- "If the system actually worked, if she was able to get the help that she needed, maybe our lives would've been different. And maybe she would still be here today. I thought I could heal if I made other people's lives better than the one I had."
- —Malika Williams
Callie learns a secret about Kathleen. Mariana tries to hide her relationship with Evan. Meanwhile, Malika comes to a realization about her mother, and Alice thrives within the comedy program—but at what cost?
Malika remembers being chained, handcuffed, and in prison. She also remembers arguing with her mother, being taken into foster care, standing by her mother’s death bed, and seeing flashes of herself taking her mother’s place in prison. She jolts awake from her nightmare. Meanwhile, Callie and Mariana have trouble sleeping with Rachel’s abrasive snoring. Mariana throws a pillow at her but she sleeps through it. Callie begs Mariana to do something as she has to be up in two hours. Mariana whisper-yells Rachel’s name until the girl jolts awake.
In the morning, Mariana is eating breakfast when Kelly enters wondering who has been using all the hot water. Mariana apologetically reveals that it’s probably her friend Rachel. She remembers a Byte Club meeting where Rachel reveals her cards are maxed out, she doesn’t have next month’s rent, so she’s going to move back with her parents in Indiana. Claire and the women don’t want Rachel to leave as Bulk Beauty was her idea, but Rachel can’t afford to live anywhere. Mariana impulsively recommends living with her. In the present, Mariana claims it’s only for a few nights as Rachel’s place is being tented. Kelly tells Mariana to make sure Rachel takes shorter showers. Malika and Kelly exchange playful banter on their way out of the kitchen. Once alone, Callie asks Mariana how long Rachel is planning to stay since app funding could take a while. She remarks that she’s sorry to be a downer but she needs her sleep. Evan texts Mariana about missing her and having to ditch Rachel, just as Rachel taps her on the shoulder enthusiastically wondering if Mariana is texting a new boy. Mariana lies that it isn’t but Rachel isn’t convinced but leaves anyway, shouting back that they are out of shampoo.
At the office, Kathleen arrives and is presented with coffee and a bag of treats from Tony and Rowan, the other paralegal in the office. She asks Callie how the meeting with the DA went, prompting Callie to remember the awkwardness of seeing Jamie again. To avoid talking in front of Yvonne, Callie asks Jamie into the hall where she confronts him about being the deputy district attorney. She’s confused as he’s a criminal attorney, but he rebuttals that the job offers weren’t pouring in after he lost the Anwei account at Hoff, Braverman, and Tensley. He was handed Yvonne’s file five minutes ago and didn’t know that Callie was the lawyer on the case. He offers to reschedule until they can get someone else, but Callie doesn’t want to put her client through this again. Jamie is fine with that and has been authorized to reduce the fines by 30% and community service to 50 hours, but Callie argues that Yvonne is a single mother who doesn’t have the time to pick up track for fifty hours. He argues that Yvonne broke the law just as the DA Rothman walks over to ask what is going on. Jamie introduces himself as Callie argues her case, prompting him to take the file from Jamie. He sides with Callie and offers 20 hours, which she finds reasonable. He warns her that they aren’t dropping Jerod Murphy’s charges but if Kathleen thinks she’s going to get a cash settlement she’s wrong, as only Jerod will get hurt in the end. Once he leaves, an annoyed Jamie asks Callie if she plans to get him fired from this job too.
Callie tells Kathleen about the DA lowering Yvonne’s fines and community service hours, and she also researched Deputy Gaffney. Tony congratulates Callie on her success as Rowan answers a call though the caller hangs up. Tony brings up there being an empty office up for grabs. Callie offers drawing straws but Tony offers to throw darts at a bar while getting drinks, though she worries about being hustled. He swears he’s a novice as Rowan thinks that drinking together will be a good bonding opportunity. Callie agrees and leaves to talk with Kathleen. When she’s gone, Rowan drops a pile of PD overflow cases that Tony will take off his hands in exchange for him not going out to drink. Rowan clarifies that he knows Tony has a crush on Callie so Tony smirks as he takes the cases.
Scott hands out papers to the comedy group as the writers have written characters for everyone, with Alice being in three of them. Alice plays a stereotypical Asian woman in each skit - a nail salon artist who offers a “happy ending”, a crazy driver, and a woman running. The writers and Shaun find the skits hilarious but the rest of the comedy group aren’t amused. Alice is confused by the next prompt in the script that instructs her to do martial arts, though it doesn’t specify which type and the writers laugh at the question.
