Good Trouble Season 2 Episode 16 Review: Fragility

Television

The relationships on Good Trouble are complicated.

Both sisters are in interesting places in their relationships on Good Trouble Season 2 Episode 16, but have they reached a point of no return in them?

Fortunately, Davia’s storyline didn’t pertain to her romantic relationship, but it was no less convoluted.

The hour revisited her trials as an educator teaching minority children with different life experiences than her.

It was better this time around.

Davia has always come across like she’s not interested in teaching. She previously spoke about it like a pitstop to something else. She lacked a passion you expect from most teachers.

So when she complained about her students, it sounded like another instance of her being inconvenienced. It sounded like she wanted her students to make her shift easier rather than her having a genuine concern about them.

Her experience with Andre rattled her, and so did her conversations with Malika.

OK. Let’s talk about Gumboot Becky.

Davia

Davia’s concern now feels genuine, and yeah, she is still fumbling along the way, but there is no longer any doubt that she does care.

I realize that’s why her Gumboot Becky saga was annoying. It wasn’t believable that she cared in the first place, and then it was also topped with her getting defensive and whiny about others bringing up some concerns.

Davia benefited from reading the book Malika gave her. Everything was broken down in a manner that opened her eyes without her getting defensive.

She was able to understand that no one was attacking her actual character, and she couldn’t deflect with her hurt feelings.

You treat a kid like a criminal, they’re more likely to become one.

Teacher

It was cool the way they intercut the excerpts she read with flashbacks to when and how she exhibited the same behavior described.

It made her more self-aware than the conversations with Malika, Mariana, and Andre did, which was part of the reason Malika suggested doing the reading on her own first.

And when Davia turned to Mariana or the other teacher, it was with follow-up questions based on information she gathered.

She took that new and improved attitude to her students and had an open and honest dialogue about her actions. She got an engaged classroom in return.

I’m sorry I blindsided you, but I’m trying to do right by those people.

Jamie

Once she opened up and acknowledged where she went wrong, her students felt comfortable participating.

She was surprised when Andre discussed the subject matter and was knowledgable. Despite their differences, he was paying attention all along.

If he kept abreast of what she was teaching whether she realized it or not, then the others probably did as well.

It was fascinating how drastically different the perspectives were on the diversion program. Her fellow teacher, a woman of color, laid out how it’s a variation of the school to prison pipeline.

But her white boss thought they were helping kids and giving them the discipline they supposedly lack at home.

Dan was entitled to his feelings and opinion, but if there was a question of if he was another naive person who thought this was the only solution, he showed his hand when he threatened Davia’s job.

He doesn’t approve of the group of teachers who meet to advocate for their students, and when he heard she was considering going to a meeting, he warned her off.

He also alluded to making her job hell it she engaged with the group. What’s he so afraid of then?

Davia was torn between listening and believing Dan and listening and believing her colleague.

It was a sign that she won’t instantly be good at all of this. She still didn’t know who to believe. Both strong and polar opposite stances we’re persuasive to her.

She consulted with Mariana, and it appeared as though the solution was clear. However, she backed out of the meeting.

Baby steps. If Davia suddenly became the best version of herself and stepped sure-footed onto the fearless path, there would be no room for growth.

Jamie: What?
Callie: Why did Heather so no?

She did receive a message from Andre’s mother. He seemed hesitant when Davia suggested speaking to her, so there’s a story there.

Jamie’s story about Heather made sense, and for now, at least, the engagement ring debacle isn’t a big thing.

It’s interesting that Jamie is not like his parents. He (and his brother) are so different, and you get the sense he followed their path and not his own.

The more we learn about Jamie, the less suitable he is for corporate law. He’s good at it, and he lives for the banter and arguing, but it feels like Jamie pursued the field his parents expected.

He mentioned that he proposed to Heather because of it being an expectation, and it’s believable.

The conversation was fine, but their repartee was sexy. Jamie isn’t exactly like Callie, and they love to tease and bicker with each other, but he does know her well.

He nailed the proper ring choice for her and the reason for why it was the best choice.

At home, they’re as cute as can be, but their jobs might always get between them.

Jamie: I tried to tell you.
Callie: You lied to me!
Jamie: I didn’t lie to you.

For a lawyer, Callie is short-sighted a lot. She doesn’t have to like what Jamie does, but this is what the legal field is like.

You need to have a fundamental understanding that everyone and everything has a right to representation whether you agree with them or not. It’s part of understanding the field that you’re in.

Jamie pointed out that they were the same when it came to things that mattered, and Callie agreed.

It was a nice sentiment, but it also gave you pause. Most of the things they have different opinions on matter too. They matter enough to get between them all the time.

Jamie couldn’t say much when he took over the Anwei case. And he still has to do his job and what’s in the best interest of his client.

He was behind the company offering the tenants more money. It’s something he didn’t have to do, but he has worked within the frames of what he can do and tried to do as much good with his restrictions.

It’s not enough for Callie, though, and it’s hard to determine what she wants from him here. She wants to fix all the things about him that conflicts with her beliefs, and that isn’t fair to him at all.

He accepts who and what she is, but she doesn’t do the same. For Jamie, there’s no real space for him to be different than Callie without it being an issue for her.

It’ll keep getting in their way, and they’re once again left in this place of uncertainty.

Will it drive Callie back to the Coterie?

Can she have her space back? Isabella is an unsettling character.

She seems nice and overly friendly, but she’s messy. Who inserts themselves in another person’s relationship to this degree?

Isabella: Have you tried yoga?
Raj: I’m Indian, so we kinda invented it.

