Dear White People (Recap) | Sam, Part 2 (S2 E9)

by Rebecca Farley | via Refinery29

Television shows, in the eleventh hour, often sprint off into another destination, usually to gift one character the ability to solve whatever crisis is brewing at home base. For Dear White People, this is that episode. Sam heads home for her father’s funeral with Joelle and Coco in tow. Gabe and Reggie make brief appearances in this episode doing boyfriend duties. (No, Reggie and Joelle aren’t dating yet, but they are engaging in prolonged hugging.) At Sam’s childhood home, the threesome find love, laughter, etc. Along the way, they find the key to the “Order of X” mystery that’s been haunting the season.

It’s rare that the three main women on the show get an opportunity to spend time together. Sam and Joelle each spent a good deal of this season on their own, and Coco has always been an ambitious lone wolf. Coco and Sam haven’t even really resolved their differences from last season, but they were close friends once. Leveled by grief, the threesome find the time and space to start speaking the same language. They even start calling each other out on their bullshit.

Sam and Joelle mock Coco for her primness, poking fun at her skincare routine and her owl-shaped crudite. In turn, Coco calls Joelle a doormat, telling her she’s too kind to Sam. And Sam, meanwhile, gets a fatherly lecture from Coco, who, it turns out, spoke to Sam’s dad shortly before he died.
“Sam’s difficult, but that’s just because everything she does, she does with passion,” he told Coco. Coco also remarks to Sam, “No one expects to finish their sentences around you.”

This is a real reckoning for Sam. As if last episode weren’t enough, the death of her father brings her whirring political brain to a stop. Even her mother is sick of Sam’s diatribes. When Sam confronts her mother about her father’s health, her mother retorts, “You don’t have a monopoly on grief, little girl.”
In the first episode, she was harsh to her father. She nearly hung up on him when he called her “difficult.” She was harsh — so harsh, that if you listened closely, you might hear the foreshadowing of his sudden death. This paints a cruel picture of Sam, putting Gabe’s view from last episode into perspective. Is Sam so passionate that she’s become dispassionate? Is she so single-minded that she’s oblivious to those around her? This episode tries to come to some sort of conclusion.

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