Star Season 1, Episode 5 Recap: Past Meets Present

Photo: Wilford Harewood/FOX
It's live audition time... and everyone is doing their best to get over the events of last week's episode. Simone (Brittany O'Grady) turns to old videos of her deceased mom Mary (Caroline Vreeland) to cope with the craziness of Otis' (Darius McCrary) death, while Star (Jude Demorest), Alex (Ryan Destiny), and Jahil (Benjamin Bratt) are busy scoping out the competition for the big Atlanta singing competition... a competition that looks a lot like their current girl group. Can Star, Simone, and Alex trump Glamour, and evade prison in the process?

Simone's peek into the past doesn't sit well with Carlotta (Queen Latifah). In flashbacks, we realize that Star and Simone's mom Mary is essentially the Star of the group: She gets the credit for her performances, even though Carlotta writes the songs. It's an interesting parallel to Star and Alex's relationship: Star is clearly talented, but Alex is the brains behind the operation. It's only a matter of time before the two start clashing over it. When Jahil suggests that Star take the lead on a new song because she's "special," Alex asks Jahil if Star singing R & B is so special "because she's white."

Alex is not wrong. Star may not be from a privileged background like wealthy Manhattanite Alex is, but the series does suggest that part of Star's shine has to do with the fact that she's a white girl singing in a style that has been popularized by Black women.

In a not-that-surprising twist, we learn that Carlotta's jealousy isn't the only reason that Mixed Harmony ended — Jahil's "obsession" with Mary had something to do with it as well. It turns out that Carlotta and Jahil relationship may not have been "all business" after all, which explains the hostility between them.

Past and present collide when Simone and Alex decide that the only way to sweep the auditions is by performing one of Mixed Harmony's old tunes. Star is against it — she "hates" her mom and, more importantly, hates that she left her family due to her drug addiction. After hearing Alex's mix of the song, Star comes around, and the three perform the song — as a trio, rather than as "the Star show." Say what you will about Star, but she's no spotlight hog: She wants the group to succeed just as much as she wants to make it herself.

On the romantic front, Hunter (Chad James Buchanan) and his stupid beanie is still smitten with the singer. The footballer lends Star his credit card so the girls can buy outfits for the competition. When Star rings up a tropical vacation's worth of clothes on Hunter's credit card without second thought, Hunter gets pissed, and Star gets defensive. Isn't $20,000 a drop in the bucket for Hunter? Ordinarily, Hunter's feelings would be pretty low on the totem pole for me, but he did just tell Star that his dad used him as a human shield during a shoot-out, so...

Jahil, who has been enjoying a relaxed existence with his "niece," a.k.a. Eva (Sharlene Taulé), the woman he rescued from a trafficking ring, finally has his indiscretions catch up with him. At the end of the episode, we see that Jahil has been kidnapped by masked men — presumably for saving Eva and the rest of the women in the truck. No good deed goes unpunished, right?

Next week: Star is the talk of Atlanta and Hunter's main squeeze, and Alex is understandably jealous. Meanwhile, Carlotta's boyfriend Pastor Harris (Tyrese Gibson) finally spends time with Cotton (Amiyah Scott). Will everyone be able to find common ground? Tune in next week to find out.
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