“R&B Divas” recap (2.7): Sticks and (Brown)Stones

LaTocha, Rocky, and Syleena meet the next day to discuss it, and they all pretty much agree that it’s “fraudulent.” Rocky was also under the impression that it would be at a big venue; when he learns that it’s pretty much just in some hotel he really deems it ridiculous. They all agree that the charity idea is just an excuse to con the ladies into doing a show — the same type of show that Syleena and Angie had both previously suggested, that Nicci had crapped mightily on. And TVOne has the video flashbacks to prove it. Now, I don’t want to poo poo on Nicci’s charity or anything, but it is enjoyable to see LaTocha start to voice her opinion on things and to see her and Syleena joking around with each other.

We’ll get back to the Nicci hoopla in a moment, but there are also some very serious personal goings on in this episode that are probably much more worthy of our attention anyway.

First, we return to the storyline of Syleena’s alcoholic mother moving in with her, which I think is an incredibly relevant one. They’ve made it through the first week alive, but probably because her mom hasn’t come out of her room much. She and Syleena stand around Syleena’s gorgeous kitchen to discuss where things stand. Syleena wants to help, but can’t because her mom refuses to talk about the difficulties she’s going through. To her, discussing anything that’s hard for her is a sign of weakness. Syleena assures her that doing so is actually a sign of strength, and that alcoholics don’t get anywhere by just telling themselves they’re going to stop; they need external help. To which her mom retorts, “Where did you get your degree?” Ouch.

Shockingly though, her mom does agree to Syleena’s suggestion of going to family therapy. This is definitely a good sign. And at the therapy session, with Syleecia and Sylette in tow as well, Syleena’s mom tells Syleena that she admires her strength. More good signs! Progress, hurrah! However, when Syleena starts to break down, saying, “I just want to be your friend,” which is maybe the most heartbreaking thing ever, her mom shuts off and says, “This isn’t me.” Because she doesn’t do emotions. Oh, Brenda. At least we had a start.

But, she does acknowledge that she was raised to never show emotions, and that she knows she raised her daughters the same way. There were no hugs exchanged in their family. (Syleena and Syleecia admit they’ve started sneaking hugs to each other.) In the end, Brenda admits she has a lot of work to do on herself. They also laugh a lot during the session, which I think is always a good sign of health. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great scene to show a universal truth that’s not always talked about: families require work.

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