Stationed in a place to judge art, the gang of the Coterie finds themselves delivering judgment to one another and, subsequently, themselves. Amidst multiple love dramas, a real tragedy may have occurred.
On Good Trouble Season 1 Episode 12, Mariana continues to fight the good fight against the unfair patriarchal values that dictate and drive the workplace, all the while trying to simultaneously convince Raj – and perhaps herself – that her CEO is interested in her ideas, not just her. Taken off the Jamal case, Callie’s narrative seemingly comes to a halt at a love triangle. The Coterie crew may be reeling at the thought of losing one of their own.
Shown at first sitting at the table in the Coterie with a wine glass like a Bond villain (or dare I say, Cersei-like), this episode seems to promise a finality to this love triangle: Bryan spits “congratulations, you won” at Callie. Callie and Gael’s never-ending back-and-forth comes to a head in regards to Bryan, but now with Jamie in the picture, it remains a triangle still. The real question becomes – with more interesting and pressing issues in the show, why is this Callie’s seemingly only plot line? And, if this is, can there be more screen time for Mariana, whose issues seem far more vital than a love triangle?
Despite the passion between Gael and Callie (though either do it or don’t at this point), Jamie sees her as she is, a kind of understanding exists between them, being from the same worlds and forming mutual respect for one another. Jamie buying Gael and Callie’s piece seems to somewhat exacerbate the triangle issue; Callie not being able to make up her mind for this long seems like a short and bored writing choice. Give Callie more than just that clichéd Twilight-era nonsense.
Speaking of more vital issues, Mariana’s issues at work continue to move her into spaces of uncertainty. With an impending pitch looming to CEO Evan, she utilizes the ever-changing environment around her to inspire her. (The app “Activism” sounds genius.) As an assault mounts against her from the higher-ups, her sheer brilliance and talent seems to be going unnoticed, except perhaps to CEO Evan. But the idea of a CEO man and a young woman employee appreciating one another for their value is swept aside for the idea that a young woman is only valued based on appearance. Even Raj, who has been the supportive balm against the injustice of their workforce world, seems to believe in both Mariana’s work and Evan’s probability as a potential creep and/or predator.
Her immediate defense of Evan and attack on Raj seems to leave her downtrodden, only for an unlikely heroine to carry her back to the surface of hope. With the male salaries, Mariana is armed with the right defense to take her spreadsheet to the next level. Angela seems to be not taking Josh’s advice to find any excuse to fire Mariana, unless this is a very high-level set-up, which would be unfortunate, as the women of this company (and any company) should be looking out for one another. With betrayal sometimes coming in the form of help, there’s no certainty of who Mariana should be more suspicious of – CEO Evan or Angela.
Malika, Davia, Alice, and Dennis
Malika struggles with not knowing what’s going on with her brother, while she and Davia get into an argument about how best to proceed when a student of Davia’s shows up at the Coterie. A discussion between two women with entirely different worlds attached to them leads to a want of knowledge for them both, as neither can determine exactly what the right answer is for anyone else’s life.
Alice’s story line seems to be the love triangle (square?) story, but creates neither levity nor tension. Despite not doing the right thing, as so many on this show often choose to, she agrees to not tell Sumi’s fiancée that Sumi is having sincere doubts, as she is attempting some newfound romance. If Callie’s love story is barely tolerable, is there any point in constantly rehashing Alice’s? The idea of Alice grappling with coming out to the people who matter most to her is a realistic and important storyline, but not when it’s overshadowed by a never-ending game of emotional ping-pong.
On a more serious note, the ugliness of Dennis’s past comes back to haunt him in a very real way, as Davia realizes that perhaps, after all this time, the man who was looking out for her had his own issues and that he needed help too. So wrapped up in their own drama, the crew of the Coterie hadn’t noticed that he was struggling, or that he had chosen that time to say goodbye to the people of his life. In these moments, the writing of the show prevails, as it illustrates the fragility of someone who has lost and the pain of those that will lose if he has truly taken his own life. Handled with delicacy, the harboring sadness that aches through Dennis is portrayed, whilst the love of the people around him is echoed in their brokenhearted hope. There is no easy way to display a suicide, or an attempted one, but the writers do it with the simple grace of a man who wants those around him to not be weighed down as he has been. The audience is left with one deafening plea of hope for Dennis at the cliffhanger.
What did you think of Good Trouble Season 1 Episode 12? Will Dennis be okay? Will Mariana’s faith in Evan’s belief in her ideas and her tenacity be proven right? Will Josh’s crusade against Mariana prevail? Will Callie find a new and more important story line other than choosing between one boy or the other?