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Recap: Good Trouble 1×04 “Playing the Game”

This week’s episode of Good Trouble sees our favorites figuring out for themselves whether or not “playing the game” to get ahead in life is worth compromising your morals and the person you want to be.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game

Callie, Ben and Rebecca are working together to come up with a case or legal figure for a game of 20 questions. Yes, as it turns out, Judge Wilson loves a good game of 20 questions and invites his clerks over to his house for a barbecue and a rousing game each year. But it’s not just any game of 20 questions: whoever guesses Judge Wilson’s case or legal figure first gets to steal any case they want from another clerk. Which means Callie needs to be careful as Ben and Rebecca are clearly after her coveted Jamal Thompson case. 

They start playing the game and things get tense. Callie holds her own, though, and seems to make quite the impression on the Judge’s wife. In fact, she makes such an impression that when they take a break, his wife tells Callie which case the Judge has picked so that this whole silly game can be over quickly. 

Callie, though, chooses to be the bigger person and not guess the correct answer of Glossip v. Gross. But when Ben does guess correctly, Wilson says that he’s wrong and that his case was actually Hollingsworth v. Perry. Now it’s the clerks’ turn to answer yes or no, and they ultimately stump Judge Wilson by giving him Hulk Hogan. Wilson is not happy with their choice and lunch immediately comes to an end. 

When Callie goes back to the house because she forgot her jacket, Wilson tells her that he knows that his wife told her what the case actually was. And the fact that she chose to be the bigger person has earned her the right to keep her case.

Every episode so far has proven what we’ve all known since The Fosters days: Callie is at her best when she sticks to her guns and what she believes in, and doesn’t get wrapped up in these games that Ben and Rebecca like to play. Judge Wilson clearly sees that in her and probably saw it in her back when he hired her. I’m excited to see more of Callie choosing to be the bigger person and staying true to who she is in episodes to come.

To speak up or not to speak up?

Mariana is out partying every night as a way to avoid all of the crap she’s getting from her boss at Speckulate. For a split second, it seems like things might be looking up as she gets asked to be in the latest advertising campaign for the company. But Mariana soon realizes that they only asked her because they want to promote how “diverse” the company is by showcasing the women and people of color who work there, when, in reality, a majority of people who work at Speckulate are white males.

Casey, who’s become Mariana’s work guru of sorts, advises her keep her mouth shut when Mariana mentions that she’s thinking of saying something. “Blowing up your career is not going to change the culture around here, Mariana,” Casey says, sharing the cold, hard truth with the inexperienced newbie.

Mariana also talks to Raj about his willingness to participate in this campaign. His reasoning is similar to Casey’s; he’s not okay with the culture, but saying things will only make it worse. She holds firm that she won’t be a part of it, even if it means she gets fired. But when she goes in for the actual interview, and everyone is staring right at her, she plays the game and says how great of a place it is to work.

After the interview, Raj checks in on her. For the first time, we see Raj as a real person and learn that he and Mariana might have more in common than we once thought could ever be possible (they both died their in high school to fit in). While Raj tells her that you have to fit in to succeed (which I personally think is a stupid philosophy), he also tells her that despite what she may think, he takes her seriously. Mariana smiles at him when he says that, which means I guess I can temporarily forget his asinine comment moments earlier. 

Mariana also suggests that the two of them go out for a drink, and leave the other team members behind. Raj shows up later to the bar that night to meet Mariana (and Bryan and Davia). A couple things happen here that make it seem like he may have a thing for her. First, the look on his face when he sees Mariana in her white dress has “damn, she’s hot” written all over it. Second, she makes a comment about how she wants to “climb” another hot guy across the room and he seems super bothered by it. I’m excited to see whether this turns into something more as Mariana deserves the love of a good guy.

Episode Notes:

  • Davia has a friends-with-benefits relationship with a guy from home named Jeff that picks back up whenever he’s in town. Davia confesses to Jeff — who’s married by the way — that she’s thinking about moving back home, as she’s overwhelmed with her Teach for America job. Jeff tells her to extend the contract with Teach for America because she was meant for so much more than their small town and she just needs to give LA and her job more time.
  • Judge Wilson and his wife make an innocent comment at lunch about how both of his kids are abroad for college. But it turns out his son isn’t spending a semester at sea like he told everyone — he’s living at home AND has an ankle bracelet on. I guess this will come back up at some point, and I can only imagine in what capacity. 
  • Ben asks Callie about whether she knows the girl that “Jamal’s mother waved over to sit next to her” at the trial, aka Malika. Callie brushes him off, but when Ben walks Callie home from the bar, he sees Malika walk in to The Coterie. Yikes — this can’t be good.
  • Poor Alice can’t catch a break. In addition to helping plan Sumi’s wedding (which she doesn’t want to do), she also gets so overwhelmed with everything going on at The Coterie that she has a breakdown in bathroom over free toilet paper. Please leave Alice ALONE.
  • I love that when Callie was asked what she likes to do for fun, the first thing she thought of was having sex with Gael. Even though he doesn’t make an appearance in this episode, he’s always on her mind. 

What did you guys think about the episode? Let me know in the comments below!

Good Trouble airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.

Written by Bryna Kramer

I could have followed in my father's footsteps and become a doctor. But there was just too much good television on.

Contact: [email protected]

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