This review contains SPOILERS for Bel-Air, for last week’s review click here.
Parents are the shield, the protector, the provider. But when one does something they shouldn’t, sometimes a parent feels the need to shield their child from their own father/mother. Even the parent that does the deed sometimes feels its best to keep a distance. They either dealt with something similar or they just realize things are better with them out of the picture. Bel-Air has brought up Will’s (Jabari Banks) father, Lou (Marlon Wayans), several times. Well, today we finally get to meet him.
One of the most iconic scenes in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is Will crying to Phil about his father. The image has even become a social media meme. We knew an episode similar would come, but considering the new premise of the show – How was this going to look or sound? Well, we finally know after today’s episode of Bel-Air. There’s a lot to digest in this episode, but it definitely feeds into the show and what we will get in the season finale next week.
The episode starts off at an art gallery where Vivian (Cassandra Freeman) is showing off her art. There’s a special piece centered around Will. While Vivian is networking and chatting, Will and Phil are talking about Will. Phil (Adrian Holmes) tells him that he sees a young gentleman with a bright future. Hilary (Coco Jones), Carlton (Olly Sholotan), and Ashley (Akira Akbar) are in attendance as well. Will tries to talk to Lisa (Simone Joy Jones), but she’s still upset about him lying. She offers him a second chance, but states it can’t be at the gallery. Jazz (Jordan L. Jones) and Hilary are hanging out at the gallery, along with Hilary’s friend Ivy (Karrueche Tran). Who seems to be flirting with Jazz a bit. Hilary also explains that she’s gotten out of Kylo’s (Jon Beaver) influencer house.
Jazz gives Hilary an idea after she helps Ivy land a shoot. The idea is for Ivy to by Kylo’s house, and create a female friendly environment. Somewhere that women creatives can have a voice and be in a safe space. It sounds like a great plan, and Ivy is down for it. We will see how it plays out in the next episode. Will also asks Hilary for advice on how to woo Lisa back to him. Lisa and Will plan to meet at a coffee shop around 3pm, but things get delayed.
Will’s father Lou shows up, and disrupts everything. Carlton finds the file Geoffrey gave Will, and he gives it to Will. After reading about what happened to his father and an outburst from Will, they let him decide if he wants to see his father. Vy (April Parker Jones) also talks to Will before he talks to his father, who was in prison for scamming a man out of his money. He never wrote Will or contacted him. He explains his reasoning in the episode, but it still isn’t a good one. Will and Lou get into an argument over Lou wanting respect from his son he abandoned.
This prompts Will to pack his things and leave. Also, he leaves Lisa stood up at the coffee shop. Carlton, Hilary, and Ashley all plead with him to stay. Vivian and Phil also plead with him. He ultimately leaves, and has them trying to track his car through GPS, but the only person that can do that is Geoffrey. Carlton goes to Lisa and asks for help; he even explains why he didn’t show up at the coffee shop. Jazz and Will are on top of a plateau, talking. Jazz tells Will that nobody is around in this moment and that Will has to make a choice: Does he want to be happy? What makes him happy? What does he want to do?
Marlon Wayans as Lou was a choice, and a great choice at that. This entire episode was incredible. No, we don’t have any scenes like the iconic one from the original, but we are left with a stain. We are left thinking, “What will Will do?” There is a lot going on here, but it’s very entertaining to watch unfold. Jordan L. Jones gives us an amazing performance. Jazz played such an important role in this episode. I was incredibly wowed.
Carlton and Will’s dynamic has shifted so much since the first episode. Sholotan’s Carlton is a character with plenty of redeeming qualities. Banks just continues to put his all into his performances as Will. Jones continues to be the center of attention and scene stealer. Dale Stern gets a lot of energy from this cast, and they all come together for a great episode.
Morgan Cooper, TJ Brady, and Rasheed Newson give us an incredible teleplay. This episode starts off as a slow burner, but when it picks up, it’s so much fun. There’s never a doubt about anything in this episode as far as technicalities. It’s a tight script that flows very well, and that’s how the entire season has been. There has been a steady flow from episode to episode. The writer’s room for Bel-Air is stellar and should be given as much credit as possible. This was another amazing episode, and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rating – 10/10
Bel-Air premieres Thursdays on Peacock!