Ambitions Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Welcome to Birmingham

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The term "whiplash" comes to mind when thinking about Ambitions Season 1 Episode 3

Everyone was out for themselves on "Welcome to Birmingham," an hour that solidified Ambitions as the sudsiest drama of the summer. 

We'll start with Evan and Bella because they're probably the only engaging couple right about now. 

Evan's Epiphany - Ambitions Season 1 Episode 3

Bella is slowly starting to push the boundaries to get what she wants. In her own way, she thinks she's doing what she has to to get her business off the ground. 

She's at the stage in which she doesn't give a crap about what her secret relationship with Evan will do to Stephanie. 

It makes sense. People can only live a lie for so long.

At one point, I don't doubt the very thought of Stephanie being out for her blood scared the living daylights out of her, but not anymore. 

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video

She knows her time is running out to make a move for power, so she's manipulating Evan in any way she can. 

Security Detail: Apparently, it’s happening right now, Mayor.
Evan: Why wasn’t I told about this?
Security Detail: They made it sound like they just found out. Here’s a text.
Evan: Heads up, they’re bringing the mayor’s mistress in.

It makes me wonder what the future really holds for Evan and Bella. If everything does wind up out in the open, will they even be able to have a relationship?

Stephanie in Violet - Ambitions Season 1 Episode 3

A part of me thinks that Evan loves the way things are. He's the mayor, and his wife is part of one of the most powerful families in Atlanta. 

It would have been easy for Evan to get Bella the clearance she needed to get her company. Stephanie would have probably agreed that it was a favor for a friend without overthinking about it. 

Bella having sex with the man while Evan was in the apartment was the ultimate revenge. In doing so, she proved to Evan that she was no longer waiting around for him. 

Amara: Let me inform you why you’re here. Poor judgment. You’re having an affair with Mayor Lancaster. I know what it’s like to get caught up. You never think it’s going to go as far as it does until it’s too late, and then you’re deep in a pile of your own making.
Daphne: If what you’re saying is true, and I’m not saying that it is, having a relationship with a co-worker could be considered ill-advised, but it’s not illegal.
Amara: So, you admit your personal relationship with Mayor Lancaster.
Daphne: The only thing I’m saying is that I do my job, and I do it well. All of my contracts for the city are above board and beyond approach.
Amara: Hmm. I mention your affair with the mayor, and you immediately feel the need to start talking about your handling of city contracts. Interesting.
Daphne: As amusing as this little get together has been, I have to get back to work.
Amara: I’d sit back down if I was you, Miss. Manning.

She wanted some semblance of power in the relationship. The look of despair on Evan's face was priceless, but his subsequent meeting with his father might make him want to change his ways. 

Titus Makes a Move - Ambitions Season 1 Episode 3

There's bad blood between Evan and his father, and that was evident from the icy conversation in the final moments of the episode. 

Related: Creator and Showrunner Jamey Giddens Dishes on OWN's Ambitions 

Money and power got to Evan's head too quickly, and he neglected to do what he said he was going to do when he got into the office. 

Politicians making promises and not following through with them is just par for the course in the world of politics. 

Daphne: What exactly are you accusing me of?
Amara: Accepting kickbacks, contracts skimming. If these allegations are true, then you could be looking at serious time in federal prison. And if you’re thinking about protecting anyone, just remember that you’ll fall first and hardest.
Daphne: Let me guess, Kent Hamilton stuck you on me. That little Amara: worm can make a name for himself by putting down the Mayor.

But something about his meeting with his father has me thinking that there are some redeeming qualities in there. 

It's doubtful that he will pull a complete 180, but he might try to find a way to keep Bella quiet, while also trying to patch things up with Stephanie. 

There's no chemistry anymore with Stephanie and Evan. They're both living together, but mostly making themselves unavailable to each other. 

It's all about power with them. The love is gone. Now, that could change, but Stephanie would probably lose her $hit and get that gun back out if she learns the truth about Evan and Bella. 

Robin Givens is a delight on Riverdale, but her acting on Ambitions is sheer perfection. 

Stephanie Carlisle  - Ambitions Season 1 Episode 3

Whether she's trying to swindle her sister-in-law, or just piss her husband off, Stephanie has a way with words that is putting her up there as one of the best villains on the small screen. 

Some couples are just mismatched, and it's becoming increasingly apparent that Stephanie is better suited to Titus than Evan. 

There's a history between Stephanie and Titus, but it remains to be seen whether they will give into temptation. 

This could be either the best feeling in the world or the worst. You choose Mr. Mayor. Get me that airport concession.

Bella

The chemistry was off the charts as they both ordered the same drink. I've never tried a Manhattan myself, but if people can look that happy about it, then I'd probably have several. 

Related: Ambitions Scoop: Essence Atkins and Kendrick Cross on Show's Grounding Couple

Titus is similarly mismatched with Amara. This was the first time we really got to witness Amara in action, and she's a powerhouse. 

Ambitions Poster

I couldn't help but roll my eyes when Titus told Amara he was forgetting about the past. But this is a soapy drama, and we've got a whole lot more suds to get through before we get the characters with who they should be with. 

Titus: I’m here for a reason.
Lori: And I’m here for the long haul. Too bad you don’t realize that’s not on the cards for you.

All of these characters know how to get things done, and I particularly liked the way Titus managed to take Lori down. 

Amara and Titus - Tall

She was the typical rich kid who was put in a position of power.

She wanted Titus to realize that he was a mere pawn in the war that was about to erupt. 

That wouldn't have been true to his character, so it was fun to witness the smirk fade from Lori's face when he pulled the advert.

Through three episodes, Ambitions has thrown several curveballs our way, and we're only just getting started. 

What are your thoughts on the series?

Hit the comments below. 

Ambitions airs Tuesdays on OWN. 

Welcome to Birmingham Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Ambitions Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Amara: Let me inform you why you’re here. Poor judgment. You’re having an affair with Mayor Lancaster. I know what it’s like to get caught up. You never think it’s going to go as far as it does until it’s too late, and then you’re deep in a pile of your own making.
Daphne: If what you’re saying is true, and I’m not saying that it is, having a relationship with a co-worker could be considered ill-advised, but it’s not illegal.
Amara: So, you admit your personal relationship with Mayor Lancaster.
Daphne: The only thing I’m saying is that I do my job, and I do it well. All of my contracts for the city are above board and beyond approach.
Amara: Hmm. I mention your affair with the mayor, and you immediately feel the need to start talking about your handling of city contracts. Interesting.
Daphne: As amusing as this little get together has been, I have to get back to work.
Amara: I’d sit back down if I was you, Miss. Manning.

Security Detail: Apparently, it’s happening right now, Mayor.
Evan: Why wasn’t I told about this?
Security Detail: They made it sound like they just found out. Here’s a text.
Evan: Heads up, they’re bringing the mayor’s mistress in.