Star Episode 2 Recap: Mommy & Daddy Issues

Photo: Fox
For a trio of voices that blend so perfectly, the leading ladies of Star could not be in a more different place in this episode. Following the girl group's killer performance at Hunter Morgan's (Chad James Buchanan) house in the premiere episode, Star (Jude DeMorest) is itching for another chance in the spotlight. However, Simone (Brittany O'Grady) has more on her mind than just winning a Grammy — unlike Star, she's rightfully concerned about getting caught for the "murder" of her terrible foster father. Alexandra (Ryan Destiny), on the other hand, is worried about getting caught for something else: the lies that she told about her family.

Jahil (Benjamin Bratt) is preparing the group for a radio contest, a fact that, when mentioned in front of Carlotta (Queen Latifah), makes the mama bear storm into Jahil's apartment for another one-on-one chat. Apparently, Jahil — whom we see snorting cocaine shortly before Carlotta's confrontation — got Star and Simone's mother, Mary, hooked on drugs. Carlotta blames him for Mary's death, and suddenly it makes a whole lot of sense why she's so against Jahil working with the girls.

Jahil won't be stopped by Carlotta or his drained bank account: He may be low on the cash needed to get the girls studio time, but he's not above cutting a deal with the mysterious Maggie in order to secure funds.

It's not the only parental reality we get in the episode. Turns out Alexandra's mom isn't dead at all — Rose (Naomi Campbell) is alive. (And, with Campbell's addition to the cast, makes Star even more star-studded.) Unfortunately for Alexandra, Rose has struggled with alcohol abuse for years, and Alexandra has had to take care of her for as long as she can remember. That's why, when Rose and Roland Crane (Lenny Kravitz) arrive at Carlotta's shop to take Alexandra back, she's not eager to jump back into her privileged Upper East Side lifestyle — something that Star and Simone can't even fathom. Star wants Roland to produce their demo, but Alexandra warns her that her dad's help comes at a price she can't afford.

Alexandra forgets that Star doesn't take too kindly to the word "no," and mere hours after her talk with Alexandra, Star heads to Roland's hotel for a little chat. The convo between Star and Roland makes for uncomfortable viewing: It's clear that the 16-year-old Star is attempting to seduce Alexandra's father, and, grossly, Roland isn't totally against the idea of being seduced. Fortunately, the two don't hook up: Though Star takes a bubble bath in his hotel room (solo), Rose bursts through the door before anything more than conversation can happen between Star and Roland.

Alexandra is rightfully pissed that Star made moves on her dad, but it also gives her the strength to finally cut the cord from her parents — which means giving up her credit cards and bougie lifestyle. Fortunately, she's not quitting Derek (Quincy Brown), who forgives her for lying to him about her dead mom. They may not have a dead parent in common anymore (Derek's mom died when he was a kid, and his father, a cop, was shot in the line of duty), but these two still have OTP potential. Their make-up kiss is long and super steamy.

By the end of the episode, Star and Alexandra make up and the group is back together — for now, anyway. Unfortunately, that piece of good news can't quiet Simone's mind: After having yet another nightmare about her foster father, Simone grabs a bottle of whiskey and chases down some Xanax from Miss Bruce's (Miss Lawrence) stash.

Later that evening at church, Simone belts out one of Alexandra's tunes at the behest of Carlotta's maybe-boyfriend, Pastor Bobby Harris (Tyrese Gibson). However, by the time she finishes the song, Simone passes out from the combo of pills and booze, leaving Carlotta praying over an unconscious Simone as they ride off to the hospital in an ambulance. Things aren't looking good for Simone...could Star lose her sister mere weeks after she found her?

Additional thoughts:

— Did we really need a dance routine set to "Groove Is in the Heart" by Deee-Lite? I'll take an Alexandra original any day.

Hunter Morgan's mom makes a sad-but-true point about the odds of Jahil's band's success when she reminds us that any white girl who can sing R&B, even the mediocre ones, "go platinum."

— Still unclear about why Carlotta lost Star and Simone. Was it more than Mary whom Jahil got hooked on drugs?

— The jokes at Cotton's (Amiyah Scott) expense are cruel and make me like the characters a lot less. Alexandra, you're better than calling a trans woman "RuPaul."
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