On Star Season 1 Episode 12, Big Trouble took the big stage at Atlanta Next Fest for their final performance.
And for a moment, to which this entire season has been building up, it felt a bit...rushed.
We didn't see any of the other performers, only Big Trouble. And while their overall performance was perhaps the most cohesive we've ever seen them, the song itself was not a standout.
Better than the song was the way the girls seem to have finally meshed together as a group. Their three distinct personalities still shine through, but they no longer feel like they're clashing. Instead, they're complementary.
I'm glad Star, Simone and Alex have become such a tight-knit group. Catty infighting is such a stereotype in these kinds of stories. I hope that they can continue to work together and support each other without trying to sabotage each other.
After all, Alex is going to need all the support she can get after deciding to have Derek's baby!
I thought for sure she would end up miscarrying. It seemed totally in line with something that would happen on Star. But, I'm happy that extra baggage wasn't thrown into the mix. There's already more than enough drama here!
Simone: I dreamt about it all night. We are gonna slay.
Star: You bet your ass we are.
The girls barely had a chance to take a breath following their exertions onstage before it was announced that they were the winners of the contest. Since we didn't see any of the other performances, I assumed they would be.
If we had been shown at least one of the other acts, it would have implied someone was going to at least give them a run for their money. But with no one else for us to judge, who else could have possibly won?
Even their rival girl-group, who appeared in several other episodes this season and seemed set to become Big Trouble's possible downfall thanks to their much more polished and professional vibe, were nowhere to be found when the final curtain fell.
I can only assume that the season's most climatic and anticipated moment was rushed so quickly because there were so many other plot points that needed to be resolved.
I came to Atlanta to make music, not to get pregnant.Alex [to Derek]
And that was the biggest problem with Star Season 1. There was just too much going on for any of it to be handled properly.
The show should have put the music first. But with murder, human trafficking, substance abuse, unexpected pregnancy, police violence, racial tension, robbery, religion and transgender issues on the agenda, it often ended up taking a backseat to everything else.
Some of these issues – Cotton's identity as a transgender woman and Derek's involvement in Black Lives Matter – deserved to have been addressed. But many of the others just felt excessive and unnecessary.
Keeping with the show's consistently inconsistent tone, the final hour of the first season went to some pretty dark places while also being pretty absurd at times.
Simone: How could you let him do that to you?
Star: Because you know that you don't let it happen!
What was dark? Well, it dealt pretty heavily with victim blaming and the different ways women deal with being abused.
Simone was furious that Star "allowed" herself to be pushed around by Hunter, even though she of all people should know that it isn't always so easy to stand up for yourself in those situations.
When someone is being abused, they can become convinced that they deserve it, be blinded by the person's otherwise good behavior, or freeze up and be unable to act out due to fear. Often it can be easier to numb themselves to the pain than to break free.
Star and Simone both deal with this kind of trauma at the hands of their respective abusers, albeit in very different ways.
Whereas Simone forced herself to forget Otis' abuse through drugs and alcohol, Star remained in denial that she was being abused at all, convinced that Hunter was the nicest person she'd ever met. After all, he bought her a house!
The next time you put your hands on a woman, I will kill you.Star [to Hunter]
It turns out that house was just a gilded cage for Hunter to keep her in. Once Star realized that, she was able to break free from Hunter; but not before he smacked her across the face, and she had her revenge.
The single most satisfying moment from Star's entire first season was its eponymous heroine grabbing a pipe and smashing Hunter's football-throwing hand to bits with it. It might have technically been wrong, but it felt so right, I practically cheered!
Another victim who finally snapped and acted out against her evil abuser? Otis' wife. It turns out, she's the one who killed him, fearful that he'd hurt her other children the way he did Simone.
Carlotta coerced her into confessing after she, too, went the victim blaming route, confronting her about why she allowed Otis to abuse Simone. It was fear that kept Otis' wife from lashing out against him –until she followed him to Atlanta and shot him dead.
When she fiercely told Carlotta that not only had she killed Otis, but she'd do it again, I could feel the newfound strength radiating from this once-weak woman. It's too bad it took committing a terrible crime for her to realize her power to resist.
With her confession recorded, that leaves Jahil free to go. Too bad the traffickers are back on his case all of a sudden, a plot point that Arlene conveyed over the phone with extreme glee – probably just happy to be remembered she was a character.
Despite his name being cleared by the authorities, this will probably go down as one of the worst days in Jahil's already pretty terrible life.
They force majeured your ass out.Big Boi [to Jahil]
First, the girl group he shepherded through Atlanta Next Fest fired him right before their final, winning performance, leaving him without a cut of their million-dollar contract.
Then, his girlfriend – who had already betrayed him once by giving his name to the authorities in connection with Otis' murder – decided to have sex with his godson in his own bed!
I found it incredibly disturbing that Eva's first reaction to a battered, bloodied and barely coherent Hunter staggering into Jahil's house would be to sleep with him.
And you're the best character witness they can find? Well, I'm screwed.Jahil [to Carlotta]
I know Hunter is hot, rich and famous, but in that moment, he had disaster written all over him, clear as day. Was it just a pathetic attempt of Eva's to get one last, petty swipe at Star?
Well, it didn't work. Because the traffickers showed up, assumed at least one of the figures moaning away in the darkness of Jahil's bedroom was him and shot them both dead.
Honestly? Thank goodness, because Star has already been renewed for season two, and I don't think I could put up with Eva or Hunter for another twelve episodes. They might both have been beautiful and talented, but their personalities have no redeeming values whatsoever.
Hunter and Eva were so awful, they made Jahil look like a good guy! No wonder they ended up sleeping together. Their passions must have been ignited by each other's insane lack of morals.
You don't get any where I'm from, snitching on people. You should know that.Star [to Jahil]
Well, now they're both dead. No loss. Except, you know, maybe to Jahil. They may have betrayed him and met their doom doing it, but they were still two of the people he cared for most in the world.
What does Jahil have left now? Hopefully a passport, so he can get out of the country and away from the traffickers.
In the meantime, Carlotta has become Big Trouble's new manager, which is definitely for the best. I look forward to seeing Carlotta put her experience to good use, guiding Big Trouble through the music industry. It feels like something she was meant to do.
But, her daughter has just been arrested for grand theft. So, thing's aren't looking so great for Carlotta right now, either. I guess you can't win them all, can you?
Lord, it's a calling, these girls coming to me. As much for me as it is for them. And now I be losing them to that Satan called fame.Carlotta
I've lost track of how many characters will be facing criminal charges when season two begins, but hopefully Cotton will manage to wriggle her way out of hers somehow. I just want her to be happy!
Anyways, what did you think of Star's first season? Who was your favorite character? What's next for Big Trouble? What do you think will happen to Jahil now that he's got two dead bodies in his bed?
If you want to relive all of the highs and lows, you can watch Star online via TV Fanatic.
Lee Jutton was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She went into retirement in July of 2017. Follow her on Twitter.