Love was in the air at the Coterie.
Finally, it's been ages since a group gathering featured all of the Coterie members and friends, and Good Trouble Season 2 Episode 15 delivered.
They also gave us the best love story no one knew we needed: Jamie and Gael.
Coterie parties are rife with entertainment, drama, and messiness. The love holiday and blackout exacerbated all of the above. And while there was some love, most of the love stories didn't pan out as expected.
Dennis and Davia have to be one of the best slow-burns on the air. They keep you leaning toward the screen and holding your breath, always thinking they might take a step forward only for them to stall.
Unpopular opinion time, but it works better this way. Many fans want these two to go for it, so all of that alone time in Dennis' room and face touching was enough to make you squeal in delight.
However, everything others said in Dennis' grief group is the truth. Until Dennis can know his love isn't solely a need for the only person he has confided in, then it is too soon for them to be together.
Never have I ever been in love with someone in this room.Gael
Dennis fell into the habit of making Davia his everything, and that cannot be the case. It's not ideal for either of them.
Fortunately, Dennis has made strides reentering the rest of the world. He is starting to spend time with the rest of his Coterie family. He's going to group of his own volition, and he's not using Davia as a crutch.
His world is slowly expanding beyond hiding away in his sad room and metaphorically burying himself in Davia.
He needs to continue making those steps, and it's so good to have him coming up for air outside of his Davia bubble.
Hell, big brother Dennis even came out when he was trying to make sure a high Gael kept his wits about him. When is the last time those two interacted? Gael's art show?
Dennis: Hey, Davia. You maybe want to grab dinner tonight?
Davia: It's Valentine's Day.
Dennis: How about an anti-Valentine's Day dinner?
Dennis' feelings for Davia are real, and they're not misplaced. It's never been a question of that, but as excruciating as it is, the slow burn feels right.
And the good news about Dennis dealing with his grief and depression instead of hiding from it and burying it is the slow burn won't have to be for long.
Sometimes progress looks like a setback when it isn't. The guy was ready to bare his soul to her. He confirmed he loved her when he followed Alice's advice and asked out Davia on Valentine's Day.
Dennis: So, um, my friend, the one who has been coming here with me. So I'm in love with her, and I want to tell her, but Jacob's mother, my ex-wife, she's pregnant and getting married again, and maybe I'm um, feeling guilty for--
Group member: For also moving on with your life?
Dennis: I just feel like someone has to grieve our son.
Group Member: I think we can all relate to that feeling like we have stop living in order to honor the person we lost, especially a child.
Dennis: She's really been there for me, Davia, you know? I couldn't have done this without her. I may not even be here without her.
And how adorable was he getting dressed up and practicing telling Davia he loved her in the mirror?
Usually, it's Davia who is the most open and vulnerable about her feelings. When it comes to Davia, Dennis has kept his close to the vest.
It was a glorious hour for confirming that they're mutual, and we heard Dennis acknowledge them out loud to others.
One couldn't help but channel Alice's excitement and meddlesome matchmaking ways. Her little happy dance when she thought Dennis and Davia had sex was hilarious, especially when Dennis caught her.
It's hard in a state of grief to know the difference between need and love, that's why it's best not to start any new relationship too soon.Therapist
#ShipperProblems. Alice is the fandom.
And high Davia was pretty amusing, too. Yelling and wondering why it was so dark was laugh out loud funny.
Dennis: I want to tell you something.
Davia: Me too. I took shrooms.
And Dennis taking care of her was sweet. It isn't like he hasn't always had the caretaker vibe, but it's endearing that he reciprocated taking care of her after she spent so much time looking after him.
It wouldn't be fair of Dennis to expect Davia to wait for him. She loudly went on about her dating app adventures and maybe slumming it with Paul, who isn't the Mustang she wants but is apparently a stallion in bed.
But at some point, Davia and Dennis need to have an actual conversation that isn't about his depression.
They're best friends, and even if nothing comes from them pursuing a romantic relationship NOW, it's maddening that they aren't addressing the feelings and tension between them.
The two of them being honest with each other is the mature thing to do. It's nervewracking for one another and viewers that they haven't addressed the big, pink, heart-eyed elephant occupying the room.
Dennis: I want to tell you something.
Davia: Me too. I took shrooms.
And keeping up with the hour giving us some of the good stuff, Malika and Isaac remain the couple goals of this series.
