Relationships are tough, whether it be with your college sweethearts, your friends, or your own family. It’s all part of growing up.
In this episode we delve deeper into Cash’s life. Last episode we learned about the unfair situation college athletes are in. In tonight’s episode we see the life that rising stars like Cash leave behind, and it’s not a pretty one.
In the beginning of the episode we see that Zoey and Cash have gotten together, but things get weird when Cash puts Zoey’s virginity on blast. His reasoning behind this is wrong, but Zoey also has her own problems she brings to the relationship. They have an awkward sort of breakup over the situation, until something bigger comes along. Cash’s father starts making trouble, and what was once important to Zoey suddenly doesn’t seem relevant. However, Cash’s situation allows them to open up about some of the superficial reasons they are together and they get into a tough discussion of what exactly is their relationship based on.
When Cash’s past bulldozed its way into their relationship we get a glimpse of the kind of life Zoey was spared. In Black•ish Zoey’s parents, Dre and Bow, often discuss how hard they work to beat the stereotypes about Black families. Dre and Bow play an active role in their kids lives, and have worked hard to never let them live a day of hardship. Cash and his relationship with his father is a dark reality that Zoey never really had to deal with, but is now seeing it for the first time.
Having a character like Cash is vital to a show that is trying to portray college students authentically. Not all come from wealthy families, and some have to work harder. It’s also important for Zoey to engage with others who have different life experiences. We, the audience, learn about her and her hidden depths, and we also get a fuller picture of the typical student body.
The episode also carried on Nomi’s story from last week, and it continued the conversation about the misconceptions and misinterpretations of bisexuality. Nomi’s insecurities about Dave’s bi status was great to see, because this has never really been addressed in a show like this. Once again, the show is great at balancing the tone of the conversation and not coming across as too comical or too preachy, like an after-school special. What we learn is that sexuality is hard to grapple with, even for “open-minded” people and often we just project our own insecurities onto others.
The episode also illustrates the fantastic friends Zoey has and that they have certainly become a family, although, Luca is still just Zoey’s friend. They help each other out by listening to each other, sometimes, and being there to help bring perspective.
Cash and Zoey’s relationship will be interesting to watch in coming episodes, and we might be head into darker territory with Cash’s plot thread. The show should also continue exploring Zoey’s friends as they provide much-needed insight into college life.
This episode was fantastic, and the show just keeps getting better, and better.