‘Black-ish’ Season 4, Episode 2: Bow Struggles, Junior Wants to Help Out, Ruby Crosses the Line
After last week's season premiere of Black-ish, the bar is set pretty high for season four. The Johnson family in a Hamilton-inspired tribute to Juneteenth? Very yes. On this week's episode, there's a lot less singing as Dre realizes his wife needs some self-care.
Bow is unenthusiastically dragging around the house, avoiding her newborn, DeVonte. Unlike with her other kids, Bow is going through it emotionally with this baby: she's bursting into tears constantly, and often unconsciously passes him off to the next person for basic needs like skin-to-skin contact and burping after eating. Dre realizes something seems off and turns to his co-workers for advice.
After a team huddle, Dre decides to check out a few women's magazines for guidance and stumbles across some information on postpartum depression followed by quiz to detect the signs. He asks Bow to take it with him. After an amusing protest, Bow agrees to see a therapist; she scored a 50 out of 50 on the quiz, answering "yes" to questions like "Do you think your baby is cursed?," "Are you crying more than usual?" and "Do you feel empty?" Because the kids start to realize something is wrong—well, everyone but the always-befuddled Jack—they decide to chip in and try to help out with things like baby-proofing the house. When Dre tells his boss Mr. Stevens about this, Stevens quips that "baby-proofing meant proving the baby was yours" back in his day.
You can always count on Stevens to provide an uncomfortable chuckle.
While Jack and Diane are occupied with safeguarding the house the house for DeVonte, Junior is focused on providing his little brother with everything he needs: as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. Junior always with the weirdness.
Ruby's inability (or unwillingness) to see that Bow is really struggling becomes a big problem after Ruby gives DeVonte formula without consulting Bow, who's committed to breastfeeding. Rainbow finally stand up to Ruby; it's time for Dre's mother to pack her bags and leave. Dre supports his wife, and tells Ruby she's got to go.
In the midst of a storm, Dre always manages to show his support—in the most obnoxious way possible; telling Bow, "Babe, you don't have to worry. I'm not gonna leave you."
Bow and Dre tackle her postpartum depression with therapy and prescribed medication. Ruby feels bad about her reaction, and (using the house key she never returned) to drop by to talk. Bow feels embarrassed and weak for needing help and Ruby realizes she made her feel worse. "You're not weak because you need help. I'm weak because I wasn't there to help you get it," Ruby explains. "I hope I can earn your trust again."
Bow's response? "Oh Ruby—I never trusted you!" Now that's the Bow we know. And she lets the kids know that what she's been dealing with is common and they'll get through it.
Ghostwriting for her mom, Diane steals the episode with a series of blunt thank you letters to Dre's co-workers ("Dear Mr. Stevens, thank you for the soul food. You really know Black people.") but her longtime nemesis Charlie gets an ominous threat:
"Hello Charles, I now have your address. That's the last mistake you'll ever make."
Watch the Black-ish Season Four Trailer: