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.


Greenleaf: S1 E6 – “Good Morning, Calvary!” Synopsis

Grace started a support group for victims of sexual abuse called Sisters of Tamar.  One group participant, Stacy, shares her testimony but Grace will soon learn that Stacy is still in a cycle of abuse with her husband.  Grace attempts to help Stacy and her two daughters by identifying available shelter and encouraging Stacy.  Stacy unwilling to allow her daughters to grow up without their father returns to her husband. 

Bishop Greenleaf has a standing preaching engagement in Birmingham.  With Jacob under disciplinary action, Bishop Greenleaf asks Grace to preach.  Lady Mae and Grace agree on two things: Bishop should reinstate Jacob and Grace should not preach.  Despite their objections, Bishop Greenleaf puts his foot down and assigns Grace the task. Lady Mae believes her husband is punishing her for Faith’s death.  Lady Mae offers Grace her support warning Grace to utilize the pulpit for institutional purposes and not a forum to attack the family.  Grace questions whether Lady Mae loves her or not.  As Bishop Greenleaf ponders Grace’s objection to preaching he decides to reach out to Mavis to learn about Grace’s true intentions for her return.  

Meanwhile, Jacob is desperate to be reinstated and regain favor in his father’s eyes.  Jacob has been cultivating a relationship with Greg, Head of Voice of Life in Birdsong who he met at Dion’s Bachelor’s Party, through fantasy football.  Jacob invites Greg and is wife over for dinner at the Greenleaf Mansion.  During dinner, Greg alludes to the fact that he and his wife are swingers interested in swinging with Jacob and Kerissa.  When Kerissa doesn’t reject Greg’s indecent proposal, Jacob gets in touch with his true feelings for Kerissa and their marriage.  

Charity’s constant complaining about Nigel leads Kevin to give Charity a flippant response suggesting that Charity fires Nigel and hire a new choir director.  Later, when Charity and Nigel have a dispute over a soloist Nigel threatens to accept an offer from Pastor Basie Skanks at Triumph Church.  To Nigel’s chagrin, Charity tells Nigel to accept the offer and begins looking for a candidate to fulfill the position.  Charity identifies her perfect match in Carlton C. Cruise, an openly gay choir director.  Kevin disagrees with her choice because if forces him to deal with his own sexuality.  

Grace struggles to develop a sermon. Pastor Thomas Sneed offers Grace encouragement informing her that the Holy Spirit will move but usually does so in the eleventh hour.  Zora tells Grace about the website that her father utilizes offering sermons for fifty dollars.   Desperate Grace utilizes the site and prints the sermon.  However, when she ascends the pulpit the Holy Spirit moves through her and she preaches off the cuff.

Greenleaf: S1 E10 – “March to the Sea” Synopsis

There is another shooting at Calvary. This time, it is inside the church. Bishop shots Creepy McCready. When Grace goes to call the police, Bishop makes several pleas for her to wait before doing so. Bishop believes that the matter could be handled without involving the police and Robert agreed. The bullet went straight through Creepy McCready’s shoulder. Grace stated that she waited for 20 years and called the police. This move causes Grace to lose her father as an ally. Bishop is carried away in handcuffs but later released. Robert was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Lady Mae pays Robert a short visit in the hospital. She attempts to forgive what she deems as unforgivable telling Robert that she hates him for all he has done and the pain he has caused for so many especially for Faith. Robert vows not to drag things out in court and he is meeting with his lawyer to discuss entering a plea with the least amount of time.

Noah neglected to notify one couple about the wedding being cancelled. Charity and Kevin attempt to entertain as they wait for the ceremony to begin. When the guest are notified by text message that the wedding has been cancelled, Charity realizes that they were not the only ones in the dark. This leads to Charity confronting the family at the dinner table holding all accountable especially her mother, Lady Mae. Later, when Kevin applauds Charity’s stand against her family, Charity give him an ultimatum including the repercussions for his actions.

When Jacob tries to reach out to Zora, she rudely dismisses him informing him to knock before entering her bedroom. However, things between Kerissa and Jacob have improved significantly.

Disturbed that her mother did not tell her about the plan to take down Creepy McCready, Sophia calls her father Ray. Ray comes to Memphis seeking to take Sophia back to Memphis. Despite her anger, Sophia is happy at Memphis and is gaining something out of frequent church attendance. However, Ray argues with Grace about placing Sophia at risk and Grace’s poor judgment in moving back to Memphis.

