“Grown-ish” Recap S3, Ep 13: Things Will Never Be the Same

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

By Andréa Butler

Standing in Nomi’s redecorated, baby-ready room, Zoey (who’s back in Cal U World for a quick weekend visit) reflects on “fellow college dropout Albert Einstein’s” Theory of Relativity and how time seems to move faster for those on earth than it does for those traveling at the speed of light in space. She’s lamenting how so much has changed so quickly since she’s been off living her best life as a jet-setting fashion stylist.

Ya’ girl is feeling hella left out.

She heads downstairs to chop it up with Ana, who reassures her nothing else has changed beyond the room redo. And then, here come Jazz and Sky, returning from their NCAA track championship win with a bombshell that blows Ana’s words all the way out the water:

It was Jazz.

Almost too much for Zoey to comprehend, the girls give her a quick rundown of their relationship status changes, since she went MIA. “I’ve obviously missed way too much,” Zo says serving a heavy shot of side-eye to Ana and asking wasn’t the whole point of Jazz and Doug’s “break” so Jazz could concentrate on track?

The twins break it down for Zo by basically equating emotions with distractions and no emotions with no distractions. At this point, though, Jazz just wants everyone to forget anything happened at all because in a few weeks, after the Olympic Trials, she and Doug can pick up right where they left off. Besides, in bigger news, it’s Junior vs Senior Field Day!

Ana reaches into her Titan-branded canvas bag to dole out the field day shirts. Zoey is hype — until she’s not. There’s no tee for the girl who’s basically never there anymore. Another hit to Zo’s newly surfaced abandonment issues. Ana says it’s no probs, though, because she can just get a shirt at the event. Sky cosigns this with a side of her signature savagery. “Yeah. We can just cross out ‘Junior’ and write ‘Dropout’ on the back.”

And, we, oop!

Meanwhile, in the chancellor’s office, our fave revolutionary Aaron is checking in on the progress of the change he’s trying to make with getting Cal U to stop investing in private prisons. The chancellor tells him because of his recent protests, the school’s been getting media requests from everywhere — The Washington Post, ABC News, and y’all, even The Shade Room. “They’re making a formal request to spill the tea?” she asks.

“Well, Chancellor Mitchell,” Aaron says, “There’d be no ‘tea’ to spill if Cal U would just do the right thing, and take their endowment dollars out of the private prison system.”

The Chancellor’s like, OK, bet. We’re in talks to get in talks to set up plans, so we can set up more plans to eventually withdraw our money in, say, five to 10 years. Not here for such a slow roll out, Aaron says he’ll see them from his seat on Rachel Maddow and gets up to leave, as if he just dropped a thousand mics. (We were feelin’ that energy, fr.)

Oh, but hold up.

The chancellor’s not done. She goes all Godfather on him with an “offer he can’t refuse” (or so she hopes). The deal? The school will forgive all of his student debt in exchange for his silence. (And if you remember, Aaron’s debt is hella high.)

Cut to the JVS Field Day scene, and it’s all bounce houses and carnival games and Vivek doing what Vivek does (despite everything) — selling that “good-good,” as he calls it. There’s also Doug. And he’s over having to occupy Vivek’s girlfriend’s time to keep her from finding out what’s really real with her dude. Heidi (the gf) soon finds Vivek and they stroll off together.

And then? Doug spots Jazz, a look of longing in his eyes. She’s at a table with Ana and Sky, and a close-up of their convo reveals Zoey wasn’t able to get into the field day because she’s no longer a student. (The whole decisions have consequences theme of this ep is really piling on tuh-day.) Zo texts she’s going to grab a drink at Titanium instead and finishes it off with a crying emoji. Ana wonders if they should dip out, too, to support their friend, but Sky is not about that life. “I’m sorry,” she says. “But as a college dropout, this is the first of many doors that will be slammed in her face … I hate to say it.”

Hate to see it is what’s about to go down with Jazz rn. Doug and another dude, both grinning from ear to ear, are walking toward Jazz’s table at. the. same. time. We can only assume Guy #2 is the rando mentioned at the episode’s start.

Jazz = shooketh.

Rando (aka “Ricky from the track team”) peeps what’s good real quick and plays it off, saying he just came to say hey to “the champ,” but he can get at her later. He bounces. But Doug peeps a little somethin’ somethin’, too, and says, “It looks like Ricky from the track team was tryna be all up on your team.” Nervous laughter from Jazz. Doug goes on to say he wanted to come over and congratulate her on her win. He would’ve called her earlier, but he was respecting their break and didn’t want to interrupt any of her focus. “I know it’s been a struggle, but clearly, this break’s been worth it, right?” He tells her he’s proud of her and kisses her on her cheek before walking away.

Jazz’s guilt is now at peak levels.

In other news, Zoey has arrived at Titanium, and as soon as she walks in, she sees Aaron sitting at a table. He doesn’t see her. Breaking the third wall and staring right into the camera, she says she can’t go to field day because dropout, and she can’t hang out at Titanium because Aaron’s girlfriend asked her to fall back, please and thank you. Frustrated, she leaves out.

