We have ourselves another heartfelt and beautiful hour of this series.
It's impressive following the series, as with each hour, it settles into what it wants to be and strikes the right emotional chord.
While the flashback, non-linear style is still something that requires getting used to, it wasn't as jarring during Good Trouble Season 1 Episode 6, and the series continues to flourish with its storytelling.
It may be up for debate, but while the series has an ensemble cast, the show knows how to not only whittle down each installment to focus on a couple of the main characters in a way that is conducive to real character development and growth, but it also has fully realized, multifaceted supporting and recurring characters.
That takes a juggling act that not too many people can pull off, even on shows that have been around for a significant amount of time. I find myself invested in characters like Jazmin, Raj, Casey, and Evan as much as I am the Coterie members.
They are not there to prop up their respective main character sharing the screen with them; they have personalities, flaws, and issues of their own.
They're well-rounded characters, too.
The evolution of Mariana's work troubles is refreshing. It's not an easy fix, and it's an ongoing battle. Maybe for some, it's frustrating that she isn't making headway, but I appreciate the fact that she's winning small battles sporadically; it's more realistic that way.
Sam: It just would be nice if I felt heard every once in a while.
Alex: Hey, I have an idea. Maybe you should go to the party as Mary Anna because that's exactly who you are acting like right now.
Alex is becoming bolder with his marginalization and harassment of Mariana. It's getting to a point where it will be a surprise if someone else doesn't catch on to it soon enough. He's so arrogant and comfortable that he doesn't try to tone it down. He openly mocks her whenever he feels like it and freezes her out just for kicks.
It's worse that he is capable of bending to someone else's will as long as that person is Sam. He donned a Star Trek costume in the name of (white) bro-hood for Sam, which means he didn't think Sam was similar to Mariana; all he gives her is a hard time.
He couldn't even appreciate her Margaret Hamilton costume. Also, kudos to the show for the non-traditional history references.
For the most part, Raj is a likable guy, and he is in a difficult spot as well being only one step above Mariana in the hierarchy of bullcrap. His unwillingness to rock the boat makes sense to a degree, but only to a small degree.
He doesn't challenge Alex at all, like, ever, and he's always kissing his ass. There is going along to get along, and then there is being complicit.
Not once have we witnessed him attempting to stand up, intervene, or even deflect, and that's getting old. If you combine that with the fact that he's OK expressing his views in secret with Mariana but not out loud once, it's more frustrating than ever.
Alex and Sam made me be the black guy because it's like brown adjacent.Raj
It was evident that he has a crush on Mariana, and I don't think he was faking needing her help to spend time with her. All of that was genuine, but it's not cool. In addition to everything else Mariana is dealing with and her increased frustration with Raj's passivity, how could she not read the situation the way she did?
She doesn't need the only guy on her team who was treating her with a semblance of respect to make a move on her. Raj was sympathetic when he thought he was going out on a date with Mariana only to be a group hangout where Mariana expressed her interest in other guys that weren't Raj.
He wasn't sympathetic here because their previous outing should have been a clear sign that she doesn't see him that way at all, but he still went for it anyway. On top of that, he made his move after plying her with compliments about her work and praising her for helping him, as though he were buttering her up to get in her pants.
Raj became the proverbial "Nice Guy." It also put Mariana in the uncomfortable position of feeling like the only decent ally she had on her team had ulterior motives, which she probably feels conflicted about because even though it sucks that he did that to her, he's the only decent guy and ally on her team.
Confronting him about it also meant the potential complete alienation from her team. In a sense, it puts her back at square one.
Mariana's interactions with Evan are interesting. I like him a lot. I think he's drawn to the fact that Mariana is the only one who doesn't treat him like a weirdo, coddles him, or is afraid and intimidated by him.
Raj: I misread all of the signals last night.
Mariana: It's fine, Raj. All good. There's nothing to talk about.
Raj: Ok, well, I really am sorry.
Mariana: Actually, you know what? It's not fine, and it's not about misreading signals. It's about it being totally inappropriate to try to kiss one of your coworkers. Like, duh. Like, seriously. Did you really think that asking me to help you with your work, and telling me that I had such great ideas, and trying to kiss me wouldn't make you look like you're completely full of crap, and make me feel even more disrespected and vulnerable than I already do around here? So, sorry, but sorry doesn't cut it.
Their interaction at the party was amusing, even if he did ruin her appetite with his cheese factoids. Their scene in her office was more enlightening than anything we've learned about him thus far.
He's socially inept, for lack of better terminology, and he enjoyed the fact that Mariana was easy to talk to without making him feel like an oddball. I wonder if that was his version of small talk and he was building up to asking her about her ideas and pitches before he dropped his bullets and Raj interfered?
I can't wait for that to happen. Evan is eager to hear her thoughts. It would help her with the Imposter Syndrome she has been experiencing. It's awful that she doubts herself when she's one of the reasons their team got the secret project.
