Tag Archives: Christian Related Entertainment

Greenleaf: S1 E13 – What Are You Doing Here? Review

Sophia, Grace, and Kevin find themselves contemplating the future in their separate scenes. Sophia takes in the picturesque scene looking at the mansion from afar.  Grace sits on her bed in deep thought.  Kevin considers Charity’s conversation with Carlton and Wanda as she explains her trauma away as he ease drops. Charity and Kevin try to navigate through their marriage in lieu of what Kevin revealed.  Charity has concluded that Kevin cannot explain it away and has to face his true identity.   Disregarding doctor’s orders, Charity performs her solo in church.  Later, she asks Kevin to give her space and time for the sake of the twins.

Bishop Greenleaf visits Robert in jail. Robert is requesting that Bishop Greenleaf acts as a character witness in his upcoming sentencing hearing. Robert warns Bishop Greenleaf that with his incarceration and assets frozen Henry McCready will not keep quiet for long.  Bishop Greenleaf refuses to mock the memory of Faith by making Robert shine and damns him to hell.  When Robert is unable to get Bishop Greenleaf to comply and Danielle Turner still expecting to testify, Robert’s lawyer makes a suggestion to make a deal with the District Attorney.

Grace discusses her options with Michael Carpenter.  She tries to determine if she returns to Phoenix with Sophia would that help or hurt her chances to bring Sophia back to Memphis. She is interrupted by Noah who informs her that Henry McCready is in the church conference room.  Henry McCready tells Grace that she must assume the responsibilities of taking care of him now that Robert is incarcerated. Grace learns that Henry is terminally ill and needs hospice care.  Grace works with Kevin to ensure Henry is placed in a convalescent home and is comfortable.

Grace returns to Mavis’ Beale Street Blues Bar notifying Mavis that the McCready patriarch is dying.  Mavis realizes that is why she has been receiving calls from him. Mavis inquired about how Grace learned Henry’s illness. Grace explained that Henry came by the church.  Mavis asked Grace if this meant that she was remaining in Memphis and Grace responded, “Yes.” Grace endeavors to reassure Mavis that she will be fine.  Sadden by Grace’s decision to stay, Mavis recounts a time when Bishop Greenleaf was simply James Greenleaf.  Mavis expresses her sorrow for leading Grace down this path that leads her back to the pulpit.  Grace tries to get Mavis to visit with Henry McCready, but Mavis declines.

Henry expresses his dying wish to see both of his girls. Grace responds honestly that it probably was not going to happen.  Henry reveals that no one truly cared for him.  What appeared to be Robert’s benevolence towards his father was actually Robert’s buying Henry’s silence. Grace presses her grandfather to divulge what he knows.  Henry gives an account about the fire at the First Baptist Church with the caretaker in the basement was not an accident.  This implies that Bishop Greenleaf was potentially involved in an arson and possibly a murder.  Robert used this information to blackmail Bishop Greenleaf.

Pastor Basie Skanks has plans to build a $40 million Christian Community Center directly across from Calvary Fellowship World Ministries. This is the same property that Bishop Greenleaf had a prior interest in purchasing for a pool and community center. Pastor Skanks uses “God’s will” argument with Jacob to persuade him to run the facility. As Kerissa weighs in on the opportunity, she tries to identify a place for herself in this Christian Community Center.  Kerissa asks Jacob to make and inquiry to see if Pastor Skanks would be interested in having a school a part of the Christian Community Center. Jacob leery of Kerissa’s intentions asks if she was concerned about Alexa. Kerissa response that she thinks it would be fun for them to work together.  Apprehensive about how this may impact his father and Calvary, Jacob has a conversation with his father about it.  A unconcerned Bishop Greenleaf, tells Jacob to following Pastor Skanks plans and be his eyes and ears.

Lady Mae presents her sermon on the “Virtuous Women” at the Annual Women’s Day Conference.  Her sermon was designed to buy the acceptance and support of the women in Calvary to be the interim pastor.  Instead, as she is preaching about the strength of the “Virtuous Women” the crowd begins to cheer Grace and not her. She attempts to look supportive by joining the others in clapping for Grace.  Isabel does attend the conference. After the conference, Isabel is greeted by Noah with flowers in his hands.  She informs him that she has a hotel room and they go to get re-acquainted.

