Black-ish: Blue Valentine
May 3, 2018 8:13 AM - Season 4, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Tensions are high between Dre and Bow as their contractor arrives to remodel the kitchen, realizing they have grown apart. Dre reflects on the good times in his relationship with Bow. (Spoilers after the cut)

"How the hell did we get here?"

USA Today: Can 'Black-ish' go on if Dre and Bow's marriage breaks up?

Bustle: Dre & Bow Are Separating On ‘black-ish’ & Fans Absolutely Cannot Handle The Feels

(Tried to find some reviews from some other great recappers/reviewers, but haven't so far. Will update through the thread if I catch more through the day.)

For the sake of this being kind of a continuation of the previous episode, "Fifty-three Percent," and that Black-ish doesn't get a lot of posts, let's feel free to throw that one in this thread as well.

Dre, in that episode: “Staying happily married is hard. The odds aren’t great. How many successful marriages can you think of? Fifty-three percent of American marriages fail. That’s like playing Russian roulette with a gun that has three bullets in it.”
posted by General Malaise (8 comments total)
The tonal shift here, in the back end of season four, was extreme. Yet, it was remarkably well handled, extremely uncomfortably realistic. You had the feeling, from decades of watching TV and movies navigate this terrain, that it was going to be wrapped up by the end, with Dre bringing ramen and Bow choosing the sink Dre wanted, but no. And, then, the gut-wrenching ending.

Also, in what is a very rare occurrence in broadcast network comedy: Absolutely no comedy. There was one light moment in which Junior eats the sandwich, but other than the first few seconds, there was not even one attempt for a laugh, just utter and bleak darkness.

Even the coloring of the episode, for a series that is often popping with light and colors, was shaded blue and subdued.

We were not ready for this episode, but holy **** did it nail the landing.
posted by General Malaise at 8:17 AM on May 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I had to stop watching it, it made me too sad.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:20 PM on May 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh gosh, i didnt even realize the season might end on a cliffhanger of them being separated! It won't happen. It can't stay like this.
posted by holyrood at 6:17 PM on May 3, 2018

This episode I'm guessing is named after one of the most heartbreaking movies I've ever seen. That final scene, Jesus Christ.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:11 PM on May 3, 2018

Oh hey home sick small child of a recent divorce, let's catch up on one of your favourite sitcoms! 5 minutes in: mama, change it, change it NOW to something else, I'm not watching this.

The color shifts felt too obvious for me. I liked their previous playing with sound for Bow's depression etc, but this was kind of melodramatic for already excellent acting. The writing and the notes they hit with the back and forth and converaational misses and repeats were so good. Also just the way the actors constantly pulled themselves short or reached out, really great.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 2:32 AM on May 4, 2018

Since I'm watching Black-ish every weekday for the past couple months or so from season 1 (caught up to the current seasons' episode 9), bummer, but I'm not sure if I can say this totally surprises me, since Andre as seasons went by has been played as more and more selfish to the point he's downright insensitive (like, for instance, his relationship with Junior: early on he was more or less vocally dissatisfied over him being a flaming nerd, on the past couple seasons those burns are Family Guy level).

Well, at least someone gooder with words than I can use this as a starting point to explain what should happen in relationships with Flanderized characters.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:41 AM on May 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm not surprised because they've made Dre a bigger jerk as the show has continued, and reduced Bow as a character. It's also super weird about Judaism (with Grown-ish), which is this very deliberate choice it seems to be making and I don't know why. I'm not sure I'll pick it back up next season.
posted by jeather at 11:29 AM on May 5, 2018

God this was brutal. I was a ball of snot and tears at the end.
posted by obfuscation at 5:58 PM on May 5, 2018

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