“Grown-ish” Recap Episode 10: Where’s the (Black) Love?

(Freeform/Tony Rivetti)

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

Episode 10 begins with Zoey’s voiceover talking about how, for her generation, love really is love. Finding that love for some groups, though, isn’t always easy — especially when it comes to Black girls. “No group gets less love,” she says as a Black dude (played by Diggy Simmons) walks by a group of Black girls with his arm around a white girl. And with that, we know exactly where this episode is going, so let’s get into it.

Here’s the scene: The crew (sans Zoey) is gathered at Titanium, and from their table, they get a good view of who’s getting scooped up by who — and legit every Black guy in the building seems to be rollin’ with a white girl. Jazz, especially, is shook. “For real. Is there something in the water around here?” she asks. “Was there some event, some movie, some Drake song that said that Black guys should stop dating Black girls?”

Ana and Nomi dismiss Jazz’s concerns saying it’s probably just a slow night, but Sky chimes in backing up her sis saying that guys at their high school always used to holla, but college has been a bust so far. Then it happens. Nomi hits the twins with that whole “Why don’t you try dating a non-Black guy” speech to which Sky hits back with, “But why do I have to open up?” (Here, we had to push pause for a second and clap it up because for real, for real, when you know what you like, why should you have to change? It’s a battle many of us have been having to fight and justify for years. That moment had us heavy in our feels. Ok, back to it!)

Aaron agrees with the twins and lets it be known (as if it wasn’t already) that he’s “all about Black girls.” Then, Luca calls out Aaron’s choices as leaning more Egyptian than Nubian. Oh, it’s on now. We’re takin’ it to the colorism debate. The whole table realizes this is truth and admits thinking Aaron’s different baes were actually the same girl, his type is so specific. As Aaron tries to defend himself aloud, he realizes he may just be color struck. Now, he’s shook, too.

Over on another side of campus, Luca has peaced out of Titanium and has joined Zoey in their fashion design workroom. Via her voiceover, we learn that, once again, she’s chuckin’ deuces to dating for awhile and concentrating on other things — like her and Luca’s fashion project. Luca’s not as focused, though, and suggests they call it quits for awhile and hit up the next showing of Black Panther, instead.

Meanwhile, the rest of the squad is still kickin’ it in Titanium with Sky and Jazz trying to catch Nomi up on how the dating ranking system goes. Aaron says that not everyone buys into that list, but Jazz reminds him that pop culture disagrees, and we’re shown photo on top of photo on top of photo of celebs and athletes, such as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dr. Dre, Lil’ Wayne, Jaden Smith, Omari Hardwick, Jamie Foxx, Ice-T, and hella others — all posted up with non-Black women. “What kind of message do you think that’s sending?” Jazz asks. “The message is, ‘We’re not it,'” Sky answers.

Vivek tells the table that Black girls are always on the top of his list. At that same moment, a cute Black dude approaches the table smiling and asking how everyone’s doing. It looks like he might be checkin’ for Jazz, and she smiles widely right back at him only to find out he’s really there for Ana. Jazz gives her the look like, “I told you so,” and says, “Everybody’s always checkin’ for the girl who looks Black, but no one wants the girl who actually is.” Sky adds that that’s why lip and butt injections, cornrows, and the like are all the rage now. Then, here comes Vivek with that sweet knowledge drop bringing up Malcolm X and the disrespected Black woman quote. (Aaron — you’re fallin’ off.)

While all this is going on, Aaron gets what Sky calls that “light skin look in his eye” as he watches a girl walk by. “I’ve got a problem,” he admits.

Elsewhere, post-Black Panther, a skate park, a grocery store, and a fast-food run, Zoey and Luca are in the car, presumably getting ready to head back to campus. But Luca changes those plans real quick and has Siri reroute them to the zoo. The one in San Diego. At night. When they still have a looming project deadline. Luca chalks it up to him needing inspo, but we feel like he’s doing all this just to spend as much time with Zoey as possible.

