The powers are shifting, and Eugene has returned.
It's interesting how allegiances shift with this series, and Filthy Rich Season 1 Episode 4 continued to soften the edges of its characters as some become more likable by the second.
It also teased us with what we wanted: the Margaret and Ginger team-up as the women come together against the scheming group of terrible men.
The hour was unusual. It had a lot of its camp, which we've come to expect from the series, but it was also quieter and more insular.
The majority of the action took place on the family estate, and there were so many little moments of raw vulnerability and complexity with the characters. It made for an enjoyable hour.
The titular Bible verse is Romans 8:30, which states, "And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."
But the one that continued to stand out most was Matthew 18:20. It's the verse Franklin slipped to Luke before, but it was more than a scripture; it was a reference to the secret group of powerful men of which Eugene and Reverend Paul belong.
The motley group of silent board members used Margaret's attempt to appeal to them to plot against her and use Eric to do it. Eugene never so much as mentioned 18:20 to Eric, and it was probably for a good reason.
All of the men I thought were family are monsters. For all I know, you are too.Rose
We're getting a better idea of what's been happening behind the scenes of the Monreaux family.
It was the hour where Margaret understood how little she knew about things going on around her and how the 18:20 doesn't respect her.
They're a bunch of powerful, sexist, and greedy men. They have their hands in some of everything shady in New Orleans and are responsible for hurting so many of the other characters.
At this point, Paul and the others aren't even hiding what they're doing. Paul already told Margaret to her face that she's looking at a hostile takeover.
Paul: People like your mother put their faces out there. See ... real power is invisible.
Virgil: Eugene forgot that.
Townes: But you won't will you, son?
They're content running things from behind the scenes and making the Monreauxs puppets. And they do whatever they please to get what they want.
It's strategic that Rose used to be engaged to one of the 18:20 member's son. It's deliberate that the son in question (who has to be returning soon, yes?) was getting pushed into politics.
The same goes for Eric and his marriage to Becky. It's not a coincidence that she's Paul's sister, and she's mindful of some of what's going on while still happily "staying in a woman's place."
They want to use Eric as much as they can, but they don't have any respect for the guy. It makes you wonder what dirt they have on him to blackmail him into doing what they want.
Tina: Ginger, we have to go.
Rose: Oh no, it's fine. Mama can never have too many houseguests.
Tina: It's not her, it's the men.
Rose: I've known them all my life.
Tina: And I knew them since before you were born. If they find me here, they're going to kill me.
After all, based on everything Tina shared, it's what they did to Eugene. We're at the stage where the series is cleaning Eugene up a bit as we get the full picture.
Tina was so terrified of the 18:20 she hid away in the attic. They used her to seduce Eugene so they could have blackmail on him and make him do whatever they wanted.
If that's the case, then he probably didn't join the 18:20 by choice, and much of the things happening at Sunny Network are due to these men.
Based on what Franklin said, the one thing Eugene wouldn't concede on was the men taking over Margaret's Sunny Network. Franklin said Eugene would die before he let that happen, and that was a mouthful right there.
Between that and Paul's comment about Eugene's death being God's will, it's evident the 18:20 were behind Eugene's plane crash. They wanted him out of the way and a clear path toward taking everything over.
But Eugene's "death" has inadvertently brought his chickens home to roost, yes, but also all of the people who have the motivation to take down 18:20.
Their plan to distract the woman with one another has backfired now that Margaret has proposed a "Ladies table." I can believe Margaret was genuine in her intentions, and also that she and Ginger could be formidable.
Tina has never harbored the negative energy toward Margaret that Ginger has, so it's unsurprising that she's onboard too. She also is one of the 18:20's biggest victims here, and she also views Eugene as one too.
Margaret: You let God take care of those men, and we'll take care of the rest. If those men won't give us a seat at their table we'll create our own.
Rose: A ladies' table.
Yopi seems aware of how big of a snake Virgil is, and they have a history. If she can get past her jealousy of Margaret, she could be valuable to have on the women's side too.
It's some of the men who are hard to place in all of this. "Jason" is a given following Rose's lead, but he's still harboring the big secret of his identity, and Antonio's MMA ambition may blind him.
Eric is such an obvious pawn, and there are some moments when it feels as if he's falling into the 18:20's trap with his eagerness to be part of something big and valued. But then there are other moments when it does feel as though he knows it's all bullcrap and they're using him.
Eric's loyalties are all muddled, and at the center of everything, he's a grieving man who can't make sense of who his father let alone what he wants out of his life.
