- "Listen. All this stuff they're teaching you, it's just to make you feel bad about yourself. We all make mistakes. It doesn't mean we're sinners. Especially if you own up, take responsibility, and make it right. You're a good boy. Try to love yourself. 'Cause God make you perfect just the way you are."
- —Gael to his younger self
Callie wonders if allowing Mariana to work for Kathleen was the right decision; Gael reveals some big news to everyone. Malika opens up about Isaac. Meanwhile, Alice and the CBTV comedians are surprised by a familiar face.
A young boy attends confession. He watches a tarantula on the divider before the priest tells him to go ahead. It’s the boy’s first time so the priest walks him through the blessing.
Gael gathers the Coterie group to tell them Isabella is back. Earlier, he told Isabella that she didn’t do anything wrong and that if they tell people the truth they’ll be understanding. He’s okay with telling them and so is she. In the present, Gael tells everyone that Isabella is staying in his loft because she’s pregnant. He imagines what everyone will say so he lies that she’s just looking for a job until she can get on her feet. He will stay with Dennis and pay the roommate fees. He asks them to refrain from the usual gossip and treat Isabella nicely. When he’s gone, Kelly remarks that this will be hard for the tea spillers. Mariana asks Callie if she knew already and she does. Davia isn’t okay with it and learns that Dennis already knew. She tells Dennis that she and Gael have gotten close and she thinks Isabella is using him. They bicker with Dennis telling her that if Gael wanted her opinion he would ask. Davis snaps that she knows what it’s like to carry someone else’s emotional baggage and it doesn’t end well. She abruptly leaves.
Mariana prepares for her job hunt which Callie thinks is exciting. Mariana is mad that the Fight Club Girls kicked her out after she helped them. Callie offers to cover her rent for the month, but Mariana assures her it’s fine. Callie is texting Gael to meet up for lunch, and Mariana offers to make herself scarce that afternoon which Callie appreciates. She’s okay with the situation because he’s a nice guy. Mariana doesn’t trust Isabella and knows that won’t change.
Alice paces in the kitchen muttering to herself while Malika asks if she’s okay. Alice had an awkward conversation with Ruby earlier. Alice isn’t sure she wants to come back to the comedy program because of the toxic environment. Ruby tells her that they need her, and so does Ruby. Her job is on the line if she can’t fix the PR student. It took someone with the courage to shake things up.
Alice confides in Malika that the other comedians didn’t stand up for her or check in on her. Malika reminds her that this is about Alice, as she should benefit from those changes too. Malika is still struggling from her breakup but knows she’ll be fine. Tolu and Kendy message Malika about meeting up. She remembers that they weren’t supportive of her polyamorous exploration and declines their offer. Malika asks Alice to keep her breakup a secret. Davia and Dennis cross in the kitchen as Kelly joins them. Davia remarks about the word “retreat” as it has two different meanings - sanctuary and running away. Kelly asks why he’s back, to which he remarks that he missed people. She wants his loft but he doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon. Davia tells Kelly not to worry - Dennis tends to change his mind often.
Callie, Tony, Kathleen, and Rowan trek to the crime scene to meet their specialist. Dr. Mickelson watches the mock-up of what might have happened. Kathleen argues that the victim, Tony in the pretend scenario, lost his balance and fell off the cliff. She explains what she thinks happened. As the victim fell over backward he hit his head hard on the rock, dislodged it, which is why it rolled down the hill. Dr. Mickelson asks about the prosecution arguing that the perpetrator hit the victim from behind, the victim turned around and was pushed down the hill with the rock being thrown after him. Dr. Mickelson thinks Kathleen’s theory is unlikely but anything is possible. Tony and Rowan try to get a dummy to get the rock to dislodge it while Callie holds the camera. She breaks her heel trying to get out of the way, making the boys laugh.
Mariana interviews with a new job, though the pitch mirrors that of Speckulate which gives her flashbacks to the toxic environment she was subjected to. She tells the person she’s interviewing that she’s interested so she’s offered the position. Mariana accepts the position.
Alice arrives at the comedy club and the group begins to applaud her as she enters. They apologize for not stepping up as they were too scared. They didn’t know what to say after she left. Lindsay was never on board but notes that she has guts. Ruby is happy that Alice and Shawn returned. The comedy club is happy to have a new perspective. It’s all them today without any writers.
