Sunday, July 3, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Upshaws' - Financial Success Only Masks the Illegal Actions It Takes for Bennie to Support the Family in 'Goin' In'

Netflix's The Upshaws - Episode 2.08 "Goin' In"

After their blowout, Lucretia takes time for herself while Regina gets fed up at work. Bennie fears he's losing Kelvin. All drama leads back to the shop.

"Goin' In" was written by Annie Levine & Jonathan Emerson and directed by Linda Mendoza

Regina was told that returning to college and getting her degree would create a windfall of economic prosperity for her family. As such, she's been very determined on achieving that goal. She will do whatever it takes to make that a reality. And yet, pursuing that goal has been much more strenuous than anyone could have imagined. The system isn't set up for her to succeed. The world is constantly throwing problems at this family to ensure they remain exactly where they are. Regina hasn't even gone to grad school yet. All of her hustling has simply been to pay for that opportunity. It's startling when Regina and Bennie look at their account and see money in it. They suddenly feel like they can treat their children to something nice. They celebrate having money to spend. It's still not enough to completely change their lives. They are still in awe of what they've accomplished in just a week. It also comes when Regina and Lucretia are fighting. This family depends on one another. Lucretia wants her sister to be honest about how much help she needs. Lucretia has long offered emotional support for the family whenever they need it. She has sacrificed her entire life so they could dream. She doesn't have the same financial insecurities though. That's never something she has to worry about. That gives her the ability to spend a lot of time around the house. She enjoys doing that as well. She wants to occupy this space and provide support for her family. She doesn't know what to do with her time otherwise. Everyone is so dependent on each other. Regina wants a better job to provide for her family. It's an aspirational goal that extends far beyond herself. She is the one willing to make that sacrifice to help others prosper. And yet, she isn't the only person asked to sacrifice in order to achieve this goal. She certainly positions herself with that priority. She always has to be the stable one. She can never go off the rails. Her doing so once mostly just leveled out the dynamic with Bennie. That allowed them to be relatively happy and stable as a couple once more. That's never in any doubt anymore. Regina holds onto resentments. They are nonsensical at times. Tasha isn't the same person she was when she first met Bennie. She deserves respect in her own life. She doesn't need all the vitriol pointed her way. She is also just trying to do right by her son. Because that dynamic is removed from the rest of the family, it's hard for certain individuals to live within it and lead with empathy. Tasha has a boyfriend in love with her. He wants to take care of her and Kelvin. Bennie can only see how it impacts him. That is so selfish. He always wants to be seen as a valuable and responsible option for others to depend on. That can never be trusted as evidenced by the final twist.

And so, Bennie and Lucretia are arrested for possessing and reselling stolen car parts. Davis hooked them up with a good deal. They took him up on his offer, which then allowed business to blossom. The shop is busy. That has never been true before. Now, Duck and Tony are running around barely keeping everything straight. That's a huge success. It's a twist of fate that could open many doors elsewhere for the family. The twist may ultimately only sour Bennie's relationship with Davis even further. He was furious that his friend would sue him. He took it as a personal attack that would destroy his business. Davis wanted to see the lawsuit as something that didn't have to change their friendship. That was unavoidable. Lucretia could see through the ruse. She could manipulate it all back to safety. She wasn't looking to gain a friend in the process. She simply wanted to keep her investment stable. She constantly talks up the fact that she owns the shop. That declaration is what ultimately gets her into trouble. Now, it's certainly convenient for her to appear in that moment. It's all meant for everything to come to a head. Regina retreats to the shop as she's in shock over quitting her job. Lucretia returns to her routine even though she's been told to look elsewhere for her personal happiness. Bennie doesn't want any problems. That's all that's popping up. Some of it is of the family's own making. Aaliyah chooses to abandon Savannah in her quest to be popular at school. Bernard wanted to keep his daughter and boyfriend separate so he could enjoy both. Everything is destined to blow up at some point. Bennie had to work hard just to get to a place where the shop could even be open again. That was a struggle. Everything offers the illusion of prosperity. He can embrace that. Meanwhile, Regina is asked to accept the injustices as they constantly appear at her job. She expects her workplace to always appreciate her for her dedication to the job and how good she is at it. That has never been true. Her learning that the scholarship went to a nepotism applicant breaks everything. She deserves the money. She has a plan for how to invest it. Clark has no understand of the value being handed to him. He has no expectations whatsoever. Regina must lead with confidence proving that she is deserving. She absolutely is. The world refuses to give her anything. Instead, she has a husband and sister in jail. The case against them seems pretty damning. They were completely oblivious to the truth. That may not make for a good defense. Nor can they stop bickering long enough to work on getting out of this situation together. That leaves everything precarious heading into the next half of the season.