‘Bel-Air’ Season 1, Episode 7 Spoiler Recap/Review ‘Payback’s a B*tch’
This review contains spoilers, to read about last week’s episode of Bel-Air click here.
Family and faith are often tested by outside elements. The elements it can be people, situations, and just morals. There are several layers to those tests, we read about them all the time. Could you be the universe giving us options, but who knows. The new episode of Bel-Air uses these elements to drive the story. It works well and is supported by some great writing and acting.
We don’t pick up immediately where we left, but we may as well. Fred Wilkes (Joe Holt) and Uncle Phil (Adrian Holmes) have conversations with Lisa (Simone Joy Jones) and Will (Jabari Banks) respectfully. They essentially tell the couple they don’t want them seeing each other. This is the first episode where Will and Lisa are kissing, and being super affectionate. They are hiding their relationship from everybody, but decide they should tell Carlton (Olly Sholotan).
Carlton is having a problem, he hasn’t been doing well in Lacrosse. He even has to practice with the scout team. He ends up breaking Connor’s (Tyler Barnhardt) wrist after he hears some of his racial microaggressions. This leads to a social nightmare for Carlton. Will decides the boys should throw a party to help Carlton’s reputation. The party is supposed to be Chaperoned by Uncle Phil, but he leaves Hilary (Coco Jones) in charge instead.
Things are all fine with Hilary in charge. Jaz (Jordan L. Jones) shows up to DJ and ends up staying to hang out with Hilary. He leaves with Hilary and things take an odd stumble. Will and Lisa go upstairs, and they have a good time. Connor and Carlton get into it after Carlton calls him out for being racist and homophobic. Afterward, Connor calls the police, and they arrive at the Banks’ residents. Lisa calls her father to get them to leave and reveals to Carlton she is with Will.
Hilary and Vivian (Cassandra Freeman) go on their own journeys in the episode. The video Hilary recorded was uploaded by Kylo (Jon Beavers). It’s not what she wanted for her brand, but after meeting Kylo at an influencer event she finds that it creates opportunities. It rubs Jaz the wrong way and kind of creates a divide in their friendship. Opportunities come to knock and Victoria’s Secret sponsorship would do wonders for her.
Vivian is dealing with her art situation. She decides to go to Santa Clara and visit an art event that Reed (Michael Ealy) is attending. Phil shows up to the rescue, or so he thinks. Vivian takes offense after Phil tries to expose Reed. Phil and Vivian end up having a long conversation about her art that ends up helping their marriage. Phil and Hilary head home at the end of the episode, but they don’t make it home before the episode ends.
This was a well-written episode of Bel-Air. Carlton’s arc is really coming around. He stands up for himself, and finally drops the shell he was covered in. It was good to see that, but his character isn’t fully likable yet. He is more of an anti-hero than a villain now. Sholotan is a great actor though and he continues to get better. Will’s arc is just a lot of fun, a coming-of-age story that’s a lot of fun. Hilary, Vivian, Lisa, and Phil have some good arcs, their character development is fleshed out and working.
The direction and the acting were great. Banks and Sholotan have some great chemistry. Banks and Jones also have great onscreen chemistry. Freeman and Holmes give us some good performances we well. This is a well-done episode. The acting here was really good, and Sholotan really ran this episode. This was an episode focused on Carlton at the forefront and it paid off well.
This episode brings in some aspects from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Yes, this is a dramatic telling of the original show, so its drawing from the original should be no surprise. The Jaz/Hilary situation stands out here, as in the original Hilary didn’t like him much at all. She did however fall for Ashtray. Lisa and Will feel way too early in the series, and her being Carlton’s ex-girlfriend makes it odd. We all knew that it was coming, and it actually fits the show well.
I personally enjoyed this episode of Bel-Air. It was very good to finally see Carlton show a backbone. There’s a lot to absorb, and it’s just a lot of fun. The police interactions in this show continue to show the aggression some officers take when dealing with minorities as well. Will’s scene in the first episode, and herewith Carlton’s scene. The cops not believing the residence was his house is something we often deal with when we live or visit certain areas. This was well put together, and I can’t wait for next week’s episode of Bel-Air. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rating – 8/10
Bel-Air premieres Thursdays on Peacock