‘Black-ish’ Season 4, Episode 7 Recap: Bow Gets Inappropriate, Junior Feels Like an Outsider, Dre Supports an Ex-Con
black-ish isn't afraid to address controversial social issues, and this week's episode explored America's prison and judicial systems.
As Akon's hit "Locked Up" plays, Dre explains prison statistics. He notes that prisons have become uninhabitable due to overpopulation, and prisoners begin to feel like just another number in the system instead of a person. One of those "numbers" is Dre's play-brother, Omar.
Omar's serving 10-15 years for a crime he swears he didn't commit. Bow feels sorry for Omar and hates that he's been behind bars with no one to support him—not even Dre. Dre's convinced Omar only reaches out to him when he needs something. In fact, Dre tells Bow that Omar's attempted to contact him three times in the past week, and Dre's denied or avoided the call every time. Bow informs Dre that she has no problem talking to Omar. She stays up all night gossiping and keeping him abreast of what life looks like on the outside. She even sends him a picture or two so he can look at something other than a cage full of men everyday.
Dre thinks Bow is being inappropriate, and, as usual, takes his plight to his office conference room. While Dre is trying to understand why his wife is playing pen pal with his "brother," Mr. Stevens tells him he's right because "you shouldn't be associating with prisoners. They're animals."
Dre's Black co-workers, Charlie and Curtis (but mostly Curtis), step in to back Dre up in his attempt to shut down the stereotyped thinking and break down the ways the prison system works against a Black man. He slips into a monologue on the subject because Mr. Stevens explains how white men like an employee named Derrington are hired for jobs because they're supposedly rehabilitated.
"The system is built to hem a brother up while you white folks get a slap on the wrist." Dre continues. "We're treated unfairly while we're free, and we're treated even worse while we're behind bars."
Co-worker Josh tries to check Dre; asking him why he's mad at his wife for trying to make his friend's life a little easier while he's in prison.
Soon after the big office debate, Bow tells Dre that Omar is getting released after an organization called the Innocence Project helped prove his innocence. Josh makes him realize he needs to be there for Omar, and decides he's going to stay at the Johnson's house upon his release. But Bow puts her foot down: it's not happening. Dre hears Bow, and says if she's not going to help a Black man who's just getting out of jail with a mere $40 in his pocket then he will.
Dre packs up a pseudo bag of groceries and heads out to meet Omar at a diner. But before he leaves, he tells Bow, "We put people in a machine that's designed to break them and then we turn our back on them when they're broken."
While Bow and Dre are going back and forth over their individual relationships with Omar, the Jack and Diane are fighting for the title for their school's cutest twins. They think they can upstage Dylan and his twin brother (whose name we never actually learn) with a dance. So, they spend all week choreographing something - with a chest pump per Jack's demand - only to get overlooked for Dylan and his unnamed twin's new hats. Guess they're back to square one.
Then there's Junior. Always the odd one out, Junior finally feels like a family insider when he learns Ruby went to jail. He thinks he's become the keeper of family secrets, but Jack and Diane kill his dreams when they let him know that they've known that secret for years. In fact, they let him know a few others.
Concerned, Junior confronts Ruby and asks her to tell him all of her secrets, including an incident involving Ruby pulling a gun on Phil Spector and what sounds like a stint as a cocaine mule. Overwhelmed by the sudden revelations, Junior stops her and says he doesn't need to hear anymore.
Rethinking her views on a newly-released convict (who was found innocent), Bow surprises Dre at the diner and sits with him while he waits for Omar with a table full of food.
Before the credits roll, Dre and Bow finally see Omar face-to-face, but viewers have to wait until next week!
Watch the Trailer for black-ish Season 4 Episode 7: