If you didn’t know, Dre Johnson is a man of principle and one of his guiding rules in life is never to forget people who helped him out. It’s his code, and if you got his back, he’s got yours. That life motto was tested this week on the latest episode of Blackish.
He applies his principle to two situations: a childhood friend named Shad, who is overstaying his welcome at the Johnson’s and Charlie who is on the verge of being fired.
First dealing with Shad, he is a starving artist who sleeps on their couch all day. 18 hours a day to be exact. They go way back to Dre’s Compton days when guys tried to jump him. Bow and the kids are not feeling his messy, stinky self-crowding their space, but Dre defends his friend and gives him the support that he needs, no matter what.
At work, the other founding partner of the company is expected to visit, and Stevens goes all out. In fact, he goes “all out” so much that you kind of get the vibe that he and the co-founder were gay lovers. It’s subtle, but it’s there. As they have prepared for his arrival, they get, instead, his ex-wife Daphne played by Wanda Sykes. She reveals that they are divorced and for a reason unknown to us, she got his half of the company, which doesn’t sit well with Stevens but is the business for Dre and Charlie because ya know, she’s black.
Speaking of Charlie, after spending some time around the office, Daphne concludes that he has to go. She shares her plans with Dre, who begs her to give him a chance to help Charlie get himself together. She gives him a France week which is two days, and Dre does his best to get his friend and co-worker to up his game.
Dre applies that same guy code at home where Shad has started to have an effect on the kids. Jack is the first one to give into his pattern of behaviors, following him around and daydreaming. He looped Zoe in by showing how he can take a short clip of her doing something as simple as combing her hair and turn it into a social media hit. By the end of the day, all of the Johnson kids have given up on their paths in life for an artistic, bohemian way of living that Bow is not feeling. I mean, even Diane has fallen victim to Shad’s enticing seemingly simple yet relaxing way of doing things.
Bow begs Dre to get rid of him and to stop giving him money. In her view, he is a bum that’s just using him but to Dre, he is an artistic genius who is on the cusp of his greatest achievement. As they go back and forth about Shad, Dre tells her about Charlie getting fired, and while she empathizes with him, he has to do what’s right for their family especially since Daphne tells him that he has to be the one to fire Charlie or she will fire both of them.
The next day, he works with Charlie, who misunderstood PETA for pita bread, which made him building a whole presentation around meat and hummus, to fix things. But it seems a little too late, and the situation is not looking good.
Later that night, as Bow tells him, again, to let Shad go, his friend comes into his room with a check. Apparently, one of his paintings sold for a significant amount of money. A picture of Bruno Mars, on Mars, eating a Mars. Epic! Hee is offered a six-month gig with a big paycheck. Even Bow is impressed. Shad tells Dre that he appreciates all he’s done because he’s the only one to see him for a true artist and not just an out of work, overweight lazy guy.
This prompts Dre to go to work the next day and show Daphne Charlie’s records. He has the highest client retention and satisfaction and does his job. She hears him and, in fact, things around on him saying that she’s not firing Charlie, “what are you talking about?”
Dre runs to tell his friend the good news, but Charlie is packing up because he found another job. He figured that Daphne wanting to get rid of him shows that he’s not appreciated, and so he found a job that pays him more for less effort. Before leaving, he thanks Dre and they have a very heartfelt moment.
Let me just say here that I hope this means Deon Cole who plays Charlie is getting his own show because he is hilarious. The episode where Amber Rose guest starred a few weeks ago proves he can carry a sitcom.
In the end, Bow scares her kids into returning to their regular lives and everyone but Diane takes the bait. Since she was the last one to buy in, she’s going to be the last to opt out.
Kids. Got to love them right? Unless you’ve seen the Larry Clark version, then you’ll have a different opinion!