Pride and vulnerability are two emotions we all experience. We showcase pride more than vulnerability, however. That’s because there is fear of revealing our vulnerability to anyone. As Camille says, “vulnerability is synonymous with weakness.” In episodes five and six of Harlem, the ladies dealt with both of these, and each in their way.
Join us in our latest review of Harlem season two as we discuss episodes 2×05, “Pride,” and 2×06, “Out of the deadpan and into the fire.”
At the end of Harlem episode 2×04, “Baby and the bath water,” Ian walked up as Camille revealed to Tye that her egg reserve test showed she might not be able to have kids. Thankfully, when we got to episode 2×05, “Pride,” we quickly learned he didn’t hear the conversation, and both Tye and Camille were quick to throw him off by bringing up some unpleasant parts of being a woman. Camille, being her prideful self, couldn’t bring herself to tell Ian what she and Tye were talking about.
I mean, I can’t say I blame her. Women’s reproductive issues are personal and not something we can easily share with anyone. That even includes the person we’re in a relationship with. It automatically makes the person you’re with look at you differently. Camille felt the best thing to do was keep everything to herself. Speaking of relationships, remember when we told you during episodes 2×01, “Takesie Backsies,” and 2×02, “If you can’t say anything nice…” that relationship drama was coming for Camille? Well, it’s here.
In episode 2×05, “Pride,” Camille had a run-in with her ex-Jameson, but as it turned out, he was there for strictly professional reasons. Because Jameson knows how much Camille’s teaching career means to her and that she’s trying to get tenure, he signed her and himself up for a McNeil grant, and they were approved for it. As a result, they have to put together a presentation on the role of black mothers in society. While this was good news for Camille, that means she and Jameson will be working together. And well, we know how things like that can go especially if you’re working with an ex.
Quinn, whom we last saw sobbing in the bathtub, is still not doing okay. But, as we said, episode 2×05, “Pride,” was all about pride, so our girl pretended everything was okay. She told her girls everything was good and signed up for Tye’s dating app. Quinn just wanted a day to let loose, and because it happened to be pride week, she thought going to a pride celebration would be the best medicine. Surprisingly, Quinn did tell Tye that she wasn’t feeling like herself. But only after Angie told her she was moving out for a bit.
Despite Quinn harping on Angie and telling her she needed to grow up and get her own place, it is evident that she wasn’t ready for her to do that. Quinn needs Angie because she’s the free spirit who makes her happy when she’s down. Because we know how much Angie means to Quinn, we weren’t surprised that she snapped at her a little bit when she told her she was leaving. However, we do think Quinn could have handled the situation better.
Quinn chooses to push her fight with Angie to the back, and after a little bit of reluctance, she convinces Tye to take one for the team and go with her to the pride event despite her not wanting to be surrounded by “drunk gay white men.” Once there, Quinn goes hard, downing drink after drink, and it’s clear she’s trying to numb the pain. Things only go from bad to worse, and it doesn’t end well.
Tye, who has gone with Quinn for moral support, is dealing with the aftermath of having to give up half of everything she owns to her ex-husband Brandon. It’s the anniversary of her dating app, and she’s started to lose a bit of motivation. Knowing that Brandon gets half of her company, she feels it’s no longer hers. She decides to announce that she’s shutting it down. That way, Brandon can’t have any part of it.
Tye failed to realize that her pride over not wanting to allow Brandon to have anything, particularly her company was making her lose sight of the significant impact her dating app had on the LGBTQ+ community. When two women come to the anniversary party and tell how they met, she learns that the company is not about her. It’s about the people she’s helped find true love. That’s an eye-opening moment, and she decides to keep the company.
Angie, who has found love in a new guy named Mike, seems to be flourishing after getting her part in a Hallmark Christmas film, and now she’s got a place to call her own, at least for a little bit, while her former friend with benefits Eric is away. But, of course, Angie’s also dealing with some pride herself. She’s never had feelings for any guy as she does for Mike. As she says, she doesn’t want to be “the waits for a man to call bitch” so she pretends not to care if he calls. When he does call, she’s beyond ecstatic, and it’s clear she’s falling in love.
When we get to Harlem episode 2×06, “Out of the deadpan and into the fire,” things are sadder. The whole episode is 30 minutes focused on everyone’s vulnerabilities.
“Sometimes people and specifically black people, when the deck is stacked against them in the survival department, can get so good at masking vulnerability to the outside we don’t even know when we’re feeling it inside.”
