Star Season 1, Episode 6: Big Trouble

Photo: Carin Baer/FOX
Were you worried about Jahil (Benjamin Bratt)? Don't be. Last episode's kidnapping at the hands of the human traffickers may have seemed scary, but it was hardly permanent — thanks to Arlene (Nealla Gordon). Hunter's (Chad James Buchanan) mom paid off the guys ready to put a bullet in Jahil's brain, but on one condition: Jahil needs to get Star (Jude Demorest) out of the group. Why? Arlene thinks Star is trash who's just using her son. To be fair, she has no reason to think differently: the singer has only ever been completely awful to Arlene and blew $20,000 on Hunter's credit card last episode. Since Star won't just walk, Jahil needs to convince her it's her own idea — which he does by making Alex (Ryan Destiny) lead on their tracks for a gig at a children's hospital. Even Alex is suspicious of Jahil's motives — rightfully so, considering he spent the majority of the season treating Star like she was Mariah Carey's second coming. Star, however, figures out Jahil's deal pretty quickly — well, mostly. Jahil admits he wants Star to stay away from Hunter, and Star accuses Jahil of being jealous of his football player godson. Not only is Hunter "everything [Jahil] is not," but he has Star, whom both Star and Hunter believe Jahil wants for himself. Even the idea of that is gross, and yet the way the show keeps dropping breadcrumbs about Star and Jahil hooking up, the more I think it's going to happen. I will not be a happy recapper when it does. Star and Hunter aren't listening to anyone who tells them to shut it down. The NFL star apologizes for freaking out about the credit card incident (which, umm, he had ever right to freak out about) and asks Star to be his "street bitch." Hunter still has as much depth as a bag of hair. Meanwhile, Simone (Brittany O'Grady) invites Carlotta's (Queen Latifah) boyfriend Pastor Bobby (Tyrese Gibson) to Sunday dinner. Cotton (Amiyah Scott) is less-than-thrilled: Carlotta has yet to admit to Bobby that Cotton is trans, and in fact barely speaks about her daughter at all. Cotton, perhaps the greatest source of light on this show, can't resist making as many trans puns as possible before leaving to go "somewhere with alcohol." Bless you, Cotton. While Carlotta finally tells Bobby the truth, we don't get to see his reaction... which makes me wonder if maybe Bobby isn't quite as kind as we thought. Cotton's "somewhere with alcohol" turns out to be a fancy hotel bar, in which Cotton is approached by a mysterious man. Though she tells him she "don't do Asian boys," something he whispers in her ear changes her mind. She returns later that night to the salon and announces that she has met "the man." Could this be a sugar daddy who promises her enough money for her gender reassignment surgery? It's hard to imagine Cotton being wooed by any scrub so quickly. Derek (Quincy Brown) invites Alex to a barbecue, which she freaks out about because Alex has never been around people who don't fly private. Star, ever the hater and still reeling over Alex scoring the lead for the hospital gig, crashes the party. Remind me: am I supposed to like Star? I don't, but I certainly have more affection for her than Derek's grandmother, who rages against the party crasher solely because white people are "bad luck." Derek apologizes, and Star says she's "used to it." Ugh. At the children's hospital benefit, Alex is all set to take lead of "Big Trouble," the very appropriate new name for their girl group. However, Star — lost in her own fantasy, where the three girls are singing together — ends up overtaking Alex, and sliding back into the main slot. This is why people don't like you, Star!

Jahil is particularly pissed about Star's behavior — he doesn't want to die over his pet project, and Arlene is out for blood. However, he might have bigger problems. Jahil overhears Eva (Sharlene Taulé) — who basically follows Jahil around silently all episode — singing in the shower, and then speaking in perfect English. Is Eva toying with Jahil? Could she not be the victim she framed herself as? And even if she isn't, damn can she sing. Simone and Alex are so fed up with Star's diva behavior that they ice her out when she returns home, which seems like something they probably should have done three episodes ago, but okay. Star's attitude problem, however, seems unbelievably petty in light of how the episode ends. When Star and the other girls return to Carlotta's salon, they find that Danielle (Jasmine Burke), a recurring character and Carlotta's neighbor, was shot and killed by a police officer during a "routine traffic stop." Derek has been protesting with the Black Lives Matter movement the entire season, but to see the movement hit so close to home is downright devastating. Next week: Star is somehow able to make a Black Lives Matter protest all about herself.

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