Isabel ended her engagement to Noah after learning that he and Gigi slept together. She has packed up her things with her mother’s help and left Noah’s quarters. She returns to speak with Noah about their relationship. She has decided to stay with her mother during spring vacation and has requested that Noah does not attempt to contact her at all. After this time, if Noah can show her that he is a stand-up guy realizing the error of his way that may be able to mend their relationship.

Dave Wallace, a reporter for the Memphis Daily News, calls the Greenleaf mansion to confirm the second shooting. Molise answers and Dave says that she doesn’t have to speak but stays on the phone affirming his facts are correct. Later, Wallace reaches Lady Mae at Calvary seeking a statement from her indicating that he has confirmation from an independent source at the Greenleaf Mansion.

That is it for this week’s episode.  There are only three more episodes left in this season.

Greenleaf: S1 E9 – “The Broken Road” Synopsis

“The Broken Road” serves as the title of this episode and is the title of the duet between Charity and Carlton. In my opinion, this episode should be named “the ugly truth”.  In this episode, the ugly truth is revealed.  Uprooted as if buried in a deep abyss, each member of the Greenleaf family must face it. There are no more excuses or lies that can act as an alibi.

The fatal shooting of David Nelson causes security concerns for parishioners and church leadership.  Church leadership is left to answer the question of whether to bear arms or not to bear arms on church property.  Unable to come to a consensus, Noah provides an alternative that is well received – a church security seminar.

Out of respect for David Nelson’s memorial services Grace has delayed her plan to expose Robert to her family and authorities.  Noah seeks to obtain Grace’s timeline to drop her bombshell so that he can prepare Isabel.  Grace offers to delay her timeline again out of respect for Noah’s nuptials.  However, she quickly learns that she is not able to honor her promise.

Isabel apologizes to Grace for being unfriendly and insecure.  After leaving Grace’s office, Isabel returns to Noah’s office and asks him if he slept with Grace.  When Noah fails to answer the question Isabel calls to the wedding off.  Noah confronts Grace about Isabel’s questioning and Grace professes her innocence.

Charity suspects that Kevin is having an affair with another woman.  He is rarely home proclaiming to be at the gym or taking a run.  When he is at home he is glued to his phone.  While performing a duet with Carlton, Charity breakdown into tears.  Carlton offers her comfort as Charity shares her suspicions.

Later, Charity is attempting to talk with Kevin but he is focused on his phone.  A frustrated Charity confronts Kevin and demands to see what is on his phone.  Kevin professes his love for Charity and the marriage then flips the script making a quick exit.

Robert is about to go on a two-week fishing expedition in Cuba. This forces Grace to take action and she presents the evidence against Robert to her father. Bishop Greenleaf agrees with Grace’s plan to have Robert postpone his vacation and wait until after Noah’s wedding to expose Robert.  Knowing that Robert needs to confess to both the assaults and payoffs Bishop Greenleaf explains to Grace that Lady Mae’s involvement is necessary.

Lady Mae is not convinced by the evidence presented before her and confronts Robert with the allegations. Robert adamantly denies the allegations and takes on the role of a victim. Lady Mae pretends to side with her brother but she is faced with the reality that he is a predator. Bishop Greenleaf speeds up the timeline of justice by going into Robert’s office and pulling a gun on him.

Greenleaf: S1 E8 – “The Whole Book” Synopsis

Isabel and Noah are making final arrangements for the wedding when Grace enters Noah’s office.  Isabel inquiries with Grace about who she would bring as her plus one to the wedding.  Grace indicated that it would be Sophia.  Isabel indicated that she would pray for Grace to find someone on the dance floor.  Isabel exits leaving Grace and Noah to talk.  Grace tells Noah about Robert’s outburst and makes a request that he hack Robert’s computer so that she may investigate to see if she can find any evidence.  She is able to find an address to abortion clinic around the time that Danielle had been molested.

Grace confronts Danielle about the abortion.  Danielle confesses and tells Grace what occurred.  Initially, Robert assisted Janice in a legal matter and continue to check on the family afterward.  Mac offers to teach Danielle to fish when he sexually molested her.  Danielle vowed to remain quiet until she discovered that she was pregnant.  She filed her report with police.  When her mother and Mac found out what she had done that told her to recant her story.  She was taken to Nashville for an abortion.  Janice received one of Lady Mae scholarship as a payoff.

Further research into Lady Mae’s scholarship recipients leads Grace to speak to Darlene about a scholarship for Vida, Darlene’s daughter, to attend beauty school.   There was no application submitted which raised Grace’s suspicions. Darlene indicated that Lady Mae was unaware of what happen and she opted to move on because this is her church home.

