Grown-ish (2018) s04e07 Episode Script

A Peace Of Light

1 Ey Yeah I just been ridin' ZOEY: After all the turmoil and unrest over the last few months, I was really appreciating getting back to some semblance of a normal life.
Got a new lawyer, he need a retainer I told him I'll make the deposit Cheesin' all up in the cam and it's And I even started to rediscover my old passion for designing, thanks to all the inspiration around me in the small amount of downtime I had at my new internship with superstar streetwear designer Esme Sharp.
Lifestyle changed up and I'm going up - What's the "Z" for? - But got the same ones around me - Oh, it's for Zoey.
- I got new pains, but I know I'm made for it - My name.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah Oh.
Not in my nature to save it for later I'ma take her sailing in south of France Take a trip out to Paris, I'm eating pasta in Naples I'm on the beach in Barbados Here are your six packets of sweetener, two stir sticks, a package of madeleines, and one strawberry cake pop, which goes right into the garbage to not, uh, waste those extra calories.
- You see this guy? - Hmm? He's blowing up off the look we created almost two freakin' years ago.
Yeah, I remember the line.
You had a a pop-up fashion show on some helipad of a building downtown.
- ESME: Yeah.
- I stood outside for two hours and was denied entrance because I had a nail file in my pocket.
Well, now, the fashion blogs are celebrating this White dude like he came up with it.
- Mm.
- It's such nonsense.
- [Sighs.]
- Yeah.
But it's nothing new, right? We innovate, and the world continues to appropriate.
It's too bad there's not some sort of reparations for stuff like this, because if people wanted to "keep it so real," then they'd compensate Black folks for years and years of stealing our ideas.
But, then, again, h-how do you assign monetary value to an idea that's not technically intellectual property? I really don't know.
Zoey, right? Oh, my God, we're on a first-name basis.
Have a seat.
I'm gone Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Where you're from, what you're doing here.
But got the same ones 'round me After just a few weeks of working in Esme's office, I was finding my voice, and my creative light was shining brighter than ever.
Look, my boss.
Look, my words.
Unfortunately, with my light growing brighter, there seemed to be a tendency for some to want to steal that shine.
Watch out, world, I'm grown now I'm grown Learn something new every day I don't know, so I'mma feel my way Got the weight of the world on me But no regrets, this is what I say Watch out, world, I'm grown now I'm grown You can tell me My heart beating so loud Mama, look, I'm grown now I'm grown I understand what you're saying.
I just don't see what the problem is.
Well, the problem is that Esme repurposed my words as her own in this article.
Are you sure they were exact? Maybe she just took the essence of what you said and remixed it.
Err, no, because a-a "remix" implies some sort of elevated, hip-hop style change that may or may not feature DJ Khaled which this is not.
Okay, okay, okay, let me see it.
Let me take a look at it.
I know a Zoey Johnson quote when I see one.
- Yep.
- All right.
"Appropriate" nice.
"Compensate" very good.
- Mm-hmm.
- "Reparations.
" Wait a minute.
This brilliant quote is all Aaron Jackson.
- You stole this from me.
- Wha These are my ideas.
I told you this the other night over chimichangas.
- You don't remember? - Wha You said that? - Yes.
- Over chimichangas? Yeah, he said it over chimichangas.
Well, that's beside the point, then.
That means that Esme stole from us, babe.
Okay, well, look, maybe she just did to you what you just did to me.
- Mm.
- You listened.
You internalized my already brilliant idea.
Then, against all odds, you elevated it, - making it even more brilliant.
- Mm-hmm.
The point is, it doesn't matter who said what as long as the message got out, right? - Right.
- Right.
You're right.
And neither of us could have gotten - those thoughts published, so - Speak for yourself.
I'm, uh I'm in academia, so Barely.
Can you not ruin this moment? All right, I'm just gonna do it.
I'm gonna go with it here.
Be honest.
Does it make me look like Will Smith in "Hitch"? Serious question do you want to look like - Will Smith in "Hitch"? - Today? - Mm-hmm.
- Yes, absolutely.
Remember I told you mid-semester that me and the other TA - were gonna be swapping duties? - Yeah.
- Today is that day.
- Yeah? Yes.
He's gonna be grading papers.
I'm gonna be leading lectures.
- That's today.
- Yes.
- Oh, my God, that's so cool! - Yeah, it is, but I feel like - I have this huge reputation to live up to.
- Mm-hmm.
Right? Because last year, I shut school graduation down.
That's what I did.
Also got the school to divest from private prisons.
That was you.
Also single-handedly created Black Minds Matter, Cinema Paranegro, Cornbread Thursdays.
They're my greatest hits here.
You know what I mean? I know all of his greatest hits because he never fails to run them down every day.
I just want to make sure that when I walk into that classroom for the first time looking at all their faces, that I represent that I that I fulfill their their expectations; their hopes; their dreams.
Like Will fulfilled mine when he delighted me while also teaching me how to politely hit on women in "Hitch.
" - It's a great movie.
- Okay.
Well, babe, calm down, 'cause you're gonna be great.
And you were born to do this, Alex Hitchens.
- What did you just call me? - Alex Hitchens.
Thank you for saying that.
You know what that means to me.
- Yeah.
- I like that.
You're my Black Eva Mendes.
- Am I? - And I love you.
- I love you, too.
- Rrgh! Mm.
I gotta say, that community service has taken your cleaning skills to the next level.
And I gotta say, the bums that live in the public bathrooms we have to clean each week have nothing on you ladies.
Filthy slobs, each and every one of you.
Yeah, you know, I'd really love to help, but I gotta go to therapy.
M-Maybe talk about why you and your roommates can't clean up after yourselves.
Oh, I'd make up any nonsense in that dumbass hour as long as it gets me out of running track and keeping my scholarship.
It's not made-up nonsense.
You have a real problem.
Here's your lunch.
[Dramatic music plays.]
Well, that's dope.
Can you fix the collar on it just a little bit? Yeah, perfect.
Or dopely familiar.
It's brilliant, right? Yeah, it is.
Especially that "Z.
" I know.
- Mm.
- Iconic, even.
Esme says it stands for "Gen Z.
" Interesting.
'Cause in my identical, equally brilliant sketch that Esme saw and commented on, the "Z" stood for "Zoey.
" My name.
Okay, so, they're for sure similar, but it's not like I'm the first person to ever design a cropped letterman jacket in green and purple with a satin lining and a yellow "Z" with red stitching around it.
Right? And either way, even if she was inspired by my sketch which she clearly was I'm sure she just hasn't gotten around to singing my praises yet.
Oh, here comes the boss.
Get ready for those vocals.
Cool design, right? So, so cool, right? Right.
You know what, Zoey? I should really be thanking you.
Here it comes.
You, Kaylon, Luther, Turquoise, Iverson it really is a team effort around here.
And it's been so nice to have an intern that just fits into our family so seamlessly.
You know what I'm gonna do? For an afternoon treat for everyone, I'm gonna get one of those fancy you know those coffee carts that set up in the parking lot? Celebratory matcha for everyone.
- Wha - Cool idea, right? So cool.
You set that up for me? - S-Seamlessly.
- I knew you would.
Thanks, Zoey.
Well, she did sing my praises.
It just wasn't a full song.
More of like, um, an interlude.
Or a bridge, even.
Okay, so, can anyone tell me why Malcolm X decided to visit the city of Mecca in 1964? Anybody? Anyone can answer.
No? Okay.
Hey, hey, hey, hey, that is okay.
That is why they hired me.
Let me drop some knowledge on you real quick.
So, after being silenced for 90 days 90 days by Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X decided to go to Mecca to further his what? Further his learning of the of the, uh, Muslim faith.
Excuse me, young lady.
Yes, with the chunky braids.
Yes, you, my dear.
