HOLLYWOOD─I’m a bit worried because it seems like all my favorite shows on the OWN network are leaving. First I lost “If Loving You is Wrong” which was my guilty pleasure every Tuesday night, and it was NOT as satisfying as I planned. I just learned that “Ambitions” which I was just warming up to, is not returning for another season, and now another show that I was starting to like “Greenleaf” is getting ready to come to a close. I mean I still have “The Haves and the Have Nots” for the time being, at least I hope.
However, let’s return our conversation to “Greenleaf” which kicked off its fifth season on Tuesday with the family still in turmoil after losing control of their church Calvary to Bob Whitmore (Beau Bridges). Now, what I love about this series is that it shows the hypocrisy of those who live by the church and shows that they are just as flawed as everyone else. At the helm of Calvary in the beginning was Bishop James Greenleaf (Keith David) and Mae Greenleaf (Lynn Whitfield). The chemistry between James and Mae is incredible, but if we’re being honest the standout of the series is Whitfield, who brings a feistiness and fire to her character that the audience loves and hates at the same time.
One moment you’re cheering the woman, the next you’re frustrated to the core with her antics. I mean she is fiercely loyal, but Lady Mae has done her dirt people. She has a son that no one knew about, that just so happens to be the half-brother to Grace (Merle Dandridge), who just might not be James’ daughter people. Grace is the epitome of the Greenleaf name and is seen as the prodigal one in her family; so much to the point that she is hated by her sister Charity (Deborah Joy Winans) and envied by her brother Jacob (Lamman Rucker). Yeah, sibling rivalry is a bit of crucial glue to the series and something I think many families can identify with.
Jacob has his hands full with his demanding wife Kerissa (Kim Hawthorne) and his rebellious daughter Zora (Lovie Simone), who just gets into so much trouble it is not even funny. However, bringing things back to the forefront, we last left off with Phil breaking Charity’s heart by choosing his mistress on the side, who just happens to be Bob’s daughter. Grace decided to no longer preach at Calvary, and the family was delivered the biggest bomb of them all learning that their church would be demolished. Oh, did I forget to mention that unfamiliar face showed up at Faith’s grave? Yeah, who was that person, was it possibly Faith’s long lost son or a relative of the Greenleaf clan that no one has seen before?
The first episode of the season, “The First Day” Charity found herself in the crosshairs of her family for her betrayal by leaking information to Phil that really cemented Bob’s grasp on Calvary. Charity was a bit of a firecracker this episode, lashing out at Phil who tried to barter a partnership with Charity in the midst of juggling a chaotic professional and personal life. However, the biggest shock was finding out that guy who was at Faith’s gravesite was killed within the first 10 minutes of the premiere! Yeah, that is definitely a way to shock the viewers.
More alarming is the audience has NO IDEA who this guy was, what his name is and how he ties to AJ, Grace’s so called son. Yeah, I’m still skeptical about that one America. Something just doesn’t add up there, and the guilt he was feeling about his latest run-in with the law is speaking wonders if you ask me. Grace was happy this John Doe was linked to the crime giving her son another get out of jail free card. AJ was living with extreme guilt KNOWING he had committed the crime, and as the episode culminated he tried to take his life (the verdict is still out rather he lives or dies).
Kerissa and Jacob are getting divorced and she looks to want to take her hubby to the cleaners to ensure she is set up well in the future. How is she going about doing that? Blackmail people, and with juicy tidbits with that Jacob’s parents may have been up to some shady business with their home’s previous owners. That is not good people and it looks like the Greenleaf family just has their hands in way too many cookie jars for my liking. Grace had Darius do some digging into the past of that John Doe who was at Faith’s grave who died at the perfect time to exonerate AJ, just as the viewer got a bit of good news with Lady Mae and James deciding to get married and revitalize their relationship.
Yes, the duo have had their ups and downs in recent seasons with secrets and potential cheating scandals coming to light, but when you love someone you power thru the good and the bad America. Oh, in case I forgot to mention Jacob came face-to-face with his ex, Alexa from the first season who blew in like the wind and vanished up until this point. Looks like Jacob is doing some digging to find out if his parents are actually culpable of any bad misdeeds. I’ve said it in the past “Greenleaf” has been hit or miss for me. Some seasons stronger than others, seasons 1 and 2, 3 not so much, 4 gained steam, as we currently sit in a situation where hopefully all the loose ends are properly tied up to deliver a satisfying conclusion for fans. “Greenleaf” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on OWN.