Lady Mae urges Bishop Greenleaf to speak with Grace after how the conference attendees responded to Grace receiving her as the “Virtuous Woman” that will deliver Calvary.  As Grace quibbles about remaining in Memphis or moving back to Phoenix to be close to Sophia, Bishop Greenleaf informs Grace that he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  He attempts to reassure Grace telling her not to worry as his treatment plan is effective. He acknowledges the inevitability of having to retire from the pulpit making his plea for Grace to carry the torch.  Grace appeals to her father about having Jacob return.  Bishop Greenleaf refuses stating that Jacob has to find his own way and it is about her. Bishop Greenleaf believes that if Grace returns to her post that the war between her and her mother will end.  Grace decides to stay to honor her father’s request.

Grace ascends the pulpit once again.  The church is relatively full compared to previous services.  Before she begins to preach, Grace is very openly and honestly addresses the sexual molestation scandal to the dismay of her parents.  She initiates a moment of silence for Robert’s victims including Faith and for those who know about abuse but refuse to speak out.  Lady Mae reached across to Bishop Greenleaf for comfort as the congregation reacts to hearing that Faith was a victim. Grace continues by encouraging people to break their silence when others are suffering. Grace emotionally admits that there is nothing that anyone can say to explain, honor, or grieve it adequately but God. After the moment of silence, Grace asked the congregation are they ready for a new thing. They respond by cheering and clapping.

Lady Mae enters the Beale Street Blues Bar to confront Mavis about her role in her ruin. A heated exchange between the sisters ensues.  Lady Mae blames Mavis and Grace for executing their righteous indignation upon the Greenleaf household.  Mavis refusing to be Lady Mae’s scapegoat fires backs at Lady Mae regarding her refusal to accept accountability, her failure to protect Faith, and her unwillingness to see Robert as a sexual predator.  Mavis orders Lady Mae out of the bar instructing her only to come back when she is willing to face the truth.  Lady Mae leaves.

Ray returns for Sophia and the family says their goodbyes.  The other family members had filed back into the mansion except for Grace.  Grace spots an unmarked car and a police car approaching the mansion.  Robert exits out of the unmarked car and begins his ascension to the mansion doors.  Grace looks directly at Robert and asks, “What are you doing here?” Robert glares at her with a smirk on his face and continues to climb the stairs.  Lady Mae meets Robert at the top of the stairs attempting to block entry.  Robert kisses her on the cheek and nudged her to the side as he enters the mansion with the police.

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Greenleaf: S1 E12 – Veni, Vidi, Vici Synopsis

Kevin desires to return to their marital bed; however, Charity’s request has not been satisfied.  Lady Mae confronts Kevin about his failure to correct matters between Charity and himself.  A dinner invite from Adrian Miller goes in an unexpected direction for Kevin.  When Adrian challenges Kevin about his same-sex attraction, Kevin is adamant about being a heterosexual, married man expecting twins with his wife. Adrian abruptly leaves the dinner. Kevin decides to break his silence and confesses his same-sex attraction to Charity.  Charity disturbed by the news begins to assault Kevin then falls. She is rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, Charity is diagnosed with preeclampsia and placed on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy.

Deacon Connie Sykes meets with Lady Mae regarding the Annual Women’s Day Conference.  Due to Calvary’s current state, Deacon Sykes makes recommendations for cuts and how to improve the image, membership, and finances of the church. Lady Mae protests the change of venue from the Peabody Ballroom to the newly renovated River Bluff arguing that she paid half of the deposit out of her own pocket.  Utilizing River Bluff would be a third of the cost and will provide an event room to accommodate the dwindling number of attendees. Deacon Sykes informs Lady Mae that Deacon Misty Williams has been outspoken about the Lady Mae’s unwillingness to compromise.  Deacon Sykes offers to silence Deacon Misty Williams’s objections in exchange for Grace preaching for the summer.  Lady Mae objects but informs Deacon Sykes that she will discuss it with her husband.

