On Good Trouble Season 2 Episode 2, the relationships were front and center, and it was fascinating.
Some were smoothed over, others were tested, and there were new, different ones introduced.
For one, the hour introduced the elusive Elijah, and his and Gael's chemistry is smoldering.
Good Trouble takes you on a journey and then throws you curveballs which pique your interest. It's no secret Gael and Callie burn up the screen in sexy scenes. Their sexual chemistry is undeniable, but that's all they have right now.
During Good Trouble Season 1, Gael and Bryan were cute, but Gael wasn't serious about Bryan. And Bryan treated their relationship like a game and Gael like a prize instead of a person.
But Gael and Elijah? Holy wow; there's a lot between them. It's not often you witness instant chemistry, but during their scenes together the sexual tension, tenderness, and love between them was palpable.
Within seconds it was evident Elijah was Gael's first love. He reduced the handsome artist to a blushing schoolboy. Gael was happy to be in Elijah's presence and sharing the same space, and I was happy witnessing this side of Gael we had not experienced before -- not with Bryan, not even with Callie.
Callie: Have you ever been in love?
Callie: Who was she? He?
Gael: His name is Elijah.
Callie: What happened?
Gael: We just weren't ready for each other.
Their moments together were alluring, and I cannot wait for more of them. I can't wait for more of Gael outside of Callie.
With the arrival of Elijah, it feels like for the first time Gael has an individual storyline of which he's the focus. Elijah doesn't outshine him in the way Jazmin tends to whenever she appears, and the reprieve from Callie and Gael is needed so that we get to know Gael on his own.
We also have the promise of Mariana and Gael scenes too, maybe? It's something many of us hoped for last season.
Gael: For what?
Elijah: Hurting you. I was an asshole.
Gael: Everyone in college is an asshole.
Elijah: You weren't. But you did have that man bun thing going on.
We were treated to flashbacks of Callie and Gael including a romp at her office on her desk (why would she let Gael up there? Why is rutting against a public desk cute? Where is the Lysol when you need it?), but outside of that, it seems Callie made her decision.
Malika advised her to pick the guy who she wants to call in her most vulnerable moments. It was sound advice from the friend she forgave all too easily, and despite her attempt at getting Jamie to break up with her, and her Ross Gellar break, she chose Jamie.
After her professional world came crashing down around her and she failed the bar, she called Jamie.
Screwing around with Gael instead of studying is why she failed, but I digress.
Callie's career and future are in freefall. She's not on solid ground right now, but it's life. It's scary but filled with possibilities too.
The fallout from Malika's actions is shocking and didn't go as I imagined it would. When Good Trouble Season 2 Episode 1 ended with Malika storming Wilson's office with Callie's badge like an angel of retribution, I expected an explosion.
Malika's words were softer and more subdued but no less passionate and reflective. She properly shamed Wilson for perpetuating injustice in the criminal system.
It was honest and heartfelt, but she overstepped and was arrested for her actions.
You are proof that the system is rigged against people who cannot pay for justice. A mother lost her son. Her only child! Have you no heart, Judge Wilson? Have you no humanity? Shame on you! Shame on you!!Malika
Wilson is a flawed man. He was upset with Callie but believed her when she said she had no part in Malika's outburst. However, for all he said about accountability, he doesn't apply it the same across the board.
He protected his no good son instead of making him face the consequences for his actions. Despite everything Callie did and her role in all of this, he didn't want to fire her.
Part of it is because of how much she knows about his son, but also, Wilson likes Callie. He has a soft spot for her and admires and respects her character.
But he was prepared to let Malika face the full consequence of the law on a racially charged case, with an undesirable and controversial outcome without a second thought.
Malika's situation was a mixed bag. On the one hand, she was passionate, and she did something impulsive, but those impulses were understandable. On the other hand, it was reckless and irritating how she didn't think about how she was affecting other people at all.
