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"We don't need a deck. We've got passion. And we've already worked through most of the concept. We've all been conditioned not to believe in ourselves. That women can't be bold, that we have to walk before we can run. But how can we expect anyone to believe that we're capable if we can't believe it ourselves? So, yeah, I believe that we can pitch Bulk Beauty. And then we'll figure out the rest."
Mariana to The Byte Club

Because, Men is the fifth episode of Season 3 of Good Trouble. The episode aired on March 17, 2021.

Synopsis

Callie questions Kathleen’s methods regarding Jerod’s case. Meanwhile, Mariana and the girls pitch their new app idea. Malika learns a surprising fact about Dyonte, and Davia deals with her feelings towards Dennis.

Plot

Mariana teaches Evan her prototype game which he finds satisfying. As he finishes watching the game she goes to get something to eat, with him instantly being agitated by her lack of footwear or socks. He follows her downstairs in his slippers, asking her to consider in-app purchases while she looks for food. As they talk about the perks of in-app purchasing, including the dopamine release it gives, Evan goes behind Mariana restoring his fridge to the exact order and straightening the silverware drawer. He abruptly leaves the conversation to get her socks under the guise of not wanting her to catch a cold.

Malika texts with Dyonte as Isaac walks in asking what she’s smiling at, leading her to admit that she’s competing with Dyonte. At DPN, the woman in charge tells Dyonte and Malika about the yearly intern mini-campaigns that compliment the work of DPN. She then tells them about the town hall meeting coming up as they have to make an average of 50 calls per person. Malika bets Dyonte that she can raise 100 people to his 50, leading to them striking up a competition, though the award of the competition is left unclear. At the Coterie, Isaac didn’t realize the nonprofit world was so competitive, but she explains that DPN only chooses one intern per year to be an organizer. He remarks on the cutthroat culture, likening it to taking a shower at the Coterie. He asks if she’s thought more about his offer to move in together but she wants to make sure he’s consulted his therapist since moving in together can be stressful. He takes this chance to point out her lack of sleep at night but she brushes it off despite his concerns. Her charges have been dropped so she is free but he recommends talking to someone but she thinks her work is therapy. They are interrupted by a phone call from Yvonne Byers, who asks Malika to watch her kids.

Davia and Dennis facetime as she wants to check-in on him. He‘s doing okay and spending time in nature to regroup. She misses him and he returns the sentiment.

Callie tries to track down a family member of Jerod’s but doesn’t have much luck as his sister won’t answer. Mariana inquires about the phone call so Callie explains the DA’s offer and Kathleen suddenly wants to take the case to trial, putting Jerod in jail for even longer. Mariana asks if that’s legal, which it is, though it is ethically gray. Kathleen thinks that Jerod can’t decide for himself right now, which is why Callie is trying to track down his sister though Kathleen isn’t apprised of the situation. Mariana points out that Callie doesn’t trust Kathleen, though Callie remembers how Marcus told her about Kathleen leaving her old firm under shady circumstances. She worries she made a mistake.

Malika meets Yvonne in the living room of the Cotier though Yvonne’s mom will come by at noon. Her oldest. Kiara is a teenager while the others are younger. The youngest girl, Nisa, has to use the bathroom so Malika asks the eldest daughter to watch the brother, Shine, but Kiara snaps that she isn’t the babysitter.

Davia watches the clock during restorative justice when Matt walks in. She tells him Gael is late so they haven’t started yet. He tells her about his awkward happy birthday for Principal Solomon though he brought her one of the cupcakes. Gael arrives in a hurry so Davia briefly introduces him to Matt, while the female students. Jessie and Nyah, ogle Gael from afar, remarking that they got kicked out of class solely to see Gael. Matt leaves while Gael vents about his internship as Yuri is making him do errands during the day, even though the internship is supposed to be at night. Davia suggests telling him, no but Gael can’t, as he has to pay his dues. He also brought her lunch that she left on the counter. Jessie and Nyah overhear that they live together, with Jessie remarking that someone as hot as Gael wouldn’t be hooking up with someone as “fat and basic” as Davia. Andre overhears and sees that Davia did too, standing up to her by remarking that Jessie doesn’t have any room to talk, with another boy in the class telling Jessie to find clothes that fit her. Jessie abruptly stands up mouthing back to them until Davia tells them all to stop. She becomes emotional and leaves.