Later, Lady Mae speaks with her husband about Deacon Sykes’ recommendations and their current state of affairs.  Lady Mae wants to present a united front because the jackals are circling.  Lady Mae is adamant that only a member of the Greenleaf family needs to standing in the pulpit.  Yet, Deacon Connie Sykes suggestion to have Grace to preach for the summer is an unpalatability that Lady Mae cannot measure.  With Jacob taking a position with Triumph, Bishop Greenleaf’s health deteriorating, and things falling through the cracks since Robert’s imprisonment; Lady Mae has concluded that she will be the one standing in the pulpit. Bishop Greenleaf objects to the notion of Lady Mae being able to preach every Sunday.  When Lady Mae demands to know what information Robert is using to blackmail him, Bishop Greenleaf relents and tells Lady Mae that he will notify Deacon Sykes that she will be preaching.

Grace and Ray have their custody hearing.  The judge rules in favor of Ray because Grace broke the law.  At the end of the school year, Sophia will be remanded to Ray for a period of 90 days.  After the 90 days, the original custody agreement will stand.  Grace and Sophia do not desire to return back to Phoenix leading Grace to seek an appeal and amend the current custody agreement.  Sophia wants to remain with Grace and informs Ray, but Ray insists that he will return in two weeks.

Jacob, Pastor Basie Skanks, and Bishop Greenleaf have their conference.  Bishop Greenleaf begrudgingly gives his blessing to Jacob. After Jacob informs Charity of his decision, Charity checks in with her father to ensure he accepts Jacob’s choice.  During their conversation, Bishop Greenleaf offers Charity Jacob’s old office and Charity becomes aware that her father may be ill. Charity expresses her concerns to her mother and seeks Lady Mae to confirm it.  Lady Mae defers her to Bishop Greenleaf.  Later, Jacob informs his mother of his decision and his intention to move out of the mansion.  Lady Mae was supportive and told him moving was not necessary.

Meanwhile, Kerissa expresses concerns about receiving her accreditation with Mr. Dorsey, a younger male colleague who is obviously attracted to her. After hearing the news that Jacob accepted the position at Triumph with Bishop Greenleaf’s blessings, Kerissa informs Mr. Dorsey to keep a respectable distance as her husband will be visiting frequently.

Noah sends Grace an email to inform her of Isabel’s return.  Grace confronts Noah about the email and the status of his relationship with Isabel. Noah indicates that Isabel and he are considering resume their relationship and Grace leaves. Later, Noah seeks to clear the air with Grace and her response by asking him to send her an email.  Noah attempts to offer an explanation to Grace relating to the love triangle that he finds himself in. As Noah is speaking, the sounds of siren grow closer to the mansion interrupting his conversation with Grace.  This was the ambulance for Charity.

Grace visits Mavis’ Beale Street Blue Bar to find Mavis packing up the bar.  Robert made good on his promise to have the site consider a historical landmark.  Mavis attempted to fight the injunction to no avail but was compensated well for the bar.  Grace expresses feeling guilty about the Greenleaf Dynasty disintegrating and not wanting to leave because of it. Mavis blast Calvary for its hypocrisy.   She blames the church for changing Bishop Greenleaf to a two-bit hustle and her sister into a preening swan. Mavis accuses Bishop and Lady Mae of only having a form of godliness with their real agenda being money.

Greenleaf: S1, E4 – “Behind Closed Doors” Synopsis

What is really happening behind closed doors?  This episode allows the viewing audience to peek through the peephole acting as a silent observer.

There are underhanded deals are being negotiated.

  • A representative from the mayor office solicits Bishop Greenleaf (Keith David) to aid in the controversial “Black Lives Matter” movement that is dividing the public and police department. As an incentive, the land that the Bishop has tried to secure in the past is being offered to him as payment.
  • Someone attempts to blackmail the Greenleaf family demanding a payment of $5000 for photographs of Faith (Terri Abney) in compromising positions. Without involving the police or other Greenleaf family members, Grace (Merle Dandridge) handles the matter herself.