It would have sucked for her to get railroaded by Wilson or anyone else, but for people who aren't equally as reckless and impulsive as Callie, her actions were a betrayal, and not everyone is lucky enough to know a Callie or elicit empathy from Naomi.
Naomi, for the first time in a decade, stuck her neck out and was blunt while requesting Wilson show mercy; it was moving.
I have worked for you going on ten years. Though I didn't always agree with some of your decisions, I kept my mouth shut because I wasn't hired to give my opinion. But today I'm going to. That young woman was overcome by a lifetime of anger and frustration of not being seen or heard and being treated by some as less than, and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. I know this is hard for you to understand, but I'm not asking you to understand. I'm asking you not to ruin this young woman's life. She made a mistake, and you know the consequences of that are far greater for her. I have never asked a favor of you, but I'm asking you, please, do not punish this woman for just living while black in this country.Naomi
It was also moving when she and Callie embraced upon Callie quitting, and Callie and Ben shared a sweet moment too. Their friendship (of sorts) was underrated.
Callie made the best decision for herself leaving Wilson. Working for the ACLU or similar areas were more her speed. Now that she has failed the bar (and maybe will have to take it over?), she has time to stand back and look at what she wants to do next.
While I love Callie in a power suit, it seems as though she wants to feed her activist soul, which has been stifled for far too long. The beautiful thing about Callie's character is how she never fits into one box.
It's time for her to feed another side of herself or find a way to fuse the activist, artist, and lawyer together into something she's passionate about.
Once she's done day drinking and butchering sandwiches, of course. It'll be appealing if Callie reclaims the activist mantle as Malika sets it down.
Malika's special moment with Sandra confirmed it. She has to remember that she is in the land of the living, and has to remember to live her life too instead of spending the entirety of it fighting for Jamal's memory.
It means we get to experience Malika outside of her activism and delve deeper into her endearing relationship with Isaac and whatever will come with her birth father.
I do hope we'll still get those maternal moments from Sandra. When Sandra held Malika and told her she basically didn't want to lose another kid to this system, I got misty-eyed. I adore the chemistry between Adele and Micheaux, and just because the Jamal case is over doesn't mean their relationship has to end.
Malika and Dom are in a decent place, but I expect another strain on their relationship now that Malika has sought out their father. Unlike Dom, she wasn't close to her mom, so she gains more looking into her father and finding out what happened between him and their mother and how he ended up in prison and estranged.
Mariana and Raj are far from estranged, but they may have to call their new romantic relationship off before it even had the chance to take off.
Mariana is learning a lesson in "be careful what you wish for" at Speckulate.
First, curse this show and these characters with the best chemistry. Do I like Mariana and Raj? Absolutely, but do I also like Mariana and Evan? Heck yes.
Mariana and Evan's makeout session in her dream was a scorcher. They had nerdy foreplay, Evan's hair was doing the thing, and he was wearing that cute sweater. I needed water after that scene.
Guy: Pink lemonade mimosa?
Fyte Club member: Is there a raise in there?
If Evan wasn't as adorable as ever, it would be a pain in the ass that Mariana has to hold his hand through implementing the necessary changes to create an inclusive and fair work environment.
Bless Evan's little heart, he donned a pink denim jacket and hosted a Women's Day with mani-pedis, pink doughnuts, and balloons. Evan, honey, they don't give a damn about pink lemonade, they want more money.
Evan is trying, but it's a wonder he doesn't lean more on Angela or hire someone new rather than use Mariana as his primary source for everything.
She now has three jobs she's juggling, and she still isn't getting paid enough. She probably won't anytime soon either since the board is comprised of all men, and Evan is hyper-focused on that gender wage gap but forgets about the race wage disparity too.
Evan is the most comfortable around Mariana, but he also may have feelings for her.
On the surface, it seems as though him using Angela to enact a rule about supervisors dating subordinates was out of jealousy, but it's something that should have and would have been put into place anyway.
