“Jersey Strong” recap (1.5): Love and hip-hop

This week on Jersey Strong, Brooke brings Maggie’s kid Kevin along to the courthouse for an afternoon of cross examination. Although Brooke vehemently asserts that her bearded client was searched and seized illegally, the judge denied her motion. The judge, who saucily accessorized with blue and white striped glasses and an electric blue tie, was clearly excited to be on camera. Judge elongates his speaking part by complimenting Brooke’s passion and presentation. Hollywood calls for Judge.

Brooke: If a lawyer tells you they’ve never lost a case, they’re full of shit.

Wouldn’t it be awkward if Brooke were a terrible lawyer?

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Jayda and the kids romp at the park without Creep, who remains at the family home. He’s still grieving the death of his grandmother. Jayda feels neglected, especially because Creep’s family is so unwelcoming towards her and the kids. She worries that Creep is putting his childhood family above the family he created as a man.

Later’s Jayda meets up with stripping mentee Jaz. Jayda found out that Jaz recently went to the hospital, and Jayda wants an explanation.

Jaz: I was passing blood all day, so I took a picture and showed it to Doctor. He looked and it and said, “That almost looks like a baby.” I found out I was miscarrying. I was about 10-12 weeks along. I wasn’t showing or nothing.

Jayda: Do you think you would have kept it?

Jaz: Of course.

Oh God.

Jayda: Oh God.

Reminder: Jaz is only 18, a single mother, and a stripper.

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At Brooke’s office, she is playing rap for Kevin because she gets it. Brooke gets rap. She gets cool. She gets purple fur coats. Like Diddy. One of Brooke’s old clients, who she thinks “is very talented,” is an aspiring rapper. Brooke tells Kevin that it is important to know the difference between good and bad stuff (like Brooke does), because so many rappers will soon be coming to lesbian lawyer Brooke to further their rapping careers. Maybe through a reality show on Pivot of their very own?

Kevin and Brooke talk about Nicole and her despised boyfriend. Shockingly, a lesbian stepmother telling a teenage girl to stay away from her bad influence boyfriend has not produced excellent results. I’m sure Justin is awful, but Nicole isn’t exactly a prodigy. Let them be dreadful together and soon enough, young love with implode on its own.

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Back to the ‘hood with Jayda, she takes Jaz to interview for a bartending position.

Interviewer: Have you ever bartended before?

Jaz: I have, but I’m not very good at it though.

She gets the job.

Back to the lesbian den. Maggie and Brooke bicker tensely. Brooke twitches anxiously, seeming even more manic than normal. Maggie is like, “What did I do? If you want a cigarette, have a cigarette. You chose to quit” and Kevin murmurs, “If smoking is what keeps you calm, then I think it’s OK.” Brooke tosses back a martini. Apparently her family finds Brooke-off-cigarettes so unbearable they encourage a relapse. She must be psychotic. Nicole whines about dinner and rules and why doesn’t anyone understand her. No one can understand, no one but Justin.

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Creep creeps to the court for some hoops with his boys. They play. Creep looks and accessories like 2 Chainz, which is legit. After play is over, it’s time for play juice: a bottle of melon Ciroc. Creep talks about his relationship problems and sips on Ciroc.

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Unfortunately for Creep, time stops for no man. It’s Jayda’s birthday, and she’s fixing to celebrate. Jayda strolls into a hair salon for a little well deserved TLC. Jayda tells hairdresser than all Creep sent for her birthday was a text. Creep’s really dropping the ball, and Jayda has had enough.

That evening at The Key Club, Jaz shows up for her first day as a bartender. Jaz successfully makes a Sex On The Beach, but she’s not OK with just being a bartender.

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Jaz: If I don’t get the management position in two months, I’m probably not going to be here.

I don’t want Jaz to be a moron, but expecting a promotion to manager after two months as a bartender is absurd. You are an 18-year-old with no experience aside from stripping. How the hell do you expect to know how to run a bar? How do you expect someone to just give you a managerial job? Absurd. Jaz wants “fast easy money” and that’s not realistic in the long term.

Brooke, Maggie, and Kevin go to the studio with Chris Brower, Brooke’s client. The studio is locked, Maggie is cold, and the couple fight while Brooke smokes. “This is one of your ideas again,” Maggie chides, “and I don’t like it.” Maggie is always whiny, but this time she has a point. Brooke promoting hip-hop is a joke.

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Even though it’s her birthday, Jayda brings the kids to Creep’s grandmother’s funeral. Creep’s family hates Jayda so it’s a terrible way for Jayda to celebrate. Creep is assigned a seat in front, but Jayda and her kids must stand in back with the guests. Creep’s family does not consider Jayda family, and it’s an intentional snub. Jayda refuses to let Layla be excluded.

Jayda: I marched right up there with Layda and said IS THERE ROOM FOR HER… Layda can sit on her father’s lap.

Jayda can be a badass when she’s not trying to help people who don’t want to be helped. I love how she stands up not for herself, but for her daughter. That’s a strong, yet classy move.

Jayda: We should have had places to sit. I have a diamond ring from Creep. This is not boyfriend/girlfriend.

She walks outside and calls Creep, hurt and infuriated.

Back the THE STUDIO with Brooke Diddy, someone finally unlocks the studio so Brooke and Brooke’s rapper and Brooke’s loving entourage finally escape from the howling winds of New Jersey winter. “Let’s get back in the mood,” Brooke chirps to her fiance, the Russian popsicle. Brooke and her fellow white people bob their heads appreciatively to the beat. As Brooke plays, Maggie sulks.

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Brooke: Doesn’t it get old, being just a nasty person?

They’re so in love. Maggie stews, Brooke glowers. Maggie is a Deb and Brooke suffers manic episodes: these women are not super compatible, aside from being roughly the same level of attractive. Maggie snaps and spills the saddo-beans.

Maggie: Nicole moved out this morning. She moved in with her dad, who’s almost never home because he’s dating a girl almost Nicole’s age. She will be at Justin’s all the time. Before you know it, she’ll be sleeping there, then living there.

So Maggie blames Brooke for her daughter moving out? Rational. I’m sure Brooke is super annoying, but as Maggie and her spawn so often remind Brooke, Brooke is not a parent. Maggie is Nicole’s guardian, Nicole’s whereabouts are Maggie’s responsibility. Ugh, Maggie’s not even nice. At least Brooke is nice. Apparently Maggie expects Brooke to financially support her, and her teenagers, while getting no parenting credit or authority in return. Unless something goes wrong, like now, when Maggie wants to blame Brooke for her teenage daughter’s antics. Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re going to live with someone and work for them, they should be given equal credit and authority over household happenings. Maggie often comes across as a whiny user living vicariously through her teenage daughter and off her workaholic girlfriend.

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To the Funeral Home! Jayda and Creep finally talk face-to-face. Jayda isn’t happy with how Creep handles things, and wants him to step up. He doesn’t. Jayda wonders again if they’re going to make it, or if this is a breaking point.

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