“Grown-ish” Recap Episode 9: Zoey Finally Sees the Light?

(Freeform/Tony Rivetti)

What went down on the latest episode of grown-ish? Get all the tea with Sesi‘s weekly recaps.

By Andréa Butler

Ok. We just gotta get this said from jump: College is a blast without “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” So, if you’re not down with any of that, please believe, you will be absolutely fine and then some. (Seriously. What is up with Cal U’s obsession with drugs? They’re doing way too much. The hip-hop with a hint of trap, though? We’re feelin’ that.)

Anyway, this episode starts with a bang — literally. Zoey and crew find out that someone on campus has been shot and killed over drugs. And who do they know that deals? Vivek. They rush outside, bleary-eyed, and stand behind the yellow police tape, as a body bag is rolled away on a stretcher. Luca removes his ring, kisses it, and places it on the ground in memory of their friend. This just got too real.

But then, who shows up next to them but Vivek. “Hey, guys. Did somebody get shot?!” he asks, slurping up his drink.

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Turns out, it was another campus drug dealer who was killed, but not over drugs. He was shot by his girlfriend for cheating on her. This campus is straight wildin’ for real. But since the shooting had nothing to do with Vivek’s line of “work”, he’s not trippin’ about it at all and tells Zoey and Nomi they’re overreacting.

The next day, though, a gang of students have shown up outside the caf to protest drugs on campus, plus the way the school is handling those drugs on campus, shouting things like, “No more drugs!” and “No police state!” Dean Parker pulls out his megaphone to reassure everyone that the unexpected drug testing and room searches won’t be that bad and will keep everyone safe. Jazz, Sky, and Aaron aren’t trying to hear any of that. They know who’ll be the real victims of Cal U’s war on drugs. Aaron runs up to the dean, takes his megaphone, and shouts to the crowd that they need to wake up. “Zero tolerance means zero minorities,” he says. “We need to stand up and say no to a police state!” Dean Parker wrestles the megaphone away and tries to tell the crowd that what Aaron says isn’t true, that everyone found with drugs will be punished equally. Mmmmhmmm.

Meanwhile, Zoey and Nomi are seated nearby at an outdoor table, and even amid all the anti-drug protesting, Zoey reaches in her bag and pops another Adderall saying she needs to study “at some point.”

Back in the thick of the protest, Aaron says he’s not feeling very well, but chalks it up to “burning up from all the oppression!” (Tbh, it could also be that he’s wearing a heavy denim jacket in what’s probably at least 80-degree weather, but…) Jazz and Sky realize Aaron is coming down with some sort of illness and they are not about that germy life, so they bounce.

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Over at the table with Zoey, Nomi, and Ana, Vivek stops by to join them. Zoey begs Vivek to push pause on his dealing since the school is cracking down so hard, but he refuses. In fact, we’re then shown a montage of Vivek’s hustle getting busier than ever, and his status on campus is rising. He even gets himself, and by association, his squad invited to a party with the richest kid on campus at this exclusive spot. Zoey and Nomi are down to ride.

Elsewhere, Jazz and Sky are scouring the pharmacy aisles trying to decide between extra strength and extra, extra strength — they’ve officially caught Aaron’s flu. Speaking of Aaron, he rolls through in his robe at the same time and spots the twins.

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They side-eye him hard and sarcastically thank him for spreading his germs, admitting they have no clue how to pick meds because their mom always did that for them. Then, they just stand there looking all sick and sad.

Cut to the party scene, Vivek and Nomi go their own ways, leaving Zoey alone. Vivek connects with some people he knows before checking back with Zoey to see if she’d like to do a quick lap around the place with him. Zoey pops an Addy to get ready. (Please tell us there’s an intervention episode on the come-up soon.) Before they can do their lap, though, Vivek is called away to bring out the goods to some VIPs.

Back at the dorm, Jazz and Sky shuffle on over to the lounge, which has become the sick room — students sleep on couches, humidifiers steaming, and the floor is strewn with used tissues.

Still at the party, 16 laps later, Zoey is ret. to. go. She starts looking for Nomi and Vivek so they can bounce, and she finds Vivek — right behind the VIP curtain where students are legit snorting cocaine! He was already doing too much by dealing in the first place, but now he’s moved on to selling hardcore drugs? Zoey is shook. Vivek spots her, says nothing, and re-closes the curtain in her face.

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The next day, Zoey confronts Vivek about what she saw the night before. (Why she didn’t confront him on their way home from the party, we will never know.) Finally, she’s showing some real concern about this whole drug dealing thing. (On the real, if we found out Vivek was a dealer right after meeting him like Zoey did, we would have ghosted immediately with no shame. We are not about that life.) Gotta say, though, Vivek is right for calling Zoey out on her hypocrisy — she’s down for poppin’ pills illegally, so… Zoey keeps trying to convince Vivek to stop selling, but he really thinks that that rich kid using him is his ticket to money and happiness.

Later that night, though, a phone call wakes Zoey from her sleep, and the next thing we know, she’s running through the halls of a hospital, where we ultimately find Vivek laid up in a bed. He’d been jumped mid-deal. His parents show up demanding answers, and Zoey lies to them, saying the two of them were jumped together and Vivek just protected her. (GIRL, WHY? This is called enabling. We’re gonna need someone to be like, “Oh, no. Vivek gon’ learn today.”)

Meanwhile, in the sick room, Aaron, still a little sick himself, has apparently been taking care of everyone else, doling out medication (yes, we see the parallels, and yes there is a huge difference) and generally making sure no one feels alone.

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On the other side of campus, Vivek thanks Zoey for having his back at the hospital. But no sooner had the words escaped his mouth, than Zoey sees his new “engineering friend” with him take money in exchange for drugs. She grabs Vivek by his sling like WTF and decides she’s done enabling him — she even tosses her Adderall in the trash. (Yaaassss, girl!) “I had to have my own back,” she says.

Catch up on the episodes you’ve missed here.

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Quarterly print teen magazine for Black girls ages 13 to 19. Covering The Black Girl's Mainstream™
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