One of Mariana's more irksome qualities is how easily influenced she is. Instead of side-eying Davia, whose current job is that of a teacher for having sex at work, she decided she was missing out on something and chose to partake in some fun time with Raj after hours.
They work at a tech company that could have cameras anywhere. The walls at Speckulate are made of glass. Also, she knows Evan and his adorable squeaky shoes are at the office late all the time.
In your most vulnerable moments who do you want to call?Malika
It's not the type of behavior you would want to see in a workplace that has a history of sexism and sexual harassment. There were rumors about Evan being a creep to Amanda and making moves on Mariana. Every day Mariana is subjected to sexual emails and comments by colleagues.
The rule would have been put into place at some point to guarantee they have a safer work environment or at least one where couples have to sign a form disclosing their sexual relationship.
I expect the latter to be the compromise if Mariana is brave enough to challenge it. Interestingly enough, Evan as CEO would have to hold himself to the same standards -- it keeps him honest if he does have romantic feelings for Mariana. Under a rule he proposed, he can't act on those feelings either.
Speckulate won't let Maraj be great.
All Davia wants for Dennis is greatness and happiness. Their friendship continues to thrive and remains a highlight.
Dennis: Davia, I appreciate everything you are trying to do, but you are suffocating me! You can't save me!
Davia: I'm not trying to save you. I'm trying to get you to want to save yourself, and you're right, I can't get you to do that either. But no matter what you think, you cannot do this all alone, and it doesn't have to be me, but you need to find someone who will help you! Maybe that's why your marriage fell apart. Maybe you shut your wife out, I don't know. It's just so messed up to think that your life only matters to you!
Davia is pouring everything into helping Dennis, and it was entertaining for us, but she was smothering him. It was too much at once.
It almost felt like she was trying to distract him from having dark thoughts. She maybe should have started off with the support group (and hung around outside of it so he would have to face her when he left).
A fresh coat of paint and decorating his room would have been on my list too. It's a sad and depressing room. You'd be surprised how much your environment can affect your mood.
Davia is doing all she can to help Dennis, and it can feel like tiptoeing through a minefield. I loved how she didn't let his mental illness and her fear for him prevent her from being honest and telling him about himself.
She's right; she can't fix him or save him or even force him to want to save himself. She can be there for him, though.
Even though what she said about his marriage failing because of him shutting down or pushing his wife away was one more thing he played on repeat in his head when he had triggering thoughts, he could test the waters with Davia.
Dennis: Can I stay with you tonight?
When he went to her and asked if he could stay with her, she let him in, no questions asked. Her door and heart were open to him, just like she promised. Though she said something and expressed frustration, he could trust her to still be there for him when he needed it.
It's something; it's significant.
And never underestimate the healing properties of platonic bed sharing. Their intimate and touching scene was reminiscent to some of the best Grey's Anatomy moments that took place in Meredith's bed, the nonsexual ones to clarify.
Hunton and Pence are magical together.
Davia and Jeff aren't. To his credit, Jeff does love Davia. Finally, he gave up his marriage, and when she thought she could use Callie's trick of making him break up with her against him, he offered to move from Wisconsin to LA to be with her.
Maybe Davia should consider Malika's advice to Callie. In her most vulnerable moments, who does she want to call?
It isn't Jeff. She has some decisions to make regarding her relationship with him, and she's focused on Dennis right now.
She's also lying to him about breaking things off with Jeff. Is she afraid to tell him the truth out of concern for how he'll react to her keeping it from him or his state, or is it because of jumbled feelings she has for Dennis?
Or is she afraid to tell Dennis because of his ability to read her like a book? He knows she deserves better and has said as much. Dennis makes her see things clearly, and sometimes Davia likes to avoid that.
Over to you Good Trouble Fanatics. What was the most surprising development? Which storyline and/or characters intrigue you the most? Did you feel the heat between Gael and Elijah? Hit the comments below!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.