Episode 3 of Dear White People focuses on former journalist Lionel Higgins (DeRon Horton). This episode looks at the aftermath of The Independent’s demise and Lionel’s relationship with former editor, Silvio (D.J. Blickenstaff).
Let’s go back a few weeks to the town hall meeting. Lionel has just exposed the plot to integrate Armstrong Parker and Silvio is having a go at him for disobeying his orders. Lionel defends himself only for Silvio to steal a kiss mid-sentence.
Let’s go back even further; 1924. William Landes, founder of the Winchester Bugle publishes an exposé on Ivy league secret societies. It would earn him a position at the New York Times, setting in motion a tradition of nepotism and privilege that would ensure a pipeline to the country’s most popular publications. 1965 – Donald Hancock, having run afoul with the Bugle editor due to his right wing political stance, founds The Winchester Independent. Its coverage having a different sort of view. A few weeks ago – Lionel reveals that the Hancocks are using the money they receive from the Independent to blackmail Winchester’s administration into integrating AP.
Present day – Lionel has been ready, sitting on the bed seemingly waiting for Silvio. Frustrated, Lionel begins reading the aforementioned article about secret societies. Under a list of “Unconfirmed But Rumored Societies” we see one called The Order of X. If you remember back in episode 1 Sam was followed by a mysterious account called Order-Of-X. Silvio calls out Lionel’s name. He was there all along, passed out drunk on the bed. Sober enough to operate, Silvio suggests the two of them should go out.
It’s Pride Night. They, now including Troy (Brandon P. Bell), begin the night at a queer writer’s dorm party. Silvio has a bit of banter with his friends who are all editors for various other university newspapers. Lionel goes his own way. He tries to make conversation with a guy at the bar who nonchalantly shrugs him off. George (one of Silvio’s friends) arrives to offer Lionel a drink and invite him to join the people he’s with. Silvio disrupts a conversation to tell Lionel that he wants to leave. The two find Troy busy making out with a girl outside the dorm.
Next stop, a party at the campus studio. Troy ogles Coco (Antoinette Robertson) and Kelsey (Nia Jervier) on the dance floor as Silvio leaves him and Lionel alone again. Lionel complains about this but Troy gives him some advice and leaves. Lionel spots Sam in the booth and heads over. He’s clearly not in his element at this party. Sam is focused on a new tweet from @AltIvyW. Silvio shows up to suggest he and Lionel should go somewhere quieter. Sam asks Lionel if he knows anything about “Order of X”, but Silvio cuts him off before he could answer.
The last party of the night. As they arrive a person calls out for Silvio to tell him that they found his keys. Silvio runs off again and Lionel realizes that they’ve been party-hopping so that Silvio could backtrack and find the items he lost. Lionel settles down at a table and pulls out his phone. A guy at the next table starts to make conversation. He introduces himself as Wesley (Rudy Martinez) and explains that he was also ditched by the person he came here with. Silvio interjects their conversation and Lionel blows his top at him for continuously ditching him.
Lionel questions Silvio’s feelings for him. Silvio gives a short speech about how he isn’t happy about what happened to The Independent, but he’s proud that Lionel stood up for the right cause. Lionel suggests that the two of them start a new newspaper. Silvio invites Lionel out to another party. Lionel refuses and heads back to AP for the night, there he finds a Facebook friend request from Wesley.
This episode wan’t a particularly exciting one. Nothing much happened that would influence the rest of the cast. We did see how Lionel’s relationships were going but that’s about it. The only good part was the appearance of The Order of X. This is definitely foreshadowing something big that will probably be expanded on as the season progresses.