The Byte Club girls meet at the Coterie to discuss in-app purchases, with Claire on board while Rachel and Gina aren’t sure if it’s the right move. Mariana thinks it necessary if they plan to gain investors. The club agrees and makes a note of it, while Rachel asks if they knew that Evan is the co-founder of an app called Day Trader. Evan texts Mariana about dinner reservations while Rachel prattles about how the people involved in Day Trader knew nothing about the stock market but thought it was a big idea, so they pitched it and figured it out after they were funded. Mariana is surprised to hear the information while Rachel and Gina remark that they did it “because, men”. Mariana remembers her conversation in bed with Evan that morning about setting herself up for success and not diving in over her head.

Evan texts Mariana back about her inquiry on dinner being at 11, as he doesn't’ understand if the question mark on the end meant how that idea sounded to him or if she was being sarcastic. She quickly responds that they have to work late on their pitch for tomorrow but the question mark wasn’t sarcastic. He asks if she’s mad at him but then doesn’t send the text as he ponders why she would be mad.

Shine, the child that Malika is watching, bursts into Mariana’s room as Malika runs after the boy while trying to call people for DPN. She doesn’t get help from Kiara so she ends her call and frantically snatches Shine up, taking him back into her room where he proceeds to bounce on the bed. The youngest daughter, Nisa, asks if a bottle of liquor is apple juice so she takes the bottle and explains that it’s grown-up juice. Yvonne calls to ask Malika to watch the kids longer as her mom has to pull a double. Nisa empties Malika’s makeup bag while Shine throws a pillow at the back of Malika’s head. Malika forces herself to say that she doesn’t mind watching them until 6. Kiara isn’t surprised that Yvonne canceled and left them with a stranger. Nisa plays with Malika’s makeup. Kiara snips that Malika sucks as a babysitter before calling her mom by her first name, wishing Yvonne wasn’t her mother. Malika snaps back to check her attitude and stop being a little shit, which makes Shine stop jumping on the bed and Nisa go quiet. Shine and Nisa want to go swimming so Malika calls someone for help.

Tony compliments Callie on going to trial with the possibility of a settlement, so she asks Tony why Kathleen left the firm she built. The other attorney, Rowan, thinks Kathleen got tired of representing rich clients. Callie wonders why they followed blindly so Rowan admits that a friend of his was fired from his job after he transitioned and no one at the firm would take his case, but Kathleen did pro-bono and won. Callie notes that he owes Kathleen but he corrects that he‘s here because he wants to be like her. Tony is here merely to be taught by the best.

Dyonte arrives at Malika's room to find her covered in glittering makeup while Kiara remarks that Malika needed a man to come to her rescue.

Dyonte, Nisa, and Shine play in the pool while Malika folds towels and Kiara sulks at the balcony. Malika approaches Kiara and apologizes for snapping earlier. She tries to sympathize with Kiara over their similar childhoods, as Malika only had her mother growing up and she was always working or doing other things instead of with Malika. Kiara is annoyed because they were supposed to go shopping but Yvonne blew it off, which Malika understands but pushes the idea that Yvonne is doing her best. Kiara bonds with Malika over this and they dip their feet in the pool while watching Dyonte play with the kids.

Davia is crying on her bed when Gael enters to see if she’s okay. She lies that she’s fine but he doesn't’ believe that, understanding why the students got to her. She claims it’s not about the students but Dennis. She’s adit to being in love with him and that he returned the sentiment so they had sex, then he left. She fears that after they had sex he realized he doesn’t love her like that. She points out the thin girls he’s dated in the past so Gael assures her that she’s beautiful and sexy. She finds it hard to believe him since he’s hot, so he shows her the video of Davia singing about loving her body that they recorded. She admits to thinking she was past everything but then she heard her mother telling her that she could have any guy if she lost weight or to be thankful someone loves her even if they’re married. She’s struggling to be a body-positive girl. Gael reminds her that she’s also human and that Dennis rattled her confidence even if he didn’t mean to. She doesn't want to tell him how she feels as she doesn’t want to hurt him more, but Gael reminds her that she doesn’t have to be tough or always protect Dennis’s feelings. She thanks him for that and for helping with the kids. She then returns the advice by telling him not to work 12 hours a day for free even if he is paying his dues, as it isn’t fair.