Imposter Syndrome is real, and so is the struggle. Her idea to start a club for the women could be a great one as long as it doesn't backfire somehow. So far, the only support she has is Casey, and Casey is often too accepting of their crappy situation and treatment.
This installment was the first time she was pissed off about the treatment she experienced, and Mariana was able to support her.
Gael is all over the place when it comes to his love life, but he's a supportive brother. He's frustrated by the tension in their family, and he hates that he's stuck in the middle of it all, but you can tell it never crosses his mind to not support the hell out of Jazmin, and that is respectable and admirable.
I hate to say it, but sometimes I think she brings it on herself.Gael
I don't think he was ignorant to the extreme levels of discrimination that Jazmin faces as a trans woman. He does seem aware of the fact that he's basking in privilege right now since his parents don't know that he's bisexual.
His admiration of Jazmin's bravery living her truth out loud, especially to their parents, may be one of the reasons he's willing to move heaven and earth for her. He has the luxury of not disclosing his identity, whereas she doesn't.
His comment about Jazmin bringing some things upon herself seemed offensive and insensitive, but he must have been thinking about it from a different perspective. In his mind, it's not ideal, but Jazmin doesn't need to fight every battle to which she's invited.
Part of life is knowing which ones to pick and when. That's part of survival too; I imagine it has to be for trans women, especially trans women of color. Her safety is on the line, and it's a terrifying thought that her outspokenness could cause more issues than work discrimination.
I'm glad they cleared up why it wasn't easy for Jazmin to get her name and gender information changed. That bullshit felony she acquired after being harassed puts her situation into perspective more.
Many of her problems are a result of her information still saying that she's Alejandro Martinez instead of Jazmin. It puts her at the mercy of her employer at every turn and makes it difficult when they or customers are transphobic.
Gael: Why does this keep happening?
Jazmin: It's not my fault the world is full of bigots. I gotta stand up for myself and for what's right.
The entire time she was serving at the Speckulate party, I was afraid that Zeke would be the one to do or say something that would hurt her. He was flirty and interested in her, and it could have gone left when she told him that she's trans.
She's so brave for being upfront about it knowing the risks, and I held my breath when he approached her again. It didn't matter to him, which was a relief, but then her boss was a jerk, and Gael's protective bro mode was activated. I was there with him.
Jamie is a gosh damn gem, and I love him to bits. He had no problem taking on their case or passing it to someone who would take it on. Yes, he did it as a favor to Callie, but also because he's a decent guy in general.
He has been a great support, friend, and peer-mentor to Callie, and their friendship/flirtation is adorable.
Gael and Callie are hot together, and they have incredible chemistry and genuine feelings. They are shippable but so are Callie and Jamie. They have an easygoing, fun and flirty vibe that's appealing too.
Callie may have claimed she isn't doing romance, but she's juggling two guys at the moment, and they both like her. I would say "poor Gael" after him catching Callie and Jamie kissing, but he has been flaunting Bryan around for a bit, so it works both ways.
Good Trouble did us all a favor knocking out that conflict of interest Callie had as quickly as they did. As expected, Wilson respected the fact that Callie was forthright with him. Wilson's genuine respect for Callie remains interesting even if Callie does question all of the time if he has ulterior motives.
Jamie: Oh, uh Gael, just a friend? It's not my business, I just like to know who I'm up against.
Callie: Well, we are seeing other people if that's what you're asking.
Do you think he has ulterior motives with her? Do you think there is a reason that he favors her? Ben went out of his way to get there before Callie so he could meet with Wilson first, and Wilson still chose to speak to Callie before him.
Now, Ben is trying to figure out why Wilson let Callie off the hook when he fired the previous clerk for something innocuous in comparison. Hence, Callie trying to figure out if Wilson is easy on her because of her knowledge about Tate.
Wilson not wanting the others to know about his son could be more personal, but now that we know about his arrangement to get his son off and the announcement of the new chief of police, it could also mean that he's aware of impropriety and conflict of his own.
Is Wilson testing the waters with Callie here? That as a shocking reveal! Wilson's conflict of interest is far more dangerous than Callie's!
Also, did anyone appreciate, albeit in an annoying "Typical bullshit" way the reality of the parallels between Tate Wilson and Jazmin Martinez?
Tate was driving under the influence, endangering lives, and getting belligerent with a cop as well as swinging on him. His daddy and his privilege led to lesser charges and house arrest in his daddy's beautiful home.
Jazmin was harassed, thrown out of a club due to someone else's actions, and caught a felony for resisting arrest despite not being under arrest, which is something she couldn't afford to contest. Ain't life grand?!
Davia: Wow, I'm speechless. Did you really just bang an age-appropriate woman?
Roommate: What? Dennis, with a woman his own age? Did I miss it?
Davia: Sadly, yes. It's like an eclipse; it'll be a while before we see it again.
