The Game Episode 5.01 Review: Secrets

The Game Episode 5.01 Review
Welcome back, Sabers and SunbeamsI The Game just aired its fifth season premiere and man is there a lot to talk about from tonight’s episode. The teaser alone sent Twitter and Facebook in a frenzy with its ‘in media res’ narrative opening the episode. However by the end of the hour, the hoopla turned into some pretty sharp criticism that echoed fan sentiments from last year. Despite the hot and cold reaction to the episode, it still had people talking and the conversation is only just beginning. Let’s break down the events of the night:

Derwin’s Attitude Is Now Officially A Recurring Character

We picked up right where Season Four left off with Derwin asking Melanie about her secret abortion and if it was his. Melanie reassured Derwin that it wasn’t, but that wasn’t good enough for Mr. BOOM to swallow. The rest of the episode then descended into a rollercoaster of sorts for the Davises as they made up, fought, and pressed the ‘Repeat’ afterwards. However, intermingled within that cycle was the return of two of Melanie’s ‘exes,’ Trey Wiggs and McHottie, which sent red flags flashing in my head that Trey had to have been the father of that aborted baby. Comes to find out that my alert system was correct, and Derwin had a new reason to throw another hissy fit.

The bottom line was that while Derwin gets to act a fool when something of Melanie’s dating past comes to light, she must deal with the complictions of Derwin’s ‘mistakes’ and issues, such as his infidelity with Drew Sidora and being the father of DJ, which comes with dealing with Janay. It’s a tough pill to swallow for someone who has sacrificed so much to make their marriage work, so now it’s Derwin’s time to take some of the bitter medicine for a change.

As far as this being a storyline, I am personally glad that it last just two episodes, because I don’t know if I could have handled this as a longer arc. With that said, I’m sure Derwin knocking Trey flat on his ass will have some repercussions in the long run. I also felt that Gabrielle Dennis’s Janay was a bit underused and could have added another layer to the story instead of showing up at the end as a background prop.

“Family Comes First”

For Malik and Tasha, the teaser showed them standing over the lifeless body of Jenna (Tika Sumpter), who apparently O’Ded after showing up at Malik’s McMansion highly intoxicated at the end of last season. But before we tried to wrangle our heads over how Malik would get out of this one (or how he even came to be in that place), the storyline was over before it even begun.

First, the story was really a way to showcase Tasha Mack’s personal conflict over dropping Derwin as a client to help Malik, who draws controversy like crap draws flies.

A beautiful ‘dead’ model on his doorstep is not what either of them needed at the moment. Luckily, God was on their side in the form of Jenna’s dealer, who came looking for Jenna to pay on her $50,000 coke debt and left saving Jenna’s life, Pulp Fiction-style.

As much as I love and worship the feet of Tika Sumpter, I was willing to see her be killed off to serve as a great story for Malik and Tasha this year. The aspect of a scandal like a dead body on the property of the already troubled Malik Wright? Ample amounts of character growth there. Plus, it would have served as an intriguing platform for Tasha and Malik to work out their long-standing issues between business and family. Alas, the opportunity was wasted, but we still at least have the sense of betrayal between Melanie, Derwin, and Tasha to last us at least a few episodes.

Identity Crisis

Jason’s storyline bothered me a bit for several reasons, one mainly being the issue of interracial relationships and why it is a huge issue now for Jason. Personally, I couldn’t help but feel some type of way about the storyline with Kelly Pitts’s (Brittany Daniel) absence and how so many people felt that BET sent the only white cast member packing. While that rumor has been debunked as false (Brittany Daniel is on personal leave), the storyline will make it hard for some people who don’t follow the behind the scenes news to accept it as anything but. The sudden urge for Jason to confirm his “blackness” was a bit much, especially with Brit-Brat acting as if black men are the scourge of the earth being the catalyst of his second-guessing.

As Jason listed in the episode, he’s had plenty of black women after divorcing Kelly, so what’s the big deal? I’m kind of worried about where this storyline is heading, especially the way it introduced Brandy as Chardonnay, which was lame at best. Here’s how I think the storyline will progress: Jason and Chardonnay will slowly but surely fall in love. They will have complications, but none that will deter their feelings for each other too much. When the two decide to finally try their luck with each other, Kelly walks back into the picture. She will cause Jason to reevaluate his emotions and that will be out cliffhanger storyline for Jason. I will eat a bowl of crow if I’m wrong, but I just can’t see Brandy staying on this show for more than a year.

Bottomline

The premiere of The Game was simply a great way to start the season, but still missed on several avenues it could have taken for some of their storylines. With that said, I’m going to be optimistic about this year given that we have 22 episodes to look forward to instead of 13 this time around, which should have given the writers (who are the same writers who wrote seasons 1-4) more time to work on some things that didn’t mesh. Also, we still have the drama involving the new Sabers team member that got a lot of attention last year to consider. Will the guy bring a shot of new drama into the show? Or will the core five continue to dominate with their issues among each other?

I’m still wondering if entire fifth season of The Game has already been shot, or if they are still in the process of filming the few last episodes of the season order. Either way, The Game is back on our screens and I’m ready to hear what you guys have to say about tonight’s premiere.

What do you guys think will happen in the coming weeks of The Game? Sound off below. Meanwhile, check out the Top 5 Essential Episodes of The Game and see if your favorite made the cut.


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