Couples are arguing.

  • Bishop and Lady Greenleaf (Lynn Whitfield) find themselves on the opposite ends of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Lady Greenleaf believes that the church should be standing in support of the Collins family. Bishop Greenleaf has decided to host the “Back to Blue” service in support of the police department.
  • Kerissa and Jacob debate about continuing marriage counseling is a viable option.

There are investigations underway.

  • Grace asks Noah (Benjamin Patterson) to review the video footage for the date of Danielle’s (Carlacia Grant) original complaint. Noah reports that the footage does not contain any useful information. Grace attempts to identify a way to prove that Danielle’s second statement to police is false.
  • Due to his failure to voluntarily supply financial records, Bishop is now facing an audit.

Rebellion is afoot.

  • Sophia devises a plan to participate in the protest rally against her mother’s will.
  • There is mutiny amongst the ranks. The Deacon Board threatens to walk out of services over Bishop Greenleaf’s decision to host the “Back to Blue” service.

Infidelity!

  • Jacob (Lamman Rucker) continues his affair with Alexa.

 Vulnerabilities are exposed.

  • Grace expresses her gratefulness to Noah for being an ally.
  • Jacob bears his soul to his mistress.

Information is shared.

  • Charity tells her mother about her pregnancy.

There is a lot of activity taking place behind closed doors. The activities behind closed doors are usually confidential and not shared with the public.  Yet, the consequences of these activities reach beyond the closed doors.  What will the fallout be?

Stay Tuned!  #Greenleaf #OWNTV #BehindClosedDoors

Greenleaf: S1 E3 – “We Shall See Him As He Is” Synopsis

Kerissa (Kimberley Hawthorne) sets up a dinner date with Fred Williams (L. Warren Young) and his wife Misty (Avis-Marie Barnes) to solidify their ties with the Deacons now that Jacob (Lamman Rucker) is presiding over the Deacon Board.  During dinner, Kerissa promotes Jacob’s preaching philosophy and style. Through the course of the dinner, Fred and Misty become a model for the wholesome, Christian marriage Kerissa desires. The next day, Kerissa suggest to Jacob that they begin marriage counseling, but Jacob dismisses the notion.  Meanwhile, Zora (Lovie Simone) and Sophia (Desiree Ross) participate in a Church Lock-in.  During the Church Lock-in, the teens sneak outside to get high and accidently start a small fire in a receptacle.

Kevin Satterlee (Tye White) works out the logistics with the handsome homeless coordinator for the use of the facilities on Wednesdays and Fridays. There is an obvious unspoken attraction between Kevin and the homeless coordinator.  Later, Kevin and Charity (Deborah Joy Winans) go out for karaoke and drinks.  After returning home, the couple decides to perform a pregnancy test revealing that Charity is indeed pregnant.  As Charity sleeps, Kevin lies awake staring at the positive pregnancy test.  Subsequently, Kevin shares the news of Charity’s pregnancy with the homeless coordinator ending their flirtation.

Grace (Merle Dandridge) accepts a dinner invitation from Noah Kendall (Benjamin Patterson) and his fiancé, Isabel (Anna Diop).  Isabel questions Grace about her motivations for staying in Memphis.  While Isabel is away from the table, Noah apologizes for being a jerk when Grace initially left.  Upon Isabel’s return to the table, Grace receives a call from Danielle Turner (Carlacia Grant), who is responding to an email that Grace sent to her.  Later that night, Grace meets with Danielle at a pizzeria in an attempt to get Danielle to elaborate on her initial complaint against Robert.  Danielle unconvincingly explains that her need for attention caused her to make a false accusation against Robert McCleady. Before leaving the pizzeria, Danielle told Grace to leave her and her family alone.  The next day, Grace meets with Noah to set the record straight and explains the real reason she left 20 years ago.

It is closing time at Mavis’ Beale Street Blues Bar when Robert McCready (GregAlan Williams) pays his sister, Mavis (Oprah Winfrey) an unwelcomed visit.  Robert threatens to use his connections to have Mavis’ bar turned into a historical landmark if she does not persuade Grace to stop investigating him.  Mavis informs Robert that he is going down. Robert responds in maniacal laughter. What will Robert’s next move be?

