What went down on the latest episode of grown-ish? Get all the tea with Sesi‘s weekly recaps.
In keeping with the theme of naming every episode (at least, so far) after hip-hop artists’ albums and/or tracks, grown-ish came through this week with episode three: “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.”
From jump, we realize that Zoey did in fact answer Aaron’s first “U up?” text from the end of episode two, and evidently a few more after that because the opening scene drops with Zoey and Aaron kissing as they dance to French Montana’s “Unforgettable” — at yes, another party. (But, props for no pill popping this time!) It’s the duo’s very first kiss, Zoey reveals during her voiceover. And she is so in love. Too soon, Z. Too. Soon.
Later, back in her dorm room in complete chill mode, lounging on her bed in sweatpants and a baggy tee, she gets another “U up?” text from Aaron. Before answering, this time, Zoey rounds up her girls for a quick advice powow in her room. They are less than thrilled. A little annoyed at her squad for their lack of enthusiasm, especially on the parts of Jazz and Sky, Zoey fake apologizes to the twins for pulling them away from Basketball Wives. The shade backfires when Jazz lets it be known that they were actually watching Big Bang Theory and Zoey needs to check her stereotypes at the door if she wants any kind of help thank you very much.
Only half-phased by her misstep, Zoey goes on to say it’s the fourth text like that she’s received from Aaron that week, and she’s starting to worry he only wants her for a hook-up — which ultimately leads to a whole other conversation: What exactly does it mean to hook up?
For Zoey, hooking up means “making out and stuff.” Nomi says it always means sex. Ana says it could be something as simple as just meeting up with someone to hang out, and Jazz says hooking up is always sexual, but doesn’t have to actually mean sex. (No lie. We had these very same convos many times in college, and were always pretty split down the middle. The debate is still not settled.) Now more confused than ever, Zoey bets guys never stress about stuff like this.
Meanwhile, the scene switches up to show Aaron stressin’ like a mug, staring at his cell, wondering aloud why Zoey hasn’t responded. Not only that, but Aaron and Vivek end up choppin’ it up about what “hook-up” — and subsequently “messing around” and “just kickin’ it” — means. Aaron basically says, “Nah, fam. It’s not about sex.” Vivek begs to differ.
Back in the girls’ room, we find out it’s been an entire 90 minutes since Zoey received the text. It’s now 2:30 a.m. and to kinda-sorta paraphrase Jazz and Sky, only the freaks come out that late at night, so Zoey needs not be “up.” She blew her chance, they say. Ana, on the other hand, believes by not answering, Zoey now actually has the upper hand.
Skipping ahead to drones class — which, oddly enough will be covering the films of O.J. Simpson that night — Zoey takes her seat next to Aaron. It’s the first time they’ve seen each other since right before the last “U up?” text. He compliments her on her look and it seems her playing hard to get, albeit accidentally, worked. But, not two seconds later, some random girl shows up in the doorway and mouths, “You ready?” to Aaron. He grabs his stuff and bounces, making sure Zoey sees him kiss Random Girl on the cheek and leave with her. Everyone sees. Zoey is shook.
Post drones class, Zoey decides to take control of the situation and send Aaron a “U up?” text. When she gets no response, she loses all of her chill, launching into a full-on text meltdown. She had to have fired off at least 100+ texts in the span of 20 minutes, rambling on about their future marriage and kids, then saying they’re not meant for each other after all, then sending links to songs that express her feelings better than a text. Ya’ girl was wildin’. But, it got her a response — just not the one she was hoping for. After the barrage of thirstiness, Aaron sent, “Please stop.” #Dead.
In the caf the next day, not even Zoey’s girls can come up with a way to downplay the fact that she went all the way ham. Nomi suggests Zoey’s only option is to fake her own death ASAP, and Zoey’s basically like, “Where’s the lie?”
Back in the dorm, Ana walks into their room and catches Zoey back on her IG stalking tip. (Desperation is not a good look, Z.) Zoey insists she’s not crazy because Aaron is so obviously subbing her in his posts. Case in point? A photo Aaron posted of himself with the caption “Mood forever” and a rose emoji. Zoey beleives she’s the rose. Or he’s the rose? Or, they are the rose, together. Ana tells her she needs to get her life. She’s better than that one mortifying text exchange. Zoey agrees she needs to refocus on why she’s in college in the first place — to get an education and be a better person.
Then, she gets a text and all that goes out the window. This time, though, the “U up?” comes from Luca! She skips the text reply and calls him directly, letting him know she is most definitely up. Apparently, Zoey is also feelin’ Luca and says in her voiceover, “The upside about humiliating yourself in front of the guy you like is that you can still hang out with the other guy you like.” Their hang out starts out a tad sketchy, though, and Zoey says she doesn’t wanna be that girl, but what’s up with them being in an abandoned warehouse? (To that, we say, BE THAT GIRL, ZOEY! We’ve seen way too many shows on Investigation Discovery that do not end well.) Luca is as Luca does, so he just shrugs. They finally reach a huge door with a bunch of arbitrary knobs on it. Luca turns the right one, and it opens up into a super-secret Kid Ink concert because that’s something that normally happens in college. Anyway, Luca and Zoey dance and kiss. Hmm, this is real familiar…
Fast forward a couple hours (we assume), and Zoey’s returning to her room. She’s on the phone with Luca about the amazing time they just had when Aaron interrupts with that tired text. Here we go again. Zoey tells Luca she’ll call him right back, and then, she runs out the room and down the hall to the lounge where her friends are hanging out. She shows them all the text and says, “Guess who’s got the juice now? Just to clarify, I have the juice.” She proceeds to brush the metaphorical dirt off her shoulder.
And with that, Zoey believes she’s officially mastered the art of being a player, detailing how easy it is in our age of smartphones. Her tips: Use an emoji to hide the face of any dude you take a picture with, assign each guy a different ringtone, and use geotagging to avoid running into one bae when you’re out with another.
The same tech that had her all playa playa, though, also got her caught. One night, as she’s FaceTiming with Aaron, Luca beeps in. She tells Aaron she’ll call him back and answers Luca. But, since Luca’s reception is bad, he asks if he can Skype her on her computer, instead. She says that’s cool, ends the call with Luca, and returns the one to Aaron. It all goes downhill from there. See, the way she’s positioned — with her back to her laptop screen — Aaron can see when Luca’s Skype call pops up. Denying everything, Zoey rushes to cancel the call and accidentally hits the answer button. Now, Luca sees Aaron, too, and they both start going in on each other. At first, Zoey thinks it’s kinda cute that two guys are fighting over her, but when they both hang up on her, she realizes issa fail.
The next night in drones class, neither Aaron nor Luca will even look at Zoey. (But, yo. Didn’t Aaron slide out of class just a few days ago with another girl? How’s he gonna act all offended right now?)
During her solo lunch the next day, Zoey is approached by Dean Parker who notices her sad look and says it must be about a boy. Instead of brushing him off — because that’s what we’d do; legit nobody has heart-to-hearts with their deans about their relationships. It’s weird. — Zoey spills the tea. Like, the entire gallon-sized pitcher. He gives her advice on the importance of communication and being honest, and that leads us into Zoey’s final voiceover of the night.
In it, she says she’s just gotta roll with her girl squad and chill on the dating scene for awhile. And as the fivesome are strolling down the sidewalk, living their best life, a new cutie named Cash stops Zoey to ask her for directions. And we close out the episode basically like this: