P-Valley Season 1, Episode 3 recap: Higher Ground

Episode 3 of P-Valley introduces more of the Dirty South’s politics.

The third episode of P-Valley begins with Autumn shopping for wigs with Gidget, who recommends she try something a little different to change up her look. She ends up choosing a long, stick-straight blond wig that complements her well.

We also see yet another seductive fantasy sequence with Mercedes and a man she simply calls Coach, he appears to be a regular at the club. He makes big promises about taking care of Mercedes and setting her up big, but she’s not a fool.

What seemed like a private one-on-one quickly devolves into the normal strip club energy as all the trappings fall away and it is revealed the man and Mercedes were simply having a conversation in the middle of the club. Mercedes has a knack for making men feel special, she doesn’t even need to take them into the Champagne Room to hypnotize them completely.

P-Valley: The casino has everybody on their toes.

The most substantial drama in P-Valley‘s third episode revolves around the casino.  Remember, that Autumn is in Clifford’s pet until she deems otherwise considering she can make her jobless and probably subsequently homeless.

She pressures her into cozying up to Andre for more information on the incoming casino — or as Clifford puts it, her “ears are thirsty for tea.”

But before we get to that scheming, we get an interesting scene with Andre and his father, a.k.a. the Mayor! They discuss the impending deal with Wayne and Wyatt Kyle. The Mayor needs it to go smoothly because they’re supposed to help him get reelected in exchange for an easy sale for a cool $6 million.

The problem is, half-brother Corbin is less eager to sell the land and would rather lease it. Andrew doesn’t even think that’s a bad idea, but his father does. He also notes that the only land they really need for the casino is The Pynk, with its nice waterfront location.

Andre is also uneasy about his father taking kickbacks for his political career, but as his dear old dad points out — he didn’t have a problem with that when the same money was lining his pockets for Russell Park, another project from Promised Land.

His son argues that the town is supposed to help bolster Promise Land’s reputation as they rebuild the town in a good-faith gesture.

“Who better to name the town after than the first Black mayor?” says his father.

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P-Valley Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Courtesy of Jessica Miglio / Starz

Andre starts talking about optics, and that gets his dad riled up. He doesn’t like his judgmental tone. It is the Dirty South, after all, and the Kyle’s run the cotton connect that run the district along with Wayne having a seat on the city council. It’s understandable why the mayor wants to keep his relationship with them, even if it’s not exactly morally sound logic.

The main concern for him is that the church will find out about the casino and ruin his entire plan, which is why they need to keep construction low-key and police and council hands greased to get the votes he needs.

Returning to Autumn, she takes Andre out for dinner and she finally learns he is married. He has a wife named Brittany back in Atlanta. It doesn’t really dissuade Autumn since she’s not with him to start a romance. Later, they meet up in his hotel room. They start getting hot and heavy but Autumn slams the brakes when she realizes they don’t have a condom.

While Andre runs out to get one, she goes through his laptop and finds the elaborate casino presentation, which she copies to show Clifford later. In her snooping, she stumbles across the photographs of her standing outside The Pynk that Andre took.

It spooks her and she runs off, just as Andre returns. He notices the photo on the laptop and expresses frustration at letting her find it.

Back at The Pynk, Autumn unveils the presentation to Clifford. She’s delighted by the display, but what she takes a particular interest in is the fact there is no strip club on the new map. It’s apparent the builders are planning to buy out the land.

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P-Valley Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Courtesy of Starz

Wanting more information, and a potential chance to get some serious cash, Clifford steals Autumn’s phone to text Andre and tell him to meet up in the Champagne Room. As a final task, she takes Autumn’s long blond wig and waits for Andre to show up before confronting him about what she’s learned.

As for Autumn, she finally gets Lakeisha Savage’s I.D. card and finally arrives to collect the cash from her money wire, just in time, too!

Speaking of Clifford, there is another interesting scene earlier in the episode between her and Corbin. Clifford pays Corbin a visit while he’s working one of the fields at the Wayne plantation. She wants to know what Corbin is doing with Andre, especially considering the bribe he tried to make happen in the last episode.

Related Story: P-Valley Season 1, Episode 2 recap

Corbin informs The Pynk manager about the deal to buy the Kyles’ land, even though he would prefer to lease. The Wayne’s are eager since they blew their whole inheritance, so of course they want the most money and the fastest way possible.

