The most recent episode of ABC’s “black-ish” was not only the post-election episode viewers have been eagerly awaiting, it was also the one viewers may have needed.
The episode, titled “Lemons,” took place two months after the presidential election. But as Dre (Anthony Anderson) pointed out, “everyone was acting like it had only been two minutes.”
Around the house, Dre’s wife, Bo (recent Golden Globe winner Tracee Ellis Ross), was healing her wounds by diving heavily into supporting multiple charitable causes. At work, the divisions among the staff had brought productivity to a halt and tensions were high.
“Upsets, they’re as American as apple pie and obesity,” he said in a voiceover. “Here’s the thing with an upset, though: someone wins and someone loses. And when that happens, the losing side always tries to look for where things went wrong. At the end of the day, no one wants to be on the losing side of an upset. But what happens when the winners and the losers are supposed to be on the same team?”
That’s the central question of the episode, which, as creator Kenya Barris previously teased to CNN, was a multi-generational tale.
A subplot featured Pops helping Andre Jr. prepare to delivery Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at his school’s “healing rally.” In doing so, the high schooler finds a message in the prose he’d previously never realized.
But the half-hour belonged to Dre, who eventually became so fed up with the in-fighting in his office that he blew up.
“Why do you not care what’s happening to our country?” his boss asked.
Until then, Dre had attempted to be a spectator in the madness among his colleagues. But the question got his attention.
“What did you say to me? You don’t think I care about this country? I love this country, even though at times it doesn’t love me back,” he said.
The speech that came next struck a chord with viewers.
“You think I’m not sad that Hillary didn’t win? That I’m terrified about what Trump’s about to do?” he said. “”I’m used to things not going my way. I’m sorry that you’re not and it’s blowing your mind. So excuse me if I get a little offended because I didn’t see all this outrage when everything was happening to all of my people since we were stuffed in boats in chains.”
Dre later apologizes for being harsh.
“I do feel it’s time that we stop calling each other names and we start trying to have those conversations,” he tells his co-workers. “If we don’t, we’ll end up being in a country that’s even more divided, for a long time.”