In this episode, we witness the rekindling of romance between Grace and Noah creating a love triangle.  Since Grace’s arrival at the Greenleaf mansion, there is a noticeable chemistry between Grace and Noah.  Now that Noah knows the real reason for her departure, how will this affect his engagement with Isabel? This episode did not allow us to witness Grace’s full explanation; however, implies that her decision to remain in Memphis relates to investigating Robert’s proclivities.

Although Kevin approached Charity about starting a family, we must question his true inspiration and timing behind it.  Kevin’s same-sex attraction does not mean that he does not love his wife or want to be a father.  Currently, we do not know if Kevin has ever acted on his same-sex attraction.  It would appear that Kevin is not truly comfortable in pursuing his same-sex interest.  Kevin is expressing fear about starting a family.  Is his apprehension natural as a first-time parent or is it concern over his same-sex attraction?

Kerissa’s controlling and narcissistic demeanor negatively impacts her husband and daughter.  Jacob routinely engages in extramarital affairs because he does not feel like a person with a voice in his marriage.  Zora has developed a Ritalin sniffing habit to cope with the pressures of maintaining her grades in a school where her mother is the school principal. Will Kerissa be able to persuade Jacob to participate in marriage counseling?  Will Kerissa be able to see the role that she plays in destroying her marriage?

Stay Tuned! #Greenleaf  #WeShallSeeHim #OWNTV

Greenleaf: S1 E2 – “The Baptism” Synopsis

Her initial plans for a two-day visit to pay her respects to her sister, Faith (Terri Abney) have evolved into remaining in Memphis permanently.  Grace is giving up her life in Phoenix, Arizona and an extraordinary opportunity with 20/20 to return to Memphis.  What is motivating Grace (Merle Dandridge) to remain in Memphis, Tennessee?  Is she driven to investigate the mysterious death of her sister, Faith?  Is she acknowledging a second chance in taking down a sexual predator?  Is it about reconnecting with her roots, faith, and family?  Grace’s decision to stay is under scrutiny by some of her family members, namely Kerissa Greenleaf (Kimberly Hawthorne, Sophia Greenleaf (Desiree Ross), and Robert “Mac” McCready (GregAlan Williams).

Grace’s sister-in-law, Kerissa, believes that Grace is a threat to her husband, Jacob Greenleaf (Lamman Rucker), ascendancy as the next overseer of Calvary Fellowship World Ministries.  Kerissa endeavors to discredit the “Prodigal Daughter” to ensure Jacob is the next bishop.  On the other hand, Jacob is preoccupied by his extramarital affair with Alexa Campbell (Kristen Erickson). Grace’s daughter, Sophia, is experiencing problems adjusting to her new surroundings and new school is surrendering to peer pressures greatly encouraged by her Ritalin sniffing cousin Zora Greenleaf (Lovie Simone).  Grace’s uncle, Robert, probably has the most concern about Grace’s return.  Over 20 years ago, Faith confided in Grace that she was sexually abused at the hand of Robert repetitively over several years. Grace supported her sister and informed her parents.  When confronted by her parents, Faith recanted the story. Is Grace prepared to prove Robert is a sexual predator?

Grace secretly begins her investigation into her Uncle Mac’s (GregAlan Williams) activities. Grace’s aunt, Mavis McCready (Oprah Winfrey) provides Grace with her starting point – a police report from a teenage girl named Danielle Turner (Carlacia Grant) accusing Robert McCready of sexually molesting her.  However, Danielle recanted her story three days later.  Grace’s attempt to speak with Danielle are stopped by Janice Turner, Danielle’s mother, who insists that nothing happened to her daughter sending Grace away.  Janice immediately notifies Robert McCready of Grace’s visit.  Meanwhile, Grace solicits advice from Noah Kendall (Benjamin Patterson), the Greenleaf Estate Manager and Grace’s former love interest.

