Sunday, July 24, 2022

REVIEW: 'P-Valley' - History Rings Out Throughout Chucalissa as Clifford and Lil Murda Rely on Each Other in 'Jackson'

Starz's P-Valley - Episode 2.07 "Jackson"

Uncle Clifford wrestles with her future while opening the door to the past. Meanwhile, Mercedes struggles with the complexities of motherhood.

"Jackson" was written by Ian Olympio & Nina Stiefel and directed by Jennifer Arnold

History informs everything in Chucalissa. This hour starts with Earnestine's performances throughout the decades. She has been a part of The Pynk for years. She brought music and joy to this place. She served as a constant inspiration for her family. She can no longer get on stage and perform like that. In fact, she receives the call that her time in life is up. She should be ready to move on. That fate doesn't fall on her quite yet. It's still absolutely heartbreaking. It comes across as Uncle Clifford losing so much of what has long been personal to her. She forged her own path from a young age. She was uplifted with a ton of support. Her presence remains alien to Lil Murda. However, she opens her doors to people in need. She can't save everyone. Moreover, she's at a loss for how her grandmother contracted COVID-19. She simply has to be there for her right now. It serves no purpose to worry or be angry. That would only ensure the most brutal outcome. Clifford and Hailey have different opinions about selling the club. Hailey isn't trying to secure the deal for $10 million to honor history and the ancestors denied their fair share of wealth. It's a convenient argument when Clifford mentions what this building has long meant to her. Hailey is trying to fundamentally build something of her own. This serves as a good enough opportunity. She found a path. She secured it. She still thinks about herself first. She isn't completely narcissistic. She reaches out with compassion upon seeing Keyshawn's continued abuse. Keyshawn was paralyzed by fear. She could never escape Derrick without him finding a way to hurt her and their children. She was forever destined to be trapped. All she can do is hang on and hope to avoid the worst punishment for as long as possible. She's alone and can't rely on anyone for support. That's not true. Hailey understands the experience. Moreover, she wants to help Keyshawn before it's too late. Hailey waited too long. As a result, her daughter died. That was yet another example of Hailey taking advantage of a situation once it arose. She never wants to be left at the mercy of others ever again. That means she's much more forceful and direct with what she needs now. She knows how to offer Keyshawn support. Keyshawn still has to make the decision herself. She now has the tools to do so should she want to. That's the beauty of this life. People are bonded together because of shared history. They recognize that power. That doesn't prevent them from making the same mistakes. Those echoes are still all too common. Their opportunities are limited based on what was previously done. However, things are allowed to feel hopeless. The future won't remain as gloomy as the present seems. It's still hard to arrive at that clarity.

Lil Murda remains traumatized by Big Teak committing suicide. He refused to let his friend feel abandoned. That didn't stop that action from taking place. Murda sought refuge from Clifford. He received it. He is welcome in this house. It forces the two of them together. They are broken. They need each other. They no longer feel in control. The only thing that matters is leaning on each other. That's a safe and welcoming place. Earnestine's deteriorating condition is still terrifying. Clifford refuses to let her grandmother believe this is the end. It may very well be. She has to be hospitalized. That's devastating. Murda still opens up and is willing to accept Clifford's world. He may not be able to step out in public. He's making huge progress in accepting himself and what he deserves. This love is wrought with drama and torture because they don't know how to accept happiness. For too long, it felt like something that had to remain in the shadows. They could never embrace it for too long because the ideals of the concept were never realistic for them. That's simply not true. They still have to overcome those fears. Murda has questions about Clifford's identity. He steps up and defends her when she's misgendered. That's an action that proves how loyal and loving this dynamic has become. They are still in pain because of what's happened. They don't have to share everything right now. They only have to rely on each other. That's an expression of what they want and are willing to accept. That strengthens their bond in an empowering way. The same applies to Mercedes and Terricka. For years, Mercedes wanted to blame the system for preventing her from being a mother. She had to give birth. That was the only option Patrice gave her. Mercedes doesn't know how to be a mother. She was too immature when she got pregnant. She didn't even know what she wanted for her own future. She has continually had to hustle to survive. Right now, she has to support Terricka. Mercedes has her own opinions about her daughter being pregnant. She wants to provide options. She also has to strike up that conversation without alienating Terricka and making her feel like there is only one right choice. That's simply not true. It takes awhile for them to arrive at that moment of peace. It only comes from Mercedes accepting her faults. She hasn't been a good mother. She is trying to be now. She deserves that opportunity. Terricka also has to do what's best for her. It can't be in response to a world trying to force their opinions onto her. Two paths are laid out and she decides to make the turn to Jackson. Mercedes could have acted just like her mother. In several instances, she does mirror Patrice. The cycle is broken though. Mercedes and Terricka have reason to hope for a better dynamic moving forward. It's all about how much energy they are willing to spend on it. It's pointless to remain enraged at Patrice. It's more meaningful to be present and loving as mother and daughter trying to make sense of a world full of danger.