Welcome back to one of our final Carmichael Show recaps (#RIPTheCarmichaelShow) & thank you for being here! This week, the family talks about relationships, what a person should put up with, gender dynamics throughout generations, and divorce.
The episode is set on the day of the inauguration when Maxine, Cynthia, & Cynthia’s mom Evelyn attend the women’s march. The women come back feeling extremely empowered and ready to fight the power. There are some funny moments with the guys talking about why women are marching but the true important moment of the cold open comes when Evelyn tells Cynthia that she’s thinking of leaving her father right as Cynthia is on her way out.
When she gets home, Cynthia shares this news with everyone and in true Carmichael fashion, they all give their hot takes. Maxine & Jerrod are team “let grandma get divorced” because Vernon is pretty shitty to her and she deserves better. Bobby & Joe think she should stick it out because marriage is about work, while Cynthia is mostly confused.
Mama Carmichael starts to question her own marriage, especially since she’s learned about Joe’s secret son Morris. He cavalierly says that Cynthia got over that and it hurts her feelings that he doesn’t truly understand or seem to want to understand how that actually affected her. Right then she decides that she’s had enough and heads over to her parents house to think about her next move.
What follows is a beautiful moment between a mother and daughter, where they acknowledge the generational gap between them, and openly and without judgement talking about their feelings and their concerns. Evelyn tries to get Cynthia to see why she’s so fed up with Vernon, and Cynthia isn’t sure if she wants to work it out with Joe.
Eventually – after Joe realizes that he can’t do anything without Cynthia (he’s not even sure if he has high or low blood pressure) – he shows up to win Cynthia back, apologizing to her and promising to be more understanding of her pain, and helping her work through it all. Evelyn on the other hand, after seeing just how sensitively and maturely Joe deals with the situation, compares him to Vernon and decides that she is done with him.
The episode ends with Bobby & Nekeisha giving the grandparents tips about living together while divorced. I say good for Evelyn for knowing her worth and putting her own happiness first, finally. So many women, especially women of colour and black women, put their needs behind those of their partners and are too busy holding him up to remember themselves so it’s great to see these women both doing what would make them happy and putting themselves first.
The Carmichael Show airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.