Most of the other couples and potential ones are cute, too.
And it's not like neither Isaac, nor Malika, is perfect and their relationship is exempt from problems. But ugh, they're so steady and real.
Their relationship always feels apart from the usual drama and contrivances.
I told Isaac I love him first, and he didn't say it back yet.Malika
It's wondrous how differently men and women in relationships with each other perceive things.
Women come up with all of these rules and overthink things, so it was funny when the Coterie women were analyzing what was going on with the guys.
And Malika didn't think anything of telling Isaac that she loved him first, but then the others got into her head.
It made her question everything when Isaac was behaving distant. He couldn't let loose and have fun with her and the others, and he was hyperfocused on work.
It seemed like he was pushing her away, and it was heartbreaking. She easily could have mistaken his actions as a form of rejection.
Malika: What are you doing in here?
Isaac: Just, uh, taking a break.
Malika: Look, if I freaked you out by saying I love you, just be honest. You're not there, that's fine. Just don't push me away.
Isaac: I'm not freaked out or pushing you away because you said you loved me.
Malika: Then what are you doing?
Isaac: I just, I'm dealing right now.
Malika: With what?
Isaac: I don't want to talk about it.
But when she called him on it, and he was hiding in the dark and saying he didn't want her to see him like that, the pieces began to click into place.
Their rooftop conversation was so important, and it was touching too.
Isaac probably knew, deep down, that he was suffering from anxiety but consciously knowing what something might be and willingly claiming it -- they are different matters.
Malika: Feeling better?
Isaac: Sometimes my chest gets tight, and my head starts spinning with all of these negative thoughts of what could happen, and I can't breathe. And so I just need to be alone and hold on until it finishes happening.
Malika: How long has it been happening?
Isaac: Since I was a kid. But I get through it, it's fine.
Malika: Have you ever talked to someone about anxiety? Look, I know some people think mental health is something to be ashamed of but it's not. You don't have to hold on. You can get help.
He wasn't rejecting Malika; instead, he was overwhelmed and battling a bout of anxiety. He was trying to fight his way through it while keeping it hidden from her. He didn't want her to see that side of him.
Mental health issues are hard; there is a stigma that's taking a long time to dismantle. It's tough to accept if and when it becomes an issue. It's probably all the harder for a guy like Isaac.
He's so used to keeping it all together and being Malika's rock and support. And he always is, so it was heartening that he could lean on her. Malika was able to be his rock and support.
Isaac's story was resonant. He's a smart guy, and he's been battling with this since he was a kid, but he would rather ride it out and stay in denial, despite being the first person to encourage someone else to get the help or resources they need.
I read the Coterie Biatches thread, Mariana.Callie
The angst between the sisters bounced back and forth throughout the hour. Some moments they appeared as though all was well, but then it wasn't.
They turned to each other out of habit for some things, but then they kept clashing again.
Finally, Callie brought up that she saw the thread. It was an extra layer of hurt when she asked the girls about the group chat, and they denied it.
It's things like that which make the situation hard to get over. But then when she broached the topic with Mariana, it became about them both feeling abandoned.
Mariana: It doesn't mean that I don't love you.
Callie: But I feel like you don't like me.
Mariana: Well, I feel like you don't like me.
Callie: Maybe we're not best friends anymore. Maybe we're just sisters.
Mariana has a frustrating way of glossing over her actions and in favor of making herself the victim. While she wasn't wrong about Callie not making enough effort to be part of the group, everything else she saw, participated in, and more was wrong. Period.
She only started whining about feeling abandoned after Callie moved out, but she failed to address how she contributed to Callie's alienation before she left.
She's jealous of Jamie and Callie's focus on him, but she hasn't considered that for Callie, she feels like Jamie is the only person she has to turn to now. It is an issue for Callie that she needs to work on, but Mariana should own her part in that.
Mariana made it seem like gossiping about Callie wasn't a big deal. If the roles were reversed, she would've been upset.
Mariana: She's not coming, of course.
Isabella: Well, it is Valentine's Day.
Mariana: Yeah, but she's all about Jamie now. She couldn't care less about me.
Mariana's anger at Callie for being too focused on a boy was hysterical in its hypocrisy.
Their conversation resulted in them determining that while they're sisters, they aren't best friends. It was a punch to the gut, but again, it hurts a bit more for Callie, who doesn't have any other friends.
