Dear White People (Recap) | Lionel, Part 2 (S2 E6)

by Rebecca Farley | via Refinery29

Dear White People didn’t hold onto that @AltIvyW secret, thankfully. Just over halfway through the season, the show allows Lionel to discover the alt-righter’s identity. The show unfurls it just slowly enough, so that by the time Lionel’s done the (admittedly easy) math, we’re all on the same page. AltIvyW is Silvio. The call was coming from inside the house — in fact, it came from a former love interest. Silvio’s reveal illustrates what season 2 has been trying to say this whole time: the call has been coming from inside the house. Sometimes, the caller doesn’t even know they’re placing the call! That’s how “inside” alt-right ideas have become.

“This campus can’t handle opposing thought,” Silvio sneers at a flabbergasted Lionel. It started as a joke, he says, but then it ballooned. He started getting likes on his tweets. He started getting attention, more attention than the Independent ever got. Lionel points out the obvious: Silvio’s gay. How could this happen? Silvio has a very characteristic retort: “Just because I take it occasionally up the ass doesn’t mean I want this school to.”

He’s not the only reveal of the episode. If episode three was Lionel’s journey out of the dark, this is Lionel’s journey into the light. He begins to enact his plans to relaunch the Independent as an independent blog. He joins forces with Brooke — a Hermione-esque character who’s bound to have an episode in the eventual third season — to investigate AltIvyW. A hate crime against Sam spurs Lionel and Brooke to start looking, and Lionel starts to slowly, slowly get his shit together. This includes exploring things with his new love interest, Wesley. Wesley is incredibly patient. Wesley is very kind and also brings Lionel McDonald’s in this episode. We like Wesley. In this episode, Lionel says, “Fuck should!” and kisses Wesley. It is glorious.

Lionel’s investigation leads him first to discover where Sorbet was. Did you forget? Sorbet, Kelsey’s dog, is missing, and the crime has been attributed to the mysterious alt-right faction. In this case, again, the call is coming from inside the house. In a situation that parallels the eventual Silvio discovery, Brooke and Lionel find that Al (Jemar Michael) has Sorbet. He took Sorbet as a prank and then…just kept her. For fun. This isn’t unlike Silvio’s “it started as a joke” reason. What’s that Hannah Arendt quote again?

Click HERE to read the rest of the recap, “Lionel, Part 2.”