But, before she can get too far, she hears knocking on the windows coming from inside the restaurant. It’s Aaron. He’s spotted her and is calling for her to come on back inside. She pokes her head in the doorway: “Oh, Aaron! I didn’t see you sitting there! Well, I don’t want to disturb you and your super-frothy coffee — yum, yum, yum! K, bye!” Aaron: “Can you stop being weird, please, and come sit down?”

She does and asks him about the stack of papers on the table in front of him. He tells her everything.

Aaron admits he’s struggling with what to do and asks for her advice. She hesitates at first but then tells him, like on 100, he’d probably feel more guilt than regret if he took the chancellor up on her offer. He nods, still thinking.

Back at JVSFD, Heidi and Vivek are spending some QT playing one of the games — until Vivek’s phone starts blowin’ up with requests for that “good-good.” When Heidi asks him to “get out of his phone,” he lies and says he has to handle his “man business” with his doctor. Apparently, he’s used this same excuse multiple times, and at this point, Heidi is not having it. She storms off.

Jazz, Sky, and Ana have left the event, too. As they walk back into their off-campus house, Ana tells Jazz not to stress about what she said to Doug earlier. It was just a “white lie.” NBD. “I make Rodney lie to me all the time that he’s Black. It’s our own little ‘black lie’.” (And OMG we just spit out our chai latte a little.)

Jazz tries to calm herself and listen to her girls’ advice: “This is something you did to protect his heart,” says Ana. “At the end of the day, he’s the one who brought up the sleeping with other people stuff,” says Sky. Jazz starts to agree.

And then they walk into the kitchen.

Sitting all gorgeous like right on the table is a bouquet of purple flowers and the sweetest message ever. Yep, you guessed it. They’re from Doug. Next thing we know, Jazz has thrown on a hoodie, grabbed her purse, and is headed out the door to “make things right” with her boo.

It’s nighttime now as we check in with Vivek. He’s called Heidi to come over, so he can lightweight apologize by handing her a trophy. She tells him thanks but no thanks because what she actually needs is to know why he was all up in his celly and sneaking off to chat with random other people all day. She says he can tell her anything, so he lays it all out.

“So, what has been going on today with me and all those randos is me selling them drugs,” he says.

“Are you kidding me?!” Heidi asks.

Vivek takes this as his chance to renege on his confession. Laughing like he’s never laughed at anything in life before, Vivek starts telling even more of his truth but gives it a sarcastic tone, so Heidi thinks it’s all a joke. She joins in the laughter, but then asks again what he was really doing. Obvi, Vivek lies. He claims he was selling them term papers, not illegal substances. To his surprise, she asks if he happens to have anything on mid-century Korean architecture. He’s in the clear — for now.

Over in Aaron’s dorm room, he’s kickin’ it with his new bae Rochelle while making a list of pros and cons about the chancellor’s offer. Rochelle points out he’s on his fifth list, so maybe sleep on it and try again tomorrow. He says he can’t stop now; he has to make the decision tonight because the more time that goes by, the more likely he might be to justify accepting the loan forgiveness and giving up his right to publicly speak on what Cal U is doing with their money. Rochelle says he doesn’t owe anyone any explanation about anything he chooses to do ever and recommends he take the offer. “It’s a win-win situation,” she says. Not sure he agrees with that statement, Aaron brings up what Zoey said earlier about how his guilt would outweigh his regret.

Big. Mistake.

At the very mention of Zoey’s name, Rochelle’s whole face shows she’s feeling some type of way. “You already talked to Zoey about this?” she asks. Aaron explains he ran into her on campus and needed to talk it out. But Rochelle is still mad he didn’t come to her first. Aaron feels like it’s really not that serious. Rochelle disagrees and tells him she’s hurt. Then, she leaves.

And now, for the moment of truth. Jazz arrives at Doug’s room and knocks on the door. (Are we the only ones legit holding our breaths rn?) Doug answers with a smile on his face and asks Jazz if she likes the flowers. Teary-eyed, she says she loves them. He tells her she deserves all of it — the flowers, his love note, his support.

“No, I don’t,” she says crying. She proceeds to spill everything about what went down that one night after winning the NCAA. He thanks her for her honesty and says she didn’t have to tell him anything because they’re on a break. She says she knows and assures him he doesn’t have to tell her anything, she just needed to get what happened off her own chest.

But there’s nothing for Doug to tell anyway, he shares.

He closes the door, leaving Jazz standing there, sobbing.

Meanwhile at the house, Zoey’s about to head to the airport for her next job — but Ana wants to show her something she’s been working on right quick. In Nomi’s room, the baby’s name (Luna) is spelled out on the wall, and each letter is a collage of pictures of all of them. “I just hope you know that no matter how far you are, you’ll always be here with us,” Ana says. They hug it out.

The night’s not over yet, tho. Ana and Zo come downstairs to find Sky comforting an uncontrollably crying Jazz.

Ana joins the group hug. Zoey wishes she could but gets a text notification that her ride to the airport is going to leave if she’s not outside in one minute. She touches Jazz’s hand and says her goodbye, once again feeling like she’s missing out on something she should be there for.

“And so, as I prepared to leave town yet again, I had to wonder how many things would be different the next time I touched down at Cal U.”

Catch up on the episodes you’ve missed here.

Main Image: (Freeform/Mitchell Haaseth)

sesimag

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