What is happening right now?
Mariana got lured into a sex cult on a bee farm with no escape route, Davia’s romance with Asher got cut short with the arrival of his wife, and Isabella and Gael are now talking about giving up their baby.
It was so much to process on Good Trouble Season 4 Episode 17, yet it will likely have nothing on the season finale!
Tonally, the installment had a lot going on, and at times it gave you whiplash. But it’s always fun when Grey’s Anatomy’s Chandra Wilson directs installments of Good Trouble.
Alice and Sumi’s arc had two different tones when you considered the conversation pertaining to sexuality and shame versus the two of them stalking Georgia to get into her film.
When it comes to Alice’s issues with talking about and exploring herself as a sexual being, there is so much potential and a great deal of important, compelling, and intriguing things to dig into.
It’s a plot point that I wish had more and better build-up. It has seemingly come out of nowhere, dropped into the storyline out of the blue, almost as if we were aware that there were issues Alice has struggled with the entire time.
We know it’s not Alice and Sumi’s first time together as a couple, and it’s something that they’ve never surfaced with Alice and her previous lovers. It should’ve been, though. It would be more impactful if we followed this journey with Alice for longer than two installments.
Nevertheless, discussions about sexual needs, comfort levels, and so forth are essential for couples, and it’s undoubtedly empowering whenever women openly discuss their sexuality.
Frankly, it’s empowering and provocative threefold for Alice as an Asian-American, queer woman.
There is such a culture of shame surrounding sex for women, but the hour touched on the intersectional components of it for Alice coming from an Asian immigrant family where sex is simply not something that you discuss.
Alice has internalized so much of her mother’s shame regarding sex that it has hampered her ability to receive pleasure or even orgasm, and it’s a mental block that she deserves the chance to work through and overcome.
Sumi is a patient, loving partner who Alice can be vulnerable with and trust during that journey, so it’s something that makes you root for them.
It was also nice to see Alice have this open dialogue with her brother about sex and how their upbringing has affected her sex life. The Kwan siblings are adorable, and it’s always lovely to see them getting along. Their relationship has improved so much ever since they cleared the air with each other and actually communicated.
On the other hand, Sumi pushing Alice to take some risks by stalking Georgia in hopes of landing a part in her film didn’t suit the tone of an hour that included sex cults and intense relationship tension.
The Denvia merry-go-round never quits, and even though Dennis likes to give the impression that he’s happy with Ryan, he was a jealous mess when he saw Davia happy with Asher on their date.
It was awkward to see the two couples there attempting to make small talk, and it only got worse when Ryan referred to herself as Dennis’ girlfriend while he stated that she was a “friend.”
Ryan knows what she wants, and she deserves someone who can commit to her and give her that. But as long as Dennis is hung up on Davia, he won’t be that person for Ryan.
Everything about the pairing screams “temporary,” so it’s a matter of waiting for their romance to fall apart. Ryan is an intelligent, grown woman who knows what she wants, so it won’t take long before she confronts Dennis about this and cuts her losses.
Davia: This is Ryan. Dennis’ …
As for Asher, he’s undoubtedly a sweet, genuine guy. And Asher also knows what he wants and can communicate it well. In weeks he’s given Davia precisely what she needs, and there are no games or beating around the bush.
Their dynamic is refreshing in that regard, and Asher lets her know that he wants her and would like to be more than friends. Their date was easy, fun, and sweet, and their kiss was romantic.
But as great, stable, and communicative as Asher is, I can’t help but wonder why Davia must be in relationships with men who feel like they’re in different stages of their lives than her.
She’s in her mid-twenties, but she ends up with guys with more baggage than she should have to carry. Asher is still a single father who doesn’t always know how to handle his anxiety-ridden son even though they both share a fear of and scars from abandonment.
It seems like a lot to step into, even if Asher is more mature and straightforward in other ways. And now, it’s only more complicated with the return of his estranged wife.
Laura popping back into the picture will only serve to make this more confusing for the kid, and that’s who should come first in all of this.
