Tuesday, March 5, 2019

REVIEW: 'Good Trouble' - Rebecca Makes a Big Choice About Her Future Which Could Hurt Her Family in 'Willful Blindness'

Freeform's Good Trouble - Episode 1.09 "Willful Blindness"

While Gael is busy prepping for his upcoming art show, Callie is on edge about how much Rebecca knows of her living situation. Callie urges Rebecca and Judge Wilson to take action to protect a young female clerk working for a judge with a history of harassment. Alice is roped into planning a wedding shower for Sumi.

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.

"Willful Blindness" was written by Lauren Moon and directed by Kelli Williams

Mariana's story is mostly sidelined here. That allows more time to be spent with Malika, Alice and Gael in their personal lives. Those characters have long needed more development this season. And now, the show is finally giving it to them. Malika and Alice are even given stories here that hit extremely well. With Gael, too much of it is still focused around Callie and whether or not they are still flirting with one another. That's a dynamic that has been done a lot so far. It's more interesting to see Gael become comfortable in his own skin as a queer artist of color. Meanwhile, it stings so much when Malika goes to visit her mother and the thing she wants to say to her is that she forgives her for calling DCFS on them. Of course, the conversation develops into both parties needing to apologize and forgive each other. And yet, it starts off with that statement of forgiveness. That hurts so much because Malika doesn't believe she did anything wrong. In that terrible situation, she was the only one looking out for herself and her brother. Their mom doesn't see it the same way. She is in failing health now. But she is also still making excuses for her past behavior without really changing in the present. There is no reason for Malika to find a new connection with her. She has found a new makeshift family at the Coterie and with the Jamal Thompson case. But she sees her brother as still enabling their mother. She wants to continue protecting him. And yet, there is nothing that she can do or say that would get him to change his perspective when it comes to their mother. He sees her as having changed even though she's still getting drunk all of the time to deal with her pain. That proves that she may not be taking her sobriety all that seriously. Malika knows better. But it still hurts so much too because she wants family in her life. It just means that she continually shows up at the courthouse even though that could complicate things for Callie. Elsewhere, Alice would love to dive into her new relationship with Joey. She has found someone new she likes and wants to spend time with. Instead, everything is still being defined by her lingering feelings for Sumi. Her plan to organize the wedding and the various ceremonies leading up to it isn't working. It's not getting her to properly address her feelings. Instead, she lashes out by telling simple jokes to a small audience. She should feel the confidence to be comfortable in her own world as well. However, she is continually afraid of the world and how people perceive her. She wants her parents love even though they disapprove of everything she does. She wants to be around Sumi even though she takes advantage of her. She has this potential new career as a comedian. And yet, that too is quickly sidelined because she doesn't want to do anything that Sumi could be hurt by. But she has nothing else she can talk about because that remains the core focus of her life. That just means things with Joey end before they really have a chance to get started.

Meanwhile, Callie and Rebecca are still dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace. Callie couldn't keep Rebecca's secret. She knew that action needed to be taken against the judge. She couldn't just sit on the sidelines and do nothing. She wanted to protect the new female clerk who was working for him. She is persuasive with everyone in the judge's chambers. However, this isn't her story to tell either. It's ultimately up to Rebecca to decide if she should file a complaint. The situation was handled for her because of her connections. She has landed in a position with a much better judge. Judge Wilson cares about his clerks and the opinions that they share. He also believes he can't do anything to reprimand his colleague without any official complaint. As such, it feels like everyone's hands are tied until something tragic happens once more. However, Rebecca realizes that she needs to stand up and make a difference. Otherwise, she would always just live in the shadow of her family. Her time as a clerk has seen frequent mentions from Ben about the world she comes from and how easy opportunities come for her. She hasn't had to work hard. She hasn't faced any adversity. That's not true in the slightest. But she is also faced with the reality that no one in her family really sympathizes with what she went through. Her mother just thinks it's part of the culture that is incapable of changing. That's absolutely horrifying. Just because something may be too ingrained in society doesn't mean that people should stand back and let it continue happening. Rebecca wants to stand as her own person. She wants to fight for what she believes in. She has wildly different politics than Callie. And yet, she also respects her and the push she gave to her in this instance. Sure, it may have been more of a shove. That's simply how Callie operates. She always goes too far and then has to walk things back. But everything seems like it reaches a satisfying conclusion here. Of course, it's also awkward how this is Rebecca's last day working for Judge Wilson. She moves to Denver to start the new job she has just secured. That's more than likely a result of Molly McCook booking a series regular role on the Last Man Standing revival. At least this show prioritized her as a character and made her exit vital to the story. Of course, all of the legal drama may be getting more complicated as well. It's becoming more and more clear that Callie and Judge Wilson shouldn't be handling the Jamal Thompson case. Callie feels that Judge Wilson may be facing pressure from the new chief of police to go easy on his unit. He has the leverage because of the arrest against the judge's son. But Callie only has her suspicions. And yet, she too is constantly worried about the truth about her friendship with Malika being exposed. That's lame and really repetitive. It was a dynamic that was seemingly solved only for it to be popping up once more here.