At the end of Harlem, episode 2×05, “Pride,” Ian stumbles on Camille’s cell phone after she leaves it at home in a rush to go help Dr. Pruitt. He sees some text messages from Jameson that he feels are questionable. And they are when taken out of context. We, the viewer, know the texts are about her turning down working on the project for the McNeil grant, but Ian doesn’t. The texts read as though Jameson is attempting to rekindle his relationship with Camille.
Ian does what any non-sensible person does and shows up to meet Jameson. He tells Jameson to stay away from Camille until he realizes he misunderstood the entire exchange. He backpedals and tells Jameson that it’s an excellent idea for Camille to work on the project, and he tells Camille the same. Camille is shocked to hear this, and it upsets her that Ian went through her phone. They get into an argument, and she lets it slip that she may or may not be able to have children.
Ian is taken aback by this and feels hurt because he thought that he and Camille were done keeping things from each other. I did and didn’t understand where he was coming from. Camille didn’t have to tell Ian immediately what she was dealing with. That was her business, and she would have told him when she was ready. He made it about himself, and I didn’t like that. Ultimately, the two patched things up and agreed they needed to work on communication and trust. This led to her deciding to work with Jameson on the McNeil project. That decision may have backfired a little, and that’s all I will say.
Quinn, still dealing with depression, has reached her limit. She’s at the stage where she’s not getting out of bed, taking care of herself, or even concerned about her boutique. She’s not sure what’s going on with herself, but she knows she’s not doing well. As I have said time and time again, Quinn is the one who is optimistic about everything. The girls go to her for advice. Revealing how she’s genuinely feeling was a big step because she was showing a vulnerable side she didn’t want anyone to see.
There was no need for her to be afraid, however. As soon as she texted her girls and told them she had been lying to them and wasn’t okay, they dropped everything immediately and were right by her side. We all need friends like this in our lives because nobody should do life alone, and it is okay not to be okay. We’ve all been there before. It’s a good feeling to know you can reach out to someone, and they will be there for you when you need them.
Angie has started filming her Hallmark Christmas movie, and it’s an interesting experience. The set is very white, her costar is an expert in microaggressions, and it’s not the most comfortable environment for her because she’s the only black person in the project. Despite this, she takes everything in stride. That is until she meets with the film’s hairdresser. When Angie goes in to get her hair done, it becomes clear that she is alone in this project. The stylist doesn’t know a thing about styling black hair, and she tells Angie she’s okay. She even says that whatever she wants to do with her hair is Ok.
Once again, Tracy Oliver gave us a moment known all too well with this scene. I am not in Hollywood in any way, but I have heard countless stories by Black female actors about how difficult it is to find someone on film and TV sets to do their hair. The stylists know nothing about the textures of black hair, nor do they even care to try them. It’s one of the things that reminds black women they are not the same and, in fact, not even seen as equals. When you can’t get your hair done on the set of your job while your non-POC costars are getting prettied up, it’s not a good look.
Tye’s vulnerability comes into play when she and Brandon have a come to Jesus moment after he shows up on her doorstep. She is still upset with him for taking her to court to get half of everything she owns. He explains to her that he doesn’t want any of her stuff or money. He took her to court only because he thought he could make himself feel better by hurting her. It was important for Tye to hear this because I don’t think she even considered how much it hurt him that she left him.
Tye tends to think only about herself. She was angry that Brandon hadn’t moved on until she realized why he was struggling. They both did things to each other that they needed to apologize for, and I was glad they had that moment. My hope for them is that this leads to a friendship because I do think they both genuinely care about each other.
- “Tragically, the fastest way to clear a room of men is to talk about the inner workings of a vagina.” FACTS on FACTS.
- Wondering if Tye and plant lady Aimee (Rachel True) have a love connection brewing because I am feeling the chemistry.
- Showing Dr. Pruitt’s (Whoopi Goldberg) vulnerable side made her more of a human, and I appreciated that.
- Quinn’s mom was really at a pride event giving out hugs but refused to hug her own daughter. Wow.
- The Countess Vaughn cameo.
- “We have to act and be hairstylists.”
- Quinn’s breakdown in her boutique, I felt that moment.
- Camille visiting her mom hit me a little harder than I expected.
- “This is about everything and nothing.” Been there, Quinn. Been there.
- I’m not sure a trip to Puerto Rico will wash away Quinn’s depression, but I guess it’s worth a try…
Harlem releases new episodes on Fridays on Prime Video.