Hello, Grown-ish fans. Grown-ish 4×05 “A Boy Is A Gun” was a somber but truthful reminder that Black people, more importantly Black men and boys are an endangered species. This episode really hit close to home for me, because I have a young Black son, who I constantly worry about, and fear for his future and place in this world. My little boy, who has done no wrong to anyone, will grow up to be a Black man that the police and society will view as a threat. Despite what white nationalists and Trump want you to believe, Black Lives Do Matter.
Doug is the focal point of the episode and he is torn between being “woke” and being complacent when it comes to the current state of affairs. While I was anxious to see this episode of ‘Grown-ish’ I was a bit skeptical of how they planned to pull it off, considering their timeline is kinda off. Half the time I don’t even know what year this show is taking place! Seriously, they have me confused as fuck with the way they split their season. Anyway, this episode did not disappoint, thankfully, and we have so much to unpack so lets dive in shall we.
What Makes a Good Black Person?
What makes a good black person? This was the question asked by Nomi (the only white person in the friend group) in response to Kiela telling Doug he was not a good black person because he would rather throw a party then join the battle. Honestly this is a very real conversation that I’ve had with my friends. What makes a black person “woke?” What do other black people view “woke” as? Liking a socially conscious post on IG or Twitter is one thing, but actually using your voice for the greater good and getting out there and putting in the work is quite another. I understood both sides, I felt Doug’s apathy towards the situation of yet another unarmed Black man being shot by police for no reason, other than he was Black while jogging. I understood that Doug was just tired, like we all are. I am tired of living in fear and frustration while the police suffer no consequences for their actions and are left to repeat the same story again and again.
I really loved the way the intro to Grown-ish was done this week, with Doug going out for a jog in his neighborhood of LA. Doug was smiling, waving to his neighbors, not having a care in the world until he leaves the local bodega with a sports drink in hand and is shot dead! I’m not gonna lie, I choked on my water until the camera panned down to the drivers license laying on the bloodied pavement, and you realize it was not Doug that was shot but another young Black man, doing the exact same thing Doug was. Damn. But seriously, that is really how the story goes every day, folks, and just because Doug was sparred THIS time, does not mean he will be NEXT time.
So, when Kiela is trying to garner support for a petition to get those policeman fired by letting in Cal-U students to Doug and Luca’s party for free, I understood her actions completely. Luca certainly doesn’t need the money, but clearly Doug does, he has several side hustles going on, and I’m pretty sure being an resident director does not pay well. Doug, throughout the entire episode really struggles with his place in this world, he knows he is a Black man, but he also a college student, soon to be college grad. “None of this matters” is what Doug says, and he’s right. White people don’t care if you’re an educated Black person. What does that even mean? The police don’t ask to see a college degree when they pull Black men over. They don’t give passes to US.
This discussion on what makes a good Black person, garnered the question what makes a bad Black person? Kiela looks at Doug and this sets Jazz off. Jazz says she is over Doug and they have made up since COVID, becoming just good friends. #yeahright Anyway, Jazz does what Jazz does best and deflects her anger on someone else, and this time is was Zoey, however Zoey was ready for her. Jazz mentions Zoey is one of those Black people who just likes and retweets socially relevant topics. Zoey checks Jazz’s ass though and quips, that she has a Black father and three Black brothers at home who she worries about daily. Zoey goes onto to say, this is her fight too and she will march, fight, and protest to support the Black men in her family.
I loved it, and it shut Jazz up for once! Nomi raised such a good point when she said that white people don’t sit around asking each other what makes them a good white person. Nomi knows she doesn’t have to think about that, or worry about her child being shot for the color of her skin. I loved the group discussion you guys, and I loved that, no one was upset for someone else’s opinion, it was very grown.
In the end, it’s Keila who bows out of the party early and I got her frustration with trying to change the world, but hitting roadblocks with the very people she was trying to save. Kiela is young, though and her ambition does not always match her resources. Don’t worry Kiela, you have three more years to figure it all out. Doug finally has a breakthrough moment after witnessing a breaking news report on a young teenage boy walking to school who gets shot by the police, just days after the first incident. Doug breaks down crying, and has heart to heart with Kiela and the two share a sweet kiss. These two have chemistry I didn’t see coming and I actually dig them together, so we’ll see what happens. In my opinion, Aaron is the person you want on your side if you are planning a protest, and he’s also Doug’s best friend. I loved to see those two hug it out and agree to try and do something to help bring awareness to the killing of Black men and women.
Since this episode of Grown-ish is two parts, I have to admit I’m now pumped for next week. Until then!
Best One liners:
“HI! My friends call me Jazz, but you can call me by my government name Jazzlyn”
“Girl he deserves a reverse cowgirl tonight”
“Are you gonna give him head in the El Camino?”
“Actually this is our fathers condo, and Luca just lives here, so I don’t need your permission for anything”
“You’re a cool white person though”
“You know me better than my own boyfriend”
“The truth is, for Black men, or shit, Black women or Black people, is that any place is the wrong place, at the wrong time, every damn day.”
‘Grown-ish’ airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Freeform.