Tuesday, January 22, 2019

REVIEW: 'Good Trouble' - Callie Worries How Her Friendship with Malika Could Hurt Her Job in 'Allies'

Freeform's Good Trouble - Episode 1.03 "Allies"

Callie's love life heats up, especially after she reaches out to an old friend for some legal advice. Mariana's attempt to get ahead at work has surprising consequences. Gael's sister, Jazmin, reaches out to him for help.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's Good Trouble.

"Allies" was written by Kris Q. Rehl and directed by Laura Nisbet Peters

It has officially become a trend that Good Trouble tells some of its stories out of order. It's clear that it is solely doing this in order to establish dramatic tension. The show wants the audience to be aware that Malika is sitting next to Jamal's mother during the hearing before Callie gets the advice that she doesn't have to disclose their relationship because Malika has no connection to the family at the center of this case. But all of this mostly proves that Callie is still wildly out-of-her-depth in this legal world. She doesn't really seem to have a ton of confidence. Moreover, Ben and Rebecca are difficult to read as characters. One moment they are working together on the memo and making sure all three get credit in the eyes of Judge Wilson. In the next though, Ben and Rebecca are conspiring against Callie by making her doubt her legal opinion and wondering if there is any looming threat that could damage the credibility of the judge's decision in this case. That's what the season seems to be setting up. Callie and Malika have the potential of being the best of friends. And yet, Callie feels it's necessary to keep distance between them because she can't allow their connection to impact her career. They walk to the courthouse together though. Malika joins the protest outside the building and sits next to the mother in the courtroom. Meanwhile, Callie presents as a member of the judge's team to help give him a well-informed opinion. Moreover, Callie is continually surprised by Judge Wilson and his willingness to call out how insecure she has been. She doesn't really offer any of her opinions with conviction. She thinks that she needs to craft her arguments for what he needs to hear. Ben and Rebecca make her fear that she is just the counter clerk so that the judge is aware of the progressive argument in this matter. And yet, that would diminish the judge's own competence. He doesn't need someone to spell out the political ramifications of his decisions. He has to take into account all of the aspects of this case. He can't allow either side to have an influence on his actions. He is just looking for the best argument. That's what he expects from his clerks. It's just odd how Callie needs to go to Jamie in order to get that appreciation. That is also establishing that Callie will have a complicated personal life this season as well. She may be crushing on Gael. He may be doing so too. And yet, they aren't being exclusive with each other. They are going out with Bryan and Jamie, respectively. They may be yearning for each other though. That is completely unfair to the people they are currently out with. Moreover, it's just very stunted that the show stages that moment in the same location to make it as awkward and noticeable for everyone involved. Elsewhere, Mariana doesn't seem to win no matter where she goes. It's so demeaning to hear Adam mispronounce her name over and over again. It's clear that she is going over-his-head to get the respect within this company. The show is making a point in saying that Mariana is facing harassment and sexism in this environment without it being a systemic issue in this building. Raj would also like to present himself as the nice guy who stands up for Mariana. He just does so after the fact which isn't charming or appropriate at all. He wants to be friends with both sides even though Adam is completely in the wrong. Adam doesn't want to work too hard. But Mariana is determined to be noticed even though every action seems to call her out for something even more embarrassing for her.