STAR: (S01E03) “Next of Kin”

Tonight in an all new Star; Simone sees her mama , singing with her sister, during a fantasy cut away, dream or “that white light thing” in a near death experience, status post her accidental overdose.  Carlotta claims parental responsibility and claims to be the mama of Simone “Brown” to keep her out of the foster care system. She’s the Next of Kin. 

Meanwhile at “da’club”, the other 2 girls meet up with Big Boi (himself) In pursuit of financing that demo. He agrees to meet them later at a recording studio set up by Jahil. Jahil  had charmed an old friend into free studio time after hours.

Star finds out about Simone & runs to the hospital in her usual, loud & louder, quasi street demeanor.  Making demands & nearly blowing the cover of parental authority, established by Carlotta.  She fails to realize, her sister will go back into the system without an adult/legal guardian. Yet she needs to get her sister out for that demo, which will make this dream real. Somehow it always ends up being about Star.

Pastor Harris, consoles Carlotta  and later visits Simone, who is on a 72 hr psyche hold. The doctors think she may have attempted suicide. Pastor Harris is a keeper*

Quarterback Hunter Morgan, comes to the salon looking for Star. She won’t return his calls & he’s clearly intrigued by the chase. He finds her at the hospital and brings Simone flowers.   Actually their dialog exchange is one of the few times, the obnoxious Star is bearable.*

Derrick wants Alexandria to think about going home and returning to Julliard. “Those (other 2) girls” are trouble and “gon’ mess her up” She may wanna consider it.

In one of the best scenes of the night, Carlotta speaks with “Arnold” , Cotton regarding her surgery and the “need to have her insides, match her outsides”.  She has most of the money for the (reassignment) surgery already; over half. The strain and difficulty of the discussion comes off real, as Carlotta has no understanding as to why her child, who was born male, chooses to mutilate what God gave. Cotton’s sincere attempt to make mama understand, with love and compassion is a **   moment. A sensitive topic well done. 

Meanwhile, Star busts Simone out of the psych ward and has to return her, before Social Services intervenes.  However, later they record their demo from Simone’s room, as Jahil engineers from the toilet. Yes, complete with fantasy cut away.

Prior to this recording session, Jahil’s smuggling job turned into human trafficking! Although he agrees to smuggle, with no problem, he refuses to traffic & so he lets the cargo go. This lands him in so much trouble he stages his own beat down, to prove he lost the cargo.   $2 million dollars worth of goods that belong to Maggie, the Ol’lady gangsta, was allegedly stolen during a hijacking. Later, one of the cargo girls shows up at  Jahil’s door; and Jahil just got interesting.*

The child molester is on the move to reclaim his daughter! (Simone) Frankly I am curious to see who really does kill him.

This episode was fast and could have been all over the place, sometimes it felt like it was.  Yet I managed to get some sense of the desperation, of all concerned; even Star! She wants to be her mama, from what I see in Simone’s cutaway fantasy and how she often references her. Yet her plots, plans, schemes & vocals…or acting choices, do not bring empathy, sympathy, or believability to the character. The other 2 “girls” and the other character’s bring a greater understanding of their heart’s desire.  Up until now, this is as I see it.  Yet “tomorrow’s another day” 

See you next week.

.Key: star (*) worth the eye strain