Black Jesus Episode Recap, 02×07: “Thy Neighbor’s Strife”

“Don’t blame me. Jesus gave ’em self-respect”. “Are you serious? ‘ey Jesus. I hate when you give the bitches self-respect, man!”

 

Hey, everyone! RobBarracuda here, and it’s time to talk about this week’s episode of Black Jesus, “Thy Neighbor’s Strife”, an episode full of adultery, bling, and a large quantity of side bitches.


 

Lloyd's Ex(?), Bernadette
Lloyd’s Ex(?), Bernadette. She’s played by Bern Nadette Stanis, most well known for playing Thelma in the sitcom Good Times (Dy-no-mite!).

The episode opens with a beautiful women visiting Vic’s apartment. She’s asking about a man she’s looking for, and while this is happening, Lloyd’s just kind of screwing around in the background. The woman’s description of who she’s looking for, however, manages to match Lloyd exactly, which comes as a shock to him. Lloyd attempts to hide as the woman explains to Vic that she has a complicated relationship with him. He invites her into the apartment and wait while he searches for Lloyd, eventually finding him in the closet. He begs for Vic to lie to her and say he’s dead, but she overhears the two of them arguing, and Lloyd’s forced to confront this woman who’s overjoyed to see him. He asks how she found him, and she explains that she was asking around for Lloyd until his address was given to her by a guy with “a bad wig and robes on” (our lord and savior). She wants to get back together with Lloyd, claiming she was waiting for him to get his life back together, but he instantly refuses, leaving the apartment. Vic offers to let her stay in the apartment until Lloyd gets back. Meanwhile in Fish’s apartment, Boonie and Trayvon are filming something, with music playing in the background as Boonie cooks and mugs in the camera.

Cooking while rapping, eh? Where have I seen this before?
Cooking while rapping, eh? Where have I seen this before?

The two get into a brief spat over how to film this, and Jesus and Jason come in to settle them down. Boonie explains that he’s trying to film a video for his song “Side Bitches”, even claiming he’ll be able to use his mom’s house as a location for shooting. Jesus chews him out for his constant need to belittle and objectify women, but Boonie retaliates by claiming he’s just trying to make some legit money, as Jesus commanded. He asks for Jesus to show up in the video, but he denies their request and chews them out further, leaving to go help the less fortunate. The three left behind discuss the video shoot some more, with Jason wondering how the video’s supposed to go if they don’t have any bitches. The gang calls up Maggie and attempts to negotiate with her to be in the video and bring some other women along to be in the video, but she refuses unless Jesus shows up. Trayvon gets pressured into lying about Jesus showing up, and Maggie agrees to be in the video. Back at Vic’s apartment, Lloyd returns to see his ex-wife’s still around. He meets up with Vic and asks him to kick her out, leaving the apartment again. The woman gets sad and wonders if her being old or unappealing is why Lloyd won’t take her back, but Vic reassures her of her beauty, kissing and eventually sleeping with her, something that he appears to regret.

If that isn't the face of regret, I don't know what is.
If that isn’t the face of regret, I don’t know what is.

 

Maggie and her friends meet up with Boonie and the gang (minus Jesus) at Ms. Tudi’s house, claiming they need to see Jesus as soon as possible since they can only stay for a couple of hours. Boonie starts explaining the concept of the video and what he expects out of them: Maggie is the “main side bitch”, running security for all of Boonie’s other side bitches. She’s stubborn about this, as she should because it’s fucking Boonie, but she plays along with it. Meanwhile, Vic shows up at his apartment and sees Lloyd’s ex still there. He starts getting nervous, telling her that they’ll probably burn in hell for adultery, and then uses an excuse of paying bills to immediately leave. Jesus happens to be standing right outside the apartment and confronts Vic about him sleeping with the woman, but he of course has none of this and just leaves angry. Back at Tudi’s house, the video shoot gets underway, and it’s about what you expect: lots of bling, a bunch of guns, and twerking bitches.

Anyone else expecting 2 Chainz to show up?
Anyone else expecting 2 Chainz to show up?

They get interrupted when Shalinka pulls up to the house to return some frying pans, and Boonie explains what they’re up to. She demands to be in the video, but as the main bitch and not one of his side bitches. Meanwhile, Vic tries to return to his apartment but decides not to go in, and runs into Lloyd on his way down the stairs. Vic says he’s incapable of kicking her out, but Lloyd really needs him to do it. He explains his past with this women (who we now learn is named Bernadette): she’s quite special to him, but he always suspected her of cheating on him due to her flirtatious nature, which is what led to Lloyd ditching her and even taking up drinking. After this conversation, Vic visits Reverend Cleveland for some spiritual counseling, which goes exactly as you’d expect given that the reverend is a massive asshole. His “advice” is for Vic to just pay the Reverend for Vic’s sins, as the reverend pays the church whenever he has sex with prostitutes. Back at the video shoot, Trayvon gives directions to everyone present to help re-enact a shootout. He gets what he considers a decent take, but Shalinka thinks it can be done better, even demanding for the right to call “cut” at the end of a take. Vic goes back to his apartment and begs for him and Bernadette to tell Lloyd the truth immediately, but she wants to delay it for later that night. While still in the middle of the shoot, Maggie scolds Boonie on suspicion that he lied about Jesus showing up, and he confesses to this. Trayvon suggests that the gang pray together for him to swing by, and after praying, he swings by in the truck. We then cut to Vic coming across Lloyd throwing a suitcase in the back of Bernadette’s car who then drives off, with Vic chasing after before she speeds away. Going back to the video shoot, Jesus talks to Maggie’s friends about how they need to have respect for themselves, and they leave right after, much to the dismay of Boonie. Jesus once again chews him out for how undignified he is and for his inability to make money off of kindness and respect for women, but then he reluctantly agrees to be in the video. Trayvon sets up Jesus for what’s presumably the opening of the video, in which Boonie prays to him for forgiveness for what he’s about to do. The episode then ends with a brief glimpse of the actual “Side Bitches” video, which of course gets humorously cut off by Ms. Tudi showing up looking rather angry at what’s going on.

Jesus and Boonie in Side Bitches video


My Thoughts

I may have mentioned this before, but goddamn is Boonie insufferable as hell. At this point, I’m sure that’s deliberate, but he is just the most pathetic annoying ass. I’m still wondering what it is that Jesus sees in him that’s worth keeping around as a disciple. On a related note, it’s really clear by this episode that Jesus’ patience is running really thin with the rest of the main cast. He’s annoyed that Vic doesn’t accept his guidance, he repeatedly chews out Boonie for his lack of respect towards women and, in one of the more surprising bits of the episode, even seems disappointed in Trayvon. Trayvon! The one character out of the entire cast who’s probably the most decent of a human being (besides Jesus himself), and even Jesus has a moment of doubt about his character. Outside of that, there’s also the other plot about Vic and Lloyd having to deal with Bernadette, a conflict which I found quite interesting for a couple of reasons. This led to an interesting and weirdly human moment for Lloyd, a character normally depicted as just some silly hobo. In addition, the show sets up a conflict of faith with Vic, who wants to stay loyal to his faith but seems skeptical of the Reverend’s rather terrible advice, while also being skeptical of Jesus’ presence. A good episode with quite a bit of interesting character stuff, and I look forward to seeing what happens next week with Lloyd trying to be an alcohol spokesperson.

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