Grace (Merle Dandridge) is also trying to get acclimated to her new role as Response Pastor. (The Response Pastor is responsible for responding to the needs of parishioners and directing them to appropriate services.)  Grace’s first official duty as Response Pastor is to meet with Betty Wilcox, a member of the Bishop’s Round Table.  (To be a member of the Bishop’s Round Table a person gives $10,000 or more over their tithe.  Bishop Greenleaf encourages Grace to be “nice” to Ms. Wilcox) Ms. Wilcox is requesting the immediate baptism of her grandchild without her grandchild’s parents being present.  Grace responds to voicemail from David Nelson (Deji LaRay), a church member who is a police officer accused of killing an unarmed African-American teenage boy.

Bishop Greenleaf has both internal and external pressures building.  Bob Banks, Tennessee Senator, has requested that Bishop Greenleaf voluntarily releases the financial records of the church.  The Senate is launching an inquiry on Calvary Fellowship World Ministries and other large religious institutions to determine whether these entities are taking an unfair advantage of their tax-exempt status bilking the government out of billions of dollars.  Bishop Greenleaf continues to stonewall this request.  Bishop Greenleaf shifts pastoral roles giving Grace Jacob’s old position and placing Jacob over the Deacon Board.  However, Deacon Connie Sykes (Jan Harper) and the rest of the Deacon Board wants Bishop Greenleaf to address and answer their concerns directly.

Grace’s youngest sister, Charity Greenleaf – Satterlee (Deborah Joy Winans), is excited about starting a family with her husband, Kevin Satterlee (Tye White).  Kevin invites a homeless outreach group to use the church facilities and supplies a few days a week.  It would appear that Kevin has other motives when interacting with the handsome homeless outreach coordinator.

This episode leaves us to ponder the following:

How will Robert take care of it?

Does Kevin want to start a family for the right reasons or to hide his same-sex attraction?

How far will Sophia go to fit in with her peers?

Is Grace using her investigation to rekindle her relationship with Noah?

Stay Tuned. #OWN #Greenleaf #SatanYourNotGoingtoWin

Greenleaf: OWN’s Megachurch Drama Series Initial Review

Greenleaf is a new American drama appearing on the OWN network.  During its premiere with over 3.04 million viewers watching, Greenleaf made history ranking No. 1 for the most viewership during a series debut on the network. The notable acting performances of Merle Dandridge, Lynn Whitfield, and Keith David have received high praises.   Craig Wright created the series.  Oprah Winfrey, Clement Virgo, and Lionsgate Television are the executive producers.  Clement Virgo also serves as one of the directors and Oprah Winfrey portrays a reoccurring cast member, Mavis McGready.

What is it about Greenleaf that attracts so many viewers?  It is a perfect combination of marketing, the cast of renowned actors, an awesome soundtrack, and a plot that is both suspenseful and dramatic.  Greenleaf opens the door allowing viewers to peer into the lives of the affluential and powerful African-American dynasty of the Greenleaf family and its extensive megachurch predominantly serving African-American members in Memphis, Tennessee.

As we step through the doors to get a better view, we can see the cracks in the façade of the highly favored servants of God, namely the Greenleaf family.  The corruption, debauchery, and the entanglements into webs of deception are oozing through the cracks.  Blood and DNA are not the ties that bind this family. Nor is it their religious beliefs or doctrines.  It is their individual and collective secrets that they try to conceal.

The Greenleaf family built their dynasty upon a foundation of selfishness using the form of godliness as walls with their pride as a rooftop.  The Greenleaf dynasty is nothing more than a den of iniquity. The Greenleaf theme song entitled, “Satan, We’re Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down,” performed by Pastor Shirley Caesar acts as a precursor to the imminent destruction of the Greenleaf dynasty.

In Genesis 18:16-33, Abraham makes his petition known to God by interceding on behave of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Abraham kept pressing God while questioning God’s justice and mercy for the righteous amongst the wicked. The writers have provocatively put the viewing audience in Abraham’s shoes making us ponder whether there is one righteous amongst the Greenleaf family. Will any of the members of the Greenleaf family turn from their wicked ways, repent, and ask for God’s forgiveness? Stay tuned as the story unfolds on OWN.