Malika meets with single mothers at DPN for her child care program and suffers flashbacks to her childhood and mother. The women each ask for help, with Malika thanking the last woman for telling her story as the lady leaves. Dyonte asks if Malika is okay to which she claims she is and leaves abruptly.
Kathleen and Callie meet to discuss their findings of Deputy Gaffney, which includes photos of him with large assault rifles, hanging out in large groups, and more. She sees a photo and that sparks her to agree with Callie on interviewing the other deputies.
At The Coterie, Mariana and Rachel skype with Claire and Gina about their progress but they haven’t had any luck achieving funding. Gina asks how living together is going, with Rachel quipping that it’s great while Mariana reluctantly agrees. She gets a message from Evan and quickly dismisses it before Rachel can see it. She asks Rachel to join from her computer just as she gets another message from Evan, prompting an excited Rachel to tell the other girls that she thinks Mariana has a new boyfriend. Unable to tell them the truth, Mariana lies that she’s been messaging her brother Jesus who is going through a hard time. The other girls are sympathetic.
Callie and Tony have drinks as he attempts to make small talk by asking if she still doesn’t trust Kathleen. He thinks skepticism is a good trait in a lawyer but she suddenly asks if Rowan is coming, just as Rowan texts that he has a migraine coming on. She finishes her wine glass so he asks to buy her another glass, but she excuses herself to use the bathroom. He jokes about a blind date doing that one though she never came back. In the bathroom, Callie notices a stain on her collar and a girl at the sinks gives her a stain remover stick, telling her to keep it. They leave the bathroom to find Jamie in the hallway. He introduces the woman, Nicolette, to Callie, just as the hostess tells them that their table is ready. Callie returns to the bar and accepts the drink after all. Jamie watches her from his table.
At DPN, Dyonte asks Malika if she’s ready for a break but she isn’t as there’s too much left to do. He jokes that she needs to eat but she snaps at him that she’s fine, but apologizes a moment later. He wants to make sure they’re okay as he didn’t mean to cross a line the other night but she assures him they’re fine, she just wants to get the work done as it means a lot to her. He tells her not to stay too late before leaving.
Alice is eating when Lindsay enters, prompting Alice to tell them that they were right about her falling back on her ethnicity. She feels as though she has opened a Pandora’s Box to Asian stereotypes and regrets doing her mom. Lindsay apologizes for saying that as she has every right to do the interpretation of her mom, though they can’t control how people appropriate their jokes. As non-binary or Asian comics, they do jokes about how people don’t understand them but to some people, it’s just laughing at their differences. They just have to show them that what makes them funny isn’t just what makes them different.
That night, Mariana sneaks out of her bedroom and past a snoring Rachel. She changes outfits and hurries out of The Coterie.
Callie is beating Tony at darts but she thinks it’s just beginners’ luck. She proposes that the winner of their darts game takes Rowan on for the officer, wanting to go over the rules though he jokes she doesn’t seem like much of a rule follower. Their playful banter continues until Jamie walks over, introducing himself to Tony. Jamie then turns to Callie to apologize for the other day but she tells him not to worry about it. He tells Tony not to underestimate Callie before leaving. Tony asks who Jamie is but she lies he’s just a DDA. He offers to drive or walk her home but she refuses and leaves.
Evan and Mariana lay in bed as he asks how long Rachel is staying at The Coterie, but Mariana isn’t sure as they can’t even find an investor. He offers to help but she refuses despite his insistence. She blurts out that she loves him but when he questions it she corrects that she loves him for trying to help, but she also doesn’t want his help. He tells her to think of it as him helping himself since he’s tired of her sneaking out to see him so he’s acting in his self-interest. He wouldn’t be helping her sell it but she politely tells him not, as she wants to do it on her own. Rachel texts Mariana asking where she is.
Lindsay and Magda have a skit where Lindsay plays a customer returning their burrito and Magda is the sassy employee. The writers and Scott find it hilarious but Alice is less receptive. Scott calls Alice next while continuing to loudly boast about Magda’s dialogue. Alice takes the stage where she thanks the writers but wanted to try out some new characters. She plays Chrysanthemum a new age woman, Obama doing an impression of Khalid, and Cardi B directing traffic. Everyone seems to enjoy the skits.