What is it that's on your phone that's more interesting than Malcolm and his pilgrimage to Mecca? Uh, I don't think you want to know.
Oh, no, I definitely I definitely want to know.
How about you guys? Don't you wanna know? I think we all wanna know.
I just started an Instagram account for your sweater vest.
AARON: It's funny, is it? So, just to get this straight, you think that, uh, creating an IG account for an extremely tasteful dare I say dapper cashmere blended sweater vest you thought that that was more important than learning about the Hajj.
I personally think it's more interesting and definitely less distracting than that vest.
Okay, all right.
Um, do we all feel this way? Because if my sweater vest is distracting you and compromising the lesson, how about I just take it off and I teach in a T-shirt? How about that, all right? Let's focus up.
I mean, sure.
You just created another IG account for my T-shirt? She didn't, but I did.
All right, how about this? Maybe this will help you guys focus.
- Bro, you are on one.
- No, no, no.
What I'm on, young man, is academia.
- [Camera shutters clicking.]
- Do you understand me? I'm a proud Black king trying to lead his very first day in class and teach you right from wrong.
I've made a terrible mistake.
Okay, so, I get how Esme parroting my words for some story is a bit murky, but this whole this whole design thing Like, this? This feels like a direct rip-off, right? Oh, no question.
Yeah, it's a 100% rip-off.
[Inhales deeply.]
You gotta confront her.
No, she doesn't.
Look, Zoey, stolen or not, you need this internship.
I know.
We're almost halfway through senior year.
Confronting your boss now could jeopardize you graduating.
I know, I kno So, what do I do? You do what Luca said.
You call the woman out for stealing your shit.
All facts.
Okay, wait, I am confused.
Don't people like Esme hire lower-level designers who create for them all the time? Yeah, but those are employees that are on her payroll.
This chick stole an idea from her unpaid intern.
Okay, well, I'm just saying that Zoey has nothing to gain and everything to lose by calling her out.
I know, and I do not want to do anything to jeopardize graduating.
But I don't want to be blatantly disregarded.
I just I honestly don't know if this was malicious or even intentional.
Whatever it is whether she smiles in your face or smacks it your boss stole your idea.
Yeah, and, also, if she did this so easily to you, then she's definitely done it before, and she's probably going to do it again.
So, if you're not gonna speak up for yourself, at least think of others.
Again, all facts.
You're right.
You're right.
I need to speak up for myself and for others and, really, to let those punk-ass bullies know that they cannot mess with the beautiful high-cheekboned little guys.
No, not in my house.
That's the spirit! Or about as close to the spirit as she can get.
I play for keeps, and you know I came to win While I still wasn't totally sure that Esme had intentionally stolen my idea, I had to admit that it didn't look good, and I knew I needed to channel my newfound confidence - to get to the bottom of it.
- You know I came to win - Play for keeps, and you know I came to win - Do you have a minute? Yeah, yeah, you know I came to win So, like, I really left here wondering, how do you combine your love of track with your passion for street dancing? And I-I actually got into Maryland, but I had to make the really tough decision and say goodbye to all that and come to Cal U.
All right, well, we've unpacked a lot in the past couple weeks, and good news in my opinion, you seem to be in a much better place.
So I think you're good to go back to the team.
Wait Wait, what? As much as I was captivated by your story about being a rebellious dancer struggling to fit in at a prestigious arts school, I'm afraid that it's strangely familiar to the plot of "Step Up 2: The Streets.
" So, unless there's any more fiction you'd like to delight me with, I think we're done.
Please Please just listen.
And I promise, this isn't fiction.
I really don't want to go back to track.
But why not? You dedicated your entire life to it, Jazz.
What's changed? [Sighs.]
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.
M-My sister is gone.
I'm not good enough to get into the Olympics.
I let go of my whole relationship for all of this, a-and now I'm a senior, and I don't know I don't know.
I don't.
Well, you think maybe that's some of the stuff we should be discussing? [Sighs.]
