Did anyone anticipate becoming this invested in this murder investigation?
The Sleuthing Sisters are top-notch entertainment. You can’t blame Rowan and Tony for sitting back and watching these two work.
As was the case with Callie and Mariana’s classic odd-couple pairing deep-diving into the lives of former high schoolers on Good Trouble Season 3 Episode 13, one could watch an entire sideshow of them putting their skills and experiences to use.
Mariana’s addition to Kathleen and Associates is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s always a blast when the two sisters share the screen, but there is an extra layer of entertainment when the two have to share the professional world as well.
Mariana’s STEM-based storylines were such a vital part of her character and of great importance, shedding light on the disparities and experiences of women and people of color in tech.
The visibility in that is nothing to sniff at and of value. The series exhausted all the ways that it’s the case, from the rampant sexism and racism to bureaucracy and politics of achieving your dream job in an area you’re passionate about, only for it not to be the way you ever could’ve envisioned.
Not to mention the coverage of Mariana’s often understated plight of too many doubting that her beauty and brains can coexist without her forgoing one for the other.
But there’s also something inherently relatable and realistic –particularly for the Millennial/Zennial experience — about the shift from landing a job in the desired field that you spent years studying to something outside of that purview, something that, yes, extends beyond those with the often maligned Liberal Arts degrees.
Mariana likely never anticipated she’d be a receptionist at a law firm when she was graduating with high hopes of taking on the tech world; yet, this is something that also caters to her natural abilities and gifts.
Mariana: So if Tommy gets convicted, he’s going to jail, right? Not Juvie?
Mariana: Juvie is pretty scary too, Callie can attest to that, right?
Callie: Don’t you have phones to answer?
In fact, when does Mariana get a promotion? She’s taken this administrative position and stumbled into one as an unofficial in-house private investigator, and damn if she isn’t BRILLIANT at it!
It’s so quintessentially Mariana! It’s given her the chance to transform an established flaw of hers into an asset used for good.
Mariana is a natural at reading people, social cues, digging up dirt, and uncovering secrets. It’s such a natural segue way for this character to become the next beautiful, brilliant, and badass Kalinda Sharma (by way of The Good Wife). Every time she inserted herself into the case and provided input, it made you grin in delight.
Only Mariana could unravel the messy web of high school drama, Finsta accounts, and manipulative tactics that came about with Zach and Tommy’s friends, Katie, and of course, Izzie.
A lot is hinging on this case, including the life of a teen who may not have killed his best friend and Katheleen’s career and life. If she doesn’t win this one, then she’ll never gain access to Albert’s missing wife.
She needs her to come out of hiding to prove she isn’t dead and that Kathleen isn’t responsible for aiding in her murder to protect her client. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the Tony and Rowan jokes and jabs at Callie and other such casual fodder that we forget how high-stakes this is and what all is on the line.
The visit from Charles, Kathleen’s former partner, and paramour, certainly didn’t help matters, as they’ll be gunning for her too if her actions lead the FBI into uncovering other anomalies they’re guilty of at that firm.
To echo Mariana, Kathleen is a badass bitch, and it’s impressive how well she keeps everything together and remains cool, calm, and collected, given the circumstances.
Thanks to Mariana and Callie (and the boys, or whatever, since Callie is a team player), they have the opportunity to cast doubt on Katie, Tommy’s girlfriend.
She was never a fan of Zach anyway, but she loathed the power he had over Tommy. Tommy would drop everything for Zach, including her, and it showed when Mariana and Callie read through the lines with that interview with Lizzie. Also, Mariana saw some of the things on Katie’s Finsta before she deleted it.
Katie had a motive to kill Zach, and whether or not she did it doesn’t matter — the uncertainty and doubt it’ll cast on Tommy is all they need to get the charges against him dropped because of reasonable doubt.
The problem is that they have to find enough information to get the ball rolling on this and prove it. The key to all of that will likely be figuring out what the hell that hashtag means! The “Z” in #2LDRZAS has to reference Zach, right?
The sisters kicked ass, but the boys will need to bring more to the table than kissing up to Kathleen and peanut gallery commentary, amusing or not.
Mariana also worked with Isabella to give Gael and Callie some romantic time together, and the gesture and support of this pairing were genuinely sweet.
No one can ever say that Good Trouble doesn’t have some of the quite literally steamiest, sexiest, well-shot intimate scenes. The opener of Callie and Gael in the shower, from the angles, lighting, and more, was visually perfect and impressive.
Also of note was the stylistic choices used during the interviews at the office. I loved how they cut between one of the characters narrating and what was happening — shoutout to, I believe, Bradley Bredeweg, who directed, and the rest of the crew.
She is a badass bitch. I love her!
It’s refreshing that it’s not the traditional love triangle here, and we could all use a break from that, particularly with this couple. Isabella isn’t an intentional obstacle vying for Gael’s affection.
She’s the confirmed mother of his child, and she’s not willingly getting between him and Callie. Instead, she’s attempting to minimize the effect her presence at the Coterie has on them and their romance.
It’s a whole different side to Isabella, and in some ways, one can’t help but express gratitude that she prompts Gael and Callie to talk to each other instead of solely having sex.
Their sexual and physical chemistry has always been incredible, but other aspects of their relationship have often fallen short. But now, these two are in a place where they’re balancing their relationship out better with an open line of communication, physical chemistry, and support.
