Black-ish Brings Bow Back to Work

(ABC/Byron Cohen)

Welcome back to Black-ish and welcome to Tmansworld’s coverage of Black-ish. The fourth season has been dealing with Bow’s post-pregnancy from her postpartum depression to now her return to work. All in all, “Working Girl” is a strong Black-ish episode that deals with several weighty topics with humor.

The episode started with Dre’s recap of women’s opportunities in the workforce. With the Johnsons, Bow is going back to work since her maternity leave is over. Dre suggests that she not go back, but Bow is angry at him for suggesting that. Bow says that she loves her work and wants to go back. However, Dre says that they are at a financial point where she can afford to stay home.

Jack and Diane are worried about Rainbow going back because she did their homework while they watched TV. They try to recruit Junior to do their home, but he sees it as an ethics violation. Reluctantly, they turn to Ruby for help.

Dre goes to work confused why Bow doesn’t want to stay home and does the always rational move of bringing up the topic to his colleagues. Daphne says that women get fulfillment from working and Leslie says that Dre needs to ask three times (based off Japanese gift giving culture).

Bow goes back to work at the hospital and the co-workers have a cake for her. All is going well but she realizes that they now have inside jokes without her. Compounding her worries, the nanny texts that Devante has had his first solid food while Bow is gone. She also gets sad when she sees a mother and baby.

Back at home, Jack and Diane are worried that Ruby can’t do math when she attempts their homework. Fearing for their test the next day, Ruby proposes that they game the system by claiming a tragedy happened to their cousin. Ruby also says that since her teacher is a white woman, she will eat it up.

In the dining room, Rainbow comes home and Dre has prepared a Japanese (someone took Leslie’s advice) dinner for her. Rainbow is down after her rough day and is still annoyed at Dre when he asks about her staying home. Bow decides that she will go back to work and vows to kill it.

At school the next day, Jack and Diane pull the trick on their teacher and she says no homework or tests for them. When Junior finds out later, he threatens to call the school. Junior and Ruby have a fascinating debate as Ruby says that this is just taking advantage of a system rigged against blacks, but Junior says that if people do not trust blacks they need to work twice as hard to gain it. In the end, Ruby successfully convinces Junior not to call.

At work, Dre explains that he sees Bow being able to stay home as a sign of his success because all of the women he grew up surrounded by had to work in order to provide. It is an interesting perspective, but I would make a critique that in order for Dre to feel successful Rainbow does not need to work.

Bow returns to work in an effort to crush it, successfully doing surgeries and making the inside joke.

Back home, Bow comes home to Junior and Devante. She gets mad that Devante’s nickname was changed while she was at work and Dre tries again to get her to stay home to no avail. Upstairs, Zoey says she is done packing for college and Bow is sad that she wasn’t able to help her. This comes as she was vacuuming outside the baby’s room in an effort to wake him up.

In school the following day, Jack and Diane are unable to pull their trick on their black substitute teacher and fail their math test. Dre grounds them two weeks and Junior warns Ruby that the ethics catches up to her. It is quite ominous, but that is the end of it. Ruby looks confused after Junior walks away and that was about my face as well.

In the evening, Rainbow goes to talk to Dre and says that she can do it all, but questions whether she wants to. She says that Dre cannot talk to her about this because the more he talks, the more she wants to act against his wishes and prove him wrong. Instead, she calls in the kids Bow announces her decision to stay home a few months to their joy. Rainbow also says that she’ll go back to doing the twins’ math and they announce they’re failing math.

Finally, in the tag Black-ish gets ready for Zoey’s Grown-ish and Dre records the family moving Zoey into college.

Overall, this was a strong episode with its focus on Rainbow. Tracee Ellis Ross has consistently been one of the strongest parts of the show and “Working Girl” just reenforces that.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOL

“Rules are for ugly people.”- Ruby. “I knew it.”- Jack.

“Rainbow Johnson is a doctor who kills.”- Bow.

“And our Dad was traded to the Cavs!”- Jack’s idea of a tragedy that happened to a black person.

Ruby’s life as Michael Jackson.

“Played him like a white teacher.”- Ruby on Junior.

Junior asks Bow to chaperone prom. She says yes, but is confused why he would want that.


Tyler Author

Tyler is the chief TV critic for Tmansworld.

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