Malika goes to therapy where she admits regretting having told Isaac about Dyonte. She thinks she always ruins things. The therapist asks what she ruined before. She tells Malika that Isaac chose to leave, but Malika thinks it’s still her fault. She feels ashamed, though the therapist tells her that shame is judgment turned in on themselves. It’s rooted in her childhood after humiliation as a child - from a teacher or parent disregarding them. She tells Malika to think about moments from her childhood that harmed her sense of self. With the session over, Malika gets a text from her dad asking to meet up for lunch.
Isabella sneaks downstairs to the kitchen where she finds Mariana. She blurts out that she didn’t sleep with Raj, but it doesn’t change anything for Mariana. Isabella apologizes for getting closer than she should have. She understands why Mariana can’t forgive her as she’s the reason they broke up. Mariana remembers Evan and admits that Isabella wasn’t the reason. Isabella presses that she’s trying to be a better person. Mariana appreciates the apology and understands losing friends because she betrayed some too. She apologizes for assuming she was wrong. Mariana offers Isabella liquor and asks about her relationship with Gael. Isabella takes the glass but doesn’t drink it. She brushes it off as not drinking and Mariana realizes that the other part of her being here is a pregnancy.
Tony and Rowan throw the dummy down the hill several times while Callie asks Mariana to drop off a change of shoes. The men throw the dummy down on his front and he hits the rock, but Callie wasn’t recording as the men didn’t say ready.
Malika meets with her dad and they catch up on her work. She tells her dad that she and Isaac are on a break but she doesn’t want to talk about it. She asks if he ever feels ashamed, which he does, as he spent 10 years in prison. She admits to feeling shame over her and Dom being in foster care, but he assures her that they failed, not her. He should have come to her but didn’t because he was ashamed. He shows her a photo of her and Dom as a daily reminder to be a better father and better man. It’s a childhood photo of them at a birthday party. She thanks him for helping her.
The comedy group writes sketches based on their racial experiences. They create inspired sketches. Scott waltzes in and loudly proclaims he’s back.
Davia is making a sandwich when Gael enters. He asks about Andre and the petition but she’s still trying to get signatures. He got canvases to donate. He asks what’s wrong but she doesn’t think he wants to hear what she has to say now that Dennis is back. He assures her that no man will come between them. Davia feels hurt that he didn’t mention Isabella being back. He asks if they can go into her loft to talk. Once there, he tells her the whole truth. He’s spiraling over not being able to raise a baby in the Coterie, having been stupid, irresponsible, not having a job, that he just got a second chance with Callie, but she cuts him off. She tells him to stop judging himself but he notes that she judges everyone. He can’t do this and leaves.
Scott addresses the group and apologizes for having bias. He took a sensitivity training course and learned that racism was everywhere and that they only made Band-Aids for white people. He didn’t want to admit he was racist or sexist or phobic, but he’s thankful to have a second chance. He plans to look at the sketches tomorrow. Alice interjects that they’ve already started the sketches. He looks forward to her point of view as a BIPOC person.
Mariana and the group return to the office when Callie finds Mariana answering messages. When Mariana came to the office no one was there and the phone was ringing. She answered it and took messages as they flooded in. When Kathleen entered, Mariana gave her the messages and handed over the messages. Kathleen offers her a job on the spot. Mariana tells Callie about the job.
The sisters talk in the office as Mariana explains that she can’t be her old self anymore. She can’t handle it anymore and knows she’s to blame for the Fight Club and needs to change. But she needs a break from the tech world. She thinks it’ll be fun to work together. Callie introduces Mariana to Tony and Rowan. The boys make more passive-aggressive remarks which make Callie snap. She didn’t ask to be Kathleen’s lawyer and think she was asked because the boys only care about kissing her ass with lattes and scones instead of doing the work. Tony thinks that’s fair enough but tells her not to pretend she doesn’t like being the teacher’s pet or the center of attention. Mariana remarks that Callie does as she was always the center of attention growing up. Callie gives her a pointed look so Mariana stops talking. Kathleen enters with a discovery from the prosecution that says a beer bottle near the drop point has Tommy’s prints on it. They claim it was forgotten from the evidence list. Callie is called aside by Kathleen while Mariana delightfully remarks that this is fun.
Ruby tells Alice she didn’t know Scott was back as they kept it from her. They have to give him a chance to change before he can be fired because of a contract. Ruby has to smooth things over and make it work. She asks Alice to help her with it. Alice begrudgingly agrees and tells the group that Scott has a contract for a second chance. They look to her for guidance but Alice thinks they shouldn’t sacrifice their opportunity because of Scott.
