It feels so damn good to have Good Trouble back.
The Coterie Family Feels were in full swing on Good Trouble Season 4 Episode 10, along with so much delicious drama that we’ll likely be glued to the screen for the remainder of the season.
The hour was sexy, heartfelt, emotional, funny, and surprising.
From the non-linear sequences to the slick camera shots and sequences, direction, and the kick-butt musical stylings, it was peak Good Trouble, and the hour didn’t waste any time.
It doesn’t seem like we’ll be free of the messiness of this Mariana love triangle with Evan and Joaquin any time soon. While it shouldn’t have been the least bit surprising that Evan would hold off on telling Mariana what was bothering him, it was still frustrating.
It’s a classic case of needless drama and conflict because of an irritating lack of basic communication. Yet, it was understandable.
Communication isn’t exactly Evan’s forte, and he’s torn between feeling heartbroken and genuinely trying to be a better, more conscientious person.
Evan isn’t holding it against Mariana that he feels she’s seeing someone else. On the business front, he hasn’t let his feelings for her interfere with the Bulk Beauty plans. However, he’s trying to minimize his exposure to her and protect his heart.
Sadly, Mariana isn’t a mind reader, so she can’t figure out what’s wrong with Evan, nor can she respond to his concerns and fears since he hasn’t shared them with her.
But Evan’s lack of transparency is so confusing that you can’t fault Mariana for appreciating Joaquin’s genuine efforts to cheer her up. And you sure as hell can’t be mad at the girl for climbing him like a Sycamore tree in July.
Mariana and Joaquin are both incredibly hot with such a sweet, endearing, genuine chemistry with each other, and they both probably needed and deserved to blow off some steam. And boy, were they steamy.
It’s hard to say what this means for Mariana’s romantic future. Despite their bout of hot, sexytimes in Joaquin’s sad, little dungeon loft, more than anything else, their bond feels more friendly than anything else.
Mariana is still hung up on Evan and wants to revisit their relationship. She’d be with him in a New York minute if they had an open conversation and cleared the air.
While her relationships are a bit messy, she’s achieved so much professionally. Her partnership with the FCG girls can be more miss than hit, but it’s exciting that she’s making some strides in her professional life again, and she has this win.
She’ll have her work cut out for her trying to carve out a working relationship with Evan while aiding Joaquin with his Jenna investigation.
Jenna: I don’t mean to hurt you, but I don’t want to have a relationship. That’s why I asked to meet you. To assure you that I’m okay and to ask you to stop trying to contact me.
Joaquin: OK. I’ll respect your boundaries.
He was quick to drop things after Jenna ran away from him, but now that he’s met her and seen the mysterious man who seemed to hover around her to make sure she pushed Joaquin away, there’s a renewed fire to get to the bottom of things.
Joaquin has gone from trying to find his sister to an attempt to save her. Jenna was parroting all of these things about boundaries and being healthier now that she’s away, but it’s all bullcrap, and you can tell.
Jenna is totally in a cult, right? Jenna, love, it’s giving Cult Vibes.
Joaquin has time on his hands and resources, too. He practically went feral when he thought someone killed his sister, so we already know the search to unmask whatever cult business or trafficking or whatever else she’s involved in is about to go off the charts.
Joaquin has been an intriguing addition to the series, and it’s been lovely that he’s let his guard down more and seems to enjoy being part of the Coterie.
But Luca getting brought into the Coterie still takes the cake and was by far the most emotional of the hour.
Of course, the Coterie crew, like the rest of us, is part of the “Protect Luca at All Costs” club. I don’t know who Ivan is, but if he tracks Luca down, there will be hell to pay because he has a family behind him now.
Luca’s addition to the Coterie brings the communal living portion of the series back to its roots, and I love that. The series is always at its best when the group functions as a full, unorthodox family.
The Coterie Family, that bond they all have with each, is the series’ heart and soul.
If you weren’t a bawling, ugly mess of emotions, tears, and, ahem, allergy flare-ups during the Luca and Malika discussion, those flashbacks, and his warm welcome into the family, then you must have ice in your veins.
It’s so hard to ask for help, and Luca heard that message from the most unexpected but best person. He’s been close to Davia this whole time, so it would’ve been expected if she saw him and tried to convince him to return to the Coterie.
But Malika being the one to get him there couldn’t have worked out better, and it also revisited some of Malika’s past and that deep, rich history between her and Alice.
Malika:I was unhoused for a while. I was living in my car. I used to park near the Coterie and Alice got to know me and started bringing me coffee in the mornings, and then she let me use the showers. Ultimately, she split her loft to give me a home. It was hard for me to accept help, but once I had a home, and I didn’t have to spend my days just figuring out how to survive, I was able to get a job. I went back to school, I got my degree. I was just so damn lucky that Alice befriended me, saw me even.
Luca: That’s not the story for most people out here.
Malika: No, it’s not. Because I said yes to being helped, I mean, I’m thriving today. That can be your story too. You have a home at the Coterie. If you just say yes.
We’ve heard bits and pieces of it before, and we know how much Malika loves and values Alice and that they were essentially the beginning of the Coterie.
But Malika’s honest, empathetic conversation with Luca, complete with those flashbacks of when Malika first found out she would be living there, carried such emotional impact.
If they devoted an entire installment to flashbacks covering how the Coterie family came to be and its origins, I would eat it up with a spoon.
Drawing from Malika’s background and using it to connect characters and storylines is probably when the character and her arcs are at their strongest, and arguably, with Callie gone, Malika is the next natural choice to delve into that history and how it affects her now.
