Just because he brings you your favorite Kogi Beef tacos, doesn’t mean your love will last.
Zoey (Yara Shahidi) and Cash (Da’Vinchi) have taken that next step in their relationship. They had sex! She’s in love – for real this time. As Grown-ish opens, we see Zoey prancing through the college campus in pure bliss as she thinks about how this love is different from watching the Beyonce “Lemonade” video for the first time or experiencing a Kogi Beef taco for the first time. No, this was a different kind of love that changed her outlook on everything. She’s experiencing a lot of firsts with Cash and she can’t keep the smile off her face. After she tells Ana (Francia Raisa) about what happened, Ana is positive that Zoey is going to be consumed with this now and will become all “pinga crazy” –Zoey disagrees. However, after Cash calls her out on television and says that wherever he goes he wants her right there with him, it leads Zoey to worry about how serious their relationship is. She goes to her friends for advice, but Nomi (Emily Arlook) is too annoyed with Zoey to help her with her problems because she’s been having relationship problems of her own that have gone ignored.
After seeing her daughter on the news and continuously getting hit with the ignore button, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) makes a trip to campus to see her daughter. They have a talk about what Zoey’s next move is going to be after she reveals to her mom that she’s thinking about leaving school to follow Cash when he gets drafted into the NBA. Bow doesn’t think she’s old enough to be making these kinds of life-changing decisions, but Zoey breaks down and admits that she just hasn’t figured out what she’s going to do yet.
She eventually decides that she’s going to follow Cash wherever he goes but he isn’t so sure that’s what he wants. He’s had a talk with his coach and things aren’t so black and white anymore. They have an argument that leads to heartbreak for Zoey. Her first love is no more but at least Nomi comes in and is ready to comfort her.
Meanwhile, Jazz (Chloe Bailey) and Sky (Halle Bailey) have put together a little side hustle after being advised by Aaron (Trevor Jackson) that they should try to do side jobs since it’s so difficult for athletes to get extra money. They’re scamming the school by saying they lost athletic gear only to keep the supposedly stolen gear and sell it. They eventually get caught by Dean Parker (Chris Parnell), while they’re flaunting their gains at the school bar. He gives them 100 hours of community service but says that he’ll pay them eight dollars an hour to paint the benches. So a compromise, but not really. Grown-ish took Zoey from pure happiness to utter devastation. There was plenty to discuss so let’s do it!
Discussing Zoey’s first relationship and the twin’s money problems is our gracious Grown-ish roundtable!
Jeria (@jereyea) – Student, Stan, and Tweeter
Aima (@ASAPAIMA) – Music lover and poetry trash
Ryan (@legendarylevy) – child actor, TV & movie buff
Miya (@MsMiya_) -Writer, Film Enthusiast, Singer.
Chi (@polyhansen) – college student, free writer, pop media enthusiast, practice in promotion and sales.
1. What do you think about Zoey’s reaction to Cash pointing her out on television?
Jeria (@jereyea): Zoey’s reaction to Cash pointing her out was valid. She was a bit nervous and choked up because it wasn’t a conversation that they had before.
Aima (@ASAPAIMA): She had every right to be angry. He did not even ask her before he went and did it. Bit of a messed up move if you ask me.
Ryan (@legendarylevy): Her reaction to being pointed out on television by Cash popped the bubble that they are living in with the relationship and put it in the real world for Zoey. Not knowing if your relationship will withstand what will happen in the future is a common worry in relationships. Zoey worrying about the future with Cash and him moving made sense, and I also found it funny. #nomakeup #notagoodliar
Miya (@MsMiya_): I personally believe they should have had a discussion about it first. I think if they communicated better with the situation, they wouldn’t have broken up.
Chi (@polyhansen): I thought she was a mixture of upset, flattered– maybe slightly embarrassed. I think he just sprung it all on her so suddenly without having a real conversation about it beforehand, and that’s what made it messy.
2. Jazz and Sky had to pick up a quick side hustle that would work with their busy schedules. How do you feel about the workload college athletes have that makes it hard for them to make money for leisure activities?
Jeria: College athletes are basically slaves to the trillion dollar empire that is college athletics. If they don’t give them time to find a job outside of their workload then they should at least compensate them for their work.
