“And if you gonna keep on smashin’ baby girl for that food, man, how’s that gonna make you feel?” “Beats feeling hungry”.
Hey, guys! RobBarracuda here, and it’s time to recap and review this week’s episode of Black Jesus, “Tasty Tudi’s”. I’m starving just thinking about… maybe not enough to justify paying Ms. Tudi’s prices, but still starving.
The episode opens with Jesus, Boonie, Trayvon, Jason, and Fish walking up to Ms. Tudi’s house to hopefully get some food, only to get shut out by Tudi. She’s hosting some kind of dining party/business in her backyard, called Tasty Tudi’s, and despite the gang’s bartering and begging, she’s not letting any of them in… except for Fish, because he’s sexy. While Tudi’s leading Fish through the dining area, she lets him know that what she’s doing is illegal, hence why she can’t freely let people into the event (wow. what a shock). She lets him eat some of the food being served in exchange for servicing the guests present. Back at the apartment, the guys are complaining about how they’re starving and there’s nothing to eat, with Boonie wanting Jesus to spawn food for them. Fish suddenly shows up, bragging about the food that he got to eat. The guys talk about how they can get food of any kind, and Trayvon suggests that they apply for food stamps since they all meet the qualifications: no money, no jobs, no income in the bank. They suggest Boonie goes down to the SNAP office, but since he’s already on food stamps to help feed Shalinka and his kids, he can’t really get any more. Trayvon helps make the decision easy by using an app on his phone to simulate a game of drawing sticks (geez, there really is an app for everything).
Fish ends up being the one that has to sign up for food stamps. He goes to the SNAP office where he waits to speak with an elderly woman, named Laverne, who is instantly aroused upon seeing Fish. He notices this and attempts to seduce her into getting the food stamps (he even does that weird pec-flexing… thing. You know the one), eventually getting an invite to her house. At Laverne’s house, she presents Fish with some wine and cheese, and she even shows off a bounty of indulgent food in her fridge. While the two of them eat together, Fish tries to go in directly for sex, believing it will get him the food stamps. She quickly stops him, letting him know the actual arrangements: the romantic dinner between the two is free, but the sex will net Fish an EBT card with absolutely no limit. If you’re wondering how this encounter turns out, Fish proudly shows up at his apartment later, showing off the card to the gang and encouraging them to get groceries. They go out, buy some food, and bring it back to the apartment, partaking in what they’ve purchased. Jesus shares his concern for Fish, saying that Laverne’s a woman with issues, but this doesn’t seem to phase him since he’d rather not be hungry. The gang debates about the legality of what they’re doing when Jesus suddenly comes up with an idea: setting up the food truck at a recently closed soup kitchen to feed the homeless. The group’s shown setting up, and as they do so, Ms. Tudi watches them from her car. She asks Trayvon where the keys to the truck are, and he sends her to Boonie, who lets her know the keys are in the ignition of the truck. She then drives off in the food truck and leaves the gang behind.
Ms. Tudi later summons them to her house and proceeds to chew them out for what they were doing, feeling betrayed at the idea that someone might be trying to compete with her. Suggesting that the gang is up to something, she forces them to confess, and Fish shows off the EBT card. Boonie brings up Fish’s fling with Laverne, and Ms. Tudi suddenly changes her tune and welcomes them all in to drink some wine (even being nice to Boonie for once). Jesus asks why Tudi has to interfere with them, taking their acts of selflessness and turning them into acts of greed. She turns this around back on him, asking why everything always has to be about the poor and needy (you say this out loud as if it makes sense, Ms. Tudi…). She proposes using the EBT funds to help with Tasty Tudi’s, selling $80 plates to white hipsters who would enjoy eating a meal in an authentically ghetto area. In addition, she suggests spontaneous “ghetto theatre” performances and dressing the waiters up like bums. Jesus is of course pissed, once again chewing his friends out for not caring about him and his desire to do good. Jesus, Boonie, and Jason head out, leaving Fish alone with Ms. Tudi. She asks about his relationship with Laverne, and he gets multiple messages from her on his phone. Tudi points out that Laverne’s clinginess is his fault for not establishing any real boundaries. She promises to help him out, slipping him some pills that might help on his next encounter.
The next day, the gang is feeding homeless people out of the truck, and Lloyd shows up to get something to eat. He sees someone leaving a tray of tacos alone, but Ms. Tudi stops him before he can get to it. She gets Fish to force him out as he complains about wanting food, but Jesus tries to be kind and asks Ms. Tudi to give him something. She insincerely obliges, tossing out a tortilla nonchalantly. She kicks all the homeless people out, and then the gang begins to set up Tasty Tudi’s. At night the place reopens, being populated by the exact type of audience she was talking about earlier: goofy-looking white hipsters.
Lloyd comes back and attempts to get in, only for Tudi to stop him and kick him out. However, a man hands a tray to Lloyd out back, thinking he’s employed, and he uses this to finally sneak in. He goes to the janitorial closet of the place and, as an act of revenge, takes a dump in the mop bucket. Ms. Tudi sends Boonie to get the mop and clean up, but as he does so, he comments on the unusual smell of the mop and bucket. Even a couple of the hipsters take notice and point it out. Laverne shows up drunk and asks for Fish, who introduces her to Ms. Tudi. Laverne tries to intimidate Tudi by threatening to cut off the EBT card that was used to buy all the food. Jesus tries to diffuse the situation, but Laverne doesn’t care to listen to him (“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I ain’t fuckin’ with you since my third divorce”). Eventually, Ms. Tudi backhand slaps Laverne in the face, knocking her back as she falls down.
Ms. Tudi tells her that her behavior won’t pass around her, even saying that Laverne and Fish as an item are done. She then declares “and… scene”, using the ghetto theatre excuse to try and save face in front of everyone. The episode ends with everyone suddenly reaching the realization about the smell of crap, as Boonie finally notices and points out the crap in the mop bucket, scaring everyone and souring their appetite.
This episode was good, but not the series at its best, mainly because the season feels like it’s settling into a bit of a repetitive pattern. The plot for the past few episodes has been Jesus and friends engaging in a plan to help the needy, with Ms. Tudi capitalizing on their good will and exploiting them for her own personal gain. The episode is still quite funny, but it kind of feels like the show’s trying to stall for something, but I’m not sure what. I’ll admit the Fish/Laverne plot was the funniest part of the episode just because of how uncomfortable and awkward it is for him. He clearly doesn’t want to do it, but it’s either do that or go hungry. One other downside is that it doesn’t feel like anything major got accomplished as far as the overall story of the show and this season in particular, although I do think the scene with Jesus chewing out his friends for not accepting his desire to do good might be building up to something major before the season’s over. Overall, not a bad episode, and I look forward to seeing what happens next week.
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