“Greenleaf” Season 3 Episode 1 & 2 Recap: The Fallout
“Greenleaf” is back on OWN! Read weekly recaps every Thursday on The 94 Percent!
Episode one begins with Lady Mae sitting in her chair, contemplating the failed state of her marriage. (Last season she threw James out after discovering his affair with Maevis was ongoing, not just a one-time thing before Mae and James got together.) Meanwhile, James is waking up, mostly clothed, in Rochelle’s hotel, where he went after being kicked out. Rochelle offers to physically comfort him, but he declines, citing his vows (to God, he’s not worried about Mae). He receives the notification about what happened at the cotillion (when Sofia told Jacob that Isaiah hit Zora, so Jacob hit Isaiah and Zora ran away with the abusive, over-performing baby DeBarge). When Grace and Charity hear about Zora, they go to the house, but Bishop goes to the church. Charity thinks the family is falling apart without her around (chile, please), and Lady Mae still blames Grace for all her problems.
Somehow Jacob and Kerissa track Zora to a motel not far from the state line. Jacob does what just about any father would do and enacts a swift and harsh punishment. Zora is the prisoner, and Jacob is the warden. Kerissa tries talking to Zora like a human being to balance out Jacob’s angry tirade. That approach works, because Zora opens up about why she left.
Under the disapproving side-eye of the bishop’s secretary, James and Rochelle have a closed-door meeting where he tells her their relationship can only be pastor and congregation member. Grace interrupts, and after Rochelle leaves, Grace tries to get answers from her father about his past affair but is told to stay out of grown folks’ business. Also, at Calvary, Charity, who came back after hearing about Zora, is having a heated phone argument with Kevin. He wants custody of Nathan while Charity is on tour, but Charity points out that he’s untrustworthy and was an absentee dad only days before. Kevin once again threatens to go to court, which Charity doesn’t take as a viable threat. She must’ve forgotten Kevin is dating a lawyer.
Meanwhile at Triumph, Brittany the bookkeeper is still hassling Jacob about finances and his program to help the homeless. Tasha suggests that Jacob fire her, which he does the next time Brittany criticizes him. When that happens, Kerissa feels disrespected that Jacob took Tasha’s advice without consulting her. Tasha doesn’t know what to do with herself now that she’s not first lady, so she continues to give advice like she is. Jacob doesn’t realize she’s not Team Greenleaf.
The Greenleafs have 99 problems and the IRS is one. Bishop meets with Lady Mae to tell her Calvary owes over $2 million to the IRS because of Mack’s scheming and scamming. The Bishop tells Mae they need to show a united front to get funds for the church, but Mae cries hypocrisy and says no. Jacob gets simultaneous calls from the bishop, Lady Mae, and Gigi about the bishop being thrown out of the house. The kids knew that Maevis and James were together before he was with Mae but not that the affair lasted after their parents married. Charity echoes her mama, laying the responsibility at Grace’s feet. Jacob laughs at his father for being a hypocrite about his response when Jacob had an affair. Grace takes her problems to Darius, who still won’t go to church with his pastor girlfriend. Everybody is snapping at everybody in this episode.
Darius isn’t the only one skipping church. Mae won’t watch her soon-to-be ex-husband (if her taking off her ring is any indication) preach. Her presence is of course noted by one of the elders in the church. Grace didn’t know the official lie and told the elder something other than what Bishop said on the pulpit. Lady Mae goes to Triumph instead. If she’s looking for a new church home, Triumph could be it. Lady Mae sees Tasha, who now runs the church refreshment table. Lady Mae tells her that she should be doing something more befitting of a former first lady. Tasha in turn tells Mae a story of a fallen first lady (literally fallen because her husband left her for a younger woman and she fell over a balcony). The grin on Tasha’s face after Mae leaves shows that she knows there’s a problem in the Greenleaf household. Tasha’s weird story does influence Mae, who at the end of the episode decides Bishop can stay until they get right with the IRS.