Aima: I think that it is quite hard as they have no spare time and have no chance to get some money.
Ryan: Most college students have a hard time keeping up schedules. Add in everything a college athlete does (practice, games, rallies, events, fundraisers, meetings) and it can make it really hard to have the time or energy to get a job. Without a job, it causes a lot of strain on the students through the school years (look at how Jazz and Sky go for food). The pressure on athletes is high to excel so I believe it increases the need for leisure activities to try and relax from the everyday.
Miya: Haha! I think the side hustle plot was hilarious but accurate. Even though I’m not an athlete, I know that I don’t have time to get a full time or a part-time job somewhere. So I can’t imagine the struggle that these athletes are dealing with trying to balance school and also wanting to treat themselves.
Chi: Personally, I think it varies in the division you play in. In my experience, D1 athletes have a more difficult experience than compared to a D2 or D3 athlete, where it isn’t that hard to make a little money on the side. However, I am not an athlete in any of those divisions, so I wouldn’t know the obstacles. I do think that it is possible to be a college athlete and have a part-time job, it’s all about dedication and prioritizing. Life isn’t easy and you always have to find a way and I think that applies to the case of student-athletes. Since they don’t get paid directly for what they do, they have to find a way.
3. Zoey’s mom, Rainbow, took a trip up to campus. Do you agree that Zoey isn’t old enough to make those big life-changing decisions?
Jeria: Zoey is old enough to make her own decisions, but her judgment is clouded. She just needs to bump her head a few times and learn for herself.
Aima: I feel like once you get to college you are responsible for your own actions. Once you are 18, you should make your own decisions. Obviously, you should have input from your parents but it’s down to you ultimately.
Ryan: Zoey is an adult so in a sense she is old enough to make those big life-changing decisions as it is her life. Right or wrong, it is Zoeys choice to make but what Rainbow means is she doesn’t have enough experience in life to make the right decision. Moving because of a significant other is a hard choice that Rainbow understands that Zoey’s love may cloud her choices. If we take the show title into consideration Zoey is grown-ish so she is an adult but not old enough to make those big life-changing decisions on her own.
Miya: I definitely agree that Zoey is not old enough to make a decision like that. Being 18 does not necessarily mean you are grown and mature.
Chi: I think Zoey is smart for her age and that since she is venturing out on her own Rainbow and Dre should trust her to make her own decisions. Even if her decision is wrong, she will learn from it and grow from it. At some point, you have to let go of the leash. At that point, it is now your job, as a parent, to be there to fall back on and support.
4. Nomi feels like Zoey has only been thinking about herself and ignoring her friend’s problems. Do you agree that Zoey’s been acting self-centered?
Jeria: Zoey has been acting pretty self-centered, but she’s been self-centered since Black-ish, so it’s not anything new. Zoey probably isn’t intentionally doing it, but you get tunnel vision when you’re in love.
Aima: Yes, I know she’s going through a lot but she should really care about her friends as well – everything seems to be just about her.
Ryan: At the starting of the episode we see Zoey ignore Nomi’s text. When someone is in a relationship that can cause issues with other areas of social life like friends. When you’re spending all your time with your significant other and ignoring your friends it is going to cause problems. I feel Zoey is being a little self-centered and could be a better friend.
Miya: Yes. I believe Zoey, was so involved with her relationship that she forgot about her actual friends. She didn’t even bother to reply to her friends’ texts. It’s definitely an accurate portrayal of how some people get in relationships. I can definitely relate!
Chi: Zoey may have been a little self-centered since she has been with Cash, and that is not to blame him, but the girl’s head was all fogged up. I don’t think Nomi should’ve penalized her for that though. Zoey is finding herself just like every college student and she isn’t anyone’s counselor. A first love can have you doing a lot of things that are out of your character, but I like that Nomi stuck by her even though Zoey had been leaving her out to dry.
5. Zoey took some time to think through her choices of whether to leave with Cash or not. She made her decision but still didn’t know how everything would work out. Do you think she made the right choice?
Jeria: Zoey did not make the right choice. Athletes are notorious for claiming to love their spouses and drop them when they see how much booty is out there. Also, they are extremely young and have to find themselves to be completely committed.
Aima: No, I don’t.
