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The Chi - Wallets - Review

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Episode aired on SHOWTIME Sunday, March 4

Previously on The Chi...Brandon quit his job, Tiffany came back for EJ and Reggie attacked Sonny because of DQ. The writers left us with a cliffhanger of some sort. It wasn’t the best episode, but it served its purpose to connect us to "Wallets."

I hate when I am wrong about these things especially TV plots that try to throw me off so, you can imagine how upset I was with how things turned out between Jerrika and Brandon in this episode. If you read my previous review, I was quite sure they were not going to write a reconciliation between these two, but that was premature speculation because I forgot that this show is on Showtime and all the stories had been written up and filmed. Anyway, I had to slap myself for jumping to conclusions, and now they are somewhat back together. I am jumping the gun here so let’s review from the beginning.

Ronnie wakes up writhing in pain at Medricks, and he has a severe case of infection on his wound from the gunshot. Medrick apparently is a pain medicine peddler but won’t sell Ronnie any because he lacks two dollars. Medrick sees how bad Ronnie looks, but is not in the business of making people feel good. The only thing I like about him is that he has a little bit of a soft heart. He calls another drug addict who is a radiologist to provide some treatment to Ronnie after he sees the mess that was his wound. Unfortunately, the guy ends up overdosing after a night of drugs and alcohol and poor Ronnie had to drive him to his home. He leaves the man’s car outside, and his family finds him. This show has had emotional scenes, but the family wailing after they found him was very heartbreaking. It was great for the show to deal with the pain addiction epidemic especially from a professional white man’s perspective. So much has been written about the opioid crisis but it’s usually from the view of the young unemployed, but the reality is, this affects different demographics. Common aka Imam Rafi had a beautiful scene with Ronnie who earlier was unable to share his life story with Medrick and the guys. The Imam was able to get him to face his fears and break down in tears. Hopefully, we will get to see a little bit more of Ronnie’s backstory in season two.

Brandon spent the night at his old apartment that he shared with Jerrika. It was evident that they would end up reconciling after this. She did manage to convince him to sign the documents for the sale of his mother’s home. I think selling was a mistake, but the show is trying to highlight how gentrification creeps in even to those that should be aware of what they are losing. Jerrika appears to be blinded by her privilege and is missing all the clues of what is happening in the neighborhood then again she’s a real estate agent. I don’t have any particular feelings in regards to Jerrika, and I liked that she managed to convince Brandon to pursue his own food truck business. My favorite person right now is Hannibal, he seems level headed and a great businessman. The scene with his Chinese tenant was hilarious, and I don’t know how I have never thought of having tenants in my own home, it would help pay for my student loans. It was sweet of Hannibal to by the food truck for Brandon, and it was also great that he reminded him it’s a partnership and not a gift so he will come back and collect when Brandon starts making some profit which is the ideal situation. I am looking forward to seeing how this whole food business and independence pans out for him.

I was happy about learning some background on Jada, but the writers went ahead and spoilt the whole thing by making her lose her job. They have not addressed her opioid use, and now she doesn’t have a job anymore. I am not sure how this is all going to play out in season two, but I hope they do these black women justice on this show. I and others have complained about how the black women are just there to move the men’s stories forward on this show, and I am tired of it. She is Emmett’s designated advisor and currently seems to have taken over full caregiving for Ethel, Ronnie’s grandmother. I have to mention the elephant in this review which was the situation with Emmett and Tiffany. This child custody fight isn’t going to be better especially now that she took EJ and has a live-in boyfriend. I hate this storyline because it perpetuates stereotypes that black women use their children to get financial support. The writers entirely played into this, and I found myself shaking my head when watching. His date with Keisha was also annoying mainly because she is very young and here she was scolding him about not being a good father which granted was valid but what is she doing at the park on a school day.

Reggie got himself and Jake into some big trouble with DQ. Thinking that he could take on this experienced old hustler was a big mistake. DQ has been around the block for too long and at this point is just laying low, but will explode soon. He was quite strategic with how he manipulated Reggie into giving him detective Wallace’s name. I don’t like Reggie but seeing how he tried to protect Jake from DQ warmed my heart a little bit. Jakes has excellent friends in Kevin and Papa who are very concerned with how he is now parading a gun around. The intervention they stage was essential to see on a TV show because they are young but also fully understand the consequences of firearms. Kevin knows how his life has been affected by the incident with Ronnie so Jake attacking him and blubbing about it was not cool. I hope Papa will forgive him for not telling him about that incidence, but I know he was protecting him. Papa is so sweet and na├»ve but very wise for his age. He handled the grocery and Tampon situation for Kevin's mother like a real pro. The boys talking about Kevin’s two mothers was also a great scene, it’s rare we see a show focused on the black community handle LQBTQA issues with such good care, kudos to the whole team and the boys as well.

The "Wallet" was a good episode but to be honest, I am ready to see this season end. I want season two to return without all the problematic things many reviews have pointed out. The Chi is a needed show, and unfortunately, it is in a business of numbers. The audience is there, and we don’t want them to tune out at all so, writers hear me out and make some changes. Give the women some agency and leave the stereotypical storylines behind.

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

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