Nothing is ever simple in Chucalissa.
Naturally, craziness reigned when The Pynk’s reopening and Uncle Clifford’s 40th birthday landed on the same night on P-Valley Season 2 Episode 2.
But even getting to that point was problematic for Clifford and company.
Holding the auditions mandated by Autumn was a great way to introduce the new characters for this season.
Roulette, brash and contentious, came off as a younger version of Mercedes, which is sure not to go over well with the OG dancer. But little else was revealed about her.
Whisper certainly was an intriguing addition. Beyond her talents on the pole, she also has a spooky quality, such as in the scene where she used an old brass pole to predict Roulette’s future like a Magic 8-Ball.
As well synched as Whisper and Roulette were, they had to have performed together in the past. But again, that was left in the dark for now.
Big Bone promised to become trouble.
First, she flirted with Big Al, and then she came between Mercedes and Autumn, who, granted, don’t take much to be set arguing. Finally, after being demoted to bar girl, she was dancing on the bar for money instead of just pouring drinks as she was supposed to.
But still, a fun new trio about whom to learn. And Big Bone can always be shown the door whenever Keyshawn is forgiven and returns to The Pynk after her tour.
So the restaffing problem has been taken care of. But the issue of sharing leadership remains.
Both Clifford and Autumn have a legitimate claim on leadership. And there’s plenty to be done, enough for two people. They’re just not communicating well.
Autumn was very well aware of how her nest egg had dwindled severely during the pandemic. For too long, Clifford has gotten by on luck and cunning. But as the foreclosure auction proved, that’s not working anymore.
So let Autumn be the numbers cruncher while Clifford serves as marketing chief and artistic director, aided in that capacity by Mercedes.
But when Autumn moved up the reopening by a week to get the cash flowing again, she indeed needed to discuss that with Clifford, especially after Autumn landed the reopening on Clifford’s 40th birthday.
As much as Clifford attempted to argue that her concerns were logistical and had nothing to do with her birthday, that wasn’t the case.
The simple fact is that Clifford likes being the center of attention. And by Autumn scheduling the reopening on Clifford’s birthday, she was robbing her of one spotlight.
So after their big blowout, they went their separate ways. Autumn ran the reopening while Clifford stayed home to sulk.
Let’s say the results were mixed.
Autumn had it easy. She just had to open The Pynk’s doors, and the lines formed, the liquor flowed, and the money rained down.
But when it came to refereeing personal and professional problems among staffers, she learned that Uncle Clifford’s rules don’t work without Clifford there to dispense them.
Fortunately, Chucalissa’s queer community wouldn’t let Clifford pout by himself on his birthday.
Instead, conspiring with Ernestine, they abducted Clifford and took her to a fabulous party at a roller rink. She even found a Murda-lookalike to help her take the edge off.
Clifford and Autumn were brought back together by the fall of Mercedes, a physical fall this time, not the metaphysical one coming as she’s again going not to be the star at The Pynk.
That led to what had to be the series’ most WTF moment, as Diamond, using some hoodoo, healed Mercedes by removing from her shoulder the guilt that she felt from shooting Autumn’s murderous ex Montavious.
That automatically made Diamond an even more compelling character. What is Derrick thinking to continually keep messing with Diamond? Or maybe Diamond already cursed Derrick, which is why he can’t find a job.
Was Mercedes justified in kicking Autumn out of her home? Probably, but it was a close call.
Hailey took Montavious’s money when she fled, and he was bound to follow, leading to Murda Night. But Autumn was an abused woman. And she used that money to save The Pynk.
Mercedes tolerates Autumn, the housemate who has overstayed her welcome, but she can’t stand Autumn, her new boss. So, yeah, it’s probably best that they’re not together 24/7.
The series’ pariahs finally got their show on the road, although it took some doing.
Having Woddy’s hearse as a tour bus was priceless. And the addition of John Clarence Stewart (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) as Murda’s longtime friend and new bodyguard is promising. It was a sweet scene when Murda dropped by to apologize to Clifford, who hid but was visible to Murda in a mirror.
Keyshawn had to manipulate Derrick to get him to agree to let her tour with Murda. Unhappy that Diamond wasn’t being charged with assault against him, Derrick got him fired from his lousy dollar-store security job. And he was tracking Keyshawn with an app.
She successfully guilted him into letting her go. But wouldn’t divorcing the paranoid loser be cleaner and easier?
To revisit Autumn’s journey, watch P-Valley online.
How do you like the new dancers?
What did you think of the origin of Mercedes’s shoulder trouble?
Should Mercedes have kicked out Autumn?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.