The Chi season 2, episode 4 recap: Growth, improvisation, and changing priorities in Showdown


The Chi introduced Emmett as a sweet-talking teenager building monuments to his sneaker collection. His new venture forced him into a tough decision.

The Chi has shown Emmett has went Night King crazy in collecting soles. Soul/Sole pun aside, Emmett aimed to be the king of the block when it came to kicks with drip. Soles with swooshes, stripes, and the obligatory pair of Yeezy 350s. Some treasured sneakers came in pairs, one to rock and one to stock. Emmett took care of shoes with impeccable detail.

Now Emmett has to take care of his (*check labor ward) three kids by three different young women. To take care of those three young souls, Emmett has to swallow what’s left of his pride and sell some shoes. The profits from selling a pair of Jordan 11 Space Jam’s can fund the food truck for days. Parting with the Bred Toe Jordan 1s was too much, in fact, don’t even touch them again Brandon.

Ah, the food truck that Brandon and Emmett decided to partner up on, instead of running Sonny’s. Sonny’s being the restaurant Emmett burned down but had a permanent address and a permit. If only Brandon and Emmett had burned the truck and funded a new Sonny’s instead. The existing social media and branding would have been invaluable.

Now they have to start from scratch, with clean grease traps. Grease traps Emmett will never forget to clean again. Brandon cannot let him forget either. While Emmett has housing needs and kids to feed, Brandon will eventually have to support whatever scheme Reg and Douda have for the food truck.

The food truck business is fine when there is plenty to eat and not many splits on profits. Responsibilities to keep the family style pot of gold filled is a lot more stressful when greedy gangsters are trying to get their fill.

The growth of Papa, Kevin, and Jake has been just as great. Kevin is deep, but quiet, and quietly falling in love with Maisha the glitter queen. Papa carries the show, even when sneezing in the biggest moment of the year.

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The most subtle bit of growth this season has been the underlying dirt behind everything, including Ms. Ethel being beaten. Reg will not go unpunished for that slip up in decision making. The tangled web of Chicago drugs and real estate is starting to become a bit clearer, ever so slightly.

The good times in The Chi will eventually cross paths with the darker side of the city. Brandon will have to stand up to Reg, who in turn will have to answer to Douda. Jake will have to stand up to those other gang children. They are just children, the word choice is purposeful. But The Chi has revolved around the deaths of children. It’s the plague of Chicago, honestly.

Every character has had to improvise. Even the smallest gestures create new obstacles. All Kevin wanted to do was give Maisha a bike. All Brandon wanted to do was cook for himself. All Ronnie wanted to do was vent some anger.

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Those small intentions led to larger consequences.

The new problems required growth, or death in Q’s case. Emmett’s sneaker collection is slowly being killed off as well, for a few hundred dollar profits to be re-invested in another pair later. Once he has the food truck running and the child support payments up to date.

I mean, it’s been three whole weeks since he bought a new pair on The Chi. That’s growth.