At this point, Clifford doesn’t yet know The Pynk would have to be removed for the casino so she thinks his club will be sitting pretty across from one, which would definitely be good for business.

We also learn that Corbin and Clifford have known each a very long time and Clifford has some serious dirt on Corbin, including that he was the son of a maid his father had an affair with, something no one really wants to get out, especially now that he finally has a place in the Kyle family’s legacy. He’s the bastard son of Johnny Kyle and Clifford will keep it secret, for now.

P-Valley

P-Valley Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Courtesy of Jessica Miglio / Starz

P-Valley: Mercedes and her family drama get more complicated.

Things become increasingly complicated for Mercedes in this episode of P-Valley, although surprisingly, her mom isn’t really the source of her stress for once. In fact, Patrice is downright nice for once — at least, for her.

She agrees to cut Mercedes’s check for her $20,000, which she needs to open her gym. It seems her mom is at least marginally happy that her daughter is genuinely planning to retire from the strip club life to start a new, more wholesome, venture.

As for Patrice, things are not as great for her at the church as one might think. She’s judged by the elders, primarily the men who take precedent over the women, for her daughter’s career. It’s extremely hypocritical, considering Mercedes’s money is what’s even keeping the door’s open, but it’s also realistic to how certain religious sects operate.

P-Valley

P-Valley Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Courtesy of Jessica Miglio / Starz

What’s even worse, is even though Patrice is not a good mother, she obviously is the person holding everything at the church together and she doesn’t get respect for it, at least not much. The male elders will always pick other men to promote into positions of power within the hierarchy over her simply because she’s a woman, and even worse, a woman with a stripper for a daughter.

As for Mercedes, we learn that one of the girls on her dance team, Terricka, is actually her biological daughter. But for reasons unknown, although I suspect it might because she had her a young age, Mercedes gave her daughter up to another woman who is quite well off.

The only time Mercedes gets to see her daughter is at dance practice but that ends when Terricka and her friends start acting out on social media. It starts with a “#BadB*tchParty” hashtag that results in a crazy house party at her foster mother’s home.

Mercedes sees footage of it on social media when some of the girls at The Pynk are watching it and instantly rushes over to discipline her daughter. The conversation they have is extremely harsh and I definitely do not agree with everything Mercedes said, although I do think it was coming from a good place.

Once her foster mom gets home, she tells Mercedes how Terricka is basically body-obsessed, and it becomes apparent she might be internalizing some negative things about her mom’s job, especially based on comments she makes during a dance practice that turns ugly.

Ultimately, her foster mom decides she can no longer be on the dance team because she thinks Terricka’s focus needs to be redirected to more important things like grades, Obviously, her decision devastates Mercedes since dance is the only chance she gets to see her child.

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P-Valley Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Courtesy of Tina Rowden / Starz

P-Valley: Autumn takes a spill onstage.

When she’s not conning Andre or cashing in her money, Autumn spends a good chunk of this episode getting drunk. At one point, she makes a spectacular mess at The Pynk when she overdoses it on the shots and climbs the pole in the middle of Gidget, Mercedes, and Keyshawn’s trinity act.

Mercedes manages to cover it up so it doesn’t seem like such a disaster, but she confronts Autumn afterward and is certainly not happy with her. It seemed like Autumn was triggered after briefly holding Keyshawn’s baby and having flashbacks to her own child, who we still know nothing about as of yet.

P-Valley: Odds & Ends

  • Lil Murda starts working with DJ Neva Scared to maybe get some good music made. The rapper also turns down a potential hookup opportunity with Clifford, who invites him over to the club.
  • Keyshawn gets another injury from her boyfriend and Diamond helps patch her up with a pepper and vodka poultice. He asks her when she’s going to get out of her bad situation and she doesn’t have an answer for him.
  • The guy Gidget is dating is the one who Clifford is storing Oxycontin for at the club. He gets paid a pretty sum for it, at least.
Next: 5 underrated Elle Fanning performances

What will Autumn do with all that money? Will Mercedes find a new way to reconnect with her daughter? Let us know your thoughts on the latest episode of P-Valley in the comments below.

New episodes of P-Valley air Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.

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