Good Trouble 1x05 “Parental Guidance Suggested” Review
With the amazing news that Good Trouble has been picked up for a second season, Episode 5, entitled “Parental Guidance Suggested” was even sweeter — especially since Callie and Mariana’s moms Stef and Lena stopped by the Coterie!
The episode starts with a flashback, as usual, this time of Callie frantically running out of the loft and down the stairs. It’s quick, but establishes that her day with the ’rents didn’t go quite as planned.
Backing up to the beginning of the day, we find out that Callie is nervous about their moms coming to visit, especially since they aren’t too thrilled to know that the girls are living in a communal space. She’s cleaned the apartment top to bottom, and Mariana has spruced up their room with quite a bit of new furniture and decor. In the midst of all the interior design chaos, Callie finds one of Mariana’s bank statements laying around. And although we can’t see the numbers very clearly, she appears to be a bit shaken up by it.
When Lena and Stef finally arrive, the sisters try their best to hide the dysfunction in the loft, but to no avail. They first come in contact with Dennis and his new fling Aria, both fresh out of the shower — though they don’t seem to mind. Aria offers Stef and Lena cookies that she’s left out on the table, which they sample. Little do they know, the cookies are laced with cannabis.
Though before eating the cookies they were rightfully worried about several aspects of the girls’ new LA lives, including the fact that there’s a chamber pot in their room and Mariana has been outed for coming home at 3 in the morning most nights, the edibles seem to calm them down substantially.
They meet Gael, who Callie doesn’t introduce as her boyfriend, or more accurately, her friend with benefits. Through flashbacks we see that they’re still hooking up though, and may even be catching feelings beyond lust.
Stef tries her hand at improv and somewhere along the way, Lena wanders into Malika’s room, which is filled with powerful momentos of black history and Jamal Thompson shirts. Callie is still weary of people in her life interacting with Malika, especially since they themselves can’t talk much until the case is over. However, she wants her to meet her moms because she knows that they’ll like her. And through a flashback of Lena campaigning for State Assembly, we see that she’s experienced some pretty harsh racism. Later, she expresses to Malika that she is brave for looking at images of the Civil Rights Movement every day. Malika responds saying she’s inspired by them and reminded by them to keep fighting for justice.
Stef also bonds with one of the Coterie members when she confronts Dennis about his relationship with a much younger girl. He confides in her that he’s needed her company recently because he is still mourning the death of his son who would have turned eight years old just days prior. Stef advises him to be more open with his loft mates and ask for help when he needs it.
As Stef and Lena come down from their accidental high, they prepare dinner for the rest of the Coterie. What has potential to be a nice meal though soon turns into a slinging of insults and spilling of secrets. When Mariana brings up that Callie and Gael are sleeping together, Callie runs out of the loft and down the stairs, bringing us back to the flashback we began with. Gael finds her in the theater and comforts her, and though they discuss having feelings for each other, the possibility of exclusivity is still a bit of a question mark.
Callie returns to the loft, only for her and Mariana’s bickering to reach a head. In a fit of shouting, they reveal that they both hate their jobs, and that Mariana is $20,000 in debt. Mariana also expresses that she wants to spend more time with her sister and feels that she’s being brushed to the side by her.
The end of the episode feels like a nice resolution, Stef and Lena leaving the Coterie with Lena’s decision to continue running for State Assembly, despite the racist comments being thrown her way, and Callie and Mariana realizing they need to spend more time together. And while the sisters were once afraid to worry their mothers with the troubles they’re facing, they now know that they can turn to them whenever they need some guidance. They don’t have to face adulthood alone.
This ending isn’t all happy though, because it is soon after revealed that Ben is stalking Callie’s social media and the pages of everyone she knows, particularly Mariana’s. Though Callie had told him she doesn’t know everyone she lives with, Ben now knows for sure that she and Malika do know each other.
So where does this leave Callie in terms of her job? As she explained to Malika,the worst that will happen is that she’s taken off the case and it’s handed over to Ben or Rebecca. However, Callie’s biggest fear is that they will not challenge Judge Wilson’s conservative views and will have no positive influence on his decision. And though Malika has vowed to take a step back, it is most likely too late.
In Mariana’s case, we now know that she is severely in debt and has been numbing her hatred for her job with partying and shopping. This isn’t quite how I thought she was going to hit rock bottom, but it’s not too surprising. Callie has always been slightly more responsible than her spontaneous sister.
It’s a good thing that they’ve vowed to spend more time together, because I have a feeling they’re about to need each other more than ever.
I was so happy to see some old faces, even though we’ve been pretty blessed with that thus far. First we had Jude stop by, then Jamie popped in, and now Stef and Lena. All of these cameos are nice reminders that Callie and Mariana haven’t just left their old lives behind for good.
I also loved the message of this episode. Callie and Mariana have been trying so hard to be adults and do what they feel adults are supposed to do — suck it up and just keep going, which to some extent is true, but they’ve been so afraid to ask for help in the process. Even though they’re college graduates and have their first big jobs, they are still trying to figure out how to do all of this. And sometimes you just need your mom(s).
I can only hope that the next few episodes put everything that has come to surface into motion. I really want to see Callie and Mariana get closer and Callie especially realize that she can find time to have a personal life. And though I doubt it’ll happen, I hope she’ll put Mariana before Gael. I also hope we’ll see more of Dennis now that we know a little bit more about his backstory.
Though this episode took place mostly in the loft, it managed to be just as entertaining and drama-filled as past episodes. Many of the characters were emotionally all over the place, which made up for a lack of physical movement and change of scenery.
As always, I’m looking forward to seeing what trouble Callie and Mariana get into next week. I’m sure it’ll be more than good.
Good Trouble airs Tuesdays on Freeform at 8/7c.