Ryan: She says she loves Cash so in that sense she made the right choice on going with him. She knows what she wants in life and is willing to make the steps. At least she made a choice and wrong or right it is her choice to make.
Miya: No, because she has her whole life ahead of her to fall in love. She should not have to give up her goals & ambitions for a guy. I feel like with her following Cash, she would have resented him for it.
Chi: I don’t think there was a wrong or right choice, I think it was all about what Zoey wanted to do and what decision Zoey was confident in. As you can see, in the end, her decision changed through a short conversation with Cash because something clicked in her. It wasn’t what she wanted to do anymore because of the uncertainty they both had.
6. Once Zoey decided she was going to go with him, Cash’s whole demeanor changed. What do you think about his reaction?
Jeria: It showed that Cash needs to learn to communicate with his girlfriend and the way that she feels. If he didn’t want her then he should’ve said that, but instead it felt like he was in too deep.
Aima: I think he hadn’t even thought about it in depth because he regretted what she picked after the fact.
Ryan: Cash wants Zoey to come with him when he goes pro. He wants Zoey but it seems that he will always want basketball more. Once Zoey told him she would go he wasn’t as confident about the decision. Cash was told just like Zoey he’s too young to make this decision and his Coach put it in perspective with how busy his life will be in the future. Just like Zoey’s bubble was popped by Cash’s on-air commitment putting it in the real world for her, Cash’s conversation with his Coach has popped the bubble that he and Zoey have been living in. He doesn’t seem to know if he wants Zoey to come any more or not by his reactions.
Miya: His reaction was a bit confusing to me. But it also made me realize that Cash himself did not think about what he said to the people on national television though. I believe, just like Zoey, he did a little thinking of his own which made him come to his conclusion.
Chi: At first, I thought he was excited that she decided to go until she brought up about not being sure if she wanted to be wherever he ended up. I think he just wanted her to be happy wherever they go so that he could have his girl without the worry of if she’s happy or not, which Zoey wouldn’t have been. He should’ve had this conversation with her beforehand, then it could’ve all been avoided. I think they both were just unsure of what they were saying.
7. Our girl had her first heartbreak from her first love. How do you think she will bounce back from her broken heart?
Jeria: She’ll be back talking to Cash within 1-3 business days.
Aima: I think that she will bounce back and get over Cash soon.
Ryan: I think Zoey is a strong girl who will find her way and with a little help from her friends, she will bounce back from her broken heart. Just like how the show has touched on “college relationships” I think it’s going to look at “relationship breakups”.
Miya: I think, it will be hard for her at first, but because she is surrounded by great friends, she will definitely get through this.
Chi: I think Zoey will take on her feelings, head-first. She will be forced to because her friends are too real to let her avoid her emotions. Knowing how the show is going now, she may have a rebound in a week or two or she’ll get really driven and focus on her goal of graduating. Or both. I believe our girl Zoey is going to get through it, she has a support system like no other.
First loves don’t always last.
Zoey had a bit of a rough week, but we’re confident she’ll get it back together again soon. The examples to explain what kind of love Zoey was feeling at the beginning of the episode was great. The writers also did a great job with explaining the struggles that college athletes go through. The ongoing discussion on this topic is made interesting by the storylines they’ve chosen. The progression of Zoey’s first year has been realistic and fun to watch. Rainbow making an appearance was also fun and a great moment for those of us who watch Black-ish. We got a lot of talks when Zoey stayed at home but it was usually just Zoey blowing off everything her mom says. It was nice to see them have a real discussion and for Zoey to show some emotion that we don’t often see from her. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of her expressing herself to her mom.
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Also, the moment between Zoey and Nomi was something we haven’t seen before. Zoey often forgets about others problems and only focuses on herself, so for her to be called out for her self-centered behavior was a nice wake-up call for her. Even though she didn’t seem to worry about it for long, we do think it will come back up in future episodes. She will eventually realize that the people around her need just as much support as she does with their issues.
We’re looking forward to seeing how Zoey will react to her first break-up. Will she bounce back quickly? Or will she be in a funk for a little while? We’ll get a chance to see in next week’s episode when she has to confront all of those feelings. She’s a smart girl so we think she just needs a little bit of time to get her head back on straight.
grown-ish returns next Wednesday, February 7th at 8/7c on Freeform.