Some partnerships are truly thriving, and others are facing some serious tests.
Mariana and Joaquin continue to have a fun chemistry that works well as both a casual sex vibe and true sleuth buddies on Good Trouble Season 4 Episode 11.
Meanwhile, Isabella and Gael’s relationship is constantly under strain or stress.
But first, let the record show, if it hasn’t been abundantly clear already, that my whole heart belongs to Luca, and every second we spend with him is cherishable.
The series has always dealt with several topics and done so well. The show has had a string of compelling characters across its tenure. Luca is definitely one of them who grabs your heart and soul instantly.
You root for him so much, and it should’ve been obvious that someone who routinely expresses how hard it is to open up and trust good things would still have such reservations about his new place at the Coterie.
He’s such a fascinating character study. When he dances, he fills up the room, takes up all of this space, and makes it beautiful. It’s the freest, unencumbered, and unburdened he ever appears to be.
And it contrasts with when he’s maneuvering his everyday life outside of that. He navigates rooms and areas as if he’s afraid to take up too much space. He makes himself so small, invisible even, and that was a stellar way of portraying that at the top of the hour with the free frame scene.
For his own survival, he’s gotten accustomed to blending in and trying to go unnoticed. He’s such a king, soft, beautiful soul, and we’ve seen that through his scenes with Joaquin and Davia.
But he can’t fully be himself and settle down yet. It hurt to see him carrying around all his bags and barely making himself home at the Coterie. He didn’t feel any permanence in his new living situation, so he couldn’t allow himself to get comfortable.
While I’ve never experienced a situation precisely like Luca’s, that feeling that everything is temporary and that the rug can be ripped from beneath your feet at any second is so visceral and relatable.
Nicki: Congrats! Getting a roof over your head is a big deal.
Luca: As long as it lasts.
Nicki: What do you mean?
Luca: You know how people are. They try to help you, but when they see how much you actually need, they realize maybe they took on more than they want to deal with, ask you to leave.
He’s lived so much of his life in transit that he can’t even trust the notion of something stationary.
As much as Davia genuinely cares about him, the rest of the Coterie opened their home and hearts to him, and Malika even shared her personal experience of walking in his shoes and is a living embodiment of how freaking real this is; Luca still couldn’t just trust it.
It made your heart hurt for him, especially when he was speaking with his other unhoused friend, Nicki.
Everything requires some growing pains and kinks to work out. Accidentally eating someone’s food or using their stuff is inevitable for anyone when you’re in a communal environment like that.
As time goes on, he’ll be able to better navigate situations like the yogurt incident without assuming that any slip-up will get him banished.
And it speaks volumes that he feels he has to earn his keep somehow, fixing things around the Coterie or whatever else, to make up for taking up some space or existing.
Fortunately, everyone noticed how he was struggling, and they came up with a way of addressing it and putting him at ease.
The best way to prove how serious they were and committed to him was to give him a personal space, with a bed, that was all his own. Sure, it wasn’t much, but sleeping on a couch implies that something is temporary, even if their idea was him having somewhere to crash until he got an actual bed.
Isabella: I feel guilty that Gael is making all the real sacrifices, and I’m only working part time. And I’m scared that he’s going to resent me.
Isabella: And leave me. Not the baby, he would never leave his child.
But his own space, living quarters, with furniture, somewhere to lay his head, and somewhere to actually leave his belongings, along with full access to their home and mailboxes via keys, is more than just symbolic.
It reassured him that he wasn’t some pet project for the others to make them feel good until they grew tired. They genuinely want him as part of their family. And that’ something Luca can hang his hat on, or better yet, leave his clothes in a dresser drawer while still keeping his shopping bag for safe keeping, too.
Luca’s feelings won’t completely change overnight, but it’s a great step forward for him.
Anyway, can we keep Booboo Stewart forever? He’s absolutely slaying this character and arc, and Luca has become one of the best new characters in years.
