So y’all, this episode has been the BEST episode of Season 4 and let me explain why in this Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 5: Unwanted…
Everything She Wants…
This explosive and yet internally rich episode begins with the baby of the family Charity explaining to her baby Nathan why he will be seeing less of his mama. I will be preaching soon, she says to her son who has nothing to say (because he can’t talk yet!LOL) about her nonsensical statement. This poor chile (not Nathan her son) thinks that everything she wants she will get…Grace busts into Charity’s suite and breaks up the mother and son bonding time. She confronts her sister about leaving that reckless message on the voicemail of Noah and Isabel. “She kicked him out and now he’s moving in with his folks. You broke up a marriage.”
As Grace interrogates Charity, she tries to act her like phone call was innocent but when she is by herself, she knows that she has invited God’s judgment on her. She watches a television preacher preach, “Judge not that you not be judged…When you go messing with other people, you’re playing with fire.” We all know that what you sow, you shall reap. Charity has sown duplicity to serve her own goals so she shouldn’t be surprised when she reaps duplicity to serve someone else’s goals. (Phil DeMars, anyone?)
The newly named associate pastor Jacob starts off this episode with a noble cause unlike his baby sister. The first time we see him, he is sitting on his bed, praying that God will use him to serve the homeless in the city of Memphis. “Use me mightily on their behalf,” Jacob says. In other words, he wants what God wants and Charity wants what she wants without seeking God’s will.
Grace, Jacob and Charity’s mother’s, Lady Mae, who readily goes after what she wants and seeks what God wants (at least some of the time anyway), is searching through Bob Whitmore’s book. She tells Kerissa, “I’m looking through his book for clues about why he set up camp here.” After she explains what she is doing, she still feels Kerissa staring at her. She asks her what does she want. “I can feel a need stalking me from a mile away.” Kerissa asks if she and Jacob can take their furniture in their suit to furnish their new home. But Lady Mae denies her request, reminding her that the first time they left for the “flimsy parsonage,” they took furniture then. And then when they were run out of the parsonage, they left the furniture there for that “Nigerian to sell on Ebay.” She tells her daughter-in-law that this time the couple has to buy their own furniture. I’m with Lady Mae. This is not a newly married couple who needs a head start. It’s not Lady Mae’s fault that Basie, Tasha and Rochelle tricked them like they were toddlers playing Peekaboo. Jacob and Kerissa need to grow up, at least financially anyway…(And had they kept their land and sacrificed short-term gain for long-term wealth, they would be able to achieve this…)
Bishop is occupied as well. Bishop and his former assistant Karine are uploading all of his sermons onto a hard drive. Apparently, he’s doing research for a speaking engagement in Atlanta. “I can’t tell you how much I miss preaching.” As you may remember, Lady Mae doesn’t think Bishop should venture away from Calvary, even for one Sunday. “Nero did stay in town while Rome was burning,” she says.
Although Charity is pretty much a spoiled brat, after she’s had some time to think, she realizes her action was flat out wrong. What she wants isn’t worth what it costs. She unburdens herself by telling Carlton the choir director what happened with Noah and Isabel. Carlton tells Charity, “Hell is for those folks who don’t want to turn to God.” Although Charity wants to do right, a part of her still wants to wrong. “I haven’t fully turned away from the sin that got me into this mess.”
Any Way You Want It…
Also at Calvary, Phil DeMars, with his shady self, walks up on Grace and tells her to take Jacob’s proposal for a homeless outreach program off of the board agenda. But Grace continues to let Phil know that he’s not the boss of her. After she gets him straight, she walks into her office where she finds her son! “Did anyone see you come in here?” she asks A.J. He assures her that his arrival was under the radar. While in her office, he takes the opportunity to gaze at photographs of his extended family including Bishop and Lady Mae. “They look like good people.” Grace gets a bit nervous, probably thinking about the fact that A.J. is closer than ever to meeting them. But A.J. reassures her. “I’m not here to blow up your spot.”
He then pivots to the reason for his risky visit. “Are you going to give me money or not, and it’s not like you don’t have it.” See…So I know this kid wasn’t exactly raised, but he needs some on-the-spot home training. What you are not gonna do is talk to me like we are on the same level. Although she abandoned him, she was the one who brought him into this world. At least, he can speak to her in a respectful tone. And then when Grace asks him about how his job search is going and offers to get him a job, he says, “I’m not a d**** charity case.” Grace wants to have a relationship with her son finally, but I’m sure this is not the way she wants it to be.