Isabel removes her clothes from Noah’s quarters.  Noah pleads with Isabel for some pre-nuptial bliss but Isabel declines leaving Noah feeling amorous. Later, Grace will visit Noah to tell him about the investigation and pours out her true feelings to Noah.  Grace kisses Noah leading them into the bedroom.  When Grace wakes, it is Sunday morning and she needs to get ready for church.

Attempting to sneak in without disturbing anyone, Grace is meet by Lady Mae.  Lady Mae challenges Grace about her intentions to destroy the family and blocking Jacob from being the next successor.  Grace indicates that Jacob was never called to the ministry and interested in pursuing the Minor Leagues until Lady Mae intervene.  Grace stated that the position of pastor is a vocation and not a career.  Lady Mae calls Grace out about her creeping in the house looking like she was “rolled hard and put away wet.”  Lady Mae indicated that she would be mad but simply feels sorry for Grace and that she must be lonely.

When Lady Mae bumps into Noah she attempts to obtain information about Grace.  Instead, Noah informs her that once he is married to Isabel that they will be moving to Denver.  Later, Isabel talks with Lady Mae and confides in her about believing that Noah still carrying a torch for Grace.  Lady Mae reassures her that Noah is happy with her and not Grace.

Charity tells Kevin how she is receiving several messages about Carlton and his husband, Fred, holding hands at church.  Kevin informs her that it is to be expected.  Charity and Kevin walk into an area where the other Greenleaf family members gather awaiting to hear the Grand Jury announcement. The Grand Jury announced that they would not file criminal charges against David Nelson.

Grace follow-up with David and learns that he wants to move to Delaware because of the reaction to the verdict.  Grace encourages him to remain to help with the healing process.  David insists that he believes moving is the best option.  On local news, Pastor Basie Skanks tells news reporters that Calvary’s backing of David Nelson impacted that Grand Jury’s decision not to prosecute.  Bishop Greenleaf pays Pastor Basie Skanks a visit that leads to a biblical scripture match off.  Pastor Skanks inquiries about Bishop Greenleaf’s personal audit.

Robert had traveled to Washington to meet with a friend to stop the personal audit.  He was able to do so successfully and informs Lady Mae via text message.  While Bishop Greenleaf was attempting to place his partial plate in his mouth his hand begins to tremble.  Lady Mae encourages him to share his secret with the rest of the family, especially Jacob who feels he has failed him.

Jacob and Greg meet with Bishop Greenleaf about the broadcasting opportunity.  When Greg’s presentation reveals a nature of greed and ill-conceived notions Bishop Greenleaf rejects the offer infuriating Jacob.

The last scene shows David Nelson arriving at Calvary greeting Grace in the church parking lot.  Kenny Collin’s brother rushes up pushing Grace aside announce that this is for his brother and shot David Nelson.  Noah tackles him to the ground while Grace comes to the aid of David who is laying on the ground bleeding.  Grace calls for bystanders to call for help.  No one calls the police but there are people using their cell phones to record or snap photos of the scene.

Greenleaf: S1 E7 – “One Train May Hide Another” Synopsis

This episode takes us into the day in the life of Robert “Mac” McCready (aka Creepy McCready).  It confirms that without a doubt he is a sexual predator.  On the day that he is set to be Memphis Man of the Year, he must juggle a variety of tasks for the Greenleaf family both professionally and personally.  He is distracted by his obsession with his teenage neighbor, Makayla, and mounting paranoia stemming from the fact that Grace has returned and is currently investigating him.  The McCready patriarch, Henry McCready (aka Seedy McCready), pays unwelcome visits to extort money from Robert triggering the pain and guilt of his mother’s death.

As a result, things begin to unravel and spiral out of control.  Robert makes a critical error leading auditors to focus on Bishop Greenleaf’s personal income.  The threat of this investigation causes Bishop Greenleaf to rebuke Robert giving him 24 hours to resolve before informing Lady Mae.  Suspecting that Grace influenced auditors he confronts Grace demanding to know what she had done threaten her to stay out of his way.  Once learning that Grace was responding to an inquiry from the auditor for a personal matter, Robert realizes he has made another critical error revealing that he does have something to hide.

When Robert refuses to advocate for Jacob and promote Jacob’s business plan to get Bishop Greenleaf back on television, Jacob offends him by reminding him how Bishop Greenleaf forgive him in lieu of Faith’s sexual molestation allegation.  Jacob would apologize later.

Robert warns Charity against hiring Carlton C. Cruise, who has sued his last two employers for wrongful termination.  He recommends that he is hired as an independent contractor, but Charity champions for Carlton to be hired as a W2 employee entitling him to benefits.

Pastor Thomas Sneed solicits Robert’s help in obtaining tickets for the Man of Year event.  Robert directs him to see his secretary.