Another character who is always a delight is Sumi, and I love when we get to spend more time with her. She’s evolved greatly since her introduction and is a dimensioned character.
Her quest to perform TikTok challenges to encourage Alice to say “yes” to opportunities was the type of encouragement that Alice needed.
Sumi is cut out for this managing thing. She and Alice were having so much fun, and after the heaviness of Alice’s previous arc, it was nice to see her smiling and laughing again.
Sumi’s aggressive compliment scene was one of the cutest. It wasn’t a surprise that someone reached out to book Sumi. She’s such a fun personality and was the star of everything while Alice filmed.
But that’s another reason Alice needs someone like Sumi who can keep pushing her to put herself out there instead of still playing in the shadows and holding up a wall when she’s not on that stage.
Alice would totally kill at a mortician convention.
And Davia is killing it as Elliott’s teacher, despite her brief moment of wanting to resign. Davia is so good with kids. When she’s in teacher and mentor mode, it’s some of her best work.
You could tell that there was a lot more to Elliott, and he’s an incredibly smart but troubled kid. It doesn’t even seem like he needs a teacher right now. If anything, maybe the kid needs a therapist and perhaps some nurturing energy.
Gael: It feels good to paint something I can put my own name on.
Isabella: What do you mean?
Gael: I’ve been painting for Yuri, his concerts, sort of. A lot of mine too.
The poor kid had a full-blown panic attack because his father got him late, and clearly, he has some abandonment issues, and fears after his mother and the person who primarily took care of him most abandoned him.
All that context explains why Elliott behaves as he does and the strained rift between him and his father. And his father seems genuinely over his head, trying to parent and work after his wife left him.
It could all be an interesting story, and Good Trouble can pull off such things, but there’s also this frustration where the direction this could be headed.
For one, Davia definitely has a type when it comes to complicated men with complex lives and trying to navigate her space in them.
It feels like there will be something possibly there with Davia and Elliott’s father. But that’s a lot for her. Essentially, Davia could go from this complicated relationship with her older best friend, where she got wrapped up in his depression, codependency, suicidal tendencies, and grief after he lost a child.
Before that, she was in a relationship with a married man that she had to keep secret, and so much of that was rooted in her insecurity issues.
Davia possibly jumping into another layered situation with a struggling single father whose wife left him and whose kid is battling some issues feels like too much for her.
It feels like Davia can’t have space to be her age if you will. Hunton teased that Davia’s arc this season would be “grownup,” but it already feels like Davia has had to “grow up” faster than she should have with so many of her arcs.
Meanwhile, Gael and Isabella are trying to be grown up too, but it’s not coming without its fair share of issues.
Isabella is forever a messy one, but she certainly pulled some self-fulfilling prophecy her therapist warned her about with that Yuri thing.
We’ve repeatedly seen that Isabella is so desperate to cling to relationships that she will inadvertently push people away and ruin them.
Right now, she’s so fiercely protective of Gael, and how can you not understand that? As much as she overstepped, this situation with Yuri has gone on for far too long, and Gael is not getting to thrive as he deserves.
It’s been generally frustrating to watch Gael not get anywhere at all when we know he quit a great-paying job as a graphic designer at Speckulate to pursue his dreams.
It would be hard to stand by and watch Gael compromise himself like this. Isabella going feral on Yuri was totally understandable.
She overstepped, but I can’t even be mad at her for trying to do something. And she had a point about Yuri. He’s the same man obsessed over her pregnancy and constantly tells Gael that he has to value and cherish the kid he’s about to have.
How the hell can he do any of that when he’s not getting paid what he deserves, nor is he getting the credit for anything? If Yuri cared at all as he claimed to, he would’ve freed Gael from this obligation or upped his pay a lifetime ago.
Isabella: Gael, I’m so sorry, I was just trying to help.
Gael: Well, you didn’t help. You stepped way over the line, Isabella. How the hell am I supposed to support us now, Isabella?
