5 Burning Questions We Have After Watching the Season Premiere of ‘Greenleaf’

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The Greenleafs have returned for a second season in episode 201,”A House Divided,” and quite frankly, the Lord is not smiling down upon them. Despite the heaps of sexual abuse evidence against Uncle Mac, he’s walking free after getting his father Henry to testify against Bishop James. Apparently, back in 1983, James burned down his original church, First Baptist in order to collect the insurance money and build Calvary. Unfortunately, the church’s caretaker, a man named Darryl, was still inside the structure as it burned to the ground.

Three months after Mac’s release from jail, things are only sliding further downhill for the Greenleafs. Grace is barely holding it together at the pulpit with her sermons boring everyone to tears. The church’s donations are down forty percent, and it’s not because of the investigation into the Bishop or the allegations against nasty Uncle Mac. Nope! Apparently, people are more worried about the gay choir director and his husband (hey Kyle from “Living Single”) and not the fact that an apparent murderer and child rapist are running around on the loose. <INSERT SIDE EYE HERE.>

We learn that Grace’s baby sister Charity has lost one of her twins, and though she gives birth to a healthy baby boy named Nathan, she and Kevin are still on the outs. Props to her for not going to that horrible pray the gay away therapy group with him. Honestly, Kevin needs to be real with himself, and come out so they can co-parent and move on.

Speaking of moving on, Grace’s brother Jacob has been given the reigns over at Triumph’s new location. Triumph is Calvary’s rival church so this puts further strain on Jacob’s relationship with Bishop. At least he’s finally moving out and becoming his own man. In the midst of all of this, Aunt Mavis is having her own downward spiral. Without a club to tend to, Auntie has set her sights on being a talent manager when she’s not preoccupied with drinking herself into an early grave.

Horrified by the state of her family and her dwindling status in the community, Lady Mae goes to her sickly father, Henry and begs him to retract his statement about Bishop ordering him to burn down the church. He agress, but it becomes very clear here that Henry sexually abused Mae during her youth. I wanted to vomit watching their interaction. As the episode wraps, we learn that Triumph’s Pastor Skanks has a good reason for his continued antagonization of Calvary and Bishop Greenleaf. Apparently, his father was Darryl, the caretaker who died in the arson over at First Baptist in 1983.

So what did you think of the series premiere of “Greenleaf”? I have several questions.

  1. Has Grace given up on going after her Uncle Mac for sexually abusing her sister and other young women? We see sex offender posters in her car during one scene, but there is no other mention of it.
  2.  As someone who was presumably sexually abused herself, do you truly think that Lady Mae didn’t know what Mac was doing to her daughter Faith, or did she simply turn a blind eye?
  3.  Is Charity truly done with her marriage to Kevin, or will she try and make it work in order to save face? It looks to me like she may have found a new bae in that producer Jabari Johnson she just hired.
  4. With little money coming into the church and a lack of inspiring sermons, do you think Grace will speak out against openly gay people attending Calvary, or will she preach about acceptance and love?
  5.  It’s obvious that Mac isn’t done trying to destroy everyone that is coming for him. What other dirt do you think he has up his sleeve?

Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

“Greenleaf” airs Wednesdays at 10 PM ET on OWN.


Aramide A Tinubu has her Master’s in Film Studies from Columbia University. She wrote her thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger, and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.com or tweet her @midnightrami

23 Comments

  1. Aramide what an excellent analysis of this season two opener. You filled in all the plot points to a tee. I just got done watching the season premiere and there are a lot of questions to be raised. You actually had my concerns. I’m ready for the drama to unfold that’s starting. Thanks Aramide.

  2. The sex abuse is generational. It’s something we see now, that Lady Mae went through and so did her daughter from the her hand of he brother. Really creepy. You didn’t mention this but was Lady Mae’s husband, the Bishop involved with her sister Mavis at one point!? That seemed allued to a little bit. It was quite interesting. Great 1st Episode.

    • I also wondered about the Bishop’s connection with Mavis. They had a long walk near a pond on his property back in season 1 where they seemed to reminiscence about other lives.

    • You know the other thing I wonder about is if Mac either knew of the abuse by his father or did he also abuse his sister. He said something like ‘we’re not family until you need something’ to Mae. Cut to the scene where she goes to her father to ask him not to testify. Oh sweet geezus this show will have me visiting a shrink before its all over with it.

      • Wow what a season opener! This is just too much to fathom. Makes you understand that sexual abuse runs rampant in both African American and white communities. Hopefully the show will proceed in not only exposing sexual abuse but imprisoning offenders.

  3. Pretty sure Mae knew the daughter was being molested. I won’t presume to understand her reasoning for not speaking up but being a victim of abuse, especially as a child, does something to your psyche. Everyone has a different way of coping.

    I think Charity may attempt to get back with Kevin at some point but I don’t think it will work.

    I don’t see Gigi speaking out against openly gay parishioners. It flies in the face of what she’s about. Usually.

    Unfortunately, Mac knows too much dirt so, yeah, he’s not done causing trouble. Who knows what’s next.

    Hopefully Gigi isn’t done pursuing Mac but I hope it isn’t drawn out for the whole season.

    Strong start out the gate. Looking forward to the rest of the season.

      • Ikr…..Mac know some stuff about some stuff…..lawd what is he gonna bust the church doors open with next ????!!!!

  4. Is Grace’s daughter back for good? Were things resolved with her daughter’s father? She was just back at the house with no explanation after the dramatic sendoff by the family leaving in her father’s red mustang last season.

    • Yes, I wondered this too! Is she there for a length of time, or does she have to go back to Arizona?

        • If I remembet correctly, the father of Grace’s daughter was suing for custody. We saw her leave with him. We really need them to address what brought her back.

  5. I am confused about who set the fire. Bishop James did not admit to setting the fire. He told Gigi Mac asked him “Do you want me to take care of it” and he said he didn’t say no to Mac. So… was it James or was it Mac?

  6. Great summary on Greenleaf season 2 premiere! I think Mavis and Lady Mae are half sisters. During the scream match at the house, Mavis said her mother beat her while Lady Mae received pretty dresses. I think Lady Mae is upset because Mavis never stood up for her like she did for Faith and Grace. Additionally, Mavis knew About the incestuous relationship between Mae and her father.

  7. I don’t think Mavis knew about Lady Mae’s molestation because of what she said about her hell and Mavis didnt acknowledge it. Instead mentioned the pretty dresses. Don’t think she knew what Lady Mae had to endure to get them.

  8. Oprah & Co. have really outdone themselves w this show. The writing is superb, the acting is excellent, the directing is superb and, for the most part, the scenes and plots–for a dramatic television show–are of a believable quality. I tell all my friends that I will absolutely not answer the phone, respond to texts or tweets and will, for the most part, totally & completely ignore everything and everyone during my unbridled devotion to–and viewership of–this very fine television show. I was a great fan of one of the executive creators’ former shows, HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” so I am very untuned to the brilliance of his creativeness (his name escapes me at the moment). I can assure folks that with he and Oprah at the helm of this creative venture, nothing but excellence in storytelling, scripts, plots, acting, directing and producing will be forthcoming from this pair (and related associates) in future episodes.

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