Now that the shooter has been caught, the only thing to do is move on. After running into a former rival, Naomi wants to change the music industry. Lauren pursues a new career path. Jill can’t sleep and considers some extreme measures for relief, and Valiera makes an impulse decision that shocks the others.
Please note this recap contains spoilers for season 1, episode 9 “Bars”
And we’re back! When we last left the ladies, Jill (Naturi Naughton) had just learned that her ex-husband Darren was responsible for the shooting; and Brianna was undergoing a second surgery after it was determined that the bullet wound would leave her paralyzed from the neck down. It seemed to be touch and go for a while as Bree (Eve) lost a lot of blood, but the heart monitor started beeping as the show ended so she’s ok right? Right?
The episode opens with Queens, Lauren (Pepi Sonuga) and Eric (Taylor Sele) standing in a cemetery staring at a headstone. The girls remark that it’s so weird with Bree gone, and touring without her doesn’t feel right. Someone comments that Queens is dead. Jill is still devastated that Darren robbed them of so much joy, but Naomi (Brandy) tells her it wasn’t her fault.
Cut to three months later and Naomi is removing a SOLD sign from Bree’s front yard. She bought the house and is living there with Jojo and Eric who had to lose his house to pay off Jadakiss. Not ideal, but at least that drama is over. He seems to think they could be a family, but she’s adamant that they are roommates who are co-parenting their teenage daughter. Oh, and Lauren has moved in too.
Valeria (Nadine Velazquez) is working on some solo music and has been working with Thomas (Gaius Charles) who’s producing and mixing her vocals. He says some nice things about her voice and asks her out. She’s flattered and agrees.
As for Jill, she’s turned to acting as a way to move past what’s happened. As the director calls to wrap the scene, she asks for another take even though they’re happy with her performance. She needs to keep herself distracted and her mind active. Finally, they give her another go.
Naomi is doing normal mom things like grocery shopping and Lauren has tagged along (they needed ice cream!). She’s currently studying law and proudly proclaims she’s going to be a public defender. As they load the car, a worker comes to take their grocery cart and it turns out to be Zadie (Remy Ma), a former music rival of Noami’s. She’s shocked that Zadie ended up at a place like this.
Val and Thomas go to dinner and they talk about Bree. Val thinks it's sad that they got the group back together only to have it taken away. Thomas asks if she wants kids. She does. She doesn’t. She was close to Bree’s children and loved being an aunt to them. They talk until the restaurant closes, and move on to a bar, then an all night diner and eventually Las Vegas, where they do what one does, get married.
Back home Jill can’t sleep. Every time she drifts off she has nightmares of the attack, seeing Bree wounded and dying.
Jojo is watching the latest videos on her phone when she comes across a song by rapper Cash Mermaid featuring The Bakery— Lil Muffin’s old crew. The four of them perform a diss track about Lil Muffin. Jojo shows it to her pseudo sister who bushes it off. She’s retired. But Cash Mermaid aka Becky’s post gives her pause.
After talking to Eric about seeing Zadie at the store, Naomi heads back to see Zadie and extends an olive branch. She offers to have them record something together. But Zadie doesn’t want that. She’s moved on from music. She’s respected at her job, was named employee of the month a few times and is earning an honest living.
Val brings Thomas to the house and introduces him to the gang. Naomi is shocked about the marriage and asks Val if she knows anything about him. Val says this relationship feels real. Naomi tells her that marriage is honesty, intimacy and she’s skeptical that Val gets it. Meanwhile, Thomas and Eric chat and Thomas observes that Val is like family to them. Eric agrees, but doesn’t tell him about their past.
Naomi goes to the studio, and Zadie shows up, “I’m not back” she says. She raps about her life while Naomi backs her. It’s a good session. Afterwards Naomi asks what happened to her and Zadie says respects hip hop, but doesn’t like the game. No one knows the whole story, but she was sexually assaulted by another artist and then blamed for it. The person drove her out of the business.
Lauren receives a call from Becky who apologizes for being so aggressive, says the industry is hard and asks if Lauren will mentor her. She hesitates, but agrees.
Tom and Val are planning their honeymoon, and he suggests they go to New York to see her family and his. His large family is close and they’re excited to meet Val. She changes the conversation, refusing to let him know she was a foster child.
Every time Jill closes her eyes she sees Bree. Her assistant is worried about the toll this is taking on Jill who won’t talk to the other girls. She tells Jill she shouldn’t suffer alone. Jill picks up her phone and makes a call. She’s still sober but has reached out to and meets up with a former dealer. She buys a small bag of white powder and drives away.
Eric and Naomi talk about Zadie, and she wants to help her formal rival after all she’s been through. Nasty B*tches made a comeback, surely he can get Zadie a deal.
Lauren meets Becky at a restaurant but it’s a set up. Cash Mermaid has The Bakery filming the entire exchange as she eggs the former rapper on. Lauren is above it and says she didn't respond with her own diss track because she’s retired. She walks out.
As Jill drives she struggles with her choice and eventually tosses the bag out her car window. She immediately gets pulled over, and a cop comes to check her registration. It’s expired. He has to write it up but it’s a simple issue and she has 30 days to get it adjusted. She’s in the clear, until a second cop walks up with the small bag. “Is this yours?”
With Thomas wanting to turn their honeymoon into a family reunion, Val is certain that divorce would be easier and confesses to Naomi that she doesn’t want to share the truth with Thomas. Naomi starts to lecture her, but Jojo interrupts them with a new video from Becky. After Lauren left she walked to the camera and called Lauren weak. This is the final straw. Lil Muffin is ready to rap a response and they head to the studio. She’s feeling it. “Heavy is my crown,” she sings.
Lauren’s performance is a sharp comeback to Cash Mermaid and everyone is impressed. Eric asks if she’s back. “I want to defend the people.” “I think you just did,” says Naomi right as she gets a phone call, this time from Jill. She’s in jail (for possession?) and needs their help. Everyone including Eric comes to get her. “Let’s go home.”
At the house Jill catches up on the latest news including Val’s marriage. Naomi calls her out for wanting to get a divorce to avoid the truth. Jill agrees and tells her, “consequences in the end are always worse than facing the fear in the moment.” They miss Bree. “She held us up.”
Lauren sweeps into the room all smiles and tells Jill the charges were dropped. The future Public Defender called the DA’s office and suggested that pursuing this misdemeanor for someone who has no record would cost them millions of dollars and in the end they’d lose. Then she called the Mayor just to be safe, and she also played his daughter’s 16th birthday party. Eric comes by with more good news, there are Labels pursuing Lil Muffin, and they like the new and very real Lauren.
With things shifting back to some sort of normal, Naomi has the idea to create Nasty Girl Records, a full service outfit that gives the artists control. It’s a way for women to support women, plus it’ll provide a space for the girls and Muffin to release their solo projects. They present the idea to Zadie asking her to sign as an artist. She’s in!
Val takes Thomas to the cemetery and they are standing at the grave of Rosalind Marquez, her mother. This is the exact same spot she stood three months ago with her girls. Val tells him the truth. “I lie sometimes. I don’t have a family.” He grabs her hand, and says “yes you do.”
Now that Nasty Girl Records is official, Naomi makes a call to…Bree. She’s alive and happy in Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica with her kids. It’s where she and Jeff honeymooned and started dreaming about their family. She smiles and ignores the call from the girls.