It’s wholly selfish, and we all know he can’t function without Gael anyway, so his vindictive words and termination will backfire on him in the long run.
Gael is in the position where he’s been playing it safe and not wanting to rock the boat even when he deserves it and is worth far more. And isn’t that realistic and relatable too?
How many of us will stay in the familiar and comfortable when it’s not suiting us, clipped wings and all, when we’re capable of so much more if we just take the next steps?
Unfortunately, it means that Gael is unemployed, Isabella only works part-time, and the due date is weeks away.
Gael could find another job in the short term, but it could also mean sacrificing his dream again or putting that on hold.
Ideally, since Yuri was planning this big art show and fired the one person creating the pieces for it, maybe he’ll get exposed.
And if that happens, Gael can sell his work without people thinking that he was the one mimicking Yuri. It was such a slap in the face to learn that his work is actually phenomenal, and people would pay so much for it, for him, Gael Martinez, and his talents.
While there’s some truth to the idea that stuff sells because of Yuri’s name, it still feels like Gael doubts his capabilities and lacks confidence in himself. That situation served as a reminder that he’s legitimately talented and worthy.
Isabella messed up with this Yuri situation. Can you imagine what will happen when Gael discovers that she’s been playing this game with her parents about adoption?
I don’t know what the game plan is here. They’ll find out eventually that she isn’t giving up her baby, and they still have this footage of her vandalizing their car. She’s not solving anything with all of these lies.
She’s only making a bigger mess.
Hey, Mariana’s love life is possibly on the messy side, but you can’t deny that she and Joaquin are fun to watch together.
It’s a certain easiness to their relationship that just works, and it feels a bit refreshing compared to some of her previous dynamics on the show.
She couldn’t help thinking about their steamy hook-up session, and she was making things awkward for a bit when she didn’t know how to address everything.
However, the second they cleared the air and realized they were both on the same page, that friendship they’d sparked was back in full force, and they genuinely played off each other well.
While this entire situation with Jenna is wild, unpredictable, and convoluted, the Mariana/Joaquin dynamic is effortless. It’s refreshing.
Mariana: So listen, about the other night, I had fun, and it was great. But, um, I’m not looking to actually get involved with someone I kind of live with, Coterie relationships can get kind of messy, you know?
Joaquin: No, I don’t know. I thought what happened between us really meant something.
Joaquin: I’m just kidding. We’re on the same page.
Joaquin helping her score the domain for the Bulk Beauty site by scaring the hell out of that kid with the white supremacist/dark web story was funny.
And Mariana getting to put her sleuth skills to use again felt reminiscent of when she worked at Kathleen’s office.
They serve as efficient partners and can get some answers and desired results. THey’re both bold enough to look into things, but Mariana can bring more finesse than Joaquin has managed so far.
Mariana’s Bulk Beauty arc with the FCG has been so exhausting that as polarizing as this sister, cult, religious fanaticism storyline is, it’s a more interesting reprieve for Mariana.
What the hell is going on with Jenna and this Adam Miller?
After speaking with Adam’s mother, it sounds like Adam grew up in a super religious home too, and perhaps that’s how he and Jenna got involved with each other.
Was he trying to escape his home life, too? And if he was, why is he holding Jenna hostage in whatever they have going on? Is it an anti-religious cult or something? What gives?
It was freaky when Adam’s brother slammed against the window and warned Joaquin and Mariana that Jenna wasn’t safe if she was with his brother.
Adam’s my brother, if your sister’s with him. She’s in danger.
And Adam’s mother knows that something is up and her son can do bad things. She muttered as much when she closed the door and felt genuinely bad for Joaquin after he shared the scripture.
We need the Jenna scoop now!
Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics.
Do you like Mariana and Joaquin’s relationship? What are your Jenna theories? Do you think Isabella overstepped? Will Davia start something with Elliott’s father?
Sound off 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.