We look forward to odes to the original show with new twists, looks from the characters, and the show’s ability to take lessons and make them resonate throughout a full episode.
This week’s episode wasn’t anything different. The lessons from this episode can simply be broken down to being honest and effectively communicating. Episode 7, which is titled “Payback’s A B*tch” begins with Uncle Phil (Adrian Holmes) and Fred Wilkes (Joe Holt) both inquiring about Will (Jabari Banks) and Lisa’s (Simone Joy Jones) relationship and eventually telling them to stay away from each other, at least until the election is over. Phil reminds Will of the real reason he’s in Los Angeles and the strings he had to pull to get him there in the first place. He adds that if Will was to tell Lisa why he really came from Philadelphia, it could possibly get back to Fred and it would lead to his campaign being ruined. Both Will and Lisa reluctantly agree but don’t hold up their ends of the bargain. The two begin to secretly date. They come to the conclusion that Carlton (Olly Sholotan) deserves better and they should tell him. Will takes the responsibility and says he will tell Carlton.
We catch the aforementioned Carlton at lacrosse practice where he is visibly off of his game. His “friend” Connor (Tyler Barnhardt) is quick to let him know that his performance or lack thereof isn’t going unnoticed and makes a racist comment to the other players on the team that offends Carlton. He takes his anger out on Connor by delivering a vicious hit that ends up breaking his teammate’s wrist. The team is upset with Carlton and Connor pretty much turns the rest of the school against him too. Having heard about the incident that took place at practice, Will gives his cousin some words of advice on how to deal with being an outcast. For the first time, Carlton seems to relate to how Will felt when he first moved to Bel Air. The two share a few more words and Will decides that in order to get his cousin out of his funk and recreate his image, he’ll throw Carlton a party.
Aunt Viv (Cassandra Freeman) tasked Uncle Phil with watching over the party that the boys would be having after she decided to attend the San Diego Modern Art Fair. The decision was made on her own, counteracting Phil’s decision earlier on in the episode to take money out of their joint account to invest in the campaign without asking. After Geoffrey (Jimmy Akingbola) informs him that Reed (Michael Ealy) will also be in attendance at the Art Fair, Uncle Phil decides to pop up on his wife in San Diego. Phil quickly spills the information he was given about Reed’s past with up-and-coming female artists after the two men get into a slight confrontation. Vivian and Phil eventually end up back in their hotel room where they discuss what led them to the point they’re at currently. Vivian admits that she somewhat resents Phil for giving her a way out and not encouraging her to continue her art. She even tells him that Reed makes her feel alive from the way he looks at her art. Phil responds by telling his wife that he always loved her art, but it was tough to see the toll it was taking on her while she balanced her home and work lives. He explained to her how her insecurities started to cripple her and he didn’t want to continue seeing it. Vivian eventually tells Phil that she “has to save herself this time” and Phil heads back home.
With both parents in San Diego, Hilary (Coco Jones) is left in charge of the party by her father. She has a lot going on already due to Kylo (Jon Beavers), the head of her influencer house, posting her video without her permission. Earlier in the episode, she takes some advice from her mother and decides to handle the situation herself instead of running to her father to take care of it. While chaperoning, Hilary runs into Jazz (Jordan L. Jones), who’s supposed to be at the house to DJ the party as a favor to Will. The two chat about her “Thirsty Chef” situation and when Hilary finds Kylo’s location, they decide to confront him together. The conversation doesn’t go exactly as planned. Kylo explains how well received the video was from fans and how Victoria’s Secret reps want to talk to her about deals. Hilary decides to listen and leaves Jazz alone in the bar. Upon returning, the two have a discussion where Jazz tells Hilary that she sold her soul and that she “can’t put a price on dignity.” Both characters seem to have changed their minds on things they thought they were certain about.
Hilary leaving the party to confront Kylo left the house without any adult supervision (Geoffrey was taking Ashley and some friends to Big Bear). This gave Will and Lisa the time and space they needed to be alone. The two went to Will’s room and started to share secrets (a great callback to the original series when Lisa shares her real name). Will lies to Lisa when she asks him the real reason he moved to Los Angeles, but she still believes him. This interaction leads to the two taking their relationship to another level and becoming intimate. Elsewhere, Carlton is dealing with the news he got from Aisha, another Black student that attends his school, that he is considered a sellout. He is surprised when he gets a text from John (one of his lacrosse teammates) that he is in the game room. Carlton goes to find the whole team there, including Connor. He finally stands up for himself and tells Connor to apologize for all the racist and homophobic things he’s said in the past. Connor declines and eventually leaves the party, but not quietly. He calls the cops and right as Carlton is on his way up to Will’s room, they arrive and he ends up in handcuffs. Lisa and Will come downstairs in the nick of time. Lisa contacts her father, who instructs the cops to let everyone go. The episode ends with Carlton looking completely defeated and devastated.
This week’s episode once again left us waiting patiently for next week with a boatload of questions. Will Carlton confront Will and Lisa about what transpired in Will’s room? How will Fred use the party against Phil in the race? What are Reed’s real intentions with Aunt Viv and how might the fellowship impact them? Are Hilary and Jazz over before they officially began? Let us know what you think in the comments and be sure to tune in to Episode 8 next week Thursday (March 17) on Peacock.
Who Can You Really Trust? “Bel Air” Episode 7 Recap was originally published on globalgrind.com