For the first time, it feels like they can have a real go of a sustainable romance. Incredibly, an unplanned pregnancy with another person is actually something that’s making these two a stronger couple.
Good Trouble via the Coterie keeps finding new ways to reinvent what a family looks like, and it remains one of the most compelling factors of this series.
A child on the way is what drove Gael back to Yuri, who is one of those characters who give a person whiplash as you catapult between loathing him and recognizing that he’s not that bad after all.
It still sucks that Yuri expects Gael to ghost paint for him, and that’s a hard pill to swallow. But it also feels like Yuri, a man who longs for his daughter, heard that Gael was becoming a father, and something switched.
Fatherhood matters to Yuri, so naturally, what seemed like a punishment with the invitations was instead Yuri pulling a Mr. Miyagi and teaching Gael’s some tricks of the trade.
It’s the beginning of something new for these two, and more common ground is at the center of that.
Davia and Matt are starting a new version of their friendship while he patiently waits for her to figure some things out. It’s a fine line between giving someone space while letting them know you’re still interested and pestering someone, and Matt is walking it finely.
He’s a sweet guy, and his flirtiness could be pushing some of Davia’s boundaries a bit, but so far, it seems harmless and cute. The real test will be whatever happens afterward when Davia chooses Dennis again.
But, respectfully, screw Matt and Dennis. Davia and Andre’s bond is one of the best and purest of the series.
The trajectory of this young man has been one of the best background stories of the series, and much like Davia holding her hand over her heart, emotional and filled with pride, I felt the same when Andre got to express himself.
Andre has come so far as a character, from this angry, distrustful teen who was tired of a system stacked against him to this bright, passionate young man who is carving out his own place in this world and finding his voice.
Davia saw the diamond in the rough, and after some mistakes, she succeeded in becoming this influential, supportive figure in Andre’s life. She’s someone who has helped him blossom.
Their relationship makes you swell with pride and gives you all of the feels. They have both grown so much as people as a result of it.
You could understand why Andre’s mother was concerned about both fostering Andre’s passion for justice and in school while protecting him from a system designed to keep him down. His third strike looming over everything he does has haunted him since his introduction.
He doesn’t have any wiggle room for anything, and when everything is considered a threat or offense, he can’t sneeze wrong without getting locked away.
Davia knows that, but she isn’t equipped to understand the full breadth of repercussions because of that and the tightrope he has to walk.
But she knew she could pair him up with Malika. Honestly, it’s hard to believe that Davia didn’t orchestrate this in the first place, introducing him to her best activist friend who has tools and works with other Black activists.
And it’s given Andre more resources and support to thrive. It’s a beautiful thing.
Beyond Andre, Malika’s activism wasn’t as front and center as her continued journey to understand polyamory and what it means to her.
I wish the introduction to this polyamory storyline weren’t so messy, clunky, and abrupt.
That said, the series is devoted to exploring this as thoroughly and thoughtfully as its other stories and topics.
You can appreciate the series introducing parts of the audience unfamiliar with polyamory to what it looks like and how it works, thus destigmatizing it.
It was only natural that after Isaac left her and Malika’s new commitment to herself, that she’d pursue Dyonte. The chemistry was always there between the two, and they fell into something with ease.
And Dyonte is her gateway to exploring the polyamorous life. She’s a baby poly, and he’s right there to explain things and move at a pace she feels more comfortable. He’s also there to tell her that there isn’t some set way to be polyamorous, which is something she needed to hear.
Malika is very convincing. While it seemed like she was nervous meeting Tonya, all of that seemed to melt away when the two women started talking to each other.
Malika was even the person to suggest that Tonya come to their organization and donate her skills and time. But that all seemed to be too much, too fast for Malika.
Part of the issue was that she told Tonya something that she didn’t realize Dyonte hadn’t shared, and Tonya was noticeably affected by that. It’s common knowledge that the key to polyamorous relationships is communication.
Why didn’t Dyonte share his activism aspirations with his primary girlfriend? And he also didn’t get around to telling Malika that Tonya would be working with them until seconds before Tonya walked through the door.
Tonya: I have been dying to meet you. Dyonte is very smitten by you.
Malika: Oh, well he’s a great guy.
Tonya: That’s why we love him, right? Well, enough about us, tell me about you. Who is Malika Williams?
Dyonte also didn’t explain the rules about specific safe words and his agreements and rules with Tonya. On the one hand, it could be nothing at all.
But on the other hand, it already reads like maybe Malika sparked some jealousy in Tonya, and now Tonya wants to insert herself into Dyonte and Malika’s relationship more.
It can’t be coincidental that after Malika accidentally shared something with Tonya that Dyonte hadn’t, Tonya invoked the hedgehog when she knew Dyonte and Malika were together to make him come running to her, no questions asked, for emotional support.
And after all this time of not volunteering her time, she’s doing it now. It sucks that this is coming off of Dyonte’s assuring Malika that they’ll take things slower until she feels more comfortable.
Well, she’s already in the deep end here, and she may not have a lifesaver. Oh, it’s going to get sticky.
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics.
Do you love the sisters working together? Do you have any theories about the murder investigation?
Has Isabella won you over? What are your thoughts on this poly storyline and how they’re handling it so far? Hit the comments below!
You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.