Greenleaf: S1 E11 – “Men Like Trees Walking” Synopsis

It is one month later after the second shooting.  Calvary Fellowship World Ministries is hemorrhaging parishioners and money profusely. Bishop Greenleaf is uncharacteristically delivering an underwhelming sermon as people leave in the midst of it. After the service, Bishop looks frail as he sits in his chair on the pulpit laboring to breath and hands trembling. Deacon Connie Sykes approaches Bishop Greenleaf while he sits. She asks Bishop Greenleaf to consider reinstating Jacob.  When Bishop Greenleaf refuses Deacon Sykes suggests utilizing Grace citing Grace brought more money in one service than any other Sunday of the year.

Bishop Greenleaf has an unexpected visit by Alexa Campbell accompanied by her lawyer, Pat Phillips.  Alexa’s intent is to sue for unlawful termination for a “jaguar-sized” amount of cash. Bishop Greenleaf is caught off guard when the charges reference a transcendent sexual relationship with Jacob.  By the body language of both Alexa and Bishop Greenleaf, it would appear that they had also at some point have a sexual relationship.  However, this was not noted in the suggested lawsuit. Phillips indicates that they would rather not add to the bad press in lieu of recent event but will if necessary.  As this meeting ends, Jacob approaches his father’s office as Alexa and her lawyer are leaving.  This is how Jacob learns of the impending lawsuit.

Jacob offers to come to his father’s aid acknowledging that the Calvary is struggling.  Bishop Greenleaf encourages Jacob to find out what he is passionate about and pursue.  Bishop Greenleaf informs Jacob that pastoring is not his forte and he will not be reinstating him.  Jacob seeking to maintain his lifestyle discusses the matter with his wife, Kerissa. Kerissa produces arguments for why moving away is not a viable option leading Jacob to pursue a pastoral position at Triumph Church.  Pastor Skanks and Jacob play basketball as they discuss what role Jacob would play at Triumph.  Pastor Skanks insist on having a conference between Bishop Greenleaf, Jacob, and himself before making a decision. Jacob informs his father who halfheartedly agrees to the conference.

It is the 44th Wedding Anniversary for Bishop and Lady Mae Greenleaf.  During a time when they should be celebrating such an incredible milestone as a couple, they are at odds with one another.  Lady Mae is demanding to know what her brother is holding over her husband.  Bishop Greenleaf refuses to share this with his wife.  Bishop Greenleaf’s token in the form of flowers to acknowledge their anniversary does not win back Lady Mae’s affection.  Lady Mae throws the flowers in the trash hurting Bishop Greenleaf deeply.

During a meeting with the Annual Women’s Day committee, Kerissa suggested due to financial strain and cancellation with less than half of the attendees expected that the venue to be moved from the Peabody Ballroom to the church.  Not willing to part with a 35-year tradition, Lady Mae writes a personal check in the amount of $4,500 to cover the expenses of a venue.  After the meeting, Lady Mae calls Kerissa out on her actions during the meeting.  Later, Lady Mae offers Molise a scholarship for nursing along with her severance pay letting Molise know about her disloyal behavior.

Grace and Darlene noticed that they are obviously being excluded to internal church communications. Grace attempts to apology to her father, but he rejects it.  Grace failing to understand how she wrong her father inquires. Bishop Greenleaf explains that because of Grace’s refusal to comply with his request, what was scandalous are now calamities. Bishop Greenleaf is clear that the bond that they have shared from her birth is badly frayed. Hurt by her father’s words, Grace concludes that he was right there is nothing more for them to say.

Grace is served with custody papers filed by Ray. Grace speaks to Michael Carpenter (Dawan Owens), a lawyer that Darlene found, to discuss her options for custody.  Grace explains to Michael that Ray was a chef when they first met. Their relationship ended because Ray cheated on Grace with his ex.  It wasn’t until after they broke up Grace discovered she was pregnant.  Once Ray learned about the pregnancy he apologized and proposed.  Grace did not desire to marry Ray and they agreed on a custody agreement. Michael explained that Grace violated terms of the agreement by relocating to another state without notifying the court.

Grace discusses the impending custody battle with Sophia.  Although Sophia desires to stay with her mother, she doesn’t want to her father by saying it out loud in a courtroom.  Sophia feels trapped in the middle indicating that Memphis is the first place that has felt like home.  She is conflicted feeling like she is being forced to choose. Sophia blames Grace for how she handled things.

Sophia may feel inadequate causing her to shy away from participating in her Bible Study classes but demonstrate a natural ability to comprehend Scripture. Sophia was questioned by her instructor about her lack of participation. When Sophia attempts to respond, Quentin, another student in the group, suggest that Sophia is too busy making sure that her uncle did not reach up her dress.  After the instructor rebukes Quentin for his behavior, Sophia answers that she lacked knowledge. The instructor encourages her try and Sophia provides teachable points.

Grace seeks comfort from Noah and shares her current legal problems.  Grace apologizes for only being able to offer him her brokenness.  Noah tells Grace that he is satisfied with what she is offering him.  After a kiss, Grace tells Noah that she needs to go.  Noah and Isabel agreed to a temporary separation agreeing to work on their relationship when she returns from school break. So, the question is why is Noah spending time with Grace?

Charity is showing a huge baby bump.  Charity and Kevin remain estranged.  Kevin is still sleeping on the couch. Charity barely acknowledges his presence.  With Calvary in a financial crisis, they can no longer offer Calvary resources freely.  Kevin gives Adrian Miller, the homeless coordinator, a week notice to relocate their homeless program. An understanding Adrian expresses his desire to continue their friendship.  Later, Kevin confides in Adrian about his marital problems.  Kevin is fighting mimicking his father’s behavior and desires to best husband and father he can be.  Overwhelmed by his feelings, Kevin abruptly leaves.

Robert calls from prison questioning Bishop Greenleaf about the existence of hell and seeking additional options.  Bishop Greenleaf tells Robert, to tell the truth.


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