The friendship between Davia and Gael has sparked something in that series that we needed.
It's that friendship and Davia's storyline that was the most enriching of Good Trouble Season 3 Episode 5.
With a pandemic, it's evident the series has adapted to film a series with a large ensemble cast around it, and in some ways, that has led to more focused storytelling.
Davia and Dennis are a beloved unit and a part of the series that Good Trouble fans have enjoyed. However, the downside to the pairing was how it led to them exclusively spending all of their time and having storylines that revolved around one another.
What good is an ensemble series where the characters live under the same roof if they don't take full advantage of mix and matching and exploring the dynamics?
Davia often gets sidelined with serving as a supportive figure to Dennis as he battles his depression, and Gael too often was in the wings waiting to be relevant again when Callie gave him the time of day.
It's nice to have these two interacting with one another as a genuine friendship in which they confide in each other about challenges they're facing in life.
Davia's work at the school makes for an enriching storyline that gets to explore some of Good Trouble's key points freshly. The passion and care she has for her job and students are some of her best work, and we get to see her in action outside of being the Coterie's occasional Mean Girl and Dennis' crutch.
Student: Did you hear that? They live together.
Jessie: No way a guy that fine is hooking up with someone as fat and as basic as Ms. Moss.
She's more than deserving of a storyline that doesn't have her defined by her relationship with another character. Even though the hour did broach her insecurities about her weight, pairing it with her teaching children about accepting and respecting each other gave it more dimension.
After all, those insecurities don't vanish. Davia spent years battling her mother's fat-shaming, and one body-positive video doesn't erase all of that.
Things will trigger her, and Dennis choosing to leave to better himself the day after they confessed their love and slept together was bound to bring up those feelings of insecurity again.
No matter what he said, it was hard for her not to put two and two together and assume the worst, that he possibly didn't love her anymore or the sex wasn't good, or he wasn't attracted to her, since she doesn't compare to the women he's previously been with in the past.
And that made her susceptible to Jessie's awful comments in the classroom. Being friends and roommates with someone as conventionally attractive as Gael has its perks and disadvantages. Some young teen assuming that Davia couldn't ever be romantically or sexually viable for "someone like Gael" isn't a perk.
The source of that made Jessie eerily similar to Davia. Jessie's comment was mean, and it put outsiders in the mind of the nerve of her as a big girl putting Davia down.
It was a typical reaction to it, which prompted Andre to jump to Davia's defense, except he did so by tearing Jessie down to the shreds and fat-shaming her, and there's nothing productive about that.
If you or anybody else snaps her bra straps or mine, I will end you.Andre
Davia understands what it's like to bully or be mean-spirited while also getting bullied or verbally bashed.
Davia handled the entire situation well when addressing Jessie and Andre for their behavior after she took the day to gather her thoughts and feel hurt by what both teens said concerning Dennis's situation.
Andre is such a lovely addition to this series, and it's hours like this one, where it hits how much of a pleasure it is that he's on; his relationship with Davia has evolved into something beautiful.
If Davia ever doubts her impact on any of her students' lives, she can look to Andre, where things had a contentious start, and see her influence on him over time.
They've grown to respect one another.
Through Andre, Davia learned how to be a better teacher and person, especially her sensitivity and awareness regarding race, class, and bias in education systems. In turn, he has grown.
By pouring into him and giving him a chance, helping and guiding him as teachers are supposed to do, Andre got to show how amazing a kid he is.
He listened intently when Jessie apologized to Davia and expressed her experiences as a bigger girl who gets punished for existing in her body.
Davia: What if he realized after we had sex that he doesn't love me, you know, like that? I mean I've seen the girls that he dates. What if I'm too thick for him.?
Gael: Don't do that to yourself, but you are beautiful and you are sexy.
We often discuss how dress-codes in schools punish girls for their figures and whatever their bodies evoke in boys and men.
Jessie shared how she often got sent to the principal's office and in trouble for "dressing inappropriately" because boys teasing her and popped her thicker and more visible bra straps.
Davia reminded Andre that what he says does have power and matter. She was more aware than anyone of how the words of a man could affect her self-esteem.
She's right about the power he has as a leader and a more popular kid who the others in class respect. Andre putting it to the test and doing right by Jessie with his bra/tank top combo and putting the other boys in their places was such a sweet gesture.
And Gael was right there on a personal front to tell Davia what she needed to hear. Understandably, Gael telling her how sexy and hot she is and that she turns him on did feel indulgent even if he was genuine. But him reminding her of the video he helped her create and her confidence at that moment was great.
He also told her what some of us have been screaming at the screen. Davia does need to talk to Dennis about her feelings, and she can't keep prioritizing his above her own. It's not fair nor healthy to her.
