The Following Recap/Review Contains Spoilers for Episode 9 of ‘Bel-Air’.
Family is everything. In Bel-Air over the last two episodes, we have seen that. It’s actually been a common theme throughout the entire first season. That the Banks’ family will look out for each other in any given situation, no matter how at odds they are with each other. People that aren’t even blood-related to them get the same benefit of the doubt and love that they give blood relatives. It’s a beautiful thing to see in this new iteration of the age-old sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
This new episode of Bel-Air takes off from the last. Where Will’s mother Vy (April Parker Jones) visited for Will’s 17th birthday. Tensions between Vy and Vivian (Cassandra Freeman) rose, but they were ended. Which in turn had the boys Will (Jabari Banks) and Carlton (Olly Sholotan) finally end their feud. Leading to our episode today.
It’s the day for Phil (Adrian Holmes) and Fred Wilkes (Joe Holt) debate as DA contenders. The Banks family goes to church, and Carlton has his solo. He kind of freaks and has an anxiety attack. This leads to him and Will discussing his drug problem. Will also asks Geoffrey (Jimmy Akingbola) to help look into his father. A matter that Vivian, Phillip, and Vy are against. Geoffrey does it anyway, and Will turns down the opportunity to read it, and gives the information to Phil. Which ultimately leads to Geoffrey’s dismissal.
Vivian goes to visit Helen (Daphne Reid) and Janice (Vernee Watson) for a chance to join an art Fellowship. The women speak with her in an interview and give her 24 hours to think it over. Vivian almost sacrifices her wants again because she doesn’t think she and Phil can keep the family in good shape if she joins. Phil reassures her and as she attempts to tell the group no, they tell her they won’t accept her answer for 24 hours.
Fred tells Lisa (Simone Joy Jones) the truth about Will and why he’s in Bel-Air. She confronts Will about it, and he tells the truth. The boys run to aid Phil and give him a heads up. He had dirt on Fred as well that he was choosing not to use. To avoid two men telling dirt on each other, Phil abruptly withdraws from the race to tell Vivian she can take the Fellowship. He decides to choose his family and what they need over his wants.
Malcolm Spellman and Rashad Newson wrote the teleplay for this episode, and it was great. They took everything that’s been threaded throughout the show thus far and integrated it into this episode. It was a great script that works from front to back. The surprise appearance from Reid and Watson was great. Using actors from the original series in this show is definitely something amazing for fans of the original show.
Matthew A. Cherry directed this episode of Bel-Air, and he brought the flare. These were some of the better performances of the series. Freeman and Holmes were standouts, Akingbola also gave a great performance. Banks and Sholotan brought their all in these last two episodes. It’s very interesting to see the amount of character development in this show. It’s fun and enjoyable, as we head to the season finale, I’m hoping we get more of these types of performances and directorial executions.
This was a well-thought-out and put-together episode of Bel-Air. There was a lot of thought put into this, especially considering that I thought this would’ve been the last episode. Now, I’m looking forward to the final two episodes as I have no idea what to expect going forward. Please give Matthew A. Cherry more directing jobs though, this was an absolutely phenomenal fifty minutes of television. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rating – 10/10
Bel-Air premieres Thursdays on Peacock!