Malika and Dyonte drink by the pool as she thanks him for helping her today. He’s just glad she called and she teases that if she couldn’t make calls today he couldn’t either. She admits to seeing herself in Kiara and tells Dyonte about being in foster care, which he relates as he moved around a lot. He thinks she should talk to someone in therapy as the job can bring up past trauma. He sees a couples counselor so she calls him out on trying to get her to be his side piece. He does like Malika and compliments her greatly then reveals that he’s in a polyamorous relationship. His girlfriend has another boyfriend so he asks why Malika has been flirting back.

Mariana and the Byte Club girls arrive at the incubator where she gets his text but brushes it off. They are approached by Alex and Sam who heard about their walkout at Speckulate. Sam thinks it’s because of PMS as they’ve “synced cycles” but Mariana brushes it off as they have an idea to pitch. Sam wishes them luck though they already pitched a female app about interior design then proceeds to shower them with sexist remarks. Mariana congratulates them on their work with Alex feigning gratitude then leaves, calling her “Mary-anna” once again. When they leave, Mariana is annoyed by their “figure it out later” mentality when it comes to their app. She vents how men trust other men to figure things out and decide last-minute to pitch Bulk Beauty. The girls are worried as they don’t have a deck, but Mariana thinks it’s time to be bold and figure out the rest later.

Davia gives the restorative justice circle another try instead of opting for the art projects. She apologizes for losing her temper as meeting aggression with aggression isn’t right. She tells Jessie she hurt her feelings as she made a judgment based on her appearance and it’s not nice to comment on how other people look. Jessie understands and apologizes. Davia turns to Andre who defends his stance as he was defending Davia, but she notes that hurting someone else to defend someone isn’t a good thing. She remembers letting boys remarks used to lower her self-esteem in school, and Jessie admits that she gets bullied too. The teachers notice in class but because of how her clothes fit or the width of her bra strap, which the boys snap and comment on how large her breasts or butt are, the teachers call her out for inappropriate behavior which gets her a strike. After insistence from Davia, Andre apologizes just as the bell rings. Davia tells him after class that his words have power and the other boys will follow his example because he’s a leader. She wants him to use his effect to have a positive impact but he’s confused as he said sorry and leaves.

Callie arrives at work and Kathleen calls her out on contacting Jerod’s sister, Zoe, who called Kathleen. She invites Callie into the meeting so they can see if she’s here to derail their case.

Zoe explains that Jerod has his first manic case in college and then their mother died and he started having hallucinations. He was stable with the right meds and was doing well, but when he turned 27 he was removed from their dad's health insurance so he couldn’t afford his medication and became homeless. His family lost contact with him. Kathleen sympathizes and tells Zoe to blame the system. She thinks a trial will give Jeord a better chance at starting over with enough money to get proper medical treatment and housing. Callie interrupts that it could also mean he’s in jail for over a year awaiting trial. Zoe asks for another option which forces Kathleen to tell her about the DA’s plea deal of three months plus time served but he’ll have to plead guilty and have a record. The next time he's arrested they’ll treat him worse as he’s already a felon, and if he gets two more serious felonies he’ll face 25-years to life. Zoe thinks a trial is the best option but wants to consult Jerod about his options since the decision is his. Kathleen isn’t sure if he can make those decisions. Zoe thinks they should be careful about assuming mentally ill people aren’t capable of making decisions and taking away their right to advocate on their behalf. Kathleen and Callie exchange a look.

Malika and Isaac talk in her room about babysitting Yvonne’s kids. She admits it was challenging until Dyonte arrived. He isn’t happy with Dyonte being there but she promises he doesn’t have anything to worry about. She remembers her talk with Dyonte and denies having flirted with him as they aren’t in an open relationship, and she plans to move in with Isaac. Malika tells Isaac that Dyonte has a girlfriend and he’s her one and only. He talked to his therapist about them moving in together and she agreed with Malika and thinks it might be too soon. He thinks they should wait so she agrees to wait. He then asks her to give him a chance to show up for her by calling him next time.

Callie meets with Kathleen as she and Zoe went to see Jerod and he decides to go to trial. She drafted questions for Deputy Gaffney for their interviews, but Kathleen disregards them as she doesn’t plan to give them a preview of their strategy. She then tells Callie to stop questioning her and when Callie tries to intervene, Kathleen snaps at her to stop talking. She points out that this is Callie’s third job since law school, she quit her clerkship with a federal appeals judge, and quit legal aid. She warns that if Callie continues this behavior she’ll be looking for her fourth job and no firm will take her based on that record. Callie apologizes but Kathleen tells her that she convinced the judge to move Jerod to an IMD - institute for mental disease, while he awaits trial. She had no intention of letting Jerod sit in jail, and she also got her a new DA on the Yvonne Byers case so they’ll stop giving her the run-around. Callie thanks Kathleen and stresses that she does appreciate the opportunity to learn for her. Kathleen remarks that for this to work, she has to trust her and asks if she can do that. Callie claims that she can so Kathleen instructs her to do a deep-dive on social media for Deputy Gaffney.