It turns out she and Mariana worked together to help Raj out, so he wasn’t going behind Mariana’s back after all. But Isabella still comes across calculating and untrustworthy. 

The problem is that he thought he was and did it anyway. He almost died from embarrassment and did everything he could to hide his costume and location when he had to make a conference call.

Part of the reason was because of his belief that he was doing it behind Mariana’s back.

It makes his situation and friendship with Isabella more worrisome than Mariana’s relationship with Evan.

For the most part, Mariana has been upfront with Raj about Evan and their working relationship.

Neither of them has shared their sexual fantasies, but it’s not something you would expect to be shared.

The other issue with Raj and Isabella is he already has an issue with insecurity. The likelihood that he would actually cheat on Mariana feels more imminent.

And that insecurity — his WORST freaking flaw — is what will ruin Maraj before anything else does.

Look who showed up. It’s your girlfriend’s boyfriend.

Alex

The broholes were back and being sexist, racist pigs who still refuse to pronounce Mariana’s name right.

Alex’s negative reaction to the equal pay policy while simultaneously admitting that Raj does better work than Sam and gets less pay was surreal.

For some reason, he considers Raj his friend but failed to see that it wasn’t just the women getting less pay but the ethnic minorities too.

Funnily enough, just like Raj’s fear that Mariana and Evan’s relationship is more than professional is valid, so are Alex and the others’ arguments that Evan favors Mariana.

Raj: It isn’t just about the women. I’m finally being paid the same money as Sam for doing the same work.
Sam: But is it the same work?
Alex: No. Raj’s is better.

But it’s also more complicated than that. Two things can be true at the same time.

Evan favors Mariana, but he knows her best, and her work is good. She is great at what she does.

And Mariana and Evan have indefinable feelings for each other, but they haven’t acted on them. They’ve danced close to the fire without jumping in it, and it should count for something.

Setting aside the romantic inclinations and chemistry, Mariana and Evan’s relationship is rooted in a startlingly deep friendship that transcends their professional relationship but hasn’t slipped into romantic either.

Evan: So you have feelings for me?
Mariana: I do, uh, have some feelings sometimes. But I have a boyfriend who I really love.
Evan: What if you didn’t?
Mariana: I still wouldn’t act on those feelings.
Evan: Why?
Mariana: Because you’re my boss, and everyone would assume that any success I have at Speckulate is based solely on you. It’s what they think now.
Evan: Well, their wrong. You earned everything at this company.
Mariana: I know. And I want to keep it that way

They have an odd camaraderie that is hard to pinpoint. They don’t even know how to define it or what to do with it. It’s not necessarily bad or even wrong, but it is decidedly unprofessional.

They got it all out in the open too in a surprisingly mature and refreshing conversation on the rooftop.Can we take a moment to appreciate the lighting and camera shots during that scene? Everything about it was gorgeous! Shoutout to Troian Bellisario for directing another episode of the series. 

They acknowledged the elephant in the room. Evan was surprised and relieved that his feelings weren’t one-sided, but the question became what do they do about them?

Evan: So these feelings, we just don’t feel them anymore?
Mariana: We can’t.
Evan: Agreed.

And there’s no real answer. They can’t and won’t act on them, so they’re just out there. They can’t turn them off or stop; they can only deal.

Evan has to stop showing Mariana special treatment. It negatively affects her relationship with her peers and sparks rumors.

And between being Latina and the boss’s favorite, no matter how much she does, everyone keeps assuming she isn’t getting anywhere on merit.

And Mariana has to stop occupying this space of being Evan’s friend and confidant; it’s the saddest conclusion. You can tell Evan doesn’t have many friends or people who take the time to understand him.

What does Evan look like without his “situationship” with Mariana? What will work be like for Mariana without having access to Evan in a more intimate way?

She’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. Now “someone,” wrote a post and sent it to the entire company. The obvious choice is Alex, but if he told Sam, then it could be him too.

Now, everyone knows that Evan spent $10,000 on Mariana’s app to salvage it. It went beyond professional even when he meant well, and it was a logical choice for him.

Tell them you’ve worked closely with Evan, and he never crossed the line, assuming that its true

Kendra

The only reason someone knew about that was because of insecure Raj and his loose lips.

Friendships have layers, no doubt, but how does Raj continue to be friends with a sexist, racist misogynist like Alex?

It’s one thing putting up with a work colleague, but Raj confides in this man like he’s his best friend.

How can he be best friends with a man who treats his girlfriend so horribly?

Alex has attempted to sabotage Mariana multiple times since she got there. He sexually and racially harasses her. He creates a hostile work environment, and Raj ignores all of this?

Raj’s insecurity is bad enough, but his willingness to associate with Alex and Sam despite everything they do is disturbing.

Set Mariana aside for a moment; why doesn’t Raj know he deserves better than that?

Mariana isn’t the perfect girlfriend. She has screwed up a few times, but she always picks Raj. Unfortunately, he can’t trust and believe in that.

He’s not ready to be in any romantic relationship until he can work on his confidence and self-esteem. He’ll always sabotage himself and his happiness.

Mariana: I can’t honestly say that a professional line hasn’t been crossed by us, and not just by you.
Evan: What do you mean? That we both crossed a line?
Mariana: I think we both have feelings that are more than professional.

Do you think Mariana and Raj can bounce back from this?

Because the biggest threat to Raj and Mariana’s relationship isn’t Evan, or Isabella, or Speckulate, or Mariana being demanding it’s Raj standing in his and their way.

Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics. Sound off below.

You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic!

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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