“I be wearin’ tailor-made suits, homie”. “Ey, your tailor is definitely not your friend, bruh.”
Hey, everyone. RobBarracuda here, and it’s time to talk about this week’s episode of Black Jesus, “Good For Nothing”. This might be a bit of a long one, folks. Quite a lot of stuff went down this week.
The episode opens on Dianne and Jason in bed together, happy that they’re about to finally patch things up, when Dianne ends up getting a call from work. She sounds rather upset during this call, and it kind of worries Jason. When she jumps back into bed, he expresses doubt about renewing their relationship, being nervous about her job as a cop. Dianne handles this exactly as you’d expect, getting pissed and beating Jason with a pillow. Seriously, man. Why do you always have to ruin a good thing, Jason?
Lloyd is napping at his post by the front gate of the complex when he wakes up and sees that Bernadette (once again played by Bernadette Stanis from Good Times) has returned. He escapes into Vic’s apartment, trying his best to hide. Lloyd and Vic hear and see Jesus escorting her to the door, checking to see if he’s in there. Lloyd and Vic vow to show solidarity between the two and not let her get in the way, as she explains to Jesus her relationship with Lloyd. Vic finally opens the door and Jesus “introduces” her to them before Vic promptly lets her in and shoves him out. It turns out that Bernadette is here not to fully patch things up with Lloyd, but because she wants to finalize a divorce between them. Lloyd is of course overjoyed by this and decides to celebrate the only way we’d expect of him by this point: chugging a bottle of J. Darby!
Then we cut to a probation office, where Jesus, Fish, Maggie, Jason, and Boonie are all at. It seems that after 5 years, Fish is close to no longer being on probation. After entering some information into a computer terminal, it prints out a ticket saying that he needs to see an attendant in the next 48 hours. Fish is upset that he has to deal with an out-of-nowhere drug examination, and he asks Jesus to call on God for some help, but Jesus seems to be sketchy about providing a definitive answer, which really annoys him. Boonie promises to help out Fish, as he claims to know how to cheat the system and pass the drug examination no problem, but Fish is distrustful of him and just storms off angrily.
Back at Vic’s apartment, Lloyd is passed out drunk on the floor. Bernadette suggests that she and Vic let him sleep, and the two go off to Vic’s bedroom. Bernadette tries to get it on with Vic, but he reminds her that he and Lloyd are friends and that he’s concerned with breaking his friendship as well as committing adultery. She assures him that there’s nothing wrong with it since they’re getting divorced anyway, and the whole thing ends exactly how you’d expect, with the two having sex and Vic waking up the next morning, clearly regretting what he did… again.
The gang is at Fish’s apartment, as Fish is chugging a giant bottle of water (presumably to help pass the drug test). Jason is mulling over his relationship issues with Dianne and how nervous he is about her career as a cop. Maggie is skeptical of the possibility that Fish can cheat the system in only 48 hours, and Fish complains that Jesus won’t willingly work a miracle and bail him out. Jesus assures him that he needs to go through with this, but Fish just leaves the apartment as Jesus follows him out.
Lloyd is getting breakfast ready for himself and seems overjoyed about something. When Vic enters the kitchen, he explains what it is: the night before, Lloyd and Bernadette had sex. When he finally woke up after being passed out on the floor, he noticed she was on top of him and kissing him all over. Lloyd then goes on to describe the experience in hilariously explicit detail, as Vic suddenly starts experiencing intense regret. Vic then goes to the bathroom door and knocks angrily, yelling for Bernadette. She answers the door confused about Vic’s anger, and he says he needs to use the bathroom. She lets him in as she reminds Lloyd about a lawyer meeting the two of them have later, and Vic begins making weird guttural noises in the bathroom which can only mean one of two things, and I don’t think Vic’s dropping a river of chocolate in there.
Later, during a particularly cloudy thundering day, Vic is throwing away some garbage, pissed off and frustrated about the situation between Lloyd, Bernadette, and himself. Out of desperation, Vic begins praying to God, and suddenly Jesus shows up, randomly asking about Fish. Vic stubbornly replies that he doesn’t know where he is, and Jesus picks up on the stress that he’s feeling. He begins to talk about his situation, but he messes with the details so that it’s his “friend” who ended up making a big mistake. Jesus suggests that his friend needs to own up to his mistake and remove himself from the situation, but Vic confesses that his “friend” tried and just kept making the same mistake again. They finish up the exchange as Vic leaves the dumpsters.
Bernadette meets up with him in a parking lot, and Vic confronts her about what she did. She tries to weasel her way out of it, claiming that it would be “disrespectful” to sleep with him and then NOT do the same with Lloyd (flawless logic there, of course). Vic is worried about going to hell, something that Bernadette isn’t concerned with, and he decides to resolve the issue by… proposing to Bernadette, specifying that they don’t officially get married until her and Lloyd are fully divorced. She’s overjoyed by this, and the two of them celebrate by… getting freaky in the car. Vic, dude… what the hell is wrong with you?
Meanwhile, Dianne pulls up in her car to Jesus’ truck and angrily demands to see Jason. Picking up that she’s clearly bugged by something, he offers to listen to her problems. She tells him about what happened between her and Jason earlier, and Jesus suggests that Jason is afraid she’ll lock up him and his friends in prison. Jesus asks if Dianne had ever tried actually hanging out with him and his friends, and she responds that she hasn’t since all they do is get high.
