'She's Gotta Have It' Recap, Episode 4: Coming Clean

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Episode 4 of Netflix’s >She’s Gotta Have It, titled #LuvIzLuv (Sexuality is Fluid) begins with Nola pledging to do a cleanse after the mishaps with her three lovers in the last episode. “No social media, no weed, no alcohol and no men in my loving bed,” she promises. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be women in her loving bed. Nola’s new partner is Opal Gilstrap, a woman from Nola’s past whom dropped when Opal wanted to get serious. Opal has learned from her past experience with Nola, though, and so she is going to guard her heart this go round.

Nola is a completely different person with a woman partner. In therapy, Nola tells Dr. Jamison that as a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, the thought of monogamy and family usually makes her scared. But now, suddenly, she thinks she wants to pursue monogamy with Opal. And Opal already has a child, so she could have a family without being herself pregnant. Nola observes that she doesn’t prefer any gender of any other, but her relationship with Opal is so great because Opal doesn’t try to own her the way her men do. Opal makes her feel as though she doesn’t have to fight.

GIF: Netflix

Without the presence of the men in her life, without that oppressive male gaze, we finally get to see Nola for the woman she really is. Nola is a free spirit that’s perhaps too free. When not trying to juggle three men, we learn that she’s flighty, impulsive, and irresponsible. The night before Nola is meant to start a new teaching gig to supplement her income, Nola breaks her cleanse and gets drunk at her friend Tarell’s father’s retirement party. Nola loses her apartment keys, and can’t get a hold of anyone. She reaches Opal, who is her last resort, and Opal takes care of her. After an early breakfast with Opal’s daughter Schuyler whom Nola promises to spend time with that evening and an awkward run-in with Greer while she and Opal are spending time together, Nola is still late for her first day at her art teaching gig at a Brooklyn Charter School with no lesson plan prepared. She’s able to wing it on her charm, though, and her class is successful.

After school, we get another run down on the ways Nola has been irresponsible. Last night was the third time Nola had lost her apartment keys, and so she begins wearing the spare she left with her parents around her neck. And during a lengthy chat with her landlord Ms. Ella, we learn that Nola is 2.5 weeks late on her rent which makes the recent purchase of her $559.72 with tax little black dress egregious. Nola gets caught up in a painting she was working on for Schuyler and the news that she had advance to the second round of the Catlett Prize, and completely misses the play date she had with Schuyler. She arrives at Opal’s apartment extremely late. Schuyler has already fallen asleep, where Opal breaks up with Nola. Opal sees that Nola is not ready for commitment or obligations to other people, and Opal won’t let herself or her daughter get hurt.

GIF: Netflix

But none of the women in this story can ever truly be free of the male gaze, right? Not in the real world, at least. Nola is really thrown off by running into Greer while hanging with Opal. Instantly there is great tension, with Greer and Opal being threatened by the presence of the other. But Nola seems slightly embarrassed to be seen with Opal. Opal walks off, and Greer and Nola have a conversation. She turns down his advances, but she still seems to care what he thinks. Greer takes a jab at Nola’s Birkenstocks, the shoes she has that is stereotypically associated with lesbians. And Nola looks ashamed, when she seemed so happy to be wearing them at Opal’s house. In just a brief encounter, Greer can unsettle the best romantic situation Nola has had in a while. And Opal is aware of that. Perhaps that factors in to her break up with Nola later that night.

Shamekka is still handling the pressure of the male gaze. In the last episode, Winny Win gave her the money to augment her butt. She hasn’t done any procedures yet, but in this episode she and the other dancers are feeling great pressure from Win to make more money. Shamekka is getting desperate, so I expect she’ll get the work done very soon.

GIF: Netflix

We also get a brief update on the Brooklyn vs. Gentrification conflict. On the night that Nola loses her keys, Bianca is shouting down Papo Da Mayor again. This time her complaint is that his “garbage art” — work literally made from materials he finds in the garbage — is stinking up her property. In part because he wants to get away from Bianca, but also out of genuine concern, Papo accompanies drunk Nola to her parents’ home before she decides not to wake them. We get more back story on Papo during their walk; he was a high school mate of Nola’s and was an excellent artist before he fell on hard times. Nola buys his self portrait, for 10 dollars and an I Owe You for ten more. Nola will later explain to Opal that Papo is dear to her, but also her greatest fear. She never wants to have to sell her art on the street. But, if she keeps dropping the ball, it’s not so far fetched that she might have to start selling street art. Time to grow up, Nola! The keychain around the next is a pretty decent start.

GIF: Netflix

Rae Sanni is a comedian and writer from Brooklyn, NY who has been bringing her unique perspective on everything from pop culture to race and gender relations to audiences all over. Rae is a staff writer on Comedy Central’s The President Show and cohosts the podcast Misandry with Marcia and Rae. You can find Rae on Twitter >@Raesanni.

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Source : https://decider.com/2017/11/26/shes-gotta-have-it-recap-episode-4/

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