One of the things that I love most about Harlem is the way it represents its Black characters. Mainly the women on the show. It is rare to find a series that is so relatable that you can find a bit of yourself in the characters. The women feel like people we could be friends with. Each of the ladies is unique, and despite their differences, they always have each other’s backs.
Season two of Harlem is keeping that sisterhood at the forefront. Most importantly, we are getting to know them better this season. In Harlem episode 2×03 “An Assist from the Sidelines,” we took a trip home with Angie as she spent the day with her family; Tye was learning what it means to be in a relationship, Quinn was coping with her breakup, and Camille tried getting her groove back with Ian. Episode 2×04 “Baby and the Bath Water,” was about legacy and what we want that to look like.
Join us as we discuss Harlem season two episodes 2×03 “An Assist from the Sidelines,” and episode 2×04, “Baby and the Bath Water,” in our latest review.
Newly reunited and coupled up, Camille struggled to find her intimate groove with Ian. After an awkward time spent in the bedroom where Ian tested out some new moves, Camille was feeling a bit self-conscious that she was competing with his ex-fiance, Mira. Because they had been apart for so long, Camille didn’t know how to approach having sex again. Ian was trying out new wild moves and had her asking if she was enough. She consulted her besties, and they told her to take some weed and get out of her head. Camille did take their advice, and it led to some interesting moments. Let’s say that Camille and Ian were a little too out of their heads.
So much so that they ended up having a pregnancy scare after Camille lost her Nuvaring. Camille was, of course, freaked out by that, but Ian was not. He didn’t think it would be so bad if they did have a baby. This scare made Camille put some things into perspective, and after seeing her physician, she had to start thinking about what kind of future she saw for herself and Ian. That included whether she would want to have kids or not. She had some tests done to see her egg reserve in the event she wanted to have kids. The results were disappointing. Learning that she might not be able to have kids was heartbreaking. Being back with Ian only added to that pressure because she then started to think about what not being able to have kids would do to her and Ian’s relationship in the long term.
Tye is still trying to figure out what she wants for herself. She’s realized that her problems don’t lie in meeting someone. They come afterward. Tye’s commitment issues make it difficult for her to stay with any woman. She can’t seem to understand why so she decides to spend the day with her gay friends Evan and Alicia so that she can literally observe them as they are cohabitating. I’m not kidding. Tye watched them all day long to see what a couple does. Tye does seem to get something out of the experience, but we’ll have to see precisely what that is.
In addition to dealing with her relationship issues, she’s still dealing with her health problems. Tye has polyps, fibroids, and cysts for which she needs a hysterectomy. She is highly against this, so she continues to get blood transfusions. The problem is that it seems to be an option she will no longer be able to continue. When she voices her frustrations to the girls, Camille comes through and offers to take her to her physician for a second opinion.
She gets some eye-opening information when she goes to the doctor with Camille. Mainly that a hysterectomy is not her only option. Let me say this, Harlem creator Tracy Oliver does a fantastic job showcasing the racial disparities in healthcare. Especially in the women’s health system. Camille’s physician, a black woman, made Tye feel so at ease. It was night and day watching the care and concern she received.
Angie, whom I didn’t think did a lot to keep me interested in her character after Harlem episodes 2×01 “Takesie Backsies” and episode 2×02 “If you can’t say anything nice…” had some really good moments in episode 2×03 “An Assist from the Sidelines” and episode 2×04 “Baby and the Bath Water.” It made me remember why I liked her. In episode 2×03, she went home to hang with her family, which included her mom Sonya (Sherri Sheperd) and her brother Freddie (Lil Rel Howery).
We got to see why Angie has the personality she does. She’s a bubbly person with an IDGAF attitude, and it’s clear she gets it from her mama. Watching the scenes with her and her mom was so sweet and uplifting. So were the ones with her brother. Angie needed that visit. She was feeling down because of hitting a brick wall in her career. Sonya and Freddie reminded her who she was and why she needed to keep going. We’ve all been in the same boat before, and having that time with family can bring you some light and hope because nobody will love you and cheer you on as much as your family will.
Her family visit positively affected her because in episode 2×04 “Baby and the Bath Water,” she ended up getting a role in a Hallmark Christmas movie. And it also looks like she may have met a nice guy in Michael (Luke Forbes), the man Quinn’s mom tried setting her up with (more on that in a minute). It was nice to see Angie connect with someone honestly and genuinely. The bike ride moment was super cute.
Our girl Quinn spent both episodes struggling. A lot. It was clear that her breakup with Isabela hit her hard. When she spent the day with her mom Patricia (Jasmine Guy) and dad, Phil (Rick Fox), she wasn’t in the best of moods. Phil, whom Quinn can talk to, already knew that she was bisexual and was aware of her breakup.
On the other hand, her mom knew none of this, so she attempted to set her up with Michael. I liked that Quinn let him know right off the bat that nothing would be happening between them. She stayed true to herself and didn’t try to put on a fake front to please her mom.
I was so happy when she came out to Patricia because her mom needed to know she was going through a tough time. Patricia took the news slightly better than I thought. Despite making it a little about herself because Quinn didn’t tell her she was bisexual. But I’m on team Quinn on this one. Her mom doesn’t seem like the type of person that would make it easy to come out or tell anything.
As I said, Quinn was struggling after being dumped by Isabela. That spilled over into episode 2×04, “Baby and the Bath Water.” Every time I watch an episode of Harlem, I try to find pieces of myself in each of the ladies. I couldn’t help but feel the pain Quinn was experiencing when she broke down in the bathtub after shooting ’73 Questions with Quinn Joseph’ for Vogue. Every single one of Quinn’s friends doesn’t seem to see how much she’s hurting right now.
Quinn is the one who supposedly has it together. She’s the positive beacon of light for them, but deep down, she’s hiding her pain. When asked about the three things that make her happy while filming her Vogue piece, she can only name two. The third one doesn’t come to her, and she shuts the interview down. Being faced with a question like that one was difficult.
Though I’ve never done a ’73 Questions’ piece for Vogue, that scene was relatable. That’s because black women are constantly forced to keep a lot of pain inside themselves. Everyone believes that black women are strong and unbreakable. Yes, we are strong, but we also have our breaking points like anyone else. We are allowed to be vulnerable. I was in tears watching Quinn sobbing in the tub. Grace Byers’s performance was heartbreaking, and she’s quickly becoming one of my favorites in Harlem this season.
Harlem releases new episodes on Fridays on Prime Video.