Tuesday, July 2, 2019

REVIEW: 'Good Trouble' - Mariana Launches Her App During Jazmin's Big Celebration in 'Doble Quince'

Freeform's Good Trouble - Episode 2.03 "Doble Quince"

Gael and the rest of the Coterie help Jazmin plan a big celebration - a "Doble Quince" - to celebrate her 30th birthday and the quinceañera she never had. Mariana decides to use the event to beta test her app, but things don't go as planned.

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.

"Doble Quince" was written by Joanna Johnson & Ashly Perez and directed by Bradley Bredeweg

Mariana's app is somehow already in beta testing. That's miraculous. It also proves that the show really wants to move quickly with this story even though it doesn't make sense considering Mariana and Raj are the only people who have ever worked on it. In the previous episode, Mariana was still assembling her team for this project. She then got distracted by having to put together a new initiative for Evan in order for the Speckulate employees to voice their grievances about the workplace. And yet, she appears to have a fully functional app that is already having real world consequences. The central event of this hour is Jazmin's doble quinces. It's a celebration of her becoming the woman she was always destined to be. She is surrounded by love and even delivers a powerful message about the sacrifice veterans give to this country no matter what their gender identity is. This creative team has always been very focal with its political storytelling. That is abundantly clear throughout this storyline. Jazmin has come not to expect much from her family after they rejected her for being trans. They would rather just mourn the death of their son. All she wants is the dog tags that symbolize the courage and sacrifice she gave to the country. It's ultimately a beautiful but complex story about how people can continue to surprise their loved ones by showing up and being supportive when the time comes for it. It shows how ignorance still permeates through so much of our culture. Jazmin's grandfather can accept her being trans but can't understand Gael being bisexual. That too is such a fascinating conversation. One that does unite the siblings because they hold onto each other as the remaining family of love and support they have. But it shows how people can be cruel and bigoted when it comes to not wanting to fully understand. That's such a crucial conversation the show is really starting here. And yet, so much of the actual event revolves around Mariana and Raj ensuring that their app actually works so that it can be a fundraiser as well. And then, it ends on the big twist that it did malfunction by doubling all of the donations that were contributed. That should be happy news worth celebrating when Mariana first hears it. But she sees it as a flaw in her code that will only crush the expectations everyone may have of this app. She feels the pressure to succeed because she knows people will have different expectations for her as a woman of color in this industry. Evan is risking a lot for her. That means something. And yet, Evan continues to be positioned as a guy who is sexually voyeuristic of the bond that Mariana and Evan have. There are too many glances where the audience is left to presume that he looks at them and believes they have just re-entered the office or party after having sex. That's not what happened at all here. Mariana wants to ensure everything goes according to plan. It doesn't and she may be carrying too much of that burden on herself instead of letting people in to help her. That too presents as a fascinating story. She has long fought for everything she has gotten in this world. She had to live that way. And now, it may be getting in her way as she always feels closed off unless people put in the work to actually understand her perspective. It's a vital point-of-view. It just may not always be beneficial. That's an engaging character study though. When it comes to Callie in this episode, the show is just being a little too opaque and wishy-washy because she keeps going back-and-forth on her personal feelings for Jamie and Gael. The issue with Jamie feels like it is created just to make tension in this specific episode even though it would have been easily solved with the two of them communicating honestly. That's what happens eventually. It just doesn't quite feel worth it with all of the drama happening elsewhere.