Mariana has the Coterie, but she also has Isabella. And Isabella seems too nice and perfect. The girl is trouble.
It's weird how Mariana has told her all of her business from her relationship to everything about Callie. And isn't it strange how Isabella greets Callie like they're best friends?
It's enough to set anyone off, especially as the new replacement.
Never have I ever bought an engagement ring for anyone.Isabella
She's trying too hard to get in everyone's good graces. It's insincere and feels calculated. And she's such a natural flirt that it makes her scenes with most of the men suspect.
She's already flirty with Gael, but now she's upped the ante with Raj, and she had an air of it with Dennis too.
It's not her fault that Raj is fantasizing about her, but she has to know her relationship with him is questionable. She's way too involved in his relationship with Mariana, and she's in the perfect position to tamper with it. She already has.
Callie: Did we have a Coterie group thread when I lived here.
Everyone: No, nah. This is new.
Mariana not knowing what to get Raj for Valentine's Day is something she might need to think about, given how sincere his gift was to her. However, Isabella giving Mariana the best gift for Raj was disconcerting.
Her motivations were worth questioning when she told him she was the one who picked it out. If she had good intentions, she wouldn't have wanted him to know that so badly.
And Mariana is none the wiser. Jamie, who barely sees Raj, picked up on what was happening instantly. And kudos to the show for giving us those bro-moments.
Mariana was too busy trying to interfere with Callie and Jamie's relationship, perhaps out of jealousy.
Callie and Jame are a healthy couple, mostly due to how decent Jamie is as a boyfriend. He knows Callie well, so it's a pain when she can't say the same.
She allows others to plant seeds of doubt in her head, and she runs with them. Did anyone outside of Callie and Mariana think Jamie would propose to Callie on Valentine's Day?
It took ages and a negotiation for him to get her to move in with him and stay there on a permanent base. He knows he's in love with a commitmentphobe.
Callie has a lot of things she needs to work on within her relationship and herself. She's struggling to navigate her first adult relationship.
Callie: Jamie, I love you so much but I'm not ready to get engaged.
Jamie: OK. That came out of left field.
It's refreshing that the series has moved beyond the love triangle component of her, Jamie, and Gael, in favor of a more realistic and grounded conflict between her and Jamie.
It still lingers, of course. Gael was holding on to a lot of that in the hour. We saw him again, and he was creatively blocked and insecure about his work.
He was also thinking about his failed relationships. It seemed to hit him that the common denominator was him, and he's the only thing he can work on and have control over.
The 'shrooms Isabella gave him helped him unlock his creative energy and think about those relationships. His anger at Callie lingered and was prominent.
Gael: Jamie! You bought my art piece.
Gael: Thank you, man.
Gael is so lost, and he gets lost in the narrative a great deal. He's due for something substantial. But high Gael did give us the best friendship we could've had.
Who needs a love triangle when Jamie and Gael can be friends who disastrously try to reenact the Dirty Dancing lift together?
High Gael accepted and was grateful that Jamie bought his artwork and maybe saw that it wasn't out of pity but rather because of him believing in his art. Gael's out of it "thanks for believing in me" bit was funny.
And it's much better to have the injuries sustained be due to them clowning around together and not fighting over Callie. And how cute were the three of them waking up together?
Thank you for the most interesting Valentine's Day in recent memory.Jamie
I'm not saying unofficial polyamory is better than love triangles, but the three of them as friends is far cuter.
They woke up in a puppy pile with one another, and it didn't become a jealousy thing. And not only did Jamie take Gael to the hospital to get his arm checked out and stayed with him while he got x-rays and a cast, but they even got something to eat afterward.
I am here for this bromance and semi-platonic throuple goodness. All we need is for Gael to stop being an asshole to Callie, though.
Who knows? Maybe Gael will even be the one to help Callie sort through the information that Jamie did buy that engagement ring for his ex, Heather, and that she turned him down.
Jamie: Oh, I didn't buy that ring for you. It was meant for my ex, Heather.
Callie: Oh. Did you propose to Heather?
Callie: What happened?
Jamie: She said no.
So, Jamie likes women with one foot out the door who are afraid of commitment, eh? It's going to be interesting seeing Callie spiral as she processes all of this.
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics. Were you thrilled to have the gang all together again?
Hit the comments below.
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.