Mariana storms into Evan’s apartment as she is mad. She calls him out for being a hypocrite as he told her to start small when he didn’t. He didn’t think they could figure it out because it’s hard, as he meant that it’s stressful as they bit off more than they could chew. They got lucky but they ended up hating each other. She, however, thinks the girl’s only downfall was not believing in their idea which is why they pitched Bulk Beauty. He asks if they bought the app.

Meanwhile, Mariana and the girls leave the meeting defeated as Gina thinks they should have pitched the app idea. Mariana doesn’t want to quit after one pass and convinces them to do it again next time with more preparation.

She admits to not having sold the app but will try again next time. He tries to advise her but she interrupts that if their relationship is going to work they can’t talk business. She is swayed by his opinion and wants him to respect his boundaries. He finds that fair and asks her to respect him too. He needs her to put everything in the fridge back in the precise place she found it which she can do, but he pushes that she has to always wear socks, push the toothpaste from the bottom not strangle it from the middle and that everything in his loft has a place so she just can’t move anything ever. He knows it sounds silly but at work, he has to tolerate so many things out of his control, things that cause anxiety and physical pain. So at home, he needs the order to have a place to feel safe, likening it to how he feels with her. She’s happy he feels safe with her and kisses him.

Yuri is painting on the floor when Gael arrives so he tells him to check the list of things for tomorrow. Gael tells him he isn’t available during the day, stressing that the job was for five hours a day, so he’s been teaching the kids restorative justice through art at a middle school. Yuri offers to talk to the kids about being a famous artist, which Gael agrees with. He asks if Gael at least paints if he doesn’t do errands, so he tells Gael to paint the canvases identically to him and mimic his style for the backgrounds.

Davia and Dennis video call and she admits to feeling angry and hurt with him.

Jessie and Andre face each other at school and walk out wearing similar clothing as he wears a bra. His friends laugh at him but he tells them that it isn’t funny and if anyone snaps his bra straps or hers, he will end them. Davia watches with a smile as the friends apologize and let them through. Matt asks Davia what’s going on and she proudly says restorative justice. He knew she would be good at it but she remarks that Andre threatened to end a kid, so it’s a work in progress. She watches him walk away.

Malika arrives at Dignity and Power to find Dyonte making calls already. The lady in charge asks how everything is going with Dyonte happily saying he got his fifty. Malika asks for an extension as she had to watch a friend's children, apologizing for not meeting the deadline. The woman understands as supporting people in the system is what they do. Malika got an idea about how women in prison don’t have enough support so she wants to fund a child care program for one they have to work or make court appearances. The woman approves the campaign. Dyonte thinks it’s a great idea and wants to help support her. He gives her the numbers of therapists but Malika is adamant that the campaign is all the therapy she needs.

Callie and Yvonne meet with the DA who takes their meeting. Jamie enters a few seconds later, as he’s the DDA working on Yvonne’s case.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Emmett Preciado as Rowan
  • Shondalia White as Yvonne Byers
  • Jaidyn-Bleau as Nyah Byers
  • Dallas Oliver as Jessie
  • Giovanni Goree as Jeptha
  • Anthony Ortega as Anthony
  • Alyssa Harris as Nissa
  • Innocent Onanovie Ekakitie as Shine Byers
  • Jennifer Kindhouse as Receptionist

Notes and Trivia

  • A text message video between Lena and Mariana was posted on the Good Trouble Twitter account, and can be watched here.

Gallery

Images

Videos

Behind the Scenes


Featured Music

GT 305 Music.jpg
  • Mexcalight by DOPAMOON
  • Better Day by Famous to Silence
  • Nothin Bout Me by Alex Beaumont
  • Wanna Be Me by Ellen Once Again
  • Clue 2 U by Raveena
  • Heartbeat by Raveena
  • Gift of Lies by Model Zero
  • Dame Like by Octopvs To The Party and Lala Mueve

References

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