But before A.J. can continue hitting up his mother like she’s his personal ATM machine, Phil busts in on the meeting. He senses he has interrupted something important but asks about the whereabouts of Karine. Grace tells him that she is with Bishop. “Oh, she’s taking a sick day,” Phil says after noting that Bishop doesn’t work for Calvary anymore. But Grace tells him Karine is on the clock and her meeting with Bishop is really helping Grace. When it comes to Phil, Grace is determined to have it any way she wants it. After Phil leaves, A.J. gets up to walk out the way he comes in, but Grace directs him to a different door. She explains this it is the door that is used in case of a fire. A.J. says, “I guess I’m fire.”
Speaking of fire, Nicki, the girlfriend of Memphis Red Devils’ b-ball star Dante Saunders, calls up Zora to invite her to a “super lit” soire (party) at Dante’s house. Y’all know Zora is ’bout that life.
Following Grace’s meeting with A.J., she meets with her attorney and half-brother Aaron. He explains that with the help of Grace’s inheritance from their father, Bishop’s IRS bill has been paid in full. “The worst is behind you,” he says. Not so counselor, from where I’m sitting. Grace must agree with me because she asks her brother if he could employ a young man at the church. She explains that “he’s got a record” and “needs a routine.” Aaron agrees to do so and asks Grace to send the young man to his office later that day.
While Grace is still keeping her secret a secret, Charity realizes she is not willing to get to Grace’s secret on behalf of Phil DeMars. “Phil, I can’t do this anymore.” She explains that her phone call to Noah’s house led to his wife’s decision to kick him out of their home. “I wan’t to be AP,” she says,”but I don’t want to mess up people’s lives to get there.” Phil DeMars tries to convince her to continue spying for him. “Uncovering evil is not evil,” he says. But Charity says, “If a thing doesn’t want to be seen, I’m not going to lift up a rock. I’m not like you.” (That almost sounds like a Lady Mae line, right?) Thank God Charity is coming to her senses!
I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party…
Lady Mae and Bishop always find a way spoil the party and have discord. “Give them the furniture,” Bishop says to his ex-wife. “Bless them as they leave.” Lady Mae says that she wants her son in her house, but she does have a way to make a deal. “Don’t go to Atlanta.” “Quid pro quo,” Bishop states. (Where have a heard that term lately?) “I’ve already told Desiree yes,” he says. She responds with, “I’ve already told Kerissa no.” Lady Mae says, “The fire of loyalty to the Greenleaf name is dying and it needs tending.”
Grace’s fire a.k.a. A.J. shows up at his Uncle Aaron’s office. Once the two introduce their selves to one another, as much as they can anyway with Aaron not knowing that he is meeting his nephew, A.J. lauds the virtues of his half-sister. He calls her the “real deal,” recounts how she has been known to give the shoes off of her feet to strangers and explains how she feels life more deeply than others. He finishes his praise with, “She’s special.” A.J. doesn’t know what to say so he asks about the location of the bathroom. As they say, when you have nothing good to say, say nothing. Aaron was having a praise Grace party and A.J. didn’t want to spoil it.
Phil DeMars doesn’t want to spoil his personal connection to the Greenleaf estate. So he approaches Charity again. She promptly tells, “Get behind me Satan.” LOL
But Phil is persistent, telling her that she really doesn’t know the real him. He invites her to dinner for her to get to know him better. Oh Charity. If a man is asking you to turn on your own family, then no amount of getting to know him is gonna make him a good dude.
Back at the Greenleaf estate, Bishop and Lady Mae are still at it. She tells him that Bob Whitmore invited her to speak at the National Women’s Gathering for the Harmony & Hope churches to be held in D.C. But she politely declined the invitation in order to maintain her “presence” at Calvary. She hopes that Bishop will realize that he needs to follow suit. But Bishop is an Alpha male to her Alpha female. “Do you know what it feels like to be ignored and unwanted?” he says. “You’ve never been unwanted ever. All I want is one more Sunday.” Not being in the pulpit is starting to get to Bishop. Lady Mae reveals that when Bishop was following behind Lady Mae’s sister Mavis and Rochelle Cross, that made her feel ignored and unwanted. “I want to be respected and heard,” she says. “I think you mean obeyed,” says Bishop. “I haven’t once mentioned Lionel and how that made me feel.” Lady Mae spits out, “If it’s that important to you, go to Atlanta.”
Phil DeMars wants Charity to feel like he wants her. At dinner, he explains that he ghostwrites all of Bob Whitmore’s sermons and books. “I”m Bob Whitmore.” He also says how he would like to be the pastor of Calvary as it is the only black in the Harmony & Hope churches. (There’s your clue, Lady Mae.) She starts to feel like they have something in common as he has been forced to be in the background although their gifts have made the church shine, much like Charity I will admit…
Although Jacob isn’t exactly wanted at Calvary, he does work there. He presents his proposal to help the homeless in front of the board. His presentation actually goes over well, but an emergency call from Zora causes him to rush out of the meeting like his pants are on fire. Zora warns him that Dante, whom Jacob is supposed to be supervising, is having a wild party at his house and it’s getting out of control. Dante is threatening to burn the confederate flag and when a white team member bucks on Dante, a blaze of a fight is ignited. Jacob tries to stop the fight even as partygoers document the mess on their cell phones.
I Want To Be Loved…
When Grace hears that A.J. blew off the interview with Aaron by excusing himself to go to the bathroom and never coming back, she confronts him about it. A.J. explains how Aaron’s praise of Grace made him uncomfortable given how he was treated by Grace. “He thinks you’re so good.” A.J. explains that because she thinks she is good, she cannot be trusted. Given the fact that he was shuttled from foster home to foster home and obviously endured abusive conditions all because his mother chose not to raise him, he knows that Grace is not what she and others think she is. “It’s the ones who think they’re good that you have to worry about.” Finally, he says, “Grace we’re done.” And then he takes it a step further. “And the next person who asks me who I am, I’m telling them.”
Back at the Greenleaf estate, now that Bishop’s sermons have been stored on a hard drive, he watches one of his old sermons in which he is reminded of a message that he preached. The message that he preached actually spoke back to him. “God is longing to sit with you and talk it all out…When you’re life is too hard, we’ve got to have a talk with God.”
Two people that are having a tough time talking in this episode are Lady Mae and Kerissa. Before she can plead her case again, Lady Mae criticizes her daughter-in-law for enlisting Bishop in her request to take the furniture with the family when they leave. And since Kerissa is leaving, she decides to let Lady Mae have it in her own bedroom no less. She tells her that “no one has ever hurt me the way you hurt me.” She explains that the reason that she sought the approval of Lady Mae was that her own mother was always in a competition with her. (But Kerissa always seems like she is competing against all of the Greenleaf women, right? Name one woman that she truly gets along with…I am glad that we’re getting some backstory on Kerissa though…) She blames Lady Mae for everything and calls Lady Mae an “old rusted jalopy with a corpse in the trunk.” Wow! If this is her way of getting the love she wants, this is not the way to do it. Obviously Lady Mae agrees with me because she slaps her daughter in a way that reminds me of those old-time night soap operas like “Dynasty.” Those slaps reverberated like gun shots fired!
Bishop walks in on them and for some reason believes the two have made peace?! But Lady Mae does say, “We’ve come to an understanding.” After Kerissa leaves, he tells her that he is not going to Atlanta after all. “God is trying to get me to slow down and see myself, see Him.” I guess this is what God told him once he decided to speak with God about his dilemmas – missing preaching and regaining control of Calvary the right way. You can’t escape your pain. You have to face it, Bishop…
Kerissa is gonna need to talk with Jesus now. Jacob comes home and tells her what happened with Dante. As a result, he has lost his job with the Memphis Red Devils. “You’re going to have to wait on that house.” Bwaaaahaaa…As crazy as that moment is, it’s not THE moment of the episode. That happens next.
The next morning, Grace walks in on her mother, who is studying Hebrews in the kitchen in preparation for her Bible study with Zora. She tells Grace that the book “mystifies her.” Grace explains that she is little mystified herself and needs her help with something. Lady Mae says, “What is it?” Grace replies, “My son.”
And scene…A mic drop moment for reals…What we gon do? What we gon do? When Lady Mae gets involved, the drama will be on 10…And from the preview, I can tell that even a newfound grandson is not gonna stop Lady Mae from reaching her destiny…You reach for Lady Mae, you will be left looking at a nub…convict or not…A.J. thinks he wants to be loved but not like this…
So the reason I LOVED this episode and think it’s the best one so far this season is that we finally got to see into Kerissa after three seasons of not knowing anything about her background, we got to see a good old-fashioned soap opera slap between two divas and we got to see Lady Mae realize that Grace is her daughter in more ways than one…What say you?
Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 5: Unwanted… and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog !