“R&B Divas” (2.8): Joy and Foolishness


Watching this week’s season finale of R&B Divas felt sort of like watching The Lion King. One moment it’s all Hakuna Matata! You’re singing with your friends and loving life! And then you realize Scar has killed your dad and everything is horrible! Except Scar is in the form of Nicci Gilbert!

Let’s start with the Hakuna Matata stuff, which is alllll Monifah and Terez. We start off the episode in Monifah’s living room with Terez, who’s finally down from New York. But only we know that she brought a ring with her this time, what whaaaat. Terez suggests taking a day trip while she’s visiting, mayhaps to her hometown of Chattanooga. Mo is thrilled.

When they arrive in the Volunteer State, Terez takes her to one of her favorite places, the Tennessee Aquarium. As Mo tells the camera, Terez is “super excited about aquatic life.” Which is an amazing sentence that you don’t hear a diva say every day. But aquatic life IS pretty sweet.

They walk around, checking out the dope fishes, until they stop at one of the exhibits and Monifah demands a definitive answer over whether Terez will move to Atlanta or not. If they had a home in ATL, Mo says, Terez could have, like, a full wall aquarium. “I would do that for you.” Such a sweet talker! But Terez says her final answer is no: she will absolutely not move to Atlanta. Monifah jerks her head back in astonishment; it cuts to commercial; I shake my head.

But those tricky, tricky editors were just psyching us out, y’all! When we return, we hear the rest of Terez’s statement. She won’t come to Atlanta…as Mo’s woman. She pulls the box out of her pocket. “So that means…let’s do it.” She won’t come to Atlanta as Monifah’s woman—she wants to come there as her wife. Monifah does what any of us would do in this situation, and begins to bawl. Terez cradles her in her arms gently for a while until Mo can breathe enough to speak. When she does, she says, “Absolutely. Babe. Aw, babe.” Aw, babe!

The ring, by the way, is huge and blinging, a purple stone wrapped up in silver, a perfect capturing of Monifah’s heart. She continues to stutter and cry, muttering “I love you so much” a few times in Terez’s hair. And when I think about it, I don’t know if I’ve ever watched any other live lesbian proposals on TV. But even if there had been others, this would still be my favorite one.

Monifah describes it all to the camera: “Every moment leads you to one moment. And at that point, that was that moment. I felt everything that ever happened in my life. And I’m like…I’m here now.” There is something wonderful, deep about this statement. It’s the way you should feel at that moment. She can’t help her happiness from spilling over, repeating to Terez, “I can’t believe my life right now.”

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