Antonio: She doesn't insult me. She's nice.
Yopi: Rich people can afford to be nice. They don't know how to fight for anything!
It was a nice change of pace to see the brothers all hanging out together on the farm, and shockingly, Eric went back to his bedroom with Becky and told her that Jason and Antonio aren't so bad.
So he is coming around to the extra-siblings. But every second he spends with Becky, it's apparent that they were all but an arranged marriage of convenience.
Becky doesn't appear to love or be interested in him, and she never pays him any attention. On top of that, they can't have any intimate, real discussions, and she doesn't have sex with him because of her belief that sex is only for procreation.
Is anyone else waiting for some shocking twist that Becky is really Paul's lover and not his sister, and they've been playing a long-con since the beginning?
You shouldn't be with the liars making you live a lie. You deserve better than me, Rose. I love you. I don't want to be another monster in your life.Jason
These glimpses into their relationship help us understand how and why he turns to Rachel. His Sin Wagon sessions with Rachel aren't even sexual; she listens and talks to him, which is something he doesn't get from anyone else in his life.
The more we learn about Eric, the more evident it is he's not so much a colossal jerk but a lost little boy in a man's body, looking for acceptance. He still can be a jerk sometimes, don't get me wrong, but with context, he at least makes more sense.
We didn't get any confirmation on whether or not Rachel is still filming their sessions, and she must not have told Ginger about them either. I don't know what that means for Rachel and Eric, or Eric on his own.
It's the type of thing, that if leaked, could affect the family again and destroy Eric, but the question is: how would that exposure happen?
Eugene: I'm calling the law.
Officer: Silly Eugene, I am the law
The only way I can think of is if Eric does join the 18:20 officially, pitting him against his mother and others, or if somehow he's collateral damage between Margaret and the 18:20.
Meanwhile, Franklin is such a wildcard. It feels as though he's playing both sides of this, and he only has his best interest at heart with it all.
He was the one who tipped Luke off about the 18:20, which gave the impression that he was part of it. And Paul even suggested that he was too since they all expect to communicate with Franklin over Margaret.
However, with this Good Ole Boys club they have going on, it's not lost that meetings and communication often exclude Franklin, too.
While Margaret was complaining about the men casting her aside, Franklin reminded her that he, as a black man in Lousiana, is no stranger to her gripes on the matter.
So it makes you wonder, does Franklin feel like a member or a placated pawn?
It was crappy of Franklin to go missing and then critique Margaret for how she handled the men on her own. But his reasoning behind his absence was a doozy.
He's sleeping with Vivian, Victor's wife. She's a "good time" girl, who presumably spent the entire hour hitting on Jason/Mark, but then they revealed another juicy secret.
She's Jason's birth mother. She is also the one who gave Franklin the information to track Jason and the others down.
Her obsession with Jason/Mark wasn't because she wanted to sleep with him, but rather, she hoped to get close to her son.
Unfortunately, she doesn't realize that Jason isn't Jason.
Who HASN'T Eugene slept with on this show? Someone needs to douse his equipment in holy water.
What do you make of Eugene's final angel having him work on a certified plantation that belongs to Virgil Love? For one, Tina Lifford is awesome, and her appearance made me miss Queen Sugar with every fiber of my being.
But the Swamp Angel, his mother, and the law have made him think about his life and his actions. He wanted to go home and make amends with his family.
It's still utterly absurd that after a high profile death, no one has shared that he's alive. But his scene where he overheard Margaret's prayer made me gasp.
They gave so many clues along the hour, from Margaret's comments about expecting him to walk through the field to another lovely round of Eric singing, this time Wayfaring Stranger.
Of course, it was Tina who saw him. If you didn't buy into their love story, it was easy to do so with their wordless exchange. It was such a special scene.
Rachel York is so fabulous as Tina Sweet. Tina's pain and sadness are so palpable, and you feel for this woman tortured by demons.
What exactly is Eugene's plan? He knows the wrongs he committed and how he has to make things right.
I imagine overhearing Margaret asking God how many times is she supposed to forgive him will put him on a path toward redemption.
But how does he expect to do that by staying in the shadows?
I love the parallels; Eugene's children stayed in the shadows for their safety, and now that's where he resides. But for how long?
Over to you, Filthy Rich Fanatics. What do you think is Eugene's game plan? How are you feel about Eric these days? What are your thoughts and theories about 18:20?
Hit the comments below. You can watch Filthy Rich online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.