GREENLEAF Review: “Silence and Loneliness”


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Gigi is haunted by her silence.  She continues to see a young girl running out of the woods from someone or something chasing her.  This girl is her.  And that someone is Uncle Mac.  She, too, was a victim of Uncle Mac.  He tried to assault her, but she broke away from him.  And she never spoke of it to anyone.  This is why she was so passionate about other women coming forward about Mac’s violations.  She was projecting her desire on to them.  How could she not have said something to at least encourage others to come forward?  I don’t purport to know how victims of assault should behave, but if there was ever a time to reveal your truth, that would be the time.

So, because she didn’t reveal it at the right moment, nightmares about the incident follow her.  And she has no choice but to confront it and tell others about it.  She chooses to tell Rick Fox’s character first.  He is there to listen, of course.  He has nothing more to say because what do you say when someone tells you that her uncle tried to assault her?  For Gigi, telling him is cathartic but also a type of betrayal – betrayal to the women she urged to tell their stories.  Betrayal to the other victims of Mac.  Betrayal to her daughter who was almost a victim.  Although she is not to blame for the assault Mac inflicted on others, her silence follows a tradition that may have begun with her mother.


In an earlier episode, Lady Mae reveals that her father assaulted her.  And she told no one.  That’s the thing about generations.  The same things can occur to parents and children that neither knows about it.  It is so easy to believe that not saying anything will protect your loved one from a sin that occurred against you.  But how wrong that is.  This is not in any way to blame Lady Mae or Gigi.  I would like to make a point that transparency is freeing.  As the Bible says “The truth shall set you free”, no truer words have been spoken.  Telling your story to your daughter is a slap in the face to history – that although something tragic has happened to someone, it doesn’t mean that has to also happen to you.  The consequence of a historical slap is that history can change course.  By Gigi revealing this to Fox’s character, she is veering her daughter in a different direction.

Speaking of daughters – Jacob’s daughter is being abused.  Her Christian, no good, El Debarge lookin’ boyfriend slams on the brakes, and Zora’s head slams into the dash.  I will not explain why he did that because guess what? It doesn’t matter.  She covers it up with makeup, and I assume she will continue to do so until her makeup is looking a little too perfect or raggedy one day.  I assume her cousin, Gigi’s daughter, will discover what’s going on.  What I’m not surprised about is that they are both Christian.  They are people!  They are in church because church is for people who need to be healed.  It is a type of therapy, and every Sunday, they have a session.  What you hope is that they learn some things and apply them, but some people don’t learn as fast as others.

The pastor of Triumph certainly preaches therapy every Sunday, but he hasn’t been listening to his own advice.  He is in so deep with some hooligans that one guy rolls up on him at church and serves him a gigantic beatdown.  I mean, gahdamn!  No respect for the house of God?  I guess if the man of God is like a triflin’ devil, then maybe God doesn’t see or dwell there.  Meh.


Pastor Skanks’ wife has a complete fit.  She enlists Pastor Greenleaf for help.  Greenleaf tells Skanks to turn himself into the po-po and that he must hand over the church keys to Jacob.  He resists at first, but he gives in when he sees his wife bawling.  Jacob was also reluctant to accept the new role, but Skanks appealed to his sincere desire to serve God.  He explains that Jacob can bring Triumph to a place he never dreamed of, so Jacob, with a good heart, accepts the role.  And Skanks skurts out!  All I can do is laugh because this man can teach a class on how to be a coward.  Who leaves his beautiful and loyal wife to go on the run?  Yes, he asked her to go with him, but what????  You committed sin against God and men, and you expect to get away by going on a road trip?  Was he watching “Thelma & Louise” or “Bonnie and Clyde” before he disappeared?  How about remembering how those movies ended because, er, that’s your fate too, bruh.

“Greenleaf” has upped the drama, and I am here for it.  I am not sure when Sopha will find out abour her cousin’s abuse.  I am not sure when Gigi will tell her mom about her abuse and vice versa.  But there is a to find out.  Too many secrets.  Too much loneliness.  Transparency is what will save this oh-so-secretive family.  Until next week.


Season 2, Episode 13 (S02E13)
Greenleaf airs Wednesdays at 10PM on OWN

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Jennifer spends her nights , her days securing insurance for shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @reneseford
Keep up with all of Jennifer’s reviews here.

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