We weren't privy to how that conversation went, and that's a real shame. I do wonder if Pence's absence, except video, was pandemic-related.
Davia: I'm supposed to be the body positive girl.
Gael: And you are, but Davia, you're also human. Dennis hurt you. I don't think he meant to, but he rattled your confidence. Made you forget who you are for a second. Have you told him how you feel?
Davia: I can't. He's already so fragile, and I'm scared I'm going to make things worse or push him away
Gael: I get that but you can't always try to protect his feelings because then who's going to take care of yours?
Between the closeness with Gael and Matt, who clearly likes Davia, I wonder if she'll be available whenever Dennis returns.
For her part, Davia gave Gael the perfect advice regarding his internship with his testy artist. He, too, can't pour from an empty cup, and the guy was taking advantage of the free labor in the name of "paying dues" to run Gael ragged. He couldn't sustain that and his job, too.
It seemed to work out for Gael when his boss let him stop taking coffee orders and paint instead, so maybe this internship will be fruitful after all. While it didn't take up a lot of screentime, it's nice having Gael focused on his work instead of his love life.
The relationship messiness of the hour was reserved for the ladies. Malika's bond with Dyontae is setting off all the alarms. Isaac is feeling it too, and something tells me that her reassurance won't be enough if her closeness with Dyontae continues.
Malika got blindsided with babysitting Yvonne's kids, and the instant closeness they solidified after sharing a jail cell can lead to so many things.
Yvonne notoriously has childcare issues, and nothing highlighted it more than her calling up a woman she barely knew to watch her kids when she needed it.
Yvonne's kids were a bit of a handful too, and Malika struggled to rein them in, but her eventual connection with a tween named Kiara was sweet.
Kiara: Let me guess, something came up, and she's dumping us with another stranger for the day?
Malika: I'm not a stranger.
Kiara: I don't know you.
Once she got past the girl's defenses, Malika could relay to Kiara how she relates as a daughter who grew up with an absent mother who was doing the best she could.
Maybe after that time together, Kiara can be a bit more understanding of her mother, and perhaps Malika can speak to Yvonne about how Kiara is feeling.
Malika called Dyontae for help, and she can argue all she wants that it was an attempt to thwart the competition, but the truth is, she like spending time with him and his overtures.
Dyontae'as admission that he has a girlfriend after all that flirting left Malika affronted as if she doesn't have a whole ass man herself. He called her on it, too.
Isaac: What you smiling at?
Malika: Oh, um, I'm in this competition with Dyontae.
Isaac: I didn't realize the non-profit world was so competitive.
Dyontae and his girlfriend are polyamorous; that clears up things from his end, but Malika likes him, too, and it's hard to say what that means for her and Isaac.
He wanted them to move in together, and after her time with Dyontae, Malika agreed that was a great idea. However, it wasn't for the right reasons, no? And now Isaac's therapist agrees that they should postpone that.
Both Isaac and Dyontae care about Malika and want her to seek a therapist, but as much as she's quick to advise one for others, she can't consider it for herself.
It's such a realistic depiction of how messy the concept of therapy is and how it's embraced. You can actively try to break the stigma while still perpetuating it, particularly with yourself.
After everything that she's experienced and her staunch refusal to see one purporting that her job (for her, others usually claim it's God and religion) is enough for her, she's likely headed to a dark place.
Will she blow up her relationship with Isaac and risk it all for Dyontae is another question.
Mariana's relationship with Evan is often conflicting with her attempts to launch things the Byte Club. Fortunately, by the end of the hour, they both established some boundaries.
However, the longer she keeps her relationship with Evan secret from Byte Club, the worse things will be.
Men don't quit when they fail. A lot of them fail their way to the top.Mariana
She did have a knack for letting him get in her head and influence how she does things, and she was right about how society conditioned women to play it safe and punished for taking risks.
Men do find a way to fail upward, and the return of Douche and Douchier are prime examples of that.
Mariana is trying her best to be a strong feminist and fight the system, and now that she has established boundaries with Evan, hopefully, she won't let what he says sway her.
However, when Mariana is off learning lessons and keeping secrets, the rest of the Byte Club are struggling financially with the effects of quitting their jobs to follow her. I wonder when that's going to bite her in the ass.
We've all been conditioned to not believe in ourselves, that women can't be bold, that we have to walk before we can run. How can we expect anyone to believe we're capable if we can't believe in ourselves?Mariana
They shouldn't quit or cave, but they do need everyone to stay focused. The Byte Club needs a break, sooner or later, and if that means coming up with the boldest plan to middle-finger the sexism of the system, or starting small, then so be it.
And Mariana has to stop jumping to the worst conclusions. She mistook Evan's advice as sexism and got mad at him about it without talking to him first.
God bless the often socially inept Evan jumping into the deep end of a relationship with Mariana, who will test his ability to read through the lines and pick up on cues.
