random man. One of the group’s old rivals appears back on the scene to record a song with the ladies. The final clip shows Jill in an apparent traffic stop with the cop asking about drugs thrown out of her car window. WOO! I think it might be a flashback moment, and she’s stressing, but you never know. I hope Jill isn’t backsliding on us. Well, as of today, we have 2 more weeks to go!
If you, for some reason, haven’t tuned in yet, I need you to go to Hulu or wherever you like to stream your shows now and catch up or just binge the whole thing again! Run those views/streams up! I’ll be back on January 4th with a new recap for Episode 9 with yall! (Sidenote: I think there are only 4 episodes left for this season now. I need them to order some more or go on and secure this 2nd season ASAP.)