by Ariana Romero | via Refinery29
Friends, do you feel like grown-ish got a bit… heavy for a minute? That’s technically a good thing, since Gen Z deserves honest, relevant content as much as the next generation — but this is a comedy, after all. It’s a little bit hard to laugh when we’re dealing with the very serious topics of marginalization, racism, and colorism.
That’s why “Crew Love” is a much-needed palate cleanser of a fun episode. From the jump we know to expect a treat as Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) kicks off the installment with a lengthy voiceover on why young people find emotional honesty to be such a hurdle. In a perfect move, Zoey’s Drake-y treatise is backed by none other than Champagne Papi himself, as one of his most emotional soft boi tracks, Take Care’s “Doing It Wrong,” plays in the background. For the record, the episode’s title, “Crew Love,” is the name of another Take Care bop.
Before this turns into a 1,000-word dissection of my favorite Drake album — The Weeknd wrote at least five songs on it! — let’s get back to the grown-ish action. Zoey is all in her feelings because she is legitimately into both woke bae Aaron Jackson (Trevor Jackson) and art bae Luca Hall (Luka Sabbat). That “Doing It Wrong” montage proves both guys are equally interested in our heroine, even when she’s macking on their respective romantic rival. When Zoey slow dances with Luca, Aaron hangs his head at the bar. When Aaron spins Zoey around on the dance floor, Luca glowers in the corner with a bottle of champagne.
While we’ve only got glimpses of both rekindled romances over the last two weeks, things have apparently blossomed into a full-blown flirtationships for Zoca and Zoron off-screen. When Zoey sees pal Jazz Forster (Chloe Bailey) is officially calling Doug From “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” (Diggy Simmons, son of Rev. Run Simmons) her boyfriend, the oldest Johnson daughter is automatically jealous. Zoey is more entranced by the green-eyed monster when Jazz explains the legitimately hilarious way she defined the relationship with Doug: pooping.
After a hookup at Doug’s dorm, nature called and Jazz answered in a way that took a noticeable amount of time. Upon realizing Jazz did the most private thing possible in his space, Doug simply asks, “So… are we together now?” The answer was yes and the next time Jazz slept over, baby wipes were waiting for her. Zoey immediately wishes she had a similarly settled love life, despite the chaos that was the After Cash period.
So, the rest of the episode follows Zoey in her quest to get romantic clarity from either man in her orbit. Luca seems to be in the lead after the fashionisto offers to hand-make Zoey a dress for the upcoming freshman formal with the promise, “We’re going to shut that formal down.” How romantic!
Aaron, on the other hand, is just as hot-and-cold as usual. First he calls Zoey “his girl” to a video game friend. But, when a friend approaches their hangout session, Aaron goes and introduces Zoey as “the homie.” How not romantic!
Now that Zoey believes she knows where both baes stand, she’s hopeful about a future with Luca, who’s going to the trouble of making her dress. And, when she slips it on, he gushes about how beautiful she is. Just when it looks like Luca is going in for the kiss… he swerves to a very French cheek smooch and announces he’s not going to the dance. In fact, he was never going to the dance because it’s lame. Zoey is crushed and says as much. Now, nothing is romantic.
Click HERE to read the rest of the recap, “Crew Love.”