Evan responded with the difficulties of setting a start-up and getting in over his head with his former friends. He also didn't want Mariana's plans to destroy the relationships she has with her friends. Evan could very well end up being right.
Evan: Everything in my loft has its own place so I just need you to not move anything ever.
Mariana: OK. Got it. Sorry.
Evan: I know that sounds silly it's just um at work I have to tolerate so many things that are out of my control. Things that cause anxiety and actual physical pain, so at home, I need order, so I can have one place in this world where I feel safe. Like how I feel when I'm with you when you're not moving all of my stuff around.
Mariana: Well, I'm happy you feel safe with me.
I love that Evan's issues with Mariana were related to his seemingly fastidious nature.
He explained his issues with her quirks so beautifully when he said that his home is the only place where he feels safe and in control. Of course, that's aside from how she has become the personification of safety for him.
Anyone familiar with someone or themselves has such quirks, if you will, could understand how Evan was silently going nuts with Mariana's carefree nature in his home.
They're making things work and communicating with each other. The relationship they have right now seems to be working for them.
Callie's relationships, in general, keep haunting her.
Instead of talking things through with Kathleen, Callie fished around behind her back and attempted to undermine her.
It's like Callie never learns at all, and it puts you in the position of understanding where everyone is coming from more than her.
She has to stop assuming that everyone who does things differently than she does cares less or that she's the only one whose moral compass matters.
I think we need to be very careful when we assume that mentally ill people are not capable and we take away their right to advocate on their own behalf.Zoey
She was livid about Kathleen choosing trial over a deal with Jerod's case, and she assumed that it was about the money. Callie even went as far as contacting Jerod's sister behind Kathleen's back in hopes of getting her on her side.
Kathleen has a story, the methods she uses to do things dance on the line of unethical at times, and there's more to why she chose to get into this field out of the blue.
However, she still knows what she's doing, and her reasoning often makes sense. She's the expert, and she didn't get to where she is without being great at her job.
Callie not trusting her or looking for a reason to undermine the person giving her a shot when others would hold things against her is annoying.
Kathleen: You have to stop second-guessing me.
Callie: I wasn't trying to.
Katheleen: And stop talking. This is your third job since you graduated law school. You quit your clerkship with a federal judge. You quit legal aid, and if you ever go behind my back again calling family members and contradicting my advice, you will be looking for your fourth job since you've graduated, and good luck getting anyone to take a chance on you with a record like that.
It's not to say that Kathleen is a Saint .or that her actions aren't questionable at times.
Even Zoey, Jerod's sister, didn't hesitate to rightly point out that Kathleen should be mindful of what she's saying when implying that mentally ill individuals aren't in the right frame of mind to know their best interest.
But Callie earned every bit of that reality check that Kathleen gave her when she reminded Callie of her knack for quitting her previous jobs as if her inability to align herself with those she disagrees with is something unique to only her.
If this doesn't work out with Kathleen and she can't return to legal aid, it will reflect Callie poorly and highlight what we've seen to be true.
I think we need to be very careful when we assume that mentally ill people are not capable and we take away their right to advocate on their own behalf.
Callie is incapable of getting along with those she disagrees with or people different from her.
She self-sabotages at every turn. Sue tried to do it again in the name of Jerod this time, but she always goes through the backdoor or runs through things with a bulldozer instead of handling things maturely.
Zoey agreed with Kathleen about going to trial, and Kathleen's point is reasonable. She doesn't want Jerod to take a deal because it gives him a felony.
And if he falls off of his meds and gets into trouble again, which he's susceptible to do and is easy to do with the combination of his mental illness and a felony.
The slippery slope to three-strikes is right there. In the long-run, it does serve Jerod better if he goes to trial.
It's likely something Callie didn't consider while assuming she was the one with Jerod's best interest at heart. But this is what happens when you're a baby lawyer.
And as if Kathleen handing Callie her are wasn't enough to humble her a bit, Callie has to negotiate with Jamie for Yvonne's best interest.
The universe is trying to tell Callie that to survive in this world and her field, she needs to learn how to properly deal with people she deems against her or with alternative viewpoints.
Callie: What are you doing here?
Jamie: I work here now as a DDA. This is my case.
Let us hope she doesn't once again jump to a poor conclusion and decide that Jamie would behave unprofessionally while handling Yvonne's case to "get back at her."
Jamie got a new job in record time, to borrow from the title of the hour, "because, men."
If Jamie wasn't going to do anything, he was going to land on his feet. He shouldn't have needed to, but this is going to be interesting.
They can't stop being adversaries. Bring it on.
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics! Do you love all of the Davia and Gael scenes?
Did Callie earn that tongue lashing from Kathleen? How long before all of this bites Mariana in the behind?
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.