Tuesday, March 26, 2019

REVIEW: 'Good Trouble' - Gael's Art Show Brings Everyone Together for Some Big Revelations in 'Broken Arted'

Freeform's Good Trouble - Episode 1.12 "Broken Arted"

Gael's art show brings together members of the Coterie for an evening that has emotions running high, especially amongst Gael, Bryan, Callie and Jamie. Mariana develops a new app idea to pitch to Evan, but the issues at Speckulate continue to threaten to thwart her plans. Callie learns some shocking information about the Jamal case.

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. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's Good Trouble.

"Broken Arted" was written by Megan Lynn & Wade Solomon and directed by Peter Paige

Even though he doesn't return here, an update is given to Jesus' tiny houses project. It's just told through Dennis' perspective. That is also significant. Sure, it's nice when the other characters from The Fosters come by for a visit. And yet, those appearances are self-contained and not trying to tell longterm stories. With Callie and Mariana, they are once again the central focus trying to figure out their lives in this show. Their siblings and moms just stop by on occasion to offer a different perspective or help them get back on track. It's also just as important to see the other residents of the Coterie as the lead characters here. Dennis, Malika, Alice and Davia should receive just as much attention with what's going on in their lives. And so, the financing for Jesus' project falls through because it was never about him in the first place. It was Dennis' friend doing him a favor because the world views him as being in financial constraints following his divorce. And now, he is trying to value his life and his worth once more. Him trying to step up in that way only knocks him back down quickly. That can have some very devastating consequences. The ending of this hour suggests that he dies from suicide after a confrontation with his ex-wife. He left a scary voicemail on her phone and said his goodbyes to those at the Coterie without any of them realizing what was wrong. He always saw that as the benefit of this living arrangement. These 20-somethings are too caught up in their own lives to care about what's happening in his. It's been isolating. That too is a contributing factor to all of this. There is so much going on in the world. Davia wants to support Malika with her protest. But now, she will have to focus on whether or not Dennis is okay. If not, then tragedy would consume the Coterie residents because they missed everything that was going on with him. That is an intriguing story. Sure, it seems rushed a little bit especially since Davia and Malika are also getting into a debate over whether one of Davia's students is homeless. That story doesn't seem to have much purpose to it whatsoever. It may just continue to prove that Davia enjoys life in Los Angeles because her friends are challenging her to be the best version of herself. If she were to move back to Wisconsin, she would revert back to the woman she was before filled with self-doubts even if she got to be with Jeff in a real and genuine way. She fears that can't last because he too is an awful human being.

Meanwhile, things are only continuing to come to a head in Callie's romantic life. That portion of the narrative has gotten very repetitive with the show not really making sure there is the nuance for each twist and turn. It still mostly feels like a couple of 20-somethings wanting to make a commitment even though they are afraid of what that actually means. Callie and Gael never really explored what it was like to be friends. They agreed to that. But here, they are right back to aggressively flirting with each other while creating one of the best pieces at his art show. It's a piece that Jamie then buys. That's awkward. But again, all of the romantic entanglements don't really mean anything. It should be significant that Gael is struggling with his sense of identity. And yet, that has never really been at the forefront of his story or his relationship with Callie. He maintains some success here. His art showcase is the event that brings everyone together. But that's mostly it. Callie is distracted as well after being taken off the Jamal Thompson case. That doesn't mean she can be more open with Malika about everything going on with Judge Wilson. She still can't publicly support the case against the police. However, she receives the evidence that may prove that the police was biased against people of color. That would be a significant game changer. But it may also be Callie crossing a line in the pursuit of some kind of justice. She was prone to doing that on The Fosters. That impulse is still here as well. Elsewhere, Mariana is confronted with yet another reality of sexism in the workplace. People aren't willing to celebrate Evan liking her pitch and wanting to develop her app because they just assume he agreed to it because he has a romantic interest in her. Mariana sees Evan as someone with social anxiety who is simply opening up about the way he experiences the world. To her, that is perfectly harmless. To everyone else though, she is being treated as a problem that could significantly damage the company. Of course, it's a story that revolves around the closing plot twist of the head of HR handing over the salary information of all the male employees at the company. Even though she is in a position of power, she too feels like there is only so far she can go to bring change to this environment. It may take drastic action for a shake-up to occur. But again, the fallout will be much more consequential than anyone was probably expecting.