The show opens with Josie stating that today she will reveal the DNA results and who is Chloe’s father. TODAY is a relative term, as we will see.
Then we see Kim asking Jennifer lots of questions about her dad. Jennifer says he was dealing drugs across state lines, weapons were involved and that it was a mandatory life sentence, but later says there is always the slight chance of an appeal. She hasn’t seen him since high school and is resentful that he never apologized to his family. She’s also mad at her mother for not divorcing him. (I’m pretty sure that your kids will also be mad at you if you DO get a divorce, so, either way.)
Meanwhile, Josie has overheard the conversation from the balcony. (Maybe one of the “comfortable” construction features of the house is that it’s a lot easier for the houseguests to spy on each other now?) Anyway, Josie muses that Chloe could grow up to find herself in the same situation, with a father who has betrayed her.
Deborah is on the phone with her friend “Superman”. She requests a special pillow from home. She tells him her roommate does not like her snoring, but she also does not like having to live with another woman all of a sudden. And, she says, “If I get a man, he’ll have to put up with my snoring.”
Sinae meets Vince, a mobility therapist. This is something she had dreaded. She does not want to be introduced to cane or dog because these are tipoffs to strangers that she is disabled. Vince tells her that there are good points to having strangers know she can’t see. Sinae tells Rhonda her eye disease came about because she’s albino. Her goal is going to be to live a productive life.
Jennifer is with Iyanla. Iyanla is so warm and fuzzy and full of wise sayings, I want to choke her. She seems to be channeling Mister Rogers – when she assigns a task, she follows with “can you do that”? She has Jennifer visualize a home in her head and this is where the six-year-old Jennifer lives. Maybe this is where the grown-up Jennifer’s babytalk voice comes from. It gets higher and pout-ier according to the importance of whatever she’s discussing. Think Sybil with all the personalities hollering at once. The tears start to flow, we are seeing some serious emotional work right off the bat here. At this rate they’ll have her graduated in a week. First Iyanla tells Jennifer to get out her journal and write down things that are keeping her from getting what she wants, then switches to the cardboard bricks and has her write on a few of those.
Now Vince and Sinae are practicing stairs. Every once in a while we get a look through a camera lens that seems to be swathed in plastic wrap with a very small center of vision, to simulate what Sinae’s vision might be like.
There is a shot of Deborah exercising at the top of her lungs. By the way, this house has a treadmill outside on a deck overlooking this amazing vista. While Deborah is working out, we see Towanda and Kim discussing how it is not ok that Deborah has asked to use Kim’s perfume and towel.
Iyanla and Jennifer have now gone outside to this really cool scuptural-looking lap pool. There is a pile of cardboard bricks under a blue tarp. This is where I notice what funky clothes Iyanla has on, so she redeems some points in my book. Iyanla leaves her to write more bricks.
Now Vince is showing Sinae how much easier it is if yellow tape is placed on the bottom and top step, and tells her that stairs in public places often have the yellow tape. Sinae approves. “Not too stylish, but pretty helpful.” Then he brings out the cane and she is not thrilled.
A shot of Jennifer and her bricks. One says “my first grade teacher hated me.”
Cut to the loft for a group session. Sinae relates that she liked Vince and that she agrees it’s ok to have a cane and be spotted as sight-impaired instead of trying to hide it and then getting mad at strangers for not noticing. It’s time for her first plasma screen. First picture, her home with a pretty mountain range where she likes to ski. Then we see a picture of her with her best friend from college, the one who was with her on the day her eyesight failed. Then her mother, and Sinae speaks of their unhealthy dependence on each other. People want to know why she went blind and she says it could happen to anyone – no mention here of being albino. Deborah again compares Sinae’s situation to her own widowhood. The others, including Rhonda, see this as trying to turn the topic over to herself, but it could be that Deborah just thinks she’s commisserating. In fact Jennifer does it again by bringing up her mom’s blindness, but that train of thought is encouraged. Sinae shares that both of her parents had been married to other people and there were a lot of stepsiblings on her father’s side. Her dad lived down the street but Sinae says she keeps him in “time out” because she feels like that’s where he kept her. Then she is shown crying really hard and one gets the impression there was a big chunk edited out to get right to the crying. The LC’s point out that everyone in the room has father issues and this will be the topic of “many weeks” of work. The group meeting is adjourned until evening.
Deborah wants to go to Target to buy hand weights but she doesn’t know how to get there. the other women advise her to get driving directions from the computer but Deborah is not comfortable with technology. Sinae offers to help, which Deborah takes to mean “I will do it for you” but which Sinae really means as “I will talk you through it.” Deborah decides it is not important enough to try to learn the computer. Sinae says she is sorry Deborah feels that way, which sends Deborah off into a riff about how she doesn’t want pity. Deborah begins processing this out loud, escalating to the point where Sinae is begging, to no avail, to get a word in edgewise. Finally Deborah decides to “take my SORRRRRY ass outta here.” She goes to bed with a pillow between her knees.
That scene is split by another shot of the pool where Iyanla is building a wall of cardboard bricks around Jennifer. Actually it’s a semicircle so the wall can be higher. They are going to use the bricks to make a list towards Jennifer’s goal to heal and know love.
Sinae retreats to the balcony. Jennifer tells her not to worry, “we love you”. Sinae replies “she loves me too, she just doesn’t know it yet.” Next Deborah is venting to S-man on the phone about how she almost had to accept pity from a blind girl. Between interruptions, he points out that the women are right about the computer. She states that she is functional enough to do what she wants to do. (Except drive to Target?) :shrug:
Back in the loft, Rhonda covers the Josie highlights. The plasma comes up and there’s a picture of the dead grandmother who used to give Josie advice, then her grandparents’ gravestone where she says she visits with Chloe. Then a photo of Chloe with Josie’s mom, who has become a part of her life. Josie relates that because of Starting Over, they are able to express themselves and she was able to convey her resentment and that her mother even apologized for not doing a good job. Then a funny picture of Chloe drooling into the camera. Josie tells the group she didn’t know whether to keep Chloe because she was basing her decision on who the father might be, but after the birth she realized it’s just about herself and Chloe. Then Rhonda asks the big question. Who’s the dad??? Drama. Shots of faces turned up in anticipation. Intense music. End of show. *&^%$$#*!!