Tag Archives: Lionsgate Television

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 E10 – “March to the Sea” Synopsis

A SECOND SHOOTING AT CALVARY
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.

CHARITY’S RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION
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.

ZORA IS PLAIN OLE DISRESPECTFUL
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.

SOPHIA IS ANGRY WITH GRACE
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 CONTEMPLATES SHOULD SHE STAY OR SHOULD SHE GO
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.

MOLISE SPEAKS SO LOUDLY IN SILENCE.
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: 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.