Gael and Isabella’s baby should also be who comes first, but I’m not sure I like how this is playing out, either.
The series is still alluding to the fact that Isabella may battle some form of Borderline Personality Disorder or something. It’s complicated to explore things of that nature and nail the execution of the storylines pertaining to it.
It’s already been frustrating that Isabella assaulted Gael, and we’ve mainly focused on how things affect her. Even now, it’s a point of discussion, and contention has been that Gael had the nerve to leave Isabella for a day or two to get his bearings after his girlfriend hit him in the face with a book.
The two of them attending therapy together felt like a good start. Only through that scene did it feel as if Gael had some ground to express himself, but even that felt as if his feelings were micromanaged.
It took Isabella’s admission that she kissed Dennis to bring about some fire in Gael. But now we’re on this path where Isabella is convinced that her parents are right about her and going through with an adoption.
What sucks is that it’s as if Gael has no say in anything. During the entire pregnancy situation with Isabella, Gael has been powerless and complied simply because he’s a decent person.
But it rarely seems like his feelings or desires are taken into consideration. Now, mere days before the baby is due, Isabella wants to give their child up, and she resorted to gaslighting Gael into agreeing with her.
You ever think about mom when you’re having sex?
Now, they’re framing the argument as if it’s in the best interest of the child, but it’s also for Isabella’s best interest as someone who needs help and to work on herself, and it’s in Gael’s best interest since he’s sacrificing for a child he didn’t intend to have.
Sure, we’ve all discussed how neither of them has prepared themselves for this child, but it’s the position they’ve been in and the story the series was telling, so we’ve been making it work and accepting it.
It doesn’t feel right that they introduced this unpopular storyline, committed to it, and are now walking it back by giving the characters this out.
Most of us begrudgingly accepted this arc and have been following it through. The time to pull the rug from under our feet with this was ages ago.
And while many of us probably made the exact same arguments for adoption along the way, I can’t help but resent the implication that the picture-perfect home for this baby must include a two-parent household, presumably of a certain income bracket.
And I hate the implication that Gael’s initial desire to take responsibility for and raise his child by himself to avoid giving her up could parallel Isabella growing up in a home where her parents resented her.
Boy, Gael and Isabella crashed and burned so hard that my head spun. Was it a waste this whole time? Personally, I’m still trying to figure out the answer to that.
Meanwhile, Mariana has officially taken up Callie’s reckless mantel with this latest venture.
She specifically warned Joaquin about doing something impulsive, reckless, and stupid, potentially endangering himself in his quest to free Jenna from this cult. Then she didn’t follow her own advice.
Silas is a despicable human being. Joaquin’s investigation has turned up some invaluable intel about this evil man, and it’ll only be satisfactory if Silas finds himself behind bars.
He’s a manipulative con artist who cleanses women’s bank accounts, exploits, abuses, assaults, and blackmails them.
It was sickening to learn that he sexually assaulted the women on the farm and blackmails them by threatening to show the tapes.
He seems to know how to pick them, too, and he’s groomed them some well that the other women do his dirty work for him.
The women at the market knew what was in store for Mariana if they took her to that farm, but they didn’t hesitate to lure her into the van and drive her 100 miles out of the city.
Initially, it seemed as if Mariana was being too inquisitive when she kept mentioning Jenna, but it turned out the women bought into Mariana’s background story and probably clocked her as a woman of whom no one would miss, making her an easy target for Silas.
But now that Joaquin knows the truth, he’ll likely be the person who leads the charge in Mariana’s rescue. He’ll lose his mind when he learns that there are now two women he cares about at the farm with that psycho, rapist, and cult leader.
Asher: Laura, what are you doing here?
Laura: I came to see my son.
The hour touched on the love triangle a bit when Mariana shared that she’s confused and torn about how she feels regarding Evan and Joaquin.
And we briefly checked in on the FCG/Zelda situation and how Evan may be the key to getting out of trouble again.
But with Mariana in the clutches of the leader of a sex cult, it feels like Mariana and Joaquin will get closer than ever.
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics. Are you shocked by that ending? Sound off below!
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.