Dennis: Davia, why are you so obsessed with who I sleep with?
Davia: Well, it's either that or talk about your music, so....
Dennis: Why don't you mind your own business, and we don't talk at all.
If Wilson is testing the waters, Davia is testing everyone's nerves including mine.
There are likely a plethora of deep reasons that contribute to Davia's behavior, and you know, fair enough, but she was out of line for the second installment in a row. Her inner issues don't have to be everyone else's problem all the time.
She presents herself as a body-positive, influencer who is against bullying, but she isn't the most positive with her housemates, doesn't consider how her words matter and influence others, and she has bully tendencies.
It was apparent that Jennifer was Dennis' wife based on the intimate way they held each other. We know that because of his conversation with Stef during Good Trouble Season 1 Episode 5. While it's true that Davia didn't know that, there is nothing about Dennis' seriousness during that moment that suggested he was in the mood for jokes.
It didn't help that Davia's jokes didn't feel like casual jokes with a friend. She was rude, cruel, and vicious for the heck of it. She invited him to come at her as blunt as she was coming at him.
Admit it, the first thing you thought of when she was talking about his love life was "mind your business," and "aren't you the one sleeping with a married man?"
Dennis: Is that how you justify dating a married guy? His wife is a shrew?
Davia: She really is though. We went to high school together. She's a total mean girl.
Dennis: Who's the mean girl now?
Davia: OK, King of One Night Stands. Simmer.
Dennis: So, you can dish it out, but you can't take it? All you do Davia is judge under the guise of calling it like it is or saying what everyone else is thinking. I can guarantee you that no one here feels sorry that your married boyfriend won't leave his wife.
Dennis giving her a taste of her medicine without so much as raising his voice or burning his frittata was a fantastic moment. He called her out, and everything he told her was on point. It's also nice that he mentioned that bit about her being a mean girl by making herself feel better about her actions by calling Jeff's wife a shrew.
The issues they may or may not have in their marriage don't concern her, and she'll never be privy to the extent of them enough to speak so callously about a woman who wasn't so terrible that Davia declined singing at her wedding.
Dennis' words struck a nerve since Davia fled the kitchen like nobody's business. He also got through to her when she delivered the divorce papers Jennifer left him.
He could speak to Davia as someone who had cheated on his wife. He could tell her what was evident from the last time Jeff visited her. Jeff doesn't plan on leaving his wife, and no matter what he says to Davia about her, he still loves her.
Dennis cheated on his wife too, but it had nothing to do with falling in love with the other woman. In his case, it may have been in the aftermath of losing their son, and he's been distracting himself with other women ever since.
However, Jeff has been stringing Davia along for a long time with no plans of changing his situation. Davia can't seem to quit him though. There's something there about accepting the love that you think you deserve.
Do you ever feel like you're an imposter? Like you tricked someone into hiring you and like you're not as good as everyone else?Mariana
Davia deserves better than Jeff, but until she knows that, she's stuck in this cycle. As for why Davia needs the Coterie? She's incapable of communicating effectively with people outside of social media.
She seems like the type who has many social media friends, but she didn't have enough experience with real friends in person, maybe because of how they treated her due to her size or because of what she internalized herself due to her mother.
Even when she approached Dennis while he was cooking, she never apologized and instead opted to breeze past their tiff by telling him that he should make her something too while he was at it. Then, when she came to the pool to speak to him, she couldn't express remorse without also needing him to validate her and make her feel better.
She's confident, to a degree, but she had to work hard to get there, and she may rely too much on her abrasive humor as armor used to protect herself because it comes at other people's expense.
In addition to beloved Alice, Dennis has become a favorite. He often comes across like the "big kid" who can hang out with the younger housemates, and given many of his proclivities they tend to write him off as such. His wisdom and maturity come through during one-on-one moments though.
So does his pain. My heart ached for him when he was looking at the photos of his wife and son and those divorce papers too.
Evan: In social situations, I don't like to talk to people. I find the energy I give out doesn't have a compensatory return in most cases.
Mariana: Yeah, that's true of most people around here.
Mariana: No, no you're not boring.
Evan: Really? Thank you. You're not boring either.
Marina: Thank you.
Josh Pence continues to impress, and the final scene between Dennis and Davia was one of the best of the hour, including that gorgeous duet of one of the best songs ever. Kenny Loggins, FTW!
Emma Hunton and Josh Pence have beautiful singing voices, and they sounded amazing together. Was I the only one who got misty-eyed? Stupid allergies.
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics! Did Raj screw up big time? What are your thoughts on Mariana and Evan? Do you think the Ladies Fight Club is a good idea?
Were you shocked by Wilson's conflict of interest? Are you suspicious of his fondness for Callie? What does this mean for the case?
What are your thoughts on Jazmin's story arc and Dennis and Davia butting heads? Hit the comments!
As always, you can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.