Freeform’s spinoff series Grown-ish, continues its stellar freshmen season with its fifth episode “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.” After getting his mojo at the end of last week’s episode, basketball Phenom Cash Mooney (Da’Vinici) is now dating Zoey (Yara Shahidi). Zoey seems to have forgotten about Cash’s special treatment he received during midterms in episode four and is moving towards a serious relationship with Cash.
Trouble arises when Zoey’s Instagram becomes flooded with haters, she wonders if it’s time to alter her brand. To make matters worse, during a round of cyberbullying, Cash decides to stick up for his lady and mention to everyone in cyberspace that Zoey is still a virgin, which doesn’t sit well with her. Zoey decides to ignore Cash, and this almost causes the two to break up.
Meanwhile, Zoey’s BFF Nomi (Emily Arlook) has decided to pursue a relationship with Big Dave (Barrett Carnahan) who made his first appearance in last’s week episode as well. However, while she considers herself, Nomi isn’t too keen on dating someone who is also bi and breaks up with him. Credit must go to the writers for their handling of this subplot. It’s believable and never forced, and I understood both points of views.
The last fifteen minutes of the show were, the strongest for me though. Despite trying to play him against Aaron, Zoey is still friends with Luka. While the two are in class, Luka informs Zoey that Cash’s father has been selling some of Cash’s high school sports memorabilia. Zoey decides to go and see Cash and the two take an emotional road trip.
During the road trip, the dialogue is minimal between the two, as all that needs to be said is written on both of their faces. When they do talk, Cash confesses to Zoey that she’s good for his brand, while Zoey admits that one of the reasons she likes Cash, is because of his star status. It’s a heartfelt believable moment that anyone who has been in a relationship can identify with during the realistic moment.
When the couple finally arrives, at Cash’s house, Zoey realizes just how tough, Cash had it growing it up while Cash shows Zoey his vulnerable side. When the two arrive back, Zoey is berated by her group of friends for missing a birthday party. They all accuse Zoey of being star struck and naturally she gives it right back to them.
Episode 5 of Grown-ish is another winner. As the series continues to progress, so does the character of Zoey. With every episode, I honestly feel that I’m a part of Zoey’s journey. Instead of going for all-out laughs, the creative team mixes drama and comedy for the spinoff, focusing more on the dramatic side. If you haven’t checked out an episode yet, I highly encourage to do so.
Final Grade: A-