Back at Titanium, Jazz sends her drink back because she doesn’t like the taste and believes she should get what she paid for. Nomi takes this as an opportunity to actually suggest that maybe that kind of thing is why Black guys don’t talk to Jazz. We ’bout reached for our imaginary earrings at that. Jazz, rightfully angry, tells Nomi she would usually call her out her name (and in effect, does), but since she’s already insinuated that she has an attitude, she’ll hold back. Sky adds that Nomi sends more drinks back than anybody else btw, so how dare she. Sky goes on to talk about the stereotypes of Black girls being attitude-y and sassy and difficult, but when a white girl actually does do something attitude-y or sassy or difficult, that’s just her — not all white girls.

Vivek says those stereotypes are what he likes about Black girls, and Jazz revokes his hero/woke status, wondering where Aaron went off to. He’s at another end of the joint, actively trying to fight his color complex by choppin’ it up with a dark-skinned girl.

Back at the table, Nomi just won’t quit. Now, she’s trying to compare Jewish stereotypes to Black stereotypes, but Jazz breaks it down for her: Being called “cheap” isn’t going to stop someone from wanting to befriend her or date her.

Zoey and Luca have finally returned to campus and are ready to put in work on their project. One problem: Luca trashed the piece Zoey had been working on, calling in “garbage.” He says he can’t turn in a collection he’s not feeling, and Zoey says what she’s not feeling is the possibility of having to retake the class. She also doesn’t like the fabric, calling it old, itchy, and uninspiring. Luca: “That’s what makes it fire.” This dude.

At Titanium again, Aaron introduces Shakura — the dark-skinned girl he was chatting with — you know, to prove to his crew that he’s down with all the shades.

Meanwhile, Jazz has made her way to another part of the restaurant, and when Sky finds her, she’s kickin’ it with a white dude named Chad. (The look on Sky’s face, tho.) Jazz makes introductions, but Sky isn’t feelin’ it and pulls her sis aside, asking her if she’s suddenly into white guys. Jazz says she doesn’t know, which is honestly really confusing to us because this entire episode has been about how she shouldn’t have to change what she likes (Black guys) in order to find love. A brief argument ensues, and Jazz goes back to chatting with Chad.

When her sis leaves her standing there, Sky spots Diggy Simmons’s (still unnamed) character linked up with a white girl, walks over to him, and point blank asks, “What’s up with you and white girls?” She goes on to say that’s all she ever seems him with around campus, and she wants to know why. His answer: “Because I can.”

Still on their project grind, Zoey and Luca have completed an ensemble. Zoey likes the finished look and tells Luca he was right and that he’s always pushing them to do better. Admiring their work she says, “I think we have something here.” He agrees, but is admiring her, instead.

After their night out, Jazz and Sky make up in their dorm room. Jazz says she really just wants to have the same college experience as Ana or Nomi, and Sky agrees saying she had no idea it’d be this hard. Sky reminds them, though, that meeting guys isn’t the reason they came to college. Would it be dope to be boo’d up? Obvi. But their experience can be just as amazing living single.

The next day, Doug (as we soon learn is Diggy’s character’s name) approaches Sky and Jazz as they’re walking around campus and tells Sky he’s been thinking about what she asked him, and IRL, it wasn’t that deep to him. A lot of different types of girls were showing interest, he’s single, and that was it. He emphasizes that he doesn’t want anyone thinking he doesn’t like Black girls because that’s not the truth. Then, he officially introduces himself to Jazz — could this be a love connect?

As the episode draws to a close, Aaron shows Vivek a stream of images of girls he’s dated/liked and says he thinks Luca was right; he does seem to have a color complex, and it is not a good look. One photo, in particular, catches Vivek’s eye. Aaron tells him that’s a picture of his mom so he better fall back. It all starts to make sense. “You don’t have a thing for light-skinned girls,” Vivek says. “You have a thing for your mom.” Well, that took a turn.

Three more episodes to go in season one, guys!

Catch up on the episodes you’ve missed here.

 

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