All right, let's Let's start over.
Why don't you tell me about not feeling good enough? [Sighs.]
Come on, Charlie.
You know better than anyone.
It takes one kid, right? One kid to drag the other kids into a cycle of disrespect, and that's what I was trying to prevent from happening.
But, you know, I got caught up in the moment.
I It's just, it's crucial to me that these kids understand the important facts about our culture.
My mistakes, they they stem from my passion.
You've seen the movies "Stand and Deliver," "Dangerous Minds," "Lean on Me.
" You know? [Sighs.]
If you don't stop the descent, they'll eat you alive.
Look, I get it.
And my preferred method of teaching is also shirtless pantsless, if possible.
Although, there might be a way to get around the whole "mandatory pants" law with some chaps.
You don't have to do that.
But, look, if you go down that route, don't even think about facing the blackboard, or you are done.
I don't think I want to teach shirtless or pantless, um, at all.
I just want these kids to absorb the message, you know? Well, unfortunately, we got a complaint.
Damn it.
I'm getting fired, aren't I? Now, now, keep your pants on.
Fortunately for you, I found a opportunity that would allow you to lecture instead of grading papers and, luckily, this position has a high turnover rate.
That's never a good sign.
It's a place for rebels or, as I so dare say, iconoclasts.
Or, as I like to say, "icons with class.
" Like me and you, who meet at the witching hour.
You might remember.
We met there.
Wait, are you assigning me to teach the midnight class? - That's correct.
- Okay.
Now, to be clear, this punishment is not about body shaming you at all.
I saw the photos.
You saw my Okay.
- Your body's bangin'.
- Right.
Hope you don't feel offended, 'cause I could get fired.
Little uncomfortable, but Only saw it for five seconds.
That's a little too long.
- Little too long? - Two, three, four, five.
- That's not too bad.
- Five.
That's entirely too long.
I couldn't do it.
I could not confront Esme.
What happened? Well I went in all gung-ho to confront her Hey, do you have a moment? Yeah.
Come on in.
I'm just finishing up this e-mail.
What's up? Um well, I have your six packs of sweetener, stir sticks, madeleines.
I hate to admit, I ate your cake pop.
Okay? Okay.
Was there anything else? Hey, I get it.
You got cold feet.
You needed to protect your internship.
That's not quite it.
It's more like I just I had to protect her.
Okay, look, I saw this photo on Esme's wall with her and just a bunch of White designers, and it dawned on me how many obstacles she's had to overcome to make it in the fashion world.
And then the one she'll undoubtedly encounter as a brown woman in this world, period? I couldn't be another one of those obstacles.
Okay? I-I just can't bring myself to call out another woman of color.
So I just want to let it go.
You know that I think you did the right thing.
- Yeah.
- And you did it for even better reasons than I would have thought of.
Really, I was just pushing for self-preservation, so congrats.
Hey, if I'm not gonna stand up for the beautiful, high-cheekbone little guys, who will? [Chuckles.]
Proud of you.
I'm getting tired of these solo nights So, while the incident with Esme may have dimmed my shine a little, it was also a boost to my confidence that someone like her took my design and made it her own.
And honestly, I was okay with that.
In fact, I felt really good about it because I knew setting aside my ego allowed the culture to shine a little brighter.
But unfortunately, Luca saw things differently.
Oh Oh Good evening.
I'm Aaron Jackson, and I'd like to thank you all for taking this class.
Um, looking around, I can see that this is still the most eclectic, diverse group of students Cal U has to offer.
I mean, I can see we still have our working parents who spend their nights doing everything they wish they could do during the day.
One love.
And to my independent sex contractor in the front not my personal independent sex contractor, she is one her name's Little Dragon.
She's feisty.
Leg off the desk.
We talked about this.
Thank you.
I'm not entirely clear on why you still have time to be here, but more power to you.
And to all our freshmen, okay? All our freshmen that are here due to late registration you don't know it yet, but this class will change your life.
I hope.

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