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The Chi - Penetrate A Fraud - Review

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Episode aired on SHOWTIME Sunday, February 18

Previously on The Chi, we left off on a high of the street party, broken hearts and one on one confrontations that left us longing for more. We still know who killed Coogie, but police don’t, the mystery is who killed Jason and why. The show is in episode six, and we haven’t moved an inch on the investigation which is infuriating. If this show is trying to set things up for the final revelation, then it better be brilliant. I think Penetrate A Fraud is one of those episodes that I can outrightly state didn’t leave me longing for more. Usually, I keep this type of commentary for the end of my review, but I think this episode deserves the first paragraph.

So let’s dig in if you are ready…

This episode featured a lot of Emmett and his pursuit of money to make ends meet. He managed to convince Amir to join him in the sneaker business. Amir was somewhat reluctant but eventually agreed to be a partner. I need to do some research in regards to the sneaker selling business because it seems to be a very lucrative gig but I honestly don’t know much about it or why it’s such a revered business. They manage to get sneakers from a shady white lady aptly named Becky who was getting rid of her cheating ex-husbands collection. Emmett is supposedly quite savvy about sneakers, but this venture exposed his naiveté. In Kenya, they have a saying “you will know, you don’t know.” This saying means you might think you are the smarter person in the room until you find out you know nothing. The title of this episode comes about when a customer buying a sneaker informs Emmet that the shoes he was selling were knock-offs. This makes Amir mad since they lost the money he had borrowed from his shady cousin to buy the shoes. (Do you remember the guy he sent Emmett to get cigarettes from? Yes that cousin)

Ronnie, on the other hand, is still struggling with his injuries and rejection from Tracy even after he tries to give her Jason’s phone. He meets Imam Rafi aka Common who bluntly tells him he knows about his injuries but welcomes him to come back to the mosque if he needs emotional support. These two actors were great, and the scene was very well done. Ronnie is a broken man, and the Imam could see it in his eyes. Ronnie’s friends are also concerned for him since all he does is roam around the neighborhood looking beat. They advise him to get out of town and recover somewhere else, or he might end up dead sooner rather than later. For guys who sit on the stoop all day, their advice was spot on, and Ronnie reluctantly told them to take care of his grandmother if something happens to him.

I don’t know if I frankly understand anymore what’s driving Ronnie to try and solve Jason’s murder; it could be both his love for Tracy and the guilt he feels for killing Coogie, but maybe there is something deeper. He is finally able to find someone that can get on the phone and surprise! Its Jason’s pregnant girlfriend. The poor girl is seven months pregnant and does not have a relationship with Tracy who is well aware of her. I knew I didn’t like Tracy for her manipulation of Ronnie, but neglecting the girl who is pregnant with your only child’s baby is cold. Ronnie’s luck doesn’t last long because Tracy couldn’t keep her mouth shut and tattled to Detective Cruz that he had Jason’s phone. Cruz is upset since this case seems to be going around in circles and the one person that can give him information is crashing. I was taken aback by Ronnie’s confession to Cruz but I think he wants to stop running and the detective already knows he killed Coogie. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out, but if the show is going to leave us with a cliffhanger, I will be pissed off. As is right now this story has dragged on too long with no clear direction. One thing we saw on the phone was the 911 call that Jason made so, that’s a little light at the end of the tunnel for Cruz.

In last week’s episode, Brandon’s cousin Hannibal implied that Sarah, Brandon’s manager liked him but he denied it and feigned ignorance. Well, Penetrate A Fraud showed who the fraud in this situation was because the smooch at the end of Laverne’s wedding reception made Brandon look like a liar. Talking of Laverne, she married Greavy, and they seem very happy, which makes me happy. It’s nice when others find love which Brandon agrees with this so he gave them a hearty toast. Let’s go back to Sarah; did you think that’s all I was going to say about her situation with Brandon? No, I need to address this juicy situation because it’s about to shake things up. I saw this coming from the first episode, but the writers played with our heads a little bit and made us believe that this beautiful love between Jerrika and Brandon would last long but alas it only received four episodes. Trust me I would love to have them get back together and be endgame mostly because I love black love, but this looks like it’s dead. My only quibble with this storyline is the cliché stereotype of replacing a black woman with a “richer” white woman. I hate it, but I want to support this show so I will keep watching until the end. From a writer’s perspective, I will admit that this was the only direction the story could have gone, I do not see how they could have taken a different angle since they had already set this up from the beginning; it was just a matter of time. I could be wrong, and they might surprise me by the end of the season, but I would wager it is Sarah and Brandon.

I cannot describe the level of annoyance I get to when DQ shows up on my screen. He seems to be still interested in finding out about Jason’s murder, and that’s why he is harassing Reg and his street crew. I also think he and Tracy had something going on, and Jason could have been his kid, but I am just speculating at this point. DQ is ruthless, and he is around to cause chaos, this was evident in the killing of Reg’s night time crew and stealing their guns. The question is, does he want to get back to running the streets or is he on a revenge mission?

My favorite part of this episode was Ethel, Ronnie’s grandma and Jada’s visit to the nail shop. We finally got to learn a little bit more about Jada's past life. She opened up and shared her fears and bless Ethel for trying to set her up with her church pastor. This story is something that I have wanted the show to focus on more. Having Jada in the show just as a helper for Emmett and Ethel was not cutting it, we needed something more about her to connect with, and this scene delivered it beautifully.

I wasn’t impressed with this episode, but there was a little bit of movement storywise as well as some character growth that hopefully will keep up with the plot. I want to see more Kevin and his friends and also some healing for Ronnie.

Don't forget to watch The Chi on SHOWTIME Sunday, at 10 PM ET/PT.

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