WELL THEN. Your faithful recapper has zero clue what those last five minutes of Star 's freshman season even were, but man oh man, am I ready to unpack it... after I take a quick breather, of course.
I'll be honest: I was a tad worried that Star 's finale would be all about Atlanta Next Fest. Sure, winning the contest may be what Big Trouble has been striving toward all season, but it's also the least interesting part of Star 's story. I wanted murder! Mayhem! More Eva (Sharlene Taulé) doing batshit crazy stuff! Maybe I should have been careful what I wished for. I got it all in spades.
That's not to say that there weren't some lovely moments in this finale. I dig how the season ended with Carlotta and the group not only finding peace, but finding a way to work together as a family. Speaking of family, Carlotta (Queen Latifah), Cotton (Amiyah Scott) and Jahil (Benjamin Bratt) may finally get to be one — even in their daughter's darkest moments.
But I won't get ahead of myself, because it's time to analyze the crazy. Here's what went down on the final episode of the season.
That murder story line didn't really pay off, but at least it's over?
I gotta say: What a letdown. Otis' (Darius McCrary) murder has finally been solved, and his killer is the last person you expected — or cared about. Nope, Carlotta didn't off Otis to protect her girls, and neither did Cotton or Jahil. The person who killed Otis didn't care about the girls at all — it turns out that was a misdirection so we wouldn't identify the real culprit. That culprit is — drumroll, please — Otis' wife, Ruth-Ann (Deja Dee).
Yep. That's the answer we've been waiting for. Carlotta — who really needs her own detective show considering how quickly she put together exactly what happened that fateful night — coerces a confession out of Otis' long-suffering partner, who reveals she killed Otis in order to save her own children. She knew that, without Simone (Brittany O'Grady), Otis would abuse her own kids. Upon hearing that, Carlotta gives Ruth-Ann a hug...and later, reveals that she was recording the confession the whole time on her phone. (Again: Get Carlotta that police procedural.)
Now, you may ask: Why did Carlotta go through all this trouble? For her new BFF Jahil, of course. It was only episodes ago that Carlotta was threatening Jahil's life with a gun if he dared to manage Big Trouble, but I guess Jahil is technically family now. All I'm saying is, get ready for a season 2 featuring lots and lots of will-they, won't-they moments between these two.
Big Boi? More like boy, bye.
Anyone who has glanced at these Star recaps knows I have limited love (or even like) for Jahil, and that I was pretty down for Big Trouble ditching him on the fast-track to the Grammys with Big Boi as their manager. But, man, Big Boi is kind of a dick. (Sorry, real Big Boi.) First, the producer calls Big Trouble, including Eva, into his office to talk over their contract — Jahil's arrest makes their contract with him void, and the girls are ready to be all in with the big leagues. Unfortunately, that lasts about 15 minutes, because Eva — who is, unequivocally, the worst — tells Big Boi that Alex (Ryan Destiny) is pregnant, and basically sweeps their record deal for herself. It turns out that Big Boi really liked that Latin flair — he's looking for that "Pitbull" thing — and, in the case of Alex, "doesn't work with baby mamas." Uh-huh.
Carlotta saves the day.
There aren't many sweet moments in this episode, considering what happens later, but there is one very nice one. Shortly after Big Trouble wins Atlanta Next Fest (lord help me if they didn't take home that trophy after 12 episodes), Carlotta tells the girls she would like to be their manager. It came as a bit of a shock for me, but after thinking about it, I realized that it actually makes perfect sense. Carlotta has just as many industry connections as Jahil, and she's not a drug addict or obsessed with bedding the lead singer of the group. While she may not be the perfect parent, she'll "never lie" (at least not again) and she may be the best maternal figure that any of the girls have ever had.
Alex and Derek make a decision, but not a plan.
As previously mentioned, Alex is still pregnant... and it looks like it's going to stay that way. While I was terrified this episode would end with Derek (Quincy Brown) flatlining — thus making Alex's baby decision all the more complicated — not much really goes down with these two. Instead, Alex — who everyone remarks has been "so nice" now that she's pregnant — tells Star (Jude Demorest) and Simone that she's going to keep her and Derek's baby. The girls freak out, thrilled to be aunties. I thought Star would be pissed about Alex's baby potentially getting in the way of their girl group's soon-to-happen tour, but, well, at least Star's being nice about the whole thing.
Unfortunately, things won't be easy for Alex and her baby: Derek still can't walk, something that I'm pretty sure Alex has no idea about.
DEAR GOD, WHY CAN NO ONE LET COTTON LIVE?!?
Cotton finally goes into the hospital to have her surgery, with both Jahil (who stopped snorting coke for two seconds) and Carlotta there to hold her hand. Alas, it's not Carlotta on Cotton's hand that's the issue — it's the cuffs. Yep. Just before Cotton goes into surgery, the cops arrest her for grand theft. I know Cotton did steal the money but, wow. Way to be cruel, show.
Star and Simone get their revenge... but so does someone else.
Call Hunter (Chad James Buchanan) messed up or call him a monster — there's zero point to any label now, considering he's no longer of this world. He certainly didn't go out on a high note. When Star returns to collect her Atlanta Next Fest outfit from Hunter's house, she brings along a crowbar — and tells her former bae that if he takes another step towards her, she'll "decorate the walls with the inside of [his] skull." Unfortunately, Hunter's temper isn't contained just because Star threatens him. When Star doesn't show up for Atlanta Next Fest on time, Simone, already worried about Hunter hurting Star again, goes to Hunter's house. There she finds Star in the closet, her nose bloodied. That's when Simone attacks Hunter with the crowbar herself — and is able to whack him in the face enough times to knock him unconscious.
But leaving the NFL player bloodied and bruised isn't enough for Star. She's not going to call the police — she already told Jahil there's no good snitching where she's from. So, instead, Star does the next best thing: She bashes Hunter's throwing hand. Bye, paycheck.
It's picture-perfect revenge (that I would only condone on television, of course) but it's not the only punishment Hunter receives. Unfortunately for Hunter, he becomes a victim of wrong place, wrong time when a mafia hitman comes for Jahil. Hunter — who, in a time of desperation, has been seduced by an ever-calculating Eva — is gunned down while on top of Jahil's former girlfriend.
When Jahil returns home, he finds one of the most disturbing images Star has ever shown us: both Hunter and Eva, laying on top of one another, shot dead.
So... thoughts, guys? Did Star live up to expectations? And what did you think of the Alex Da Kid and Joseph Angel cover at the end? Sound off in the comments.
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