Vic returns to the apartment and notices an unnerving sight: the ring that he got for Bernadette is now on Lloyd’s hand. When he asks about it, Lloyd responds that him and her are getting remarried and renewing their vows, which stresses Vic out beyond belief.
Fish is in his apartment packing up some things when Jason and Jesus suddenly arrive at the door. They notice that Fish is about to leave for good as he doesn’t want to go back to jail again, but Jesus tries to convince him that he’s failing a test of faith in God. He wants Fish to not stress out and go out with the homies for fun if this eventually turns out to be his last night as a free man. Fish is stressed out and uninterested, but Jesus decides to bribe him with a blunt… even though that’s probably going to make passing the drug test impossible. Jason wants him to come out to Lloyd’s wedding party, and he and Jesus eventually manage to browbeat Fish into coming out.
We then cut to Lloyd’s party where everyone seems to be having a good time, and Boonie is even DJ’ing for the occasion (he sadly does not play “Side Bitches”). Maggie and Trayvon are enjoying themselves and dancing when Dianne, who’s off-duty for the night, suddenly shows up and greets everyone. Maggie offers her some champagne, and she decides to indulge a little. While the party’s happening, Bernadette is trying to make a phone call to someone, and she leaves the party only to come across Vic sitting outside, who appears to be sipping some Darby. Drunk and annoyed, he says he knows about what she did with the wedding ring, but she tries to comfort him. Back at the party, Dianne runs into Lloyd, and he offers her some Darby. She begrudgingly decides to drink some, and then we get a montage of Dianne, drunk off her ass, getting a little crazy at the party. How drunk is she, you may ask? We repeatedly see clips of her grinding on Boonie.
Fish, Jason, and Jesus finally show up to the party, and Maggie and Trayvon let them know about Dianne. Jason catches her still grinding on Boonie, and she runs up to Jason, overjoyed to see him. She wants to talk to him but is upset about the noise, and then she pulls out her gun to fire at the speakers, which freaks everyone out and clears out the party. She’s curious as to why Jason’s worried, since she claims that all they do is get drunk and high while getting into messed-up situations and somehow not getting arrested. Jason tries to calm her down as she begs to not have to live in the food truck with Jesus and that he needs to get his shit together before finally passing out drunk on the nearby table. Jesus and Jason leave the party, with Jason carrying Dianne out since she can’t exactly walk much. As they leave, Jesus catches sight of Bernadette and Vic making love in Vic’s car. He disrupts the two of them and chews Vic out for what he’s done, claiming that he shouldn’t get involved in the crazy nuttiness of Lloyd and Bernadette’s relationship. He then advises Bernadette that she shouldn’t ruin Vic and Lloyd’s friendship, when Lloyd walks out of the party and she calls out to him. She proposes that they just go through with the divorce as originally intended, and he agrees to this, with Vic angrily declaring she’ll burn in hell afterwards.
The next day at the probation office, Jesus encourages Fish to go through with the test, confident that things will work out. In the office, the clerk at the desk tells Fish that the test picked up on massive amounts of THC in Fish’s system, but shockingly, he’s no longer on parole. He inquires further about this, especially since the paperwork said five years of probation, but the clerk points out that it’s a maximum of five years. Apparently Fish had actually been released from parole three years before, but due to some errors in paperwork, he was never properly informed of it (why does this sound like a less insane version of Brazil?). Afterwards, Fish heads out to the car with Jesus, suspecting that he knew all along about the technicality, but he just says God works in mysterious ways. The episode ends with Jesus handing Fish a blunt and the two of them heading off to get some ice cream.
That was quite a lot of plot going on in one episode, a bit more than usual for Black Jesus. The Dianne/Jason relationship business comes back up after being absent for a few episodes, but it feels a little sudden. The episode just opens with it, and it kind of feels like we skipped a couple of steps to get here, only to have them get into another fight. The abruptness of this development is somewhat offset by what happens throughout, where Dianne has to come to terms with Jason’s life and understanding him and what his life is like. This also leads to the rather hilarious party montage, in which Dianne gets caught in the same kind of embarrassing misunderstanding that she has repeatedly caught Jason in during the season; it’s a funny inversion on the typical dynamic between these two. Meanwhile, Bernadette is back to wreak havoc between Vic and Lloyd, and she is just a full-on adulteress in this, casually manipulating these two in her favor for reasons unknown. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she was actually sent to Earth by this show’s version of the devil or something. Finally, there’s the Fish plot about him and his probation. It’s a decent plot thread, as Fish finds himself in a test of faith from God and Jesus, hoping that things will work out in the end. Oddly enough, between the Fish plot and the Bernadette affairs, the testing of faith seems to be a recurring theme this week, especially given the brief moment of desperation where Vic prays to God for spiritual guidance and help. Maybe Bernadette was actually sent by God as a way of testing Vic’s ability to be loyal to his own principles and his friendship with Lloyd (and I’m still not sure if you would call the eventual fallout a success or failure). This was quite a good episode, and I’m looking forward to next week, which is also the season finale. Christmas is finally here, and everyone seems happy about it except for, you guessed it, our Lord and Savior. How will Jesus’ Grinch-like attitude towards Christmas affect those around him?