Robert goes to Noah’s office to have Noah address the breach of security protocols.  When he approaches Noah’s office he overhears Isabel and Noah arguing about an $800 cake for their wedding.  Robert informs Noah that Seedy got in and asked Noah to ensure his staff was updated. Robert attempts to set the record straight with Noah believing that Grace has told him about the bad blood between them.  Noah denies any knowledge of what Robert is talking about.  Later, Robert contacts Isabel offering to purchase the cake of her choice as a wedding gift.

Robert encounters Zora and Sophia waiting for Pastor Ramona so they could assist with a food drive.  The girls both ask theological questions about whether Jesus actual died then rose from the dead and the existence of Hell. His interaction with Zora and Sophia makes Sophia view Robert in a more positive light.

His submission to their father’s extortion infuriates Lady Mae.  We are left to wonder if Robert has lost his allies.Throughout his day, he is fixated on a picture in a classic portraits book.  His fixation with the picture shows us that he has a type.  The picture is of a woman that resembles both Makayla and Sophia.  We learn how he operates and gains the trust of an unsuspecting Makayla .  Makayla is a troubled teen with a parent that struggles with mental illness and alcohol abuse.  She is often alone and apparently suicidal.  This episode starts with a dream sequence of Robert and Makayla in the bed together and ends with Robert luring Makayla into his condo.

Greenleaf: Season 1 Episode 5 Meaningful Survival Synposis

In their marriage counseling session, Kerissa and Jacob argue about Jacob participating in a Las Vegas Bachelor Party for his best friend.  Jacob offers to end his affair with Alexa if Kerissa willing allows him to go.  She reluctantly agrees and is outraged when a text message met for Alexa is sent to her revealing Jacob was lying.  Feeling the burden of her failing marriage, Kerissa pressures Zora and the Excellence Academy staff to improve their performance.  Kerissa encourages Zora not to be an underachiever like her father. Isabel feeling the stress cheats to improve her students score on a state standard pre-test.

Charity and Kevin go to their first doctor’s appointment and learn they are having twins.  During family dinner that attempt to make the announcement when Kerissa interrupts with a loud outburst information the entire family of Jacob’s infidelities.  The awkwardness deflates the sails out of Kevin’s baby announcement. After learning of Jacob’s affair, Bishop Greenleaf fires Alexa and sets Jacob down for 90 days.  Instead of accepting responsibility for his own actions, Jacob protested that his father was only sitting him down because of Grace.  Jacob uses this information to connect with Kerissa who sees Grace as a threat to Jacob’s ascendancy as the next leader.  With Jacob sat down Bishop Greenleaf asks Grace to take on additional responsibility.  Grace agrees to handle administration duties but indicates that she is not willing to preach.

Grace learns that old recordings of Faith teaching to youth have been beneficial to Sophia getting acclimated. Her conversation with Sophia is preempted by a call from Darlene informing Grace that the Russel family is seeking prayer and counseling.  Upon Grace’s arrival to the hospital, Grace learns of Joshua’s struggles and his father’s disillusionment with Bishop Greenleaf.  Grace reports Joshua’s condition to her father leading them to engage in a tag team ministry the following day.  When Grace and Bishop Greenleaf return to the hospital they learn that Joshua has to have another surgery.  Bishop Greenleaf eager to pray with the family is stopped by Grace and cautioned to pray that God’s will be done.  Bishop offers a five-word prayer then they depart.  Grace receives a package from the Russel family that contained Joshua’s action figure indicating that he had passed.

After their tag team ministry, Grace asks about her father why he did not believe her when she told him about Robert sexually molesting Faith twenty years ago.  He indicated that he did believe her but when Faith was confronted she denied it.  He expressed his regret for not having the police investigate this matter.  He believed that Faith would have been happier, Grace would have continued pastoring, the church would be better, and the family would be as well.

Connie Sykes walked out of the “Back to Blue” service, resigned as Deacon Chairperson, and left the church. When both Bishop Greenleaf and Connie Sykes refuse to humble themselves, Lady Mae resorts to jeopardizing the purchase of Bishop Greenleaf’s replacement jet.  Bishop Greenleaf and Robert speak to a salesman about buying a repossessed jet that belonged to Damon Kenchlow.  A jet that they had traveled on to visit Kevin Copeland. Receiving a remarkable deal on the jet, the Bishop takes over the payment.  Realizing that he may lose the jet, Bishop Greenleaf humbles himself and visits Connie.  Connie agrees to return under the condition that a gold plaque is erected stating, “Kenny Collins, 1999-2016, Unforgettable.” Bishop Greenleaf agrees.