In episode two, we see Bishop Greenleaf tossing and turning in a bed by himself. The mattress apparently isn’t as good as the one he and Mae sleep on because he goes to his old room hoping to get some sleep. Mae is not having it. On his way back to the guest room, Bishop runs into Grace, who is returning from a late-night creep with Darius. At breakfast, Lady Mae calls out Grace for her fornication after Grace comments on how good it is that Mae and Bishop are still doing the marriage seminar. Mae is angry and bitter and lashes out at Grace, who she thinks is always in her business. She’s right. Grace accepts her role as the family troublemaker and fixer. That’s why she calls Rochelle for help funding a project. She wants to keep her enemy close while also gaining intel and using the enemy’s money to do the Lord’s work.
At church, Lady Mae and Bishop Greenleaf are arm-in-arm and all smiles. They run into the deaconess, who confronts Mae about her whereabouts on Sunday. Mae tries to play it off, confirming both alibis. The deaconess gives a look like she’s not believing the lie. The secretary is also not fooled by the fake displays of affection. She knows something isn’t right.
Rochelle is at church again. Why can’t she show up just on Sundays like a regular church member? She thought she had a small victory with Bishop staying at the Biltmore, but when he tells her he’s back at home, she tries to hide her shock and disappointment. When she runs into Lady Mae, she’s intentionally messy and asks about Zora, demonstrating that she knows details about the family.
Over at Triumph, Kerissa is struggling to balance her day job and first lady duties. A meeting with some bougie parents causes her to be late for a church function, but former first lady Skanks is there to fill in. Kerissa is insulted when a new member thinks Tasha is the first lady and Kerissa is another new member. Jacob tries to reassure her, first with words, then with a present. Tasha sees Jacob shopping for clothes online and offers to take him to her jeweler. Jacob is jewelry shopping with a woman his wife does not like, and he even lets Tasha try on the item he plans to get. He must have lost his mind, like Kevin who has the nerve to criticize Charity’s parenting after he walked out on his son.
Just about everyone in the Greenleaf clan is a hypocrite, maybe save for Sofia. It seems like Zora and Sofia are cousin besties again, but Zora just wants Sofia to buy a prepaid phone with the money Zora stole out of the collection plate. Sofia is not an enabler, so Zora will have to find another way to reach Isaiah.
Things seem to be looking up for the Greenleafs when Mae and the bishop get the money from the benefactor, but the happy moment is spoiled when Mae confronts James about being with Rochelle at the hotel. Bishop is tired of Mae bringing up his sins and forgetting about hers. Mae is in no position to cast the first stone. Kerissa is also suspicious about her husband until Jacob presents her with the jewelry, acknowledging her as the first lady of the church and his life. She’s so excited, but when she finds out Tasha wore it first, she’s going to be mad. Jacob deleted the picture of Tasha on his phone, but did he delete it from the cloud? The cloud and iPhone family plan can get folks caught up.
Grace confronts her daddy about his relationship with Rochelle and brings up his affair with Maevis. Bishop is again fed up with hearing about what he did and drops the bomb about Lady Mae’s affair with Lionel. Of course, Grace goes to talk to her mother about it, and Mae’s silence tells her everything she needs to know. Grace tells her mother she is done with the hypocrisy and guilt about her relationship with Darius.
Charity brings Nathan to Kevin’s place and seems ready to leave him there until Aaron walks in with groceries. She doesn’t want to leave Nathan if Aaron is there and backs out of the tour completely, thinking that she and Jabari would still be in a relationship. No surprise there, she’s wrong. Jabari hangs up on her.
Rochelle brings Grace good news about potential donors for the legal fund, but Grace almost ruins the deal when she asks Rochelle if she’s having an affair with Bishop. Rochelle’s fake offense is a manipulation tactic, and she says it’s the Lord’s work that they continue with the program so she’s not going anywhere.
Mae, pissed that Bishop revealed her secret to Grace, storms into the Bishop’s office and yells at him to get off the phone. He seemingly puts the person on hold but doesn’t hang up as Mae airs all his business. She is ready to dissolve the marriage the minute they get the money for the IRS.
Do you think Mae’s declaration and the phone call will come back to haunt the bishop? Comment below.