Star Season 1 Episode 11 Review: Saving Face

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How do you think the percentage of condoms that break in real life compares to the percentage of condoms that break on television? 

It seems as though every single time a character on television finds out she's pregnant, it's because a condom broke.

I know condoms aren't foolproof, but it feels like if condoms broke in real life as often as they do on television, the condom industry would have gone out of business back in the Eighties.

Alex onstage - Star Season 1 Episode 11

I assume this is because television producers don't want to portray irresponsible, unprotected sex as something common and everyday. They want the characters to appear to have made smart life choices, but they also want the drama that a surprise baby brings.

So, they blame the condoms and call it a day.

Why did I just go on a seemingly unprovoked rant about the fragility of fictional condoms? Well, on Star Season 1 Episode 11, Alex became the latest victim of this quintessential plot device. As if just surviving a horrific car accident wasn't bad enough!

Derek was left with nerve damage that means he'll probably never walk again, but Alex managed to escape the accident without a scratch. Good thing, as it turns out she's carrying Derek's child!

Star: Condoms. Great invention, fun for the whole family.
Alex: Clearly it broke.
Star: Well, double up next time, girl.

The Queen Mother herself, Naomi Campbell, showed up to try pressuring Alex into getting an abortion, but in the end, she decided to try being a better mother and supporting Alex no matter what decision she ends up making.

This mother-daughter moment was lovely and heartfelt and provided a scene that I didn't know Naomi had in her as an actress. So, well done!

Star, Alex and Eva Season 1 Episode 11

I also want to give massive props to Ryan Destiny for being able to go toe to toe with Naomi and not quiver in the presence of the legendary supermodel. Also, for having an awesome name like Ryan Destiny. 

Alex: Listen, I haven't been pregnant before.
Star: Why are you saying that like I have been pregnant before?

While Alex has motherhood on the distant horizon, the final performance at Atlanta Next Fest is in the girls' more immediate future. And, after that, Jahil has booked them a five-date tour across the Midwest.

However, it's looking less and less like Jahil will be managing Big Trouble moving forward. First, Big Boi stepped in and offered to produce the group's first album, but only if they ditched Jahil.

Big Boi is back! - Star Season 1 Episode 11

Naturally, everyone except Eva is ready to kick Jahil to the curb with yesterday's clippings from Carlotta's salon. They might be under contract with him, but they're determined to find a way out.

Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for Jahil, "Saving Face" ended with him being arrested for Otis' murder. Whether or not he actually did it is beside the point. Being in prison, facing trial for murder, seems like pretty good criteria for a force majeure.

Why you whispering? She got enough drugs in her system to knock out a horse.

Carlotta [to Jahil, on Cotton]

This, of course, all happens just as Jahil started to redeem himself in my eyes by trying to be a good father to Cotton, his newly discovered daughter. 

Go away, Jahil - Star Season 1 Episode 11

Jahil might be morally reprehensible in a lot of ways when compared with Cotton's churchgoing mother, but Jahil is far more accepting of his transgender daughter than Carlotta is, and that says a lot about him as a person. 

Jahil even offers to be present at Cotton's surgery, an event that Carlotta has been trying to convince Cotton to cancel for quite some time.

I was incredibly impressed by Jahil in these moments, which were almost as touching as those between Alex and Rose later in the episode. And that says a lot because I really hate Jahil.

No such thing as bad publicity...right? - Star Season 1 Episode 11

Unfortunately, Cotton went home to immediately discover that the thousands of dollars she had saved for her surgery had been stolen by her scumbag roommate.

When Cotton crumpled to the floor in agony, only a viewer with a heart of stone wouldn't have been furious on her behalf. 

The moment a child is born, you never stop worrying. But here's the crazy part, Lord. The worst thing that will ever happen to that child is you.


Cotton decided that the best way to raise her lost funds was to guilt-trip her newfound dad into getting her a fake ID, then stealing her ex-boyfriend Elliott's checkbook and illegally cashing a check while dressed as a man.

Now, I know the girl is desperate to have her outsides match her insides, but that is a lot of criminal activity to digest in one sitting.

Big Trouble in their biggest performance yet - Star Season 1 Episode 11

The image of Cotton dressed as a man in a suit, complete with goatee, was a memorable one, and only became more so when Cotton slathered her red lipstick back on immediately following her crime. 

Clearly Cotton is so uncomfortable dressed as a man that she couldn't even wait until getting home before reapplying her makeup and putting on her real face.

Simone: Alex is pregnant.
Carlotta: Well, that's inconvenient.

This, combined with the anecdote Carlotta told Jahil at the beginning of the episode about a young Arnold demanding to be told he was pretty, painted a pretty powerful and revealing image of Cotton's identity as a transgender woman. 

I want Cotton to be able to get her surgery and finally feel comfortable in her own skin; I just wish she didn't have to make so many bad life choices in order for it to happen. I dread to think of what might happen if she has to face the consequences of her actions.

Back to black - Star Season 1 Episode 11

In other developments, Hunter demanded that Star give up her dreams of music stardom and stay at home with him in their big new house instead of going on tour. Naturally, Star was having none of it.

Hunter: You clawed your way into my world.
Star: I could claw my way into much better than your world.

Star is a tough girl, but even she was floored – literally – when Hunter smacked her across the face and then blamed her for what he did, crying "Look what you made me do!"

Star: Who wouldn't want a ball player?
Simone: Me. I would've gone for a rapper.

At one point Hunter references all of the hits to the head he's suffered as a football player as one of the reasons why he is screwed up in the head. But really, there is no excuse for his treatment of Star. He's controlling, possessive and manipulative.

Before all this went down, Star told Simone that she loved Hunter and that he was nice to her. Hopefully, that whack on the head, if nothing else, knocked some sense into her. Just because he's a sports star with perfect abs and an overflowing wallet doesn't mean he's good for Star.

Paris Jackson Guest Stars

In less plot-driven but other news, Paris Jackson guest-starred as a social media maven named Rachel. That's right, Michael Jackson's daughter is now making a name for herself as a model and actress.

While it wasn't exactly a meaty role, watching Rachel snark at Star and Eva and encourage them to act sexy together despite their obvious loathing for each other was quite fun.

Okay, cut the Disney crap. We gotta sex this up a bit.


Paris has a great look – I envied her seemingly effortless, edgy blonde hair and proper presence. She seems destined to be a performer of some kind; after all, it's in her DNA. I'll enjoy seeing what she decides to do next.

What did you think of "Saving Face"? Will Star finally give up on Hunter? Should Alex keep the baby, or put her dreams of pop stardom first? Will Cotton get caught in the tangled web of lies she is weaving? And, do you think Jahil is the real killer? 

Remember, you can watch Star online via TV Fanatic. 

Saving Face Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

Lee Jutton was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She went into retirement in July of 2017. Follow her on Twitter.

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Star Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Okay, cut the Disney crap. We gotta sex this up a bit.


Hunter: You clawed your way into my world.
Star: I could claw my way into much better than your world.