Malika meets her friends for drinks and they remark that something is different. She has news to share and shows them her new tattoo on her chest. They think it’s gorgeous with Malika having it as a reminder to be her best self. Her breakup prompted it as Isaac couldn’t handle her being poly but he couldn’t forget that she wanted someone else. Tolu remarks that she’s proud of Malika for standing up for her needs. The girls are supportive and ordered shots.
Davia apologizes to Dennis for being bitchy and judgy. She wants to have compassion for Dennis without losing herself, but she’s not sure how to do that. She knows he’s hurting but she’s hurting too. It hurt when he left and she couldn’t talk to anyone because she couldn’t hear about his son’s death. They both live there and she doesn’t want to be mad anymore, so she forgives him for leaving. Just because she doesn’t trust that he knows himself right now, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still care about him because she does. She permits him to talk now. He thanks her for saying everything. He hasn’t been nice either and apologizes for his part. He knows it will take time for her to trust him, but he’s going to prove he’s ready to prove he can be with her. She doesn’t want him to feel like he has something to prove.
Gael goes through his drawers as he packs up and finds a box with a rosary and cross inside. He remembers telling the priest as a child that he’s eight and hit his friend Jonah for trying to take his lunch. An adult Gael tells the boy that all the stuff they’re teaching him is to just make him feel bad about himself. Everyone makes mistakes but that doesn’t mean they’re sinners. Especially if he tries to make it right. He’s a good boy and should try to love himself because God made him perfect just the way he is. The boy thanks him and tells him the same.
Gael examines the cross before calling a Coterie meeting with Isabella present. He tells them that she’s pregnant with his child. She’s going to stay as long as she needs to. The group is quiet for a moment before everyone assures him that they’re supportive of them. Callie assures Isabella that she is always welcomed here. Malika is thrilled to have a Coterie baby. Kelly offers to babysit but everyone brings up the raccoon incident. Mariana whispers to Callie that she knew about Isabella’s pregnancy, and knew that Callie knew, but didn’t say anything because she’s the new Mariana now. Gael apologizes to Davia for earlier. Dennis emotionally shares that he had a son who died at the age of six. He’s kept it to himself because he couldn’t talk about it or handle it. He needs to move through it and everyone here is his family and he can’t hide anymore. They assure him they’ve got him. Kelly apologizes for what she said about his loft. She then stands offering a hug. Malika is touched as she never does that. Dennis chuckles and stands up, hugging Kelly. It isn’t long before it turns into a group Coterie hug. Mariana invites Isabella into the hug.
- Maia Mitchell as Callie Adams Foster
- Cierra Ramirez as Mariana Adams Foster
- Tommy Martinez as Gael Martinez
- Emma Hunton as Davia Moss
- Sherry Cola as Alice Kwan
- Zuri Adele as Malika Williams
- Beau Mirchoff as Jamie Hunter
- Josh Pence as Dennis Cooper
- Jayson Blair as Tony Britton
- Richard Brooks as Joseph Turner
- River Butcher as Lindsay Brady
- Priscilla Quintana as Isabella
- Anastasia Leddick as Kelly
- Shannon Chan-Kent as Ruby
- Victoria Platt as Dr. Coral Doverun
- Stephan Guarino as Scott Farrell
- Iantha Richardson as Tolu Eze
- Iyana Halley as Kendy
- Zainne Aleah as Sanjana
- Marissa Rivera as Magdalena "Magda"
- Nabeel Muscatwalla as Derek
- Nicole Dele as Stacey
- Kye Tamm as Shaun
- Constance Zimmer as Kathleen Gale
- Emmett Preciado as Rowan
- Alexandra Fatovich as PR Person
- Jim Lau as Dr. Mickelson
- Jacy King as Elise
- David Michael Trevino as Priest
- Liam Martinez as Young Gael Martinez
Notes and Trivia
Behind the Scenes
- The Road (Calling Me Home) by Marie Gallo
- What You Gonna Do??? by Bastille featuring Graham Coxon
- You Make Me Believe by MOONZz
- This Year Be by Left Vessel
- The Name by Kate Grahn
- Cry Wolf by Guilty Empress
- Highroad by Sir Woman
- Everything Changing by Plastic Hotels