Kathleen and Callie meet DA Marc Rothman and his associate Nicolette Baptiste, with Nicolette acknowledging their former meeting. The deputies are outside for them to interview, with Callie wanting to speak with Deputy Ross first. Marc leaves to get the Deputy, so Nicolette asks Callie if she got the stain out. Callie claims she did but also didn’t realize Nicolette is in the DA office, with Nicolette clarifying that she is Jamie’s supervisor. Kathleen inquires about who Jamie is but Callie downplays him as just being the DA in her case. DA Rothman enters Deputy Ross, and Kathleen hands the file over to Callie to take charge.
They had agreed previously for Callie to ask the questions since the Deputies won’t take her seriously so they will let their guard down. Kathleen assures Callie that at the right moment she’ll swoop in. Callie asks Deputy Ross how long he’s worked with Deputy Gaffney, slipping up purposely by saying “for the record” despite it being an interview, prompting Deputy Ross to say he has no idea. Callie pushes for an answer and gets a year and a half. She asks if they socialize and he admits to it, with the men in the photo she presents also being deputies. Deputy Gaffney’s interview is next, so Callie asks him to recap what happened between him and Jerod Murphy. Gaffney claims they tried to get the inmate out of his cell but he started swinging, causing Gaffney to be hit in the temple. The guards then pepper-sprayed Murphy and restrained him. Callie asks when they beat him, but the guards claim they didn’t beat him and only restrained him. She shows them photos of his facial bruises, but Ross claims they were inflicted while Gaffney says it was due to Murphy resisting. A third guard claims he arrived later and only saw Gaffney and Ross cuffing Murphy. Gaffney claims he didn’t kick them, but Ross and Gaffney both claim they were self-inflicted. Callie asks Ross if he has any tattoos so Kathleen interrupts to ask if the tattoo he has is reflected in the photo she slides across, which is of a skull with a military helmet on. He denies having the tattoo until Kathleen shows him a full-body image of Ross having the tattoo on his calf. A matching one is on Gaffney’s calf, though he is more hesitant to answer. The third guard isn’t sure if he’s seen his co-workers with the tattoo. She asks Gaffney how many of the deputies have the same tattoo, but he claims it’s just a brotherhood symbol. She asks if it’s similar to the Aryan Brotherhood but Rothman and Gaffney’s attorney cut her off. They ask her to either ask more questions about the incident or drop the questioning altogether. Kathleen asks if Gaffney and his deputy friends are members of the Headsman in which the beating of Jerod Murphy was an initiation. They end the interview and leave, with Marc asking her what that was about. She confronts him on handing out settlements to people instead of confronting the gangs inside the Sheriff's department which has led to the gangs beating inmates and intimidating other deputies like Fernandez - who she plans to flip. She also plans to confront Gaffney in court about the beating of Jerod Murphy being his initiation for a tattoo, drag in all his other deputy friends, and show their tattoos in court. Kathleen and Callie leave triumphantly.
Malika watches testimonies from the single mothers and becomes emotional as she watches. She sees her mother apologizing and her story also reflected in the women so she begins to cry. She cries as the DPN manager enters and holds Malika, comforting her.
Alice’s new characters are praised by Derek, who tells her that he doesn’t want to play a bumbling jihadist either. But they have to play along until they can get through. He asked the writers to write them a sketch together and hands her the script.
Malika tells the DPN manager of her compassion for the other women that she doesn’t have for her mother. The manager believes that Malika’s dream is her realizing that Mrs. Williams is a victim of the system. Malika wonders if her mother got the help she needed that Mrs. Williams would still be here. The manager tells her to be careful how much she gives without burning out.
Callie and Kathleen arrive with Rowan forwarding a message to Kathleen’s office. Tony asks what Callie thinks but she isn’t sure. Rowan asks about how last night went, with Callie claiming it was fine. Tony admits they didn’t determine a winner and they agree to pull straws. Tony sits by Callie and asks if Jamie is just a deputy DA, so she admits that Jamie is her brother’s brother-in-law and her ex. Tony realizes that was why she was flirting but she claims she wasn’t. He isn’t offended but thinks the way he marched over is her succeeding. Kathleen emerges to tell Callie they’re dropping the charges and after the debate, they’re offering a cash settlement for signing an NDA. Since it’s a pro-bono case, Jerod will get all the money. Kathleen then proposes turning the office into a copy room. Callie sits down as Jamie texts asking if they can talk.
Mariana meets the Byte Club at a coffee shop with news that they have a meeting. The girls are excited and ask how that is possible. Mariana remembers coming home from her tryst with Evan to an inquiring Rachel, prompting her to lie that she was in the bathroom. Rachel claims she looked everywhere including the other residents but no one found her. Mariana claims she sleepwalks which worries Rachel deeply. Mariana lays down in bed and decides to text Evan to get them a meeting but that’s all. At the shop, Mariana lies about going to an assistant who went to MIT together. Mariana thinks it would be a great team-building exercise for Rachel to stay with the other girls intermittently too.
Alice and Derek perform their extremely racist skit for Scott and the writers, though Lindsay is visibly annoyed. The skit ends though the comedy troupe is not amused.
Malika films a testimonial about her mother and her childhood after her father was arrested. She remembers dreaming of seeing her mother at the foot of her bed. Malika didn’t understand at the time that her mother was a victim of a racist system. She understands now and remembers waking up and not seeing her mother at the foot of her bed in reality. Malika asks the world to help them in their campaign, #HelpingFamiliesLeftBehind, which will help mothers who have nowhere left to turn. Dyonte turns off the camera and tells her the testimony was powerful and brave. Malika thanks him for his help and apologizes for her attitude the last few days. She then accepts the therapist’s number that he recommended.
Callie meets Jamie at a bar. He doesn’t want to be angry with her anymore and she apologizes again for hurting him. He doesn’t understand how they got to where they am and neither does he. He thinks they are destined to run into one another and which is why he wants this to be over and amicable so they can each move on with their lives. He doesn’t see them being friends but thinks they can be professional, which she agrees that she can be professional. She asks if that is all but he tells her that her boss Kathleen Gale is being investigated by the FBI as he wants her to be aware of what she might be getting into. Callie counters that he’s trying to justify working at the DA’s office by discrediting her boss so she’ll doubt her judgment. He isn’t trying to do that but she tells him that if he wants this to be over and amicable he needs to stop patronizing her as she is a big girl and doesn’t need advice from him of all people.
- Maia Mitchell as Callie Adams Foster
- Cierra Ramirez as Mariana Adams Foster
- Tommy Martinez as Gael Martinez (credit only)
- Emma Hunton as Davia Moss (credit only)
- Sherry Cola as Alice Kwan
- Zuri Adele as Malika Williams
- Beau Mirchoff as Jamie Hunter
- Josh Pence as Dennis Cooper (credit only)
- T.J. Linnard as Evan Speck
- Jayson Blair as Tony Britton
- Rhea Butcher as Lindsay Brady
- Marcus Emanuel Mitchell as Dyonte
- Karole Foreman as Mrs. Williams (Flashback Only)
- Anastasia Leddick as Kelly
- Maisie Klompus as Rachel Boyle
- Seri DeYoung as Claire Badgley
- Rachel Rosenbloom as Gina Spero
- Chris L. McKenna as Marc Rothman
- Stephen Guarino as Scott Farrell
- Marissa Rivera as Magdalena "Magda"
- Zainne Saleh as Sanjana
- Nabeel Muscatwalla as Derek
- Nicole Dele as Stacey
- Kye Tamm as Shaun
- Dinora Walcott as DPN Manager
- Catherine Haena Kim as Nicolette Baptiste
- Boone Platt as Deputy Gaffney
- Christopher Amitrano as Deputy Ross
- Constance Zimmer as Kathleen Gale
- Emmett Preciado as Rowan
- Shonadalia White as Yvonne Byers
- Romeo Fabian as Deputy Fernandez
- Jennifer Kindhouse as Receptionist
- Chuck McKollum as Union Rep
- Kendall Joy Hall as Young Malika
- Ru Kumagai as Hostess
- Mia Hunt as Michelle
- Tiffanie Young as Celeste
- Tia Cosey as Lesa
- Erika Sabel Flores as Bianca
- Katia Gomez as Adriana
Notes and Trivia
- Jesus Adams Foster is mentioned. He was last seen in the Good Trouble episode, "A Very Coterie Christmas".
- A text conversation between Callie and Stef was released via the Good Trouble social media accounts. It featured Callie and Stef being kept awake by snoring, Callie by Rachel and Stef by Ka'maya.
- Light It Up by Peter Verdell
- Climbing the Walls by This Coast Bias
- Sentimental Trick by Future Jr.
- Eventually by MAAD
- ILY by LoneMoon, Ivy Hollivana
- Drive by T R U V O N N E
- T.E.A.R.S. by Spring Summer