Those flashbacks were a treat, as we’ve known how close Malika and Alice are, but we don’t always get to see it with frequency. It was powerful storytelling.
Alice is such a pure heart and soul. It’s all the more meaningful when you think about her as a queer woman creating this safe space and home for lost souls and those in need. It gave me chills… She deserves all the good things for herself.
It definitely seemed like her new manager was only doing it as a favor to Margaret, but Sumi’s plan to take on that role feels right. We’ve seen Sumi juggle many things beyond her dental hygenist job. No one knows Alice better or believes in her more. It’ll be bumpy and affect their relationship, but I love this idea.
And on the topic of relationships, Malika has to settle herself. She’s boldly embraced that she’s polyamorous, which is beautiful, but it has been a struggle for her romantically.
Isaac got blindsided by it and couldn’t accept it. Dyonte was, well, Dyonte, and Angelica has always expressed reservations and can’t figure out where she stands because of it.
Now, Angelica is seeing Gillian, who seems cool, too, but Malika doesn’t know how to take any of that.
On the surface, the notion that Malika would get in her feelings about Angelica seeing other people is downright preposterous. The distinction between Malika dating other people versus Angelica doing it felt like a stretch and had Malika appearing like a hypocrite.
But I suppose it does make sense that Malika would fear that a monogamous Angelica would fall in love with someone else and solely want to be with that person if it becomes serious. It would put an end to their relationship permanently.
In that sense, it’s not that Angelica is dating other people; she’s seeing other people when she only dates monogamously.
Dyonte may be out of the picture, but it’s a rocky road for Malika and Angelica.
And they’re just throwing all types of curveballs at us with Denvia.
Davia was waiting for Dennis to make his move after the Burlesque show, but he didn’t. Typically, you’d encourage a woman to put themselves out there, say what she wants, and go from there.
But Davia has put herself out there a lot. She wants Dennis to chase her a bit and court her.
It’s a bit of game playing happening, and Gael is speaking for most of us who want these two to just go for it.
But Davia outplayed herself by giving Dennis the green light to pursue Ryan.
Brooke Nevin guest-starring on Good Trouble is a treat. Right off the bat, Dennis and Ryan had fun, flirty chemistry.
Ryan is gorgeous, mature, and age-appropriate compared to Dennis’ previous women he’d dated, and they have some commonality in abandoning the corporate world to find some happiness.
Dennis: I think she’s liking the food.
Davia: I think she’s liking more than the food.
Right now, there’s nothing to dislike about Ryan aside from the fact that she stands in the way of Denvia. And the prospect of seeing Dennis in a healthy, adult relationship in this stage of his life as he’s grown and worked through his grief and become a healthier version of himself is too intriguing not to explore.
Meanwhile, Davia has time to figure out the next stage in her life as she finds a job that suits her.
In-home teaching is a nice start for her, but it won’t be an easy path based on her first client. The boy’s father said he’s quiet and shy, but who knows?
Davia does well with kids, so I look forward to this arc for her.
But if any storyline is destined to take us on a rollercoaster ride, it’s the situation with Gael and Isabella.
One minute, they seem perfectly happy together; the next, the unspoken insecurity about their compatibility and future creeps in and makes things tense.
It always takes the little things, like neither of them matching on what they should name their child or whose last name the kid will have, that sets things off.
Poor Gael always feels like he’s tiptoeing through a minefield with Isabella because he doesn’t know when something he says or does can affect her.
Isabella is a character who has elicited mixed reactions from viewers, but something that stands out is how she so plainly carries the lingering effects and traumas of growing up with her parents.
The scars from that dictate every move she makes. She’s this walking open wound, and, sadly, it affects those around her all the time, Gael especially, but it’s also generally sad that she endures so much.
She’s still a young woman figuring things out. For most, it takes years to work through all that, if folks ever do at all.
Giving Isabella so many layers here makes her a more well-rounded and compelling character.
You can’t help but care about Isabella even when sometimes it conflicts with caring so much about Gael. He’s doing the best he can and is such a genuinely good person.
It hurts to think about how much drama surrounds him because of Isabella and her parental issues. He’s no stranger to complicated relationships with his family, but he also knows they love him.
He can sympathize with Isabella and actively creates this space where they’re a family. But it’s like she feels it’s too good to be true, clings to it too much, or holds back to protect herself.
Isabella needs to communicate rather than take things out on Gael, though. It was nerve-wracking when she was at the adoption attorney’s office.
They psyched us out with that. She only went in response to her father’s blackmail video of her vandalizing their car.
The thing about blackmail is that it can continue as long as the person can hold something over your head.
Every time her parents want to control her or retaliate, they can pull out that video. Giving in to them is pointless.
She’s better off taking the risk of them showing the police and pressing charges.
I fear that Isabella still hasn’t found a job with a steady income, Gael doesn’t have a steady stream of income working with Yuri, and the Coterie, bless it, is nowhere near up to code.
Isabella’s parents don’t want the baby or want her to have it, so they wouldn’t be above using all these things to prove she’s unfit.
Isabella must tell Gael, if not the rest of her Coterie family, what’s happening. Luca isn’t the only one who needs to learn how to ask for help.
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics.
Are you excited that Luca moved into the Coterie? What are your Jenna theories? Will Isabella’s parents retaliate? Sound off below!
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.
And if you missed our exclusive interviews with the Good Trouble Cast and with Sherry Cola, don’t forget to check them out!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.