“Black-ish” is new and fresh this week, and it’s all about hair, “Empire” Christmas cards and loyalty.
Dre takes his boys to the barber shop with the hope that they appreciate and understand it’s importance as much as he does. When a new barber, Smokey, asks Junior or Pimp Juice, if he wants a haircut, Dre throws a fit and tells him all the situations in which you are under no circumstances supposed to go to another barber. Junior branches out anyway.
Back at the house, Bow works with the girls to practice their winter wonderland Christmas card look, and it is less than enjoyable. Zoe and Diane get a break when Junior and Jack walk into the living room. Bow goes crazy for his haircut, and Zoe even tells him he can speak to her at school tomorrow. When Dre walks in, however, it’s a different story as it is clear his lifelong barber is losing it. His hairline is more like a hair curve and according to Bow, it looks like Mr. T had a stroke while Dre was in the chair. He panics all while calling Junior a “light skilled Judas” at his suggestion to go see Smokey.
Dre’s botched haircut means Bow has to rearrange the photo shoot, which is just more stress for her. Ruby tells Bow that she will help with the photo shoot and Bow objects, but Ruby pushes her out and tells the kids that the new theme is “elegance.” For whatever reason, Diane freaks out because she’s “quirky at best” and she nor Jack knows how to do elegant.
At work, Dre has a hard time during his presentation because of Junior’s betrayal and his haircut. They suggest firing his barber, and he is not having it. He tells them that black folks don’t turn their backs on people, especially their barbers. So in a lesson to his son about loyalty, and the white folks at his work, he does what the Lakers do when Kobe has a bad night and put the ball back in T’s hands anyway. The results? Just think George Jefferson… gone horribly wrong.
The next day at the house, Bow is upset that Ruby has abandoned her winter wonderland theme. Her mother-in-law explains the elegance theme and tells her it’s easy because it involves things like, “Coach…bags.” Just then, Dre comes in and they all but faint. He tells Bow he went back to T. because he’s Kobe and you don’t take the ball out of Kobe’s hand because he’s having a bad game. “Yea the Kobe of ten years ago,” Bow tells him.
Zoe tries to put Jack and Diane’s hearts at rest about the photo shoot and demonstrates how easy it is to be elegant, but literally falls flat on her bum in broken glass.
Meanwhile, Dre takes care of his hair situation the best way he knows how- sneaking into Junior’s phone to find Smokey’s number. Only he is caught, and when he asks for the barber’s number, Junior gives him the same speech Dre gave him at the barbershop about being loyal.
Downstairs, Ruby has everything together for the Christmas card, because, in her own words, she’s a “bad bitch” and uses the cast of Empire cut-outs to set up the standing order. She’s Cookie, Dre is Lucious and Bow? “The white girl Rhonda.” Oh, Ruby.
Dre goes back to the barbershop, and everyone makes fun his hair cut when he takes off his hat. They call him Lebron and of course, Lebron hairline jokes ensure. Dre ignores them and asks Smokey if he can put him in front of the others, but the barber tells him he can’t help him out, but he can call T. When T. comes in he looks at Dre’s hair and accuses him of messing it up himself. “You did this to me!” He can’t take it and storms out because as he puts it, “I’m a grown-ass man.”
While he’s still dealing with his hair, his momma is in Bow’s. She does a mock-up of the card, this time using her grandchildren and Bow goes ballistic. She tells Zoe to wash the make up off of her face, Jack that they don’t do gangsta leans in their household and Diane to take off her fishnets. She tells Ruby that “Christmas is not about being a bad bitch.”
To solve his hair problems, Dre hires a barber to the stars as his own personal in-house hair cutter and tells his son that they don’t have to deal with the politics and jokes of the office anymore nor watch Putty Tang on a constant loop. “Get to, get to watch Putty Tang,” Junior corrects him.
The day of the photo shoot, Bow is dressed in a sequin dress with bling, but Ruby dresses the kids in Bow’s original winter wonderland theme. Needless to say, what happens every year happens again- Bow cries in the holiday card picture.
In the end, Junior comes to the house with a jacked up haircut because Smokey got into a fight at the barbershop (but didn’t stop cutting his hair). He tells his dad that his personal barber is the way to go, and as he admits it to Dre, he gets a call from Sasha and totally plays her, a move he learned from